What we know so far update!
We now have some more guidance on the government’s help for individuals, businesses and the self-employed. For full details of all the help available see the government web page here.
The Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
Most local authorities who are administering these will have been in touch with eligible businesses, and are requiring them to fill in a form in order to be able to receive the grant. It is worth you claiming your grant promptly as we are seeing most local authorities paying out the money very quickly.
If you are a rateable business but you were in a serviced office where part of your rent went towards your rates, and you haven’t yet been contacted. Please get in touch as we may be able to negotiate for you to receive one of the grants.
Each business eligible for these schemes will receive one grant per property. So, if you have 2 cafes, then you would get 2 grants.
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 the links for:
Babergh & Mid Suffolk: www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/business/business-rates/grant-funding-schemes/
East Suffolk Council: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/covid-19-business-grant-funding/
Ipswich Borough Council: www.ipswich.gov.uk/businessratesgrant
West Suffolk Council: www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
A long and very detailed guidance on eligibility and what you can claim for can be found here
But, these are some of the key points you may like to know:
- Only employees who were on your payroll (regardless of the type of contract) on or before the 28th February are eligible for this scheme
- Employees who you may have made redundant (due to COVID-19) before this scheme was announced can be ‘rehired’ and then furloughed
- Directors of limited companies CAN furlough themselves and carry out their statutory duties.
- The business can claim for up to 80% of their pay, up to a cap of £2500 monthly pay AND minimum pension contributions and employer NI contributions on their subsidised furloughed pay
- Employees can be furloughed from the 1st March
The government is in the final stages of testing a portal for businesses to submit their claims for wages for furloughed employees under this scheme. This is believed to potentially go live on the 20th April and first payments due from 30th April. Until then, you need to pay your Furloughed employees, and then claim back money from the government.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The banks seem to have not got the memo from the government to lend to businesses sadly. The government has recently intervened and some of the requirements to access these loans have been removed, namely:
- Personal guarantees for loan amounts up to £250k
- Been turned down for a commercial loan
However, the banks are struggling to turn around applications quickly right now. So, we recommend that if you want to access this scheme that you try your current business bank first. We can help you get all the paperwork together, such as providing before COVID-19 and after COVID-19 forecasts, management accounts etc.
Help for the self-employed (or member of a partnership)
More about this scheme here. However, you still can’t apply for it yet, and the current thinking is money is going to be paid out in June to self-employed people.