Last night the prime minister addressed the nation and announced a month long lockdown for England. Something we never considered happening in our lifetimes is now happening twice. Businesses all over the country are being forced to shut once again, and people told to stay home and save lives. If you own a business, the question now is ‘what support is available to help my business survive?’.
Firstly, we need to apologise as details are still very sketchy. Indeed, the government’s own website on the job retention schemes have not yet been updated after the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday evening. For more details about the support for businesses announced yesterday see the government’s press release here
This is what we are aware of at the moment:
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or ‘Furlough’ as it has come to be known will be extended for another month on more favourable terms.
- The replacement for Furlough, “The Job Support Scheme” due to start today, starts in early December after the Furlough scheme officially finishes.
- A grant available to self-employed people affected by COVID-19 has also been doubled to 40% of profits, with a maximum grant of £3750 over a 3-month period.
There are still grants available for businesses with rateable premises who are forced to close due to local or national restrictions.
The good news for small business owners (if there can be a silver lining) is that now the government will put in the full 80% of wage costs, up to a max of £2500 per month, for furloughed employees, with employers only needing to cover the pension and NI contributions. And similar to the scheme rules from July, you can have your furloughed employees working part-time under the scheme.
You will be able to furlough anyone who has been on the payroll by 30th October 2020. And they don’t need to have been furloughed before. And similar to how the scheme has operated, you will make your furlough claims with your payroll submissions.
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will still be eligible for the following:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
If you are based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you will have money made available to you to replicate a similar grant scheme for closed businesses.
Let’s not forget….
We’ve all been here before. We know that it is a tough time for business owners. And there are no guarantees that this lockdown will stop after the 2nd December. However, we are here for you and have got your back.