Growing uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak means it’s a scary time to be a business owner. While the economic impacts of COVID-19 remain largely unknown, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest government advice and prepare for the worst.
The unprecedented circumstances leave SMEs with a great deal of uncertainty and very little information about what they should or shouldn’t be doing.
Over the past few days, the UK government has announced a series of precautionary measures and support to soften the financial blow of coronavirus for small businesses. Whether you need a fast business loan to tide you over or direct advice from government officials, we’ve collated the latest information to help your business survive.
Join us as we explore the best options to maintain stability for your business in these testing times.
Note: As the situation unfolds, government advice and provisions for SMEs are changing daily. For the latest updates, check the official government website.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The government will support businesses by paying part of their employees’ salary, for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during the coronavirus outbreak.
The coronavirus job retention scheme will pay up to £2,500 per worker each month to businesses.
Deferred VAT Payments
No business will pay any VAT from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The British Business Bank is offering loans of up to £5 million with the UK government covering up to 80% of losses with zero fees. The government will absorb the first twelve months of interest payments to help businesses find their feet.
Refunded Statutory Sick Pay
If your business has fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020, the government will reimburse employers for the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay. With over 2 million eligible UK businesses, the government is looking at roughly £2 billion in refunds.
Grants For Local Businesses
Local authorities across the UK are offering £10,000 grants to help local businesses. If your business is eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR), you will automatically receive funding from your local authority in early April 2020.
Hold tight for official guidance from your local authority over the coming weeks.
Business Rates Holiday
All retail, leisure and hospitality firms will be exempt from paying business rates in the 2020 - 2021 tax year. If you’re in any of these sectors and your business has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, you could also be eligible for a £25,000 grant to tide you over.
The government hopes this support will help minimise the long-term implications of coronavirus and its impact on the economy.
Business Advice Helpline
If you’re looking for bespoke advice for your business, help is just a phone call away. Get the advice you need with dedicated helplines for issues regarding tax liabilities and financial distress:
HMRC Tax Helpline. If you’re worried about meeting your tax requirements for year-end, call 0800 0159 559 to discuss alternative options.
Business Wales Helpline. Call 0300 060 3000 between 8:30am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday to get the support you need.
Overcome Uncertainty with 365 Business Finance
At 365 Business Finance, we’re committed to helping SMEs overcome financial difficulties and getting them back on their feet during these uncertain times.