Covid-19 – UK Government Assistance to UK Businesses

Due to the current uncertainty in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19), the UK government has taken to help the SME keep afloat.

– a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
– deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
– a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
– a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
– small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
– grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
– the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
– a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans

Wages Grant

The government will pay employees’ wages through the corona virus job retention scheme. Available to anyone on the PAYE scheme. Employers need to contact HMRC to keep workers on payroll. The scheme will pay 80% of retained workers’ salaries up to £2.5k a month. Employers can top up salaries to more than this if they choose to.

Wages under the scheme will be backdated to March 1 and the scheme will be open for at least three months. There is no limit on amount of funding and the government will pay grants to support as many jobs as necessary. It is hoped the first of grants will be paid before the end of April

For a person earning the full-time minimum wage of £19,250 (£8.21 an hour, working nine-hour days Monday to Friday), the payment to their employer would work out at £1285 per worker.

Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

To help businesses keep people in work, the government deferred the next quarter of VAT payments. That means no business will pay VAT from now to mid June. You’ll have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.

Business Rates Suspension

The government has announced grants and business rates support for small and medium sized business.

Sick Leave rules changed

The government has said they will fund the costs of SSP for employers with workforces of 250 people or fewer for up to 14 days. SSP to be paid from day 1, rather than day 4, of your absence from work if you are absent from work due to sickness or need to self-isolate caused by COVID-19.

Business Loans

Banks will be offering loans to small and medium sized businesses under the governments Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme.