This is a very difficult time for many of our BID levy payers. A range of business support measures and guidance has been made available to businesses and their employees. Please take a look below for information. Do get in touch with any concerns or questions and we will do our best to help.
Working Safely During Coronavirus
The Government has issued guidance on working safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19) for a range of industries here.
Of specific interest to InExeter businesses may be:
SUPPORT SCHEMES FOR BUSINESSES
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
- Government will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
- The scheme will provide a grant worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
- HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant.
- Available to those where the majority of income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000.
- The scheme will open for an initial 3 months with people able to make their first claim by June.
- For eligible individuals who have not submitted their returns for 2018-19, they will have until 23rd April 2020 (4 weeks’ notice from the date of the announcement) to file their returns and therefore become eligible for this scheme.
- HMRC will invite applications once the scheme is operational.
- FAQs relating to this scheme can be found here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Government will cover 80% of salaries of retained workers who aren’t working (up to £2,500 per employee) through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Retail, hospitality, leisure sector businesses, nurseries, estate agents, letting agents and bingo halls will all benefit from a 12 months Business Rate Holiday. This will automatically be applied to your bill and you do not need to do anything.
- Businesses (who don’t benefit from the Business Rate Holiday) can defer payments until June 2020. More information here (scroll down).
- £10,000 grants for the smallest businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief
- £25,000 grants for the small retail, hospitality and leisure sector businesses (with a rateable value less than £51,000)
- These grants are available from Exeter City Council.
- To register for the grant, businesses need to submit a claim form via Exeter City Council. Find out more here. To start your claim click here
Statutory Sick Pay
- Government will refund the cost of providing 14 days Statutory Sick Pay per employee (businesses with less than 250 employees)
- If you cannot pay your tax bill because of Coronavirus there is more information here and a dedicated HMRC COVID-19 helpline: 0800 0159 559
- Waiver of late payment penalties (for businesses who can’t pay or have administrative difficulties contacting HMRC)
- Deferral of VAT payments for 3 months to 30th June for all businesses
- July Income Tax payment under self-assessment scheme delayed until January 2021
- Full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for the self-employed
Government Backed Loans
- £330billion of government-backed and guaranteed loans
Business Interruption Loans
- Loans of up to £5million (12 months interest free)
- Banks have committed to make £14billion available to UK businesses
Mortgage & Rent Support
- 3 month mortgage payment holiday
- 3 month cessation on repossessions
- Commercial tenants unable to pay will be protected from eviction
Planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak. More here.
Visit the dedicated business support Government website for further information on each of these schemes.
Association of Convenience Stores: Posters to download
Posters for retailers to download including customer notices about social distancing and handwashing can be found here: www.acs.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-posters-retailers
Food and Beverage businesses
Government advice for food and beverage businesses can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19
British Retail Consortium: Advice
See the BRC and USDAW recommended implementation practices for non-food retail stores – updated on 24th April. Here: social-distancing-stores-v1-april-2020
BUSINESSES ORDERED TO CLOSE
Government has ordered the following businesses to close:
- Non-essential shops
- Food and drink venues (for consumption on-site)
- Drinking establishments (bars, pubs and nightclubs)
- Entertainment venues (cinemas, theatres, concert halls and bingo halls)
- Museums and galleries
- Spas, beauty salons, wellness centres and massage parlours
- Casinos and betting shops
- All indoor leisure, sports facilities and gyms
- Hotels (for commercial use)
Further guidance on the businesses and premises required to close can be found here.
A list of Essential businesses still open in Exeter can be found here
This measure will not impact the relaxation of planning rules announced which will allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.
These measures will be reviewed monthly.
ADVICE AND USEFUL LINKS
- Government advice and guidance for businesses
- ACAS information for employees and employers
- HMRC Coronavirus helpline
- NHS public advice
- Association of British Insurers
- Mental health advice guidance
- List of key workers
GET IN TOUCH
We are here to do all we can to support and signpost BID levy payers during this time. We will be keeping up a strong social media presence to encourage local spending where appropriate. Please contact us with any concerns or questions as well as sharing any permitted business activity you’d like promoted during this time – for example, online ordering and delivery.