update

Business & Personal Financial Support During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A useful resource guide for people operating a business, or living, in the U.K.

Original Post Date: Monday 23rd March 2020

Updated Post Date: Wednesday 26th March 2020

Intro

These truly are unprecedented times we're living in right now. The health risks to society have spiked up and that is a scary thing to deal with. Many families are already grieving and very sadly this is going to increase. The other major element that is being impacted is the economy - with large parts of it closed, people's livelihoods are at risk and this brings a whole other set of fears and worries to contend with.

The government is making regular announcements on how they are going to support the population throughout this crisis. Whatever your political view and your view on the job they're doing, from a fiscal (government spending) point of view, the magnitude of the financial support to date has never been done before. This article is showcasing some of the key financial support available to businesses and individuals during this time.

If you're really struggling or feel that you greatly need help, then we're here for you. Please always get in touch and we can provide support, guidance and assist you in any way we can.

Self-employed
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme: this covers 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. This will begin being rolled out early June and those eligible will be contacted by HMRC. However, I would recommend contacting them once the scheme is live to check for your specific circumstances.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

  • Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs): SME's and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. This will cover 2 weeks of SSP. To be eligible, your business must be UK based and have less than 250 employees as of the end of February 2020. Details on how to access the scheme are still being formulated.
  • The Universal Credit standard allowance, for the next 12 months, has been increased by £1,000 a year. This equates to approximately £440pm (though varies on an individual basis).
  • They have removed the minimum income floor which basically means every self-employed person can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees. This equates to £408pm.
  • The next self-assessment tax payments will be deferred until January 2021.
  • HMRC have just set up a help line specifically for the self employed and businesses who will be struggling now.
  • The Coronavirus helpline : 0300 456 3565

https://www.gov.uk/self-employment-and-universal-credit

https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

Mortgage Support
  • Payment holidays for up to 3 months.
  • Customers will need to apply for a holiday via their bank. Acceptance isn’t guaranteed but applications will be fast-tracked, UK Finance, the trade body for Britain’s major banks, said.
  • But homeowner’s credit ratings won’t be affected. This marks a change in policy: consumers who had approached their banks about mortgage holidays before this unprecedented event had been told their credit reports would suffer.
  • While the holidays were initially only available only to owner-occupiers, lenders extended the scheme to buy-to-let landlords on Thursday. Additionally, starting today no homes or buy-to-let properties will be repossessed for three months, the FCA said.
  • Furthermore, mortgage lenders have announced they won't apply to court to repossess homeowners for 3 months starting from 19 March.

Rental Support
  • The government is being pressured to do more to support renters and the hope is that this will be addressed soon.
  • Speak to your landlord if you're struggling to pay rent.
  • They could be sympathetic especially if you've lost your job or seen your income reduce suddenly.  
  • They might agree to a rent reduction or to accept rent late. Get any agreement in writing.
  • Buy to let landlords may get mortgage payment holidays if their tenants have financial problems due to coronavirus (this could be mentioned to them so they’re aware of the options available to them as the owner, which in turn would help the tenants).  

Job Retention Scheme - Wage Payments Support
  • Governments will pay companies 80% of their staff’s wages (up to £2,500pm per person),
  • Backdated to March 1st and will initially last for 3 months (but will be extended if necessary).
  • This covers people who have been asked to stop working but are kept on the company's payroll.
  • This provides significant help to employers and can avoid layoffs (protecting livelihoods and the economy) and of course helpful to staff as it removes a big part of the uncertainty.
  • If you are an employer, please make use of this support if at all possible - this will enable the economy to rebound stronger once the virus situation is under control.
  • If you are an employee, I feel may be a good, proactive move to speak with your employer to discuss this with a view to ensuring your job is safe.
  • All UK businesses can take part in the scheme and it covers employees through the PAYE mechanism.
  • For people to be eligible, the company must designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify them of this change. The company will need to submit information to HMRC about these furloughed employees through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required). HMRC will soon launch a platform for reimbursement (because current systems do not allow for payments to be made to employers).

VAT Deferral
  • VAT normally payable up to June 2020 will be deferred until 2021.
  • Every VAT registered UK business is eligible.
  • No application is required to take part in this.
  • That is a direct injection of £30bn of cash to employers, equivalent to 1.5% of GDP.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Government backed Interest free business loans for 12 months.
  • Finance terms will be from three months up to 10 years for term loans (interest free for 12 months as mentioned above) and asset finance and up to three years for revolving facilities and invoice finance.
  • This will provide loans of up to £5 million.
  • Applied for directly with banks. All major banks are participating in the scheme.


  • To be eligible for support via CBILS, your small business must:
  • Be UK based, with turnover of no more than £45m per annum
  • Operate within an eligible industrial sector
  • Confirm that you have not received €200,000 of state aid over the current and previous two fiscal years
  • Be unable to meet a lender’s normal lending requirements for a fully commercial loan or other facility, but would be considered viable in the longer-term
  • The lending facility is via business banks (all major banks are taking part)
  • Here is a great website explaining the process in more detail and how to move forward effectively.

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/for-businesses-and-advisors/

Business Rates Relief & Cash Grant- retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
  • Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, with a rateable value of less than £51,000, they will pay no business rates this year.
  • There is no action that businesses need to take as this will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.
  • Those businesses will also receive an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 per business – to help bridge through this period.
  • That means every single shop, pub, theatre, music venue, restaurant - and any other business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector – will pay no business rates for 12 months, and if they have a rateable value of less than £51,000, they can now get a cash grant as well.
  • To take part, you do not need to do anything as your local authority (LA)will contact you directly. However if you wish to check your eligibility, simply contact your LA.

Small Business Grants (for those who pay little or no business rates)
  • Small business government grants (to bricks and mortar businesses who do not pay business rates) up to £10k.
  • You are eligible if: 1) your business is based in England; 2) you are a small business and already receive SBRR and/or RRR; 3) you are a business that occupies property.
  • To take part, you do not need to do anything as your local authority (LA)will contact you directly. However if you wish to check your eligibility, simply contact your LA.

Support For Businesses Paying Tax
  • All businesses and self-employe people having financial difficulties with tax liabilities to pay may be able to get support with this through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
  • If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, you can call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. If you’re worried about a future payment, call them nearer the time.

Hopefully this was of use to you. If you have any questions, please let us know via inspired@dangayle-coach.com or FB messenger m.me/DanGayleCoach

Please stay safe and take care of yourselves, your loved ones and look out for those around you.

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