Coronavirus: What help is available for businesses in Gedling borough?

 Coronavirus: What help is available for businesses in Gedling borough?

PICTURED: Chancellor Rishi Sunak

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With all the uncertainty there’s been in the last few weeks, and the raft of announcements from the Government, it can be a little confusing as to exactly what help is available. 

As well as attempting to get on top of the escalating health emergency, the Government has also laid out numerous schemes in an attempt to halt the economic slowdown.

The latest GDP figures are expected on Tuesday, March 31, and it is widely expected the current lockdown will negatively impact the country’s growth.

Technically, talk of a recession is still distant – two consecutive quarters of negative growth are required for this. 

But the Government hopes the wide-ranging schemes it has outlined could help keep this talk as distant as possible. 

With many businesses in Gedling borough working hard to keep afloat, we’ve set out what help is available to them.

1. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

In terms of the cost to the Government, this is the big one. 

The taxman will reimburse 80 percent of workers’ wages – up to £2,500 per month – if they have had to be temporarily laid off but are still on the payroll. These are known as ‘furloughed’ workers.

It’s designed to stop companies having to make people redundant.

It can also be backdated, to March 1, and initially lasts for three months, although chancellor Rishi Sunak has said this will be extended if necessary.

You’re eligible if:

It provides help to any company with a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax scheme which was set up on or before February 28.

Companies also have to have a UK bank account.

How to get it… 

You’ll need to apply to the Government for this one. You can do that here but not until around the end of April.

2. Business rates holidays

This one is sector specific, and only applies to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, most of which have been told to close by the Government. 

It will mean shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs, cinemas, live music venues and hotels – among others – no longer have to pay any business rates in the upcoming tax year – from Wednesday, April 1.

You’re eligible if:

You can get this tax holiday if your company fits in one of the criteria set out here

How to get it:

You don’t need to do anything. The new business rates bill will be recalculated by your local council and sent out to you.

In some places – including Gedling – bills had already gone out before the new measures were announced, but these should be ignored and companies should wait for a new bill. 

The Government has pledged to pay 80% of employees’ wages for three months

3. Support for firms with existing business rate relief schemes

One-off grants of £10,000 are being paid to small businesses which are already in receipt of either small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

You’re eligible if:

You’re an English business that occupies a property, and you were receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief from March 11

How to get it:

You don’t need to do anything. Your local council will write to you if you’re eligible.

4. VAT bill holiday

Companies which have a Valued Added Tax (VAT) payment due between March 20 and June 20 can get a three-month deferral. 

Companies also have the choice to pay the bill now, if they want.

You’re eligible if:

Your company is VAT registered and has a VAT payment due within the two dates above

How to get it:

You’ll need to apply to the Government here

5. Deferring income tax payments

This gives an extra six months for income tax self-assessment.

You’re eligible if:

You are due to pay your second self-assessment payment on July 31. You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferment.

How to get it:

It’s automatic, with no applications required

6. Support for businesses paying statutory sick pay 

Employers who have paid out statutory sick pay for an employee who has been off work as a result of COVID-19 can claim back a refund from the Government

You’re eligible if:

You’re a UK-based company with 250 employees or fewer.

How to get it:

TBC. The Government is still working out the finer details, and these will be announced in due course.

7. Grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

You’re eligible if:

Your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, and has a rateable value of under £51,000

How to get it:

You don’t have to do anything. The council will write to you if you’re eligible

8. Support for nurseries

With many parents keeping their youngsters at home, nurseries have come under significant pressure. 

You can get a business rates holiday from April this year until April 2021. 

You’re eligible if:

You’re on Ofsted’s early years register, and your occupied building is wholly or mainly used for the provision of the early years foundation stage.

How to get it:

You don’t have to do anything. Councils will re-issue you with a bill

9. Loan scheme

The Government’s temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme supports small and medium-sized companies with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The Government is providing the 40 lenders with a guarantee of 80 percent on each loan.

You’re eligible if:

You’re a UK firm with turnover of less than £45 million a year, and you’re not a bank, trade union, political organisation or insurer. If one of the 40 lenders turns you down, you can apply to others.

How to get it:

More information is available here

10. Extra time to pay bills

All firms and self-employed people in financial difficulty are entitled to apply to the HMRCs ‘time to pay’ service’.

These are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

You’re eligible if:

You (if you’re self emplyed) or your company pay tax to the Government, and you have outstanding tax liabilities.

How to get it:

There’s a dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 for people who have missed a payment, or think they might miss their next payment.

Kit Sandeman, Local Democracy Reporter

Kit Sandeman, Local Democracy Reporter

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