With information on the Coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak changing daily, it can be difficult to figure out what support is available to you and your business.

Here, we have summarised the support measures available to help you and your small businesses through the disruption.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would have otherwise been made redundant during this crisis. The scheme applies to employees who have been asked to stop working but are still on the payroll, otherwise known as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of wages up to a cap of £2500 per month from 1 March for 3 months. All UK businesses are eligible. The scheme is still being developed and further details will be provided in due course.

Support for Paying Sick Pay to Employees

Businesses will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to staff for absence due to coronavirus, covering up to two weeks SSP per employee. Businesses must be UK based, with fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020. The scheme is still being developed and further details will be provided in due course.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Businesses will be supported with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years. Businesses will also benefit from lower initial repayments and a Business Interruption Payment covering the first 12 months of interest payment and lender-levied fees. All UK businesses with a turnover of no more than £45 million per year are eligible provided they meet the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria. Businesses should apply via their lender’s website or through one of the other accredited finance providers offering the scheme.

Small Business Grant Funding

Small businesses that pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief are now eligible for additional funding to help meet ongoing business costs. This is in the form of a one-off grant of £10,000. Businesses are eligible if they are based in England, already receiving SBRR or RRR and occupying a property. Local Authorities will write to all eligible businesses with information on how to claim this grant.

Deferred VAT and Income Tax Payments

Value Added Tax (VAT) payments are now deferred for 3 months, from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. Additionally, if you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 may be deferred until January 2021. All UK businesses are eligible for these automatic offers and there are no applications required.

Time to Pay Service  

All businesses with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support through the HMRC’s Time to Pay Service. Businesses are eligible if they pay tax to the UK government and have outstanding tax liabilities, with arrangements agreed through a case by case basis. Businesses should apply via the HMRC helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Read more for cash flow tips during the coronavirus crisis.

For answers to frequently asked questions, visit the HM Government Business Support website. https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/faqs/

Do you have any unanswered questions? If so, comment below.

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