It cannot be denied that the Government have got a lot right in this pandemic and the support for businesses has been good; not great because there have been huge gaps, but good nevertheless and has helped many businesses survive.
This support was extended in the spring budget and therefore this summary is a roundup of what’s available now for you and your business.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS AKA Furlough)
This allows you to put individual employees (including yourself if you are a Director) on Furlough and claim 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500. You have to pay for their Employer National Insurance and Pension contributions but not anything for the hours they don’t work.
This scheme has now been extended until September 2021 but has been modified so that from July, you will have to contribute for the hours not worked – this means that you will pay 10% from July and 20% from August of their gross pay for their hours not worked.
These changes are designed to wean the nation off of this support as we come out of lockdown and the nation goes back to work.
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
This grant scheme is for the self-employed who cannot claim Furlough and who have seen a downturn in their income.
Unlike the Furlough scheme, which is calculated by employers, the SEISS Grant is calculated by HMRC and is accessed via your government gateway.
The good news is that over 600,000 non eligible, self-employed people have now been brought into the scheme because 2019/20 tax returns have been used to assess the income. This scheme has also been extended until September 2021.
The grant is calculated as 80% of your average trading profits capped at £7,500.
To access the scheme, visit your government gateway: https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services
If you haven’t claimed yet and think you may be eligible contact us asap.
Restart Grants for businesses in Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
Grants are available of up to £6,000 for non-essential retail and up to £18,000 for leisure sector businesses that have been forced to remain closed throughout the pandemic.
There is little detail on how these grants are to be paid at the moment, but they are likely to be paid out by local authorities.
Local Restrictions Support Grant
In addition to the above, businesses that have had forced closure or who have been severely impacted by the pandemic may be eligible for a one-off grant of up to £9,000 which is calculated by the rateable value of your business premises.
These grants are available from your local council’s support page. Here is a link for Maidstone: https://maidstone.gov.uk/home/other-services/covid-19/tier-2-primary-areas/advice-and-help-for-businesses
And here is a link to Medway https://www.medway.gov.uk/businesssupportgrants
Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)
The RLS is a loan that will be available from 6th April 2021 and will provide a Government backed guarantee of 80%. Amounts of between £25,000 and £10m will be available and will be very similar to the CBILS loan scheme.
Banks and Finance lenders will be doing due diligence on the borrowers and will likely require a personal guarantee on the 20% part of the loan.
There isn’t much detail of this loan scheme at the moment, other than it is open until December and that it is intended to replace the CBILS scheme that closes at the end of March 2021.
CBILS and BBL (Loan Schemes)
The CBILS and BBL Loan schemes close on 31st March, so if you want to take advantage you better be quick!
CBILS is an 80% backed loan up to £5m and BBL is 100% Government backed up to £50K.
Both can be accessed via your bank or alternative lending providers.
Business Rate Holiday Extension
An extension to the business rate holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors until June 2021 has been announced with reduced rates until March 2022.
This scheme has been implemented by the local authority who will apply the discount automatically.