Covid19 Business Support: Top 5 Actions for Business Owners and Employers

If you own a business and/or employ staff via a PAYE scheme, and the Covid-19 pandemic has hit your business, here are 5 things you can do to access support and mitigate the impact:

1. Apply to Furlough your employees via the Job Retention Scheme.

Furloughing your staff means the government will support you in paying up to 80% of their salary costs, up to £2,500 per employee/month. The scheme covers anyone on your payroll as at 19th March 2020 and will cover payroll from the 1st March to the end of June.

2. Defer payments due to HMRC.

You can apply for time-to-pay on any outstanding or forthcoming tax liabilities such as corporation tax or PAYE.

VAT payments due for the period to 30th June have been delayed until the end of the tax year 2020-2021 but returns must still be filed.

Call HMRC on 0800 0159 559 to discuss time-to-pay.

3. Apply for a Business Bounce Back loan or Business Interruption Loan.

The Bounce Back loans offer up to £50,000 (loan value can be no more than 25% of your turnover). They are 100% guaranteed by the treasury and there no repayments or interest payable in the first year. Terms can be up to 6 years in length.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45 million, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) supports large businesses, with an annual turnover of over £45 million. All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45 million per year can apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million can apply for up to £50 million of finance.

4. Check your eligibility for business rates holidays and rates linked grants

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. Premises with a rateable value up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

All eligible businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.

Full details and application forms are via your rates collecting authority (District or Borough Council/Unitary Authority) website.

5. Keep on top of the admin and accounts

Year-end accounts and tax returns must still be filed but businesses can apply for an additional 3 months to file accounts.

Keep track of any losses resulting from the Covid-19 crisis. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is recommending that firms keep track of any losses and extraordinary costs accumulated as a result of COVID-19. Whilst nothing has been confirmed, losses such as these may enable businesses to claim relief down the line. Examples include lost business, sickness payments, lost income – e.g. rents, exceptional payments & costs.

If you have questions or need help, please contact a member of our team for more information or to see how Evans Weir can help you through this current period of uncertainty and beyond.