COVID-19 Support for Business

Coronavirus business support measures  

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants.  Use this simple business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business. START HERE

We know that many of you are facing some of your toughest challenges ever and it’s new for all of us. However, we want to reassure you that the council, Kingston First and Kingston Chamber of Commerce are all working together to make sure we’re providing you with clear, timely and consistent updates to reduce some of the stress and uncertainty.

New guidance launched to help get Brits safely back to work

New ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines are available to UK employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible. View more info here

Once you have carried out a risk assessment you should display this notice in your workplace to show that you have complied with the guidance on managing the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Here you can download a checklist which they can follow to ensure they are safe and legally compliant on returning to their offices:  Office Work Covid-19 Safety Procedures Confirmation – Free Resource from Safety Delivery

Need a supplier to help you re-open your business?  Check out the Chamber members who can help: Chamber Return to Work Suppliers 2020

Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (2nd Round)

The first round of applications to the Discretionary Grants Fund has been completed. Applicants have been notified of the outcome of their application.   The second round of applications to the Discretionary Grants Fund is now open until 31 July.

Please read all the information on this page before starting your application or deciding you are not eligible to apply.  Read More

Support for businesses that pay business rates

Small Business Grants – To Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses
Grants will become available as soon as possible and we plan to try and make payments over the next few days. Businesses who qualify for the grants will receive an email or letter from the council’s Business Rates Team to make an application online. If you believe you are eligible, please use the form on our Business Rates webpage to apply.

Job Retention Scheme – reimbursing 80% of salary costs

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 laid off during this crisis. This will apply to those designated as ‘furloughed workers’. The scheme has been extended until October 2020.Claim here

The scheme updates mean that the following will apply for the period people are furloughed:

June and July: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything.
August: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.
September: The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.
October: The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now open for applications, to help businesses access bank lending and overdrafts, delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the British Business Bank. This makes available £330bn for which the Government will provide lenders with an 80% guarantee. Small businesses can apply for up to £5m from their High Street bank. All firms with a turnover of more than £45 million will now be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance, and up to £50 million for firms with a turnover of more than £250 million.

Businesses can access the first six months of that finance interest free, as the Government will cover the first six months of interest payments.

These loans will not be administered by the council. Full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available at British Business Bank.

Bounce Bank Loans

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 is now open – For eligibility criteria visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan

Support for Self Employed

The government has announced that Self-employed people will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19, or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
    traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

You can now check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
You can use the online tool to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim. Your tax agent or adviser can also use the online tool on your behalf. You’ll need your:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
  • National Insurance number

TSelf-Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended – with those eligible able to claim a second and final grant in August. The grant will be worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

Sick pay

A package of measures of support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees is to be put in place. More information is available on the Government website.

Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.  If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

Businesses may also be able to defer VAT payments.

Benefits for employees and self employed

The Government has issued advice about claiming benefits, which will continue to be updated on the Government website.

If you are self-employed and claiming Universal Credit and are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) will not be applied for a period of time whilst you are affected.

More information is available on the Government website COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses page.

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