To receive regular updates or new announcements that could help we advise you to sign up to the Government alerts on GOV.UK about: Coronavirus (COVID-19):
https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?link=/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Business Support

Accessing Small Business Rate Relief

Businesses who have commercial premises and are in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Business Rate Relief are eligible for the small business grant funding.

The grant was initially announced as £3,000 but this has been increased to £10,000.

You do not need to apply. The local authorities are aware of those who are in receipt of the rate relief and will write to all eligible businesses with information on how to claim this grant. Businesses are expected to be contacted from the beginning of April.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rate Relief

There is additional rate relief support available to retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. If you operate in these sectors:
• You will pay no business rates in England for 12 months from 1 April 2020.
• There will be no rateable value threshold on this relief – businesses large and small will benefit.
• You do not need to apply. The holiday will be reflected in bills by local authorities as soon as possible.

Those businesses which do have a policy for insurance for pandemics – you will be able to claim against this.

If you don’t have insurance, other measures are available – these will focus on business rates delays & cash grants for the most vulnerable of up to £25,000.

Planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the Coronavirus outbreak.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-grant-permission-for-pubs-and-restaurants-to-operate-as-takeaways-as-part-of-coronavirus-response

If you need to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay

All businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible. The refund will cover up to two weeks’  SSP per eligible employee and is to be paid from day 1.

It will be best practice for employers to maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.

You do not need to apply. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the method of repayment and details will be announced.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A package of government-backed loans of up £5m has also been announced, with no interest due for the first six months.

This scheme will be provided by British Business Bank via high street banks. Full details on the eligibility criteria will be announced shortly and it is thought the first loans will be available week commencing 23 March. Businesses remain responsible for repaying any facility they take out.

If you are worried about accessing finance now, you should speak to your usual lender.

Please see here the information provided about this scheme by The British Business Bank:
https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

If your unable to pay your tax bill (corporation tax, VAT, PAYE)

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.

For those who are unable to pay due to Coronavirus, HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore:

• suspending debt collection proceedings
• agreeing instalment arrangements
• cancelling penalties and interest where businesses have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately

Contact HMRC for support – 0300 0159 559
https://www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc