COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORT

ARE YOU AWARE OF THE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

We are now over six months into the Covid-19 pandemic that has put businesses across the UK into a uniquely challenging position. We are in still very much in unchartered waters, and for the majority of businesses, the changing support options available are simply a list of bullet-points on an ever-growing list of initiatives that they hope will see them through to the other side of this global crisis...whenever that may be.

 

With a significant change in tone from the Chancellor, and an emphasis on only providing support for viable businesses moving forward, it it imperative that Directors who are facing difficulty seek Professional advice as soon as possible.

 

The good news is that there is a host of initiatives in place that may be able to assist you during these difficult times; and we can help you to access them for the benefit of your business and your employees.  We can also help produce a strategy to move your business forward into 2021 and beyond, or assist in producing the information and guidance to assist with making difficult decisions.

So if your business is under financial pressure due to Covid-19 then help yourself and get in touch today to arrange a FREE 30 MINUTE TELEPHONE CONSULTATION.

Please email info@j9advisory.com to book an appointment or call 0113 457 0583 / 0203 7277259

 

Information on the support available, and how to access it does regularly change as this pandemic continues to  unfolds, and we will bring you the latest updates in terms of Government Business Support that is available.

The Key to getting your business through this pandemic will be Planning, and implementation of a strategy in terms of Employees, Operations and Funding, together with the Communication and Management of this strategy to all Stakeholders.

The official Government Support Page can be found at: www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The Government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will now be be for a term up to 10 years (originally 6 years). No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest (2.5% Fixed) for the remaining period of the loan.

There will be a flexible approach to repayment for struggling businesses including up to a six month period of Interest Only Repayments together with a Repayment holiday if required. 

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

The Application Deadline for this facility will be 31 January 2021 (Originally 30 September 2020).

Eligibility

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK

  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus

  • was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019

We would urge Directors to contact us ASAP should you require funding and we can advise on the best route forward and assist with applications - info@j9advisory.com or 0113 4570583.

 
 

- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (SME Businesses)

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has now been launched and will seek to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts of up to £5m.

The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.

 

The Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

 

Loan terms will now be be for a term up to 10 years (originally 6 years), and the Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment 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.

Any Loans will still be subject credit approval by the funder, and will be available to businesses that were viable prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic and those that can continue to meet affordability criteria.

 

Personal Guarantees will apply for all loans over £250,000, up to 20% of the outstanding balance after realisation of business assets.  Principal Private Residences will not be included within the Personal Guarantee.

The Application Deadline for this facility will be 31 January 2021 (Originally 30 September).

This scheme is not a lifeline for unviable or insolvent businesses and we would urge Directors to contact us ASAP should you require funding and we can advise on the best route forward and assit with applications - info@j9advisory.com or 0113 4570583.

- Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
(Turnover of £45m-£500m)

The new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.
 

This will give banks the confidence to lend to many more businesses which are impacted by coronavirus. 
 

Facilities backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest.

The government will provide lenders with an 80% guarantee on individual loans for businesses that would be otherwise unable to access the finance they need.

Lenders will still be expected to conduct their usual credit risk checks. This scheme allows lenders to specifically support businesses that were viable before the COVID-19 outbreak but now face significant cash flow difficulties that would otherwise make their business unviable in the short term.
 

The Application Deadline for this facility will be 31 January 2021 (Originally 30 September).

The new scheme will will support a wide range of businesses to access finance products including short term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.

Eligibility
 

To be eligible, your business must:
 

  • be UK-based in its business activity

  • have an annual turnover between £45 million and £500 million

  • be unable to secure regular commercial financing

  • have a borrowing proposal which the lender:

    • would consider viable, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic

    • believes will enable you to trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty
       

 
 

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies, starting from £1m.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

More information is available from the Bank of England.

The Application Deadline for this facility will be 31 January 2021 (Originally 30 September).

