28.04.2020: Update on Coronavirus Support Measures
We hope you are keeping safe and well.
Its been over a month now and whilst the news of help packages has slowed down to let the relevant authorities catch up, the chancellor did announce a new initiative yesterday in the form of a guaranteed loan for small businesses.
Bounce back loans
The chancellor announced that the government would support small business with new 100% government backed loans of between £2,000 and £50,000.
The amount of loan you will be able to get is 25% of business turnover up to a maximum of £50,000, the loans are 100% guaranteed by the government and will have an interest free period of 12 months along with a repayment holiday of the same period.
He also stated that lenders should issue these loans quickly and simply, without the need for excessive documentation. In fact, it should just be a short, standardised online application, with funds being available within days.
With the government giving 100% backing of these loans, I believe that there should be no need for a director’s guarantee which will help so many small businesses in ‘normal’ times, least of all now so is a very welcomed announcement. The loan will form part of state aid though and therefore restrictions on the types of businesses that could apply will be in place, if you are also in receipt of state aid, this could reduce the amount of loan that you are able to receive.
The loans are expected to be available from Monday 4thMay and will be managed by approved lenders such as banks. You should speak to your bankers in the first instance, but we remain available for any assistance in documentation or financial information that you may require.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
We had a relatively good experience with HMRC’s online claim portal, hearing of some horror stories on this made us feel lucky to have got through it without much pain!
Most clients who were expecting a claim have now received the money in their business accounts, if you were expecting funds and have not received them then please do let us know.
If you were still working this month but next month looks very different then you are still able to furlough yourself and your staff, the scheme has been extended to 30thJune already and the minimum claim period is 3 weeks.
We are unable to make claims more than 2 weeks in advance and as the majority of our clients are monthly payroll then we will be issuing the next lot of claims (for May) on 18thMay (weekly payroll clients we will contact separately to confirm claim dates). This will ensure we are not claiming too far in advance but with enough time for the funds to hit before you have to pay out to your team. We will still be running payroll as normal on / or around the 25thof the month, once you have the payslips you will see what amount you need to pay over to your employees.
Small business Grants
You should have received your grants from your local authority by now, if you have not then please do contact them to enquire. Most local authorities set up a claim form online, inviting you by post to apply. If you are unsure if the grants apply to you then please get in touch and we will help you go through the requirements.
They are related to Business Rates so if you do not occupy a business premises, unfortunately you will not be eligible.
Support for Self-Employed workers
The grants from the Self-employment Income Support Scheme are due to be issued in June, HMRC will write to those that are eligible in mid-May and invite you to complete an online claim form. We are expecting this to be through your government gateway account and so if you do not have access to one, please register here -https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-servicesyou will need your UTR number along with other personal information so that you can prove your identity.
We will assist you in making the claims should you require this, please do get in touch once you have required the correspondence from HMRC.
As we mentioned in our last update, there are a huge number of scams going around at present. Please stay vigilant and if you are at all unsure then contact one of the team for clarification.
Emails from us can come from the following addresses so please know these are safe and should be responded to if necessary –
As ever, stay safe and healthy.