Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility: Under this Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. This will allow companies who are facing short-term funding squeeze to finance short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets and ease the supply of credit to all firms. For details of eligibility, please click here.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS): This is a temporary scheme which supports SME’s with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.
A Business Interruption Payment will also be paid to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all major banks. For further details click here.
Time to Pay (TTP) Arrangements: All businesses and those who are self-employed in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible for HMRC’s Time to Pay service. This is dealt with on a case by case basis and to access the scheme, you will need to call 0800 0159 559.
Government ordered closure: The government asked a number of different businesses and venues to remain closed from 21st March onwards. Insurers have agreed that this advice is sufficient for businesses covered for COVID-19 losses to make a claim (if the only barrier to them making a claim was a lack of clarity on whether the government had ordered businesses to close). However, most businesses insurance policies are unlikely to cover for COVID-19 and it is essential businesses check the terms and conditions of their specific policy.
Protection from eviction for commercial tenants: Commercial tenants who are unable to pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. These measures will mean that a landlord will be unable to exercise their right to forfeit the lease and force the tenant out of their property should they miss a payment. This protection is currently in place until 30 June 2020, however the government may extend this period further if needed. This is not a rental holiday, all commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent. You should already be in discussion with your Landlord to agree rent free periods and how the arrears will be repaid. This protection is now in force as the Coronavirus Bill has received Royal Assent.
Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors: A business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 -2021 tax year will be introduced.
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme: This provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
Properties with a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000 and those with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates: A business rate holiday will be introduced for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
Grant for businesses that pay no or little business rates: The government is providing Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. The scheme will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): For small or medium sized companies that employ fewer than 250 employees as of 28.02.20. Employers will be able to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. For details of the eligibility criteria, please click here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: All employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access this scheme. It applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but are being kept on the payroll (known as ‘furloughed workers’). HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages up to £2,500 per month. This is to support businesses who may otherwise have to make employees redundant. It will initially open for 3 months but may be extended. For further details, please click here.
Deferring VAT payments: VAT payments will be deferred for 3 months for businesses which will apply from 20th March 2020 until 30th June 2020.
Deferring income tax: Income tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system may be deferred until January 2021.
If you would like further support and guidance on how to protect your business through these unprecedented times, call our commercial and employment team on 01926 491181.
For full details of eligibility and how to apply for the above schemes, please click here.
Tim Ollerenshaw James WIlliams Lisa Aitken
07775 930093 07432 607809 07960 469988