We would urge Directors to contact us ASAP should you require funding and we can advise on the best route forward and assist with applications - info@j9advisory.com or 0113 4570583.

 

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been made redundant due to this crisis.

The scheme initially was to run from 1 March 2020 for 3 months, however, has since been extended a number of times, most recently to 31 March 2021, subject to review in January 2021.

The CJRS Portal is now live at: www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

If you have further questions regarding the scheme, please visit the official government guidance at: 

 

www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

- Small Business Grant, for business who pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR).

 

This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England

  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR

  • you are a business that occupies property

Please visit your local authorities website if you have not been contacted regarding this scheme.

 
 

- Grant - Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Sector

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England

  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
     

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues

  • for assembly and leisure

  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Please visit your local authorities website if you have not been contacted regarding this scheme.

 

- Rates Relief - Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Sector

Any Business that operate in the Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Sector will pay no Business Rates for the 2020 to 2021 year, regardless of their rateable value.

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England

  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
     

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:
 

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues

  • for assembly and leisure

  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

    This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible and you will be contacted directly by the local authority.

 

- HMRC

If a business is concerned about being able to pay any tax, due to COVID-19, they are advised to call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 or if you are unsure what to do please do contact us on 0113 4570583 for a free consultation.

VAT

At the start of the pandemic, businesses were given the chance to defer any Value Added Tax (VAT) payments that were to be paid to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, with VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

 

Originally the deferred amount was due to be paid in full by 31 March 2021.

However, there is now an option to repay the deferred amount over 11 monthly, interest free payments from April 2021.

Should you have significant concerns surrounding the level of HMRC debt within your business, please do not hesitate to contact us on info@j9advisory,com and we will be in touch ASAP to discuss.  

 

- Employee & Legal Matters

Ward Hadaway are offering a Free One Hour Consultation to J9 Advisory referrals to discuss any legal matters affecting businesses.

 

Should you wish to discuss any of the above, please contact Emma Digby on 0330 137 3308 and quote "J9 Advisory", or email emma.digby@wardhadaway.com

 

- The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act ***

A raft of changes to protect Businesses from Insolvency were introduced in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act and were due to expire on 30 September 2020, however the following changes have been made:

Statutory Demands and Winding Up Petitions

 

Statutory demands and winding-up petitions will continue to be restricted until 31 December 2020 (Originally 30 September) to protect Companies from aggressive creditor enforcement action as a result of coronavirus related debts.

Termination Clauses

 

Termination clauses are still prohibited, stopping suppliers from ceasing their supply or asking for additional payments while a company is going through a rescue process. However, small suppliers will remain exempted from the obligation to supply until 30 March 2021 so that they can to protect their business if necessary.

Moratorium Procedure

 

The modifications to the new Moratorium procedure, which relax the entry requirements to it, will also be extended until 30 March 2021. A company may enter into a moratorium if they have been subject to an insolvency procedure in the previous 12 months. Measures will also ease access for companies subject to a winding up petition. The temporary moratorium rules will also be extended to 30 March 2021

Landlord Protection

 

Businesses will be protected from the threat of eviction until the 31 December 2020 (originally 30 September) following an extension to the commercial eviction ban.

 

This extension will protect businesses that are struggling to pay their rent due to the impact of COVID-19 from being evicted.

 

The Government is however very clear, that where businesses can pay their rent, they should do so, as this support is aimed at those struggling the most during the pandemic. This is set out in the Code of Practice which was published in June.

We would urge Directors to contact us ASAP if you require assistance in formulating a strategy to move forward with on info@j9advisory.com or 0113 4570583.

CONTACT US

LEEDS: The Pinnacle,  Albion Street, Leeds, LS1 5AA
0113 457 0583

LONDON: The Shard, London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9SG
0203 727 7259

J9 Advisory Limited is registered in England and Wales at:  The Pinnacle, Albion Street, Leeds, LS1 5AA.

J9 Advisory Limited is a member firm of The Institute Of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

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