The coronavirus crisis is affecting businesses throughout the UK, but the government is putting a range of measures in place to help bring some certainty to a fast-changing situation. In this blog post, we share some advice for your small business during these uncertain times.
Firstly, it is important to inform you that all the latest government information regarding Covid-19 and measures being taken is on the UK government website. This should be your first checkpoint regarding all things coronavirus, so that your business is working with the most up to date and reliable information.
How can you offer to help?
Something that is worth exploring as a business owner is the portal for the registration of offers of help. This has been launched by the government so you can how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.
How can the government help you?
Here we have listed some of the existing ways the government is offering to help small businesses financially. There are many schemes in place that SMEs can take advantage of and act upon. Here are some practical things that a small business could do now:
- Smaller businesses (with fewer than 250 employees) will be able to reclaim statutory sick pay paid for COVID-19 absence from the government. This can cover up to two weeks’ worth of sick pay per eligible employee.
- Under the coronavirus job retention scheme, as an employer you will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover the wages of staff members. Grants cover 80% of an employee’s wages, up to £2,500 a month.
- If you have business premises and you’re already eligible for Small Business Rates Relief, you can get a one-off grant of £10,000 to help meet your ongoing costs.
- Taking advantage of the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS). This enables businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. For SMES, loans of up to £5million will be available with no interest due for the first twelve months.
- If you normally pay VAT, you will not need to make any VAT payments from 20th March to 30th June.
- Call the HMRC helpline (0800 0159559) to discuss delaying tax payments to help with cash flow.
- Challenge any extended payment terms. Contact the Small Business Commissioner’s office for help if large firms are asking you to accept extended payment arrangements.
- Many businesses will inevitably face increasing pressures regarding payments. The Business Debtline can offer support and guidance regarding this.
Specifically for small business, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has collated information and advice for employers in relation to coronavirus. In addition to the basics covered by the government, it includes guidance on:
- Having a relevant business continuity plan (BCP) in place
- What to do if you have to close your business due to coronavirus
- Information on what your duties are as an employer
- How employers should respond to employees refusing to work
More in-depth information can be found on the FSB website.
During this difficult and unexpected time of uncertainty, please rest assured that Paramount Formations is still operating as normal. If you need to get in touch with us, please speak to us on our live chat or use our contact form.. We are here to support your business formation needs in any way we can.