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Coronavirus Toolkit: Latest Information & Updates for employers & business

The Chamber has collated a range of information and official websites to support businesses who may be impacted or affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. This page is being updated daily as we receive more information through from the Government and from the Prime Minister's Daily Press Briefings at 5.00pm:

Contain > Delay > Research > Mitigate
The UK is currently in the Delay Phase (as of 13th March 2020)​

>>View the government's action plan<<

 

>>View the Chamber's COVID-19 Briefing Paper Here<<

If you need business advice, guidance or support, please email [email protected] or call us on 024 7665 4321 and one of our advisors will be in touch with you.

 

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

Furloughed Workers

>>Click here to download an example Letter to Furloughed Workers<<

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.

The Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

 

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

 

Small Business Grant Funding

The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

 

Support in the production of ventilators in the UK

The UK government is specifically seeking support on assistance with the urgent supply of components and manufacturing of mechanical ventilation equipment that is vital for the NHS. The link below provides a specification for the Rapidly Manufactured Ventilation System (RMVS).

Any companies that are able to assist should call 0300 456 3565 or email [email protected].

 

Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

This document provides guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises, as part of further social distancing measures.

 

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.

 

Time to Pay

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

 

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

The new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. The scheme will be funded by central bank reserves – in line with other Bank of England market operations. It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.

 

Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries

Nurseries in England* do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.

 

VAT Deferral

We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

 

Income Tax Deferral for the Self-Employed

The Self- Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid by 31 July 2020 may now be deferred until January 2021.

 

Support for Self-Employed and Freelancers

The Chamber is calling for the Government to make additional provision for those who are self-employed and freelance to ensure they have access to the same financial support measures at this time

 

Off-payroll working rules reforms postponed until 2021 (IR35)

Reforms to off-payroll working rules have been delayed by 12 months as part of the government’s Covid-19 economic response package. The rules, which ensure two people sitting side by side doing the same work for the same employer are taxed in the same way, will now come into effect on 6 April 2021 instead of 6 April this year.

 

Mind: Supporting Employee Mental Health & Wellbeing

Your employees may be concerned, anxious or worried about the impact of Coronavirus. Mind, the mental health charity, has produced guidance which can be found at the link below

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.

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If you have a question you would like to ask, please use one of the following contact methods below:

Phone 024 7665 4321
Fax 024 7645 0242

Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

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Coventry, CV1 2TL

 

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