Above: Business Secretary Alok Sharma holds a Covid-19 digital press conference on 28 March 2020.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has issued guidance and resources for business support during the coronavirus pandemic. This contains helpful information for all EMCC UK members. Please also see the Government announcement of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption.
Coronavirus Business Support
The Government’s Business Support website outlines the full range of business support measures that have been made available to UK businesses and employees.
It includes details on:
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – which will help businesses affected to access bank lending and overdrafts if they need to. For loans up to £5 million, the Government is providing a guarantee for each loan. Find out more.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – where all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those who would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. Find out more.
Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors in England for the 2020-21 tax year. Find out more.
Up to £25,000 per property Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure in England. Find out more.
Small Business Grant Funding for small businesses in England that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief, rural rate relief and tapered relief. Find out more.
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for staff absence due to coronavirus. Find out more.
Time to Pay – 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. Find out more.
Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility where the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. Find out more.
VAT Deferral for 3 months for businesses. Find out more.
Income Tax Deferral for the Self-Employed under the Self-Assessment System until January 2021. Find out more.
Frequently asked questions that will be regularly updated according to the latest advice and guidance.
Further advice for businesses and employees in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is available.
We also have an online toolkit which includes content and messaging to support the communication of these measures to businesses and employers, which will be regularly updated.
Full press release can be found here.
More information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
This scheme, which was originally announced by the Chancellor at Budget, has now opened. It is being run by the British Business Bank and over 40 accredited lenders, who can provide lending of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. It will support the continued provision of finance to SMEs during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This is an important scheme for SMEs, and we would appreciate your help in distributing information about it so that as many SMEs as possible can make use of it at an extremely difficult time. Information for SMEs and business advisors can be found here. Information for accredited lenders or prospective lenders can be found here.
Staying at home and away from others
Last night, the Government introduced three new measures (effective immediately) to reduce our day-to-day contact with other people to reduce the spread of the infection:
1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible. Full guidance on staying at home and away from others.
Keeping children at home
Department for Education (DfE) are putting out messages on social media asking people to keep children at home if at all possible. Critical workers can still send their children to school and childcare providers if necessary, but to avoid undue pressure on the childcare spaces that are available the message is even if you are a key worker you should try to keep children at home if it is safe to do so e.g. if a partner can look after them. Please share DfE social media posts, particularly if you work with sectors that are likely to have a lot of key workers.
Department for Education on Twitter
Please see the Government’s coronavirus hub for the latest advice and guidance on what you need to do, and sign-up to receive our regular bulletin.
Photo: UK Prime Minister