You cannot escape the concern around the Coronavirus outbreak. For many small businesses, any disruption can be costly – and at worst the result could be permanent closure.
The government made announcements in the Budget last week to support businesses through this difficult time.
Of course, the support is so new we cannot say how well they work but these are the measures announced.
Small business grant
Smaller businesses can access a £10,000 cash grant. This is available to 700,000 of the smallest businesses and is delivered by local authorities. It is only available to those businesses who receive Small Business Rate Relief. Your local council will contact you directly regarding this over the next coming weeks.
Here is more information about the grant.
- A £10,000 cash grant is available to all businesses that are in receipt of the Small Business Rate Relief, i.e. pay little or no business rates.
- It is to help pay fixed costs, like rent and wages.
- If it applies to you your local authority will contact you in due course – you don’t need to apply.
- It will be available in the next few weeks.
- Please do not contact your council directly as this will all be done automatically. If you do not receive it you are not eligible.
Coronavirus business interruption loan
The new announcement relases £330 billion of government cash and increased how much businesses could borrow.
Under the new scheme
- UK businesses can borrow up to £5million.
- It is available from Monday 23rd March from your local bank or the Bank of England for larger businesses.
- It is interest-free for the first 6 months, with the government paying that interest.
- UK businesses with a turnover of less than £41 million per annum can apply, including the self-employed.
- If you are within an eligible business sector and have not received De Minimis State Aid beyond €200,000 over the previous 2 fiscal periods, you will qualify for the loan. For more details about ineligible or restricted business sectors check out the British Business Bank. https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Ineligible-and-Restricted-Eligibility-Sector-2017.pdf)
Business rates discount for retail, hospitality and leisure sector
As people visiting shops, pubs and leisure venues continues to fall, the government has announced an extra £25,000 cash grant for businesses in these sectors who operate from premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000. Businesses in this sector will also be given a business rates holiday for 12 months.
Here is what you need to know:
- No business rates for all in this sector for the next 12 months
- £10,000 cash grant is available for those who don’t currently pay business rates
- £25,000 cash grant is available for those businesses who do pay rates with a rateable value up to £51,000
Statutory sick pay and small business
Businesses with fewer than 250 employees will have the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee fully refunded by the government.
HMRC will be providing details on how employers can access the rebate in due course.
However, in light of recent announcements, this may change.
If you’d like to know about what is available, the North East Growth Hub has a useful toolkit available.
HMRC has set up a dedicated helpline for businesses and the self-employed in financial stress and with outstanding tax liabilities.
Through this affected individuals will receive support with their tax affairs and you may be able to agree a bespoke ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement. If you are worried about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, contact the dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Companies House has announced that staff will continue to work unless there is a change in circumstances.
They suggest that filing should be done online. If we already do your accounts and confirmation statement for you do not need to worry as we’ll take care of it all. However, if you do it yourself, here are the links you need.
- File your accounts
- File your confirmation statement (annual return)
- Make changes to your limited company
Filing accounts on time
You should always ensure you take measures to ensure accounts are filed on time. File your accounts online if you are able to.
Should Coronavirus affect filing your accounts, you should make an application to extend the period allowed.
If we are acting as your Accountant we would do all this for you.
If you do not apply for an extension and your accounts are filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed. Our advice is, as ever, not to leave things to the last moment and ensure you keep Companies House updated.
At Guidon Group we put our clients first and want to help in all circumstances. By using software such as Quickbooks, Autoentry and Senta we are already set up for remote working and can, therefore, provide uninterrupted service to our clients.
They can still upload their bookkeeping and we can still prepare their accounts, regardless of where our client is or where we are based.
As the current situation is constantly changing we may decide that working from home is necessary.
However, you will still be able to contact us on mobile phones, email or our contact page. You can also use our social media platforms to send us direct messages. These are monitored and we will get to you as soon as we can.
Thank you for your patience and understanding in these difficult times.
Updated… 17:03 18/05/2020