COVID-19 SUPPORT

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

The Covid-19 pandemic has put businesses across the UK in a uniquely challenging position. We are in unchartered waters, and for the majority of businesses the support options open to them are simply a list of often-changing bullet-points on an ever-growing list of activities that they hope see them through to the other side of this global crisis.

 

At J9 Advisory we are firmly focussed on the support avenues open to business – whether through Government support or professional assistance.

 

The good news is that there are a host of schemes in place that can assist you during these difficult times; and we can help you to access them for the benefit of your business and your employees.

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 is moving everyday as this pandemic 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 be up to 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 for the remaining period of the loan.

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

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.

 

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. 

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 new scheme will launch later this month and 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.

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, but the benefit will now gradually taper down to an end on 31 October 2020.  There is however a requirement employers to contribute to the scheme from 1 August 2020.

Employees must have been included on payroll prior to 19 March 2020.

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June 2020. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current 3 week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

1 March 2020 - 30 June 2020

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month and will be calculated as the higher of:

1) The earnings in the same period in the prior year,  or

2) The Average earnings over the last 12 months (or less if they have not worked for 12m)

 

- In addition to this, HMRC will reimburse the associated Employers National Insurance Contributions together with minimum Auto-Enrolment Pension Contributions on the wage.

 

- An employee must be furloughed full time for a minimum of three weeks.

- Bonuses, Commissions and Fees are excluded from this scheme.

1 July 2020 - 31 July 2020

From 1 July, HMRC will continue to reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month as above, HOWEVER, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked.

 

When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

1 August 2020 - 31 August 2020

 

The Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500, HOWEVER, employers will be required to pay Employer NICs and pension contributions.

1 September 2020 - 30 September 2020

The Government will now pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50.

 

Employers will pay Employer NICs and pension contributions and the remaining 10% of wages to make up the 80% total, up to a cap of £2,500.

1 October 2020 - 31 October 2020

The Government will now pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875.00.

 

Employers will pay Employer NICs and pension contributions and the remaining 20% of wages to make up the 80% total, up to a cap of £2,500.

The Scheme will end after this point.

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

You will need to:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.
     

  • An employee must be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks.
     

  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal.

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

Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April, and you should be contacted directly by the local authority - You will not need to apply.

 
 

- 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

Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April, and you should be contacted directly by the local authority.

 

- 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.

VAT

Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

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.  

Income Tax

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

 

- Sick Pay, Employee & Legal Matters

​Legislation will be brought forward to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

 

The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows

This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19:

 

 

  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020.
     

  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19.
     

  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.
     

  • Eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force.
     

  • The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

Ward Hadaway are offering a Free One Hour Consultation to J9 Advisory referrals to discuss any legal matters affecting businesses, and are also offering a Fixed Price Furlough package (including all required documents) which is capped at £1,000 + VAT.  Should you wish to discuss any of the above, please contact Gareth Yates on 0330 137 3441 and quote "J9 Advisory", or email gareth.yates@wardhadaway.com

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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