Financial Scheme information
This is an unprecedented time for all small and medium businesses across Somerset. To mitigate the financial hardships caused by Coronavirus (Covid 19), the government have created tailored financial support packages. Details of these can be found below.
The government has also launched a Business Coronavirus Support Finder to quickly help businesses determine what financial support is available for themselves or their business.
£500 million Future Fund to protect UK’s innovation sector
Small and medium-sized firms specialising in research and development will be eligible for access to new grants and loans. The £500 million Future Fund will be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and the government. It will be launched in May and open until the end of September. You can find out more here
Job Retention Scheme
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month.
Extension of furlough and loan schemes – The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages.
Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021.You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.
Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and continue to train. They must be paid at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage as appropriate, for all of the time spent training, even if this is more than 80% of normal wages. You can find out more here
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate
The Government is introducing legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus. Find out more here
Businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period. You can find out more here.
Time to Pay
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. You can find out more here.
Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible. Find out more here
Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries
Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 21 tax year. You can find out more here.
Other Finance Options
A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by Coronavirus, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest. Businesses can also access a range of finance through the government-owned British Business Bank.
Information and Assistance
Free information, support and advice for those needing help during Coronavirus can be obtained from:
Heart of the South West Growth Hubs
You can also find free support, advice and information on sources of finance and advice on homeworking through your local Heart of the South West Growth Hub.
GOV.UK Business Support
Get coronavirus (COVID-19) support for your business or if you’re self-employed, and find out how to keep your business and your employees safe on the GOV.UK Business Support website
Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19) – Find out what financial support you can get for your business
HMRC Covid Helpline
HMRC have additional helplines, including one set up to support businesses concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus on 0800 0159 559. You can find more details about contacting HMRC on their website.
The charity Mind provide advice on how to support your mental wellbeing during this difficult period. The Mind website includes practical advice on coping with staying at home and updates on how the new coronavirus laws could affect your rights. There is also useful information for any young person who is currently struggling.
Contact the debt charity Step Change to get expert debt advice and fee-free debt management to help you tackle your debts.
You can find out more on their website or phone 0800 138 1111