Business support during COVID-19
To help you navigate through the plethora of information, here’s a summary of the most significant government-backed measures to provide funding and support to businesses in this period:
- GOV.uk Coronavirus Business Support – explains for businesses how to find out and access the support, who is eligible and how to apply
- How to Access Financial Support for you or your business – PDF fact sheet
- Government Business Support helpline – how to contact GOV.uk for support
- CIBLS: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – available to SMEs with turnover of up to £45m and now open for applications
- CCCF: Covid Corporate Financing Facility – aimed at large corporates, raising short term financing through the Bank of England
- Acas – Advice for employers and employees on employment matters
- ICO – Information Commissioner’s Office FAQs on data protection during the pandemic
- Government advice for Self-Employed – FAQs linked here
We’re also collating advice and guidance from various leading authorities here:
- PKF Littlejohn LLP: Government expands Job Support Scheme – Under the expanded Scheme, employees in UK businesses that are legally required to shut due to the government’s lockdown restrictions will receive two-thirds of their pay from the government, up to a maximum of £2,100 per employee per month.
- PwC Webcast – COVID-19: Leading Accounting firm PwC discuss impacts and updates, including the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on business continuity. Register and watch their webinar recording or check out their general advice here
- PwC Guide to Government-supported financing, tax and liquidity options – a detailed PDF on all the current finance, tax and liquidity options
- CII – The Chartered Insurance Institute have issued a summary of Government support packages for businesses here
- Local, Government funded, enterprises are there to support local businesses. For example, find advice and signposting for the South West area here
- Law firm Michelmores article on Advice for Employers plus explanation of the recent Expansion of Job Support Scheme.
- PKF Francis Clark – Chartered Accountants have a hub dedicated to advice and support for businesses during this challenging period.
Retail Businesses – Business rates, reliefs and grants
We know this is a really challenging time and COVID-19 is affecting everyone. Businesses are looking for support through this uncertain period. The latest developments and measures are outlined on the GOV.uk advice page.
Following the Government’s announcements on business rates relief and grants, here are some steps you can take to help preserve your jewellery business using the available support packages.
12-month rates free period
From April 1, all retail businesses are entitled to a 12-month rates free period. You can also write to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and claim back any rates paid from March 23. This has to be on the grounds your premises became “empty” on that date due to “Statutory Prohibition of Use”.
If you are a small retailer with a business based in England and your business premises has a rateable value of less than £15,000 a year then you are eligible for a cash grant of £10,000. For larger businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 you can receive a cash grant of £25,000.
Businesses based in Northern Ireland can receive grants on the same basis as in England. For businesses based in Wales, the £10,000 grant is for all businesses with a rateable value up to and including £12,000. The £25,000 grant is for businesses with a rateable value between £12,001 and £51,000.
In Scotland, the £10,000 grant is for a rateable value of up to £18,000 and the £25,000 grant is for businesses with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000.
Financial support for individuals
Many of us face uncertainty as the coronavirus situation develops, not least when it comes to financial wellbeing. The Money and Pensions Service is the new body replacing the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. They have published guidance on how to deal with financial effects that some of us may be suffering from, including topics such as emergency budgets, debt worries, falling behind on rent, mortgage or utility bills. You can find them at https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/coronavirus