WHC is the trading name of Derede UK Limited, company number 06133298. Derede UK Limited is registered to carry out audit work in the UK and is regulated by the ICAEW. Details of the audit registration can be viewed at www.auditregister.org.uk under reference number C003509394

WHC

Chartered Accountants

Registered Auditors.

138 Quay Road

Bridlington

East Yorkshire

YO16 4JB


Telephone: 01262 400611

Email: info@whcbrid.com



Government assistance in the current emergency


The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

 
 
1 Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

The government will bring forward legislation to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible


2 Support for businesses that pay business rates


The government has introduced a business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority 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.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March.
 
3 Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government has provided additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Councils have contacted all businesses that pay Business Rates but qualify for SBRR (this will be shown on your bill) to obtain bank account details to enable the grant to be paid. Hull and ERYC website links are here



4 Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 


​A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch during the week commencing 23 March to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments




This scheme has not proved successful as the Government were only guaranteeing 80% of the loan and the banks 20%. Most loans were turned down and for those that weren't the Directors had to provide personal guarantees in order to satisfy the banks criteria. Interest rates were also fairly prohibitive.

  
 The Government have, therefore, on 4th may, introduced the Bounceback Loan Scheme, which is for loans of up to £50k (or 25% of turnover, whichever is the lower), which are 100% guaranteed by the Government and do not require a directors personal guarantee. There are other advantages to the loans such as no capital repayments for the first 12 months and also reasonable interest rates. The loans are aimed specifically at small businesses are and are designed to assist them to relaunch after the period of emergency. Details are here 




5 Support for businesses paying tax

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.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
 
6 Insurance

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc. is sufficient to make a claim.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.
 
7 Our commitment to you

We are here to help you through this difficult time. If you have any questions on the above, or would like to discuss anything related to your business or tax affairs please contact us via the switchboard on 01262 400611. 

Please bear in mind that many of the measures announced above have not yet been formalised or legislated for, so we may not be able to provide full details when you call. We will keep you updated on any developments


8  Hull BID and the LEP have produce this fact sheet, which you must look at – their press release is below


 









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