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Restarting the economy

On the 10 May, the Prime Minister set out a first sketch of a roadmap to restarting the economy. Measures included:

  • A new Covid Alert System to track the virus in England.
  • People being “actively encouraged” to go to work, in England, if they cannot work from home, but avoiding public transport.
  • From Wednesday, people in England can take “unlimited exercise”, including sitting in local parks or driving to destinations for exercise.
  • Children could, at the earliest, start to return to school from 1 June, with some years in primary schools returning first.
  • Parts of the hospitality industry and more shops could open from July, dependent on continued progress in managing the virus.
  • The Prime Minister also said he would “not hesitate to put on the brakes” if there are further outbreaks.

This announcement marks the start of a long process. While stopping work was necessarily fast and immediate, restarting will be slower and more complex. It must go hand-in-hand with plans for schools, transport, testing and access to PPE. Businesses will want to see a roadmap; with dates so they can plan.

How do you plan when there are still so many unknowns?

To help you, we’ve created a guide ‘Life after Lockdown’.

This guide is a summary of points a business should consider when planning for the future. It covers the process of thinking about the environment your business operates in, how your customers might behave, and practical issues like supply chains and finances. All of which will help prepare you not just for the situation you hope will develop, but all possible outcomes.

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If you’d like to get in touch with Capify for any reason, please email: covid19help@capify.co.uk.

Further Resources

In addition to the guide, we have created a Covid-19 Resource Hub which contains additional information that can be accessed here.

As there are several Government schemes available, we have listed some key points below. However, things can change quickly so we suggest that you also visit the Government Support site for businesses on a regular basis. You can access it here.

– Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme

  • Small businesses will be able to access loans of up to £50,000
  • Loans will be guaranteed 100% by the Government
  • No fees or interest to pay for the first 2 months
  • For more information on the Bounce Back Loan Scheme visit our support page.

 

– Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

  • To support SMEs, CBILS will provide loans of up to £5 million, with no interest due for the first 12 months.
  • For more information on CBILS visit our support page.

 

– Business Rate Holidays

Businesses are facing acute challenges, and sectors that have been particularly impacted are able to apply for a business rates holiday in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

  • Businesses in England in these sectors will be eligible for a business rate holiday, regardless of their rateable value.
  • To access this scheme, you do not need to do anything. Your local authority will contact you.
  • More information available here.

Nurseries

  • The government will introduce a business rates holiday for nurseries based in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Properties that will benefit from this relief will be hereditaments:
  • occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • More information available here.

 

– Government Grant Scheme

Retail and Hospitality Grant

  • Retail and hospitality businesses in England with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will receive a grant up to £25,000.
  • To access this scheme, you do not need to do anything. Your local authority will contact you.
  • More information available here.

Small Business Grant 

  • The government will provide extra funding for businesses based in England that receive small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) or tapered relief.
  • You need to be a small business that already receives SBRR and/or RRR and occupy property.
  • The government will provide a one-off grant of £10,000.
  • To access this scheme, you do not need to do anything. Your local authority will contact you.
  • More information available here.

 

– Job Retention and Sick Pay Job Retention Scheme

Job Retention Scheme 

  • All UK businesses 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.
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.
  • To access the scheme, you will need to:
  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
  • More information can be found here.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for small or medium sized businesses

  • SSP is payable to qualifying employees and is now payable from day one for those who self-isolate or are unwell because of COVID 19 (the first 3 days are normally unpaid).
  • The current rate of SSP is £94.25 per week.
  • HM Treasury has announced that small and medium sized employers (those with fewer than 250 employees) may recover this cost where SSP has been paid as a result of COVID 19 from 13 March for a maximum of two weeks’ sickness per employee.
  • More information is available here.

 

– VAT and Income Tax payments

Deferring VAT

  • The government will be deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months for UK businesses.
  • This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
  • Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period.
  • Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period.
  • VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
  • More information can be found here.

Income Tax

  • Self-employed people may have their Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 deferred until 31 January 2021.
  • This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment until January 2021.
  • More information can be found here.

 

For all the latest Government information on COVID-19 and the measures the Government, and Devolved Governments, are taking, please visit the UK Government website, the Scottish Government website, the Welsh Government website or the Northern Irish Government website.

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