Vision Consulting Covid-19 Update

Following the increase of COVID-19 diagnoses in London and while the containment measures by the Government are in place, we have taken the decision to close our office and will be asking staff to work from home. We can still be contacted on the office number 020 8554 2135 or by email office@visionconsulting.co.uk . If you have direct contact details for your Manager, please feel free to contact them as usual.   

Talk to us today to find out how we can assist you.

We have put together a summary of the latest government assistant measures as at 1 April 2020. For more information click on the links below:

1. Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme 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. You do not need to do anything; local authorities have already started to write to eligible business with information on how to access the funding.

2. Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 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 government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. 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.

You are eligible for the scheme if:

-Your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year

-Your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers. Please contact Graham Perrin g.perrin@visionconsutling.co.uk if you require any assistance from us.

3. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

The Government will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Your business will be eligible if it is based in England, in the retail/hospitality and/or leisure sector.  More information on eligibility is set out in the expanded retail discount guidance. Local authorities will contact eligible businesses directly

4. Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with 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 may be eligible for 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 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.

Click on the link for more information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-that-pay-little-or-no-business-rates

5. Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

The Government will introduce a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020/2021 tax year. Local authorities will contact eligible businesses directly.

6. Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. These measures will mean no business will automatically forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment up until 30 June.

There is the option for the government to extend this period if needed. This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent. No action is required.

7. Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least 3 months starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs(see link for variable pay employees), up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.

As far as we can see the scheme is pegged to 28 February so any wage increases that took effect in March or later will have no impact on the amount reimbursed. It is unlikely that many ordinary employees will have been given pay rises since 28 February, but the rule is presumably there to prevent people artificially increasing pay (say in a small family company) to obtain higher grant funding. 

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020. For more information click on the link:

Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

8. Personal Mortgages

The government has agreed with all mortgage lenders that all individuals that have been disrupted by COVID-19 will have at least a 3 – month payment holiday – Contact lines have been setup by the lenders.

9. Support for businesses through deferring VAT payments

We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to:

defer the payment until a later date
pay the VAT due as normal

Find out how to defer your VAT payment.

If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19 more help is available from HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme.

10. Support for businesses through deferring Self-Assessment payments on account

If you’re due to pay a self-assessment payment on account by 31 July 2020 but the impact of the coronavirus causes you difficulty in making payment by that date, then you may defer payment until January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no application required.

During the deferral period you can set up a budget payment plant to help you pay the deferred payment on account when it comes due.

11. Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

12. Businesses paying sick pay

The Government will bring forward legislation to allow SMEs and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. For more information visit Gov.uk.

13. Commercial insurance

Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19.

However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy).

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

14. IR35 contractors

Those working for public sector organisations through personal service companies who are unable to carry on working due to the covid-19 pandemic will now be eligible for the 80% furlough scheme if their contracts are ongoing.

This means that nurses and doctors working as locums across the NHS, and IT contractors working on strategic IT projects, for example, will be able to access financial support, although there are still no signs that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – so-called 80% furlough rules – will be extended to private sector off-payroll workers

15. Rules on carrying over annual leave

On Thursday 26 March, in response to the current pandemic, the Working Time (Coronavirus)(Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force. These Regulations will allow workers who have not yet taken all of their statutory annual leave due to Coronavirus to carry it over into the next two leave years.

We continue to monitor the Government announcements for updates.

We would encourage any of our clients who feel any of the Governments support options will be of benefit to please get in touch with us. 

This information is provided in good faith and without any financial liability attached. Please take professional advice for your particular circumstances before acting.  Although we have taken relevant care in producing this guidance, we will not be held liable for any losses whatsoever as result of anyone acting on this information.