An Update on help available from the Government

I was telling my 8-year-old about homeschooling for the next couple of months and she asked if I had to do that when I was a kid and I said no and then she asked if chairs were even invented yet, so I think the first thing we’ll study is her attitude!

In the last 48 hours, there has been a raft of measures introduced by the government to support small and large businesses throughout the Coronavirus crisis. This is an evolving situation so to get the most up-to-date advice please visit the government website page:

In the rest of the email, I will summarise the help available for small businesses. There is likely to be a grant or loan which your business can use to help during the Coronavirus Crisis. Although I believe the Government could have gone a lot further here is hoping they will announce further measures.

All small businesses (less than 250 employees) can get the following help:

2 weeks of statutory sick pay paid for employees off because of COVID-19
If you are struggling to pay a tax bill which is due (or you think you will struggle with), then HMRC has set up a Coronavirus Help To Pay helpline, which will work with you to put in place a “time to pay” plan. If you think you will need to do this, please give us a call first, but the telephone number of the helpline is 0800 0159 559
If your business has insurance cover for a pandemic and government-ordered closure, e.g. the government’s advice to avoid pubs, theatres, etc, the government and insurance industry have confirmed that there are now sufficient grounds to make a claim. But this is a case of check the small print of your insurance policy!
The ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ is believed to be open w/c 23rd March. Any loans approved from this scheme are interest-free for the first 6 months, with the government paying the interest. If you think you will need to access this scheme, please contact me and I will refer you on to our debt finance partner.

If your business is eligible for small business rate relief OR rural rate relief:
your local authority will provide you with a one-off grant of £10,000. (So, doesn’t need to be paid back). Your local authority will be in touch to arrange the grant. More details will be available in early April.

If you are a retail, hospitality or leisure business:
The government is giving you a payment holiday for your business rates for the 2020/2021 tax year. We are expecting more guidance on this by 20th March
If your business received the retail discount in 2019/2020 tax year, your local authority will rebill you as soon as possible
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. Your local authority will be able to tell you whether you are eligible and how to claim.

As a firm, we believe that many businesses may struggle to pay their April or May payroll. If this could be your business, please get in touch so we can help you find a plan to ensure the health of your business going forward.

In my email, on Monday I offered a free excel cash flow tool. A few clients have taken advantage of this and I went through it with them which they found useful. Here is a link to download it if you want it.

Feel free to contact me if you would like me to show you how to use it.

If you have any friends or acquaintances that you feel would benefit from this then feel free to pass it on. If they want to go onto the mailing list too, then to pass my details on and I will sign them up.

Stay safe.