Coronavirus Business Support

19 Mar 2020

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we are experiencing an unprecedented time however, here at Mitchells we are striving to operate our services as usual. Our office is now closed in line with restrictions imposed by the government but our staff are working remotely. We are encouraging meetings to be held by telephone or video conference where possible to protect our staff and clients. In order to maintain our service we welcome receiving client records and if you require collection please contact the office so this can be arranged.

The Farmers Community Network are a voluntary organisation & charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community. If you need support during this time call their helpline 03000 111 999 and talk to a person who understands farmers and rural life.

The government announced a package of temporary measures to support businesses during this difficult time. As you know, the information is released and updated daily therefore we have provided a brief summary of the support that could benefit you.

  • If you are an employer with less than 250 employees, the government will refund 2 weeks of statutory sick pay (SSP) per eligible employee if they are off work because of COVID-19. This will be refunded through a reduction in your PAYE payments. SSP is currently £94.25 rising to £95.85 from 6 April 2020. You should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If your business gets to the point where you are considering redundancies, please ensure you take the appropriate legal advice.
  • If you run a retail, hospitality or leisure business, then you do not have to pay rates for 12 months (2020 to 2021 tax year) Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March.
  • There is a small business grant of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief. You will be contacted by your local authority – you do not need to apply. Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.
  • There is grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure for businesses with property rateable value between £15,000 - £51,000
  • The Chancellor launched a temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 Million for SME's through the British Business Bank. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan so lenders are confident in providing further finance. The first 6 months of finance is interest free and the government will cover this. The scheme will be available from week commencing 23 March but no guidance has yet been released about how the application process. We do not yet know the interest rate after 6 months and the repayment terms.
  • There will be a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge their cashflows during this time.
  • Banks will provide a 3 month mortgage holiday for those who need it. You should contact your bank for further information.
  • 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. You will be able to delay paying your VAT & PAYE bill but you should contact HMRC before the payment is due. Contact HMRC
  • If you are self employed and require support in the form of Universal Credit, which is a monthly payment to help with your living costs, you can check whether you're eligible online here although you might need to book an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus. The first payment may be around 5 weeks after your successful application.
  • For self employed, self assessment tax payers, the July tax payments on account have been deferred until January 2021 incurring no interest. This is an automatic offer and no application is needed.
  • There is a 3 month deferral of VAT payments until the end of June 2020. This will generally mean the deferral of one quarter's VAT: the payment due on 7 April, 7 May or 7 June 2020 or the monthly payments due on each of these dates. This is an automatic offer and no application is required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. You may need to cancel your direct debit mandate and then set them up again in due course. Taxpayers have until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to pay any liabilities that accumulate during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal. Remember to file your VAT returns by the due date.

We remain fully available to our clients, therefore if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us by email or by our main telephone number which will then give you options of mobile numbers to call. Many businesses are facing a challenging time and you will always have the support of Mitchells.