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COVID-19: Latest Updates for Businesses

Watch our webinar on Bounce Back Loans

Bounce Back Loans Basics

Furloughing Explained with Q&A

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CIBLs)

  • Small businesses can apply for up to £10,000 interest free for 12 months
  • The loans will be rolled out from the British Business Bank to high-street banks. Businesses should apply to their own provider, preferably online
  • In anticipation of the government backed loan scheme (CBILS), you might find it useful to read our notes on how to forecast your cash flow.  As soon as we have a information about how to access this, we will be in touch.

Accessing CBILS has not been straight forward and banks were applying arbitrary criteria.  Just a reminder that banks are not allowed to:

  • Ask for personal guarantees for loan amounts up to £250k
  • Refuse to consider you because you have been turned down for a commercial loan 

Bounce Back Loans

Partly because of the difficulty accessing CBILS, the government introduced Bounce Back Loans (BBL).

The government offers 100% guarantee to the lender for loans between £2,000 & £50,000 up to 25% of the business’ turnover. You can only apply through accredited lenders; a list of which can be found here. It’s important to remember the 100% guarantee is for the lender and you always remain fully liable for the repayment of the debt.

Jobs Retention Scheme (Furloughing)

  • The JBS is now closed to any employee who was not previously furloughed for at least 3 weeks prior to June 30th.
  • Owner-manager of a business may continue to undertake statutory duties while they are furloughed. Full details here.
  • The JRS covers 80% of salaries up to a total of £2,500. Employers can top up salaries. 
  • The scheme is back dated to 1st March, 2020 and will begin to taper out from August when employers will begin to make contributions as follows:
  • August – The government will continue to pay 80% and employers will be asked to pay national insurance and employer pension contributions
  • September – The government will pay 70% and employers will pay 10%
  • October – The government will pay 60% and employers will pay 20%, after which the scheme will end.
  • Government guidelines on applying for the Jobs Retention Scheme
  • COVID-19:Guidance for Employees
  • Clearly explained furloughing guidance from ICAEW
  • If you need to furlough an employee you may find this form and this guidance useful.
  • If you need to furlough a director of a company, you may find this form useful, along with this Board Minutes template.

Grants linked to Rateable Value

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

Your council will contact you if you are eligible. Fill out any forms they send you promptly.

Check the government guidelines to see if your business is eligible for the grants here

If you haven’t already claimed your grant, here are links to some of our local councils

Richmond

Kingston upon Thames

Hammersmith & Fulham

Local Government Discretionary Grant

A further discretionary grant, also known as the Top Up Scheme has been made available through your local goverment.

You must apply through your local council. Find more information here.

Future Fund

A new Future Fund to support the UK’s innovative businesses currently affected by Covid-19 has been launched. These businesses have been unable to access other government business support programmes, such as CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment. The scheme will deliver an initial commitment of £250m of new government funding which will be unlocked by private investment on a match funded basis.

The application portal for match funding applications will open  tomorrow.  There is a full overview of the scheme here, investor-specific information and FAQs here and company-specific information and FAQs here..
If you want to know more about the Future Fund and whether your business might be eligible, call us on 020 8819 8762 or email us at [email protected]


Easy Guide to Support Available

For a clear overview of all support available, who is eligible and what you have to do, see A Brief Guide to Support for Businesses and Self-Employed Affected by the Coronavirus Crisis


VAT

In aid of cashflow support, HMRC will be deferring the next quarter of VAT payment. You’ll have until the end of the financial year (that’s 5 April 2021) to get it paid.

NB: the deferment is automatic but if you pay VAT by direct debit, you need to cancel the direct debit with your bank.

Council Tax

Richmond Council have said they will not take enforcement action if residents are temporarily unable to pay their council tax. If that is your situation, contact your local council to come to an agreement.

HMRC Helpline: 0800 024 1222

HMGovernment Business Support Page

Citizen’s Advice Page for guidance if you cannot pay your bills.

Ofgem have a page offering advice if you cannot pay your energy bills


Business Rates Holiday

A 12-month business rates holiday for all shops, pubs, theatres, music venues, restaurants and any other hospitality or leisure business.

Mortgage Holidays, Extended Credit, Loan Breaks

Anyone affected by the coronavirus will be able to secure a 3 month mortgage break. But you must speak to your lender first.

In addition, many banks are emergency credit card increases, larger cash withdrawals etc to help customers make it through the coronavirus scare. Check with your bank to see what they can offer

Miscellaneous

Financial assistance for employers unable to pay statutory redundancy payments

The government has introduced extra protection for businesses with a ban on eviction for commercial tenants who miss rent payments. You must agree this with your landlord and you will still be expected to pay all rent due at a later date.


NatWest Working Capital Support

NatWest has pledged £5bn support for SMEs during Coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook Grants

If you have been in business for over a year and have between 2 and 50 employees you might be eligible for a Facebook Grant

Resources

COVID-19 Business Action Plan

If you haven’t done it already, now is the time to get your staff together to put together an action plan for your business to help you weather the on-coming storm. Here is a suggested agenda.

Cashflow Action Plan

We all feel like we have no control of this situation, but that’s not true. One of the best things you can do right now is assess your cashflow and make a plan for the coming weeks and months. You can find a template to create your cashflow action plan here. Of course, we can help you with this if you need that.

Ways to Pivot Your Business

This is an extremely difficult times for businesses and the self-employed. But we are hearing some stories that give us hope many of us can refocus our energies, if only temporarily. If you’re struggling to think of ways to pivot your business right now, this document might help.