Coronavirus (COVID-19)

face masks

The government has released guidance and support measures specifically for businesses and employers related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We will continue to update this guidance and the schemes change. 

 

COVID Guidance on what you can and cannot do.

Financial Business Support Finder: see what support is available for you and your business.

Download Face Covering Request Posters for various types of business - designed for use following the lifting of Covid restrictions on 19th July 2021

 

GOV.UK has a wide variety of coronavirus business support information, but here are some headlines on the support available locally & nationally:

 

Loan Funding

Recovery Loan Scheme

Government-backed loan scheme  provide additional finance to those businesses that need it. Businesses ranging from coffee shops and restaurants, to hairdressers and gyms can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000. The government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans and interest rates have been capped at 14.99%.  The scheme will run until 31 December 2021, subject to review.

Find out more here. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021.

  • From 1 July 2021, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough.
  • From 1 August 2021, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.
  • For claims from 1st July 2021, employers must top up employees’ wages to make sure they receive 80% of their wages (up to £2,500) for the hours they are on furlough. The caps are proportional to the hours not worked.

Claims for September must be submitted by 14 October 2021 and any amendments must be made by 28 October 2021.

Full details....

Guidance on paying Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back.
Find out how to pay all or some of your grant back if you’ve overclaimed, or if you do not need the grant and want to make a voluntary repayment.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

This scheme is for employers. You can claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP if:

  • you have already paid your employee’s sick pay (use the SSP calculator to work out how much to pay)
  • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
  • you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all your PAYE payroll schemes

How to apply: There is an online service for small and medium-sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.  

Sign up to a HMRC webinar about the support available to help you and your staff.

Pension Advice 

Automatic enrolment and DC pension contributions: COVID-19 What you need to consider from The Pensions Regulator.

VAT cut for tourism and hospitality

VAT cut to 12.5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions across the UK until 31 March 2022.

VAT deferral ‘New Payment Scheme’

The government will give businesses which deferred VAT due in March to June 2020 the option to spread their payments over the financial year 2021-2022. Rather than paying in full at the end of March 2021, businesses will be able to choose to make 11 equal instalments over 2021-22. All businesses which took advantage of the VAT deferral can use the New Payment Scheme. Businesses will need to opt in, but all are eligible.

More details here. 

Self Assessment payments 

You can set up a payment plan to spread the cost of your latest Self Assessment bill if:

  • you owe £30,000 or less
  • you do not have any other payment plans or debts with HMRC
  • your tax returns are up to date
  • it’s less than 60 days after the payment deadline

You do not need to contact HMRC if you set up a payment plan online. Call the Self Assessment helpline if you’re not eligible for a payment plan or cannot use the online service.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC helpline on 08000 241222 for practical help and advice.

Sign up to a HMRC webinar about the support available to help you and your staff.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The government will provide eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England with 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties. Full details...

Nurseries will also qualify for relief in the same way as other eligible properties.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is inviting applications for grants to help ports or harbours impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and to provide health and safety equipment for fishing vessel owners.

MMO has re-purposed the balance of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and allocated £500,000 to projects for ports or harbours and £300,000 to fishing vessel owners or licence holders for health and safety improvements.

Grants of up to £100,000 each are available for existing projects that are aimed at mitigating impacts of Covid-19 at ports and harbours and bringing benefits to the local area. Applications will be assessed and judged on a competitive basis with grants awarded to those best meeting the criteria and aims of this fund. 

Awards of up to £50,000 each are available for health and safety improvements on board fishing vessels. This fund is open now and applications will be assessed and awarded on individual merit as and when they are received, until the fund is fully committed.

The fund criteria is available here

Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

£6.1 million scheme supporting the fishing and seafood sector in England. Initially the fund will focus on projects that help businesses adapt to life outside the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. 

You can find full details and a link to the application page here

The Department for International Trade can advise on:

  • smooth clearance of products with customs authorities
  • intellectual property (IP) and other issues with business continuity
  • export plans and exploring market opportunities
  • finding new routes to markets
  • dealing with agents and distributors
  • finding alternative suppliers
  • selling online and updating your digital (online) presence

You can no longer order free rapid lateral flow tests for your employees.

Instead you can:

  • buy your own tests and set up your own workplace testing
  • pay an approved provider to provide tests or run a test site for you

If you cannot provide testing, you can ask your employees to get a rapid lateral flow test at home or at a test site.

 
 

We’ll work with you on a one-to-one basis to uncover the skills your business needs, and introduce you to training to get results. 

 

We work with local businesses to find the right guidance and support to help their business work smarter, develop and grow.

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