Today we are in very troubling times, and many of our clients have been in touch to express their deep concerns. The government have been introducing several measures each day that I’m sure many of us have been listening to.

This blog is to help all businesses to realise the help that is available to them and how to obtain that help. Please be aware that this is a moving picture and so I may edit this article several times to keep it up to date, however at the bottom of this article, I will put the date it was last updated.

I will also be providing a blog on what help individuals can do to obtain all help available to them. Please be patient as these take considerable time to write, and please be kind regarding any grammatical and spelling errors as I rush to get this out 🙂

If you’re unsure on any of this and wish to talk to us about it, in order for us to help you. We are taking calls all weekend and late into the evening on weekdays.

Our contact details are:
Phone: 01405 854323
Mobile: 07715 383736
Website: Fill out a contact form on our website

If we can’t respond immediately to your call, please leave us a message and we will return the call as soon as we can.

I appreciate that there may be many follow up questions regarding this, please please please ask away and if we don’t know the answer currently we will find out for you, and update this blog post. The really important thing here is to ask no matter how daft, because there will be many others who have the same questions.

Support for Businesses

Measures to support businesses include:

– A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
– Deferring VAT & Income Tax payments
– SSP package for Small to Medium Enterprises
– 12 month business rate holiday for retail, hospitality & leisure businesses in England
– Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses eligible for SBRR or RRR
– Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure industry with property with a rateable value of £15,000 to £51,000
– Business Interruption Loan Scheme
– Short term liquidity scheme for larger firms
– HMRC time to pay scheme

Let me explain each one individually, criteria, and how to get the relief.

Coroavirus Job Retention Scheme

This is the name given to the measure where the government will help pay for part of their employee’s salaries that would have otherwise been laid off due to the crisis. The government will reimburse 80% of the wage costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

All businesses are eligible!

Although it goes without saying, that you would need to be a business that employs people for this to be applicable.

How to get this help?

There are two steps to this:

First you need to assign all employee’s that would have been laid off as “furloughed workers” – this is an uncommon word that simple means that the employee would be played in a temporary nonduty, nonpay status.

One thing to note here is whether or not your contract allows for this, because this changes the status of an employee, and this is still subject to employment law, BUT can be subject to negotiation.

You must submit information to HMRC regarding the furloughed workers about things such as their salary etc, through an online portal. This portal hasn’t been fully set up yet, as this is a brand new measure, existing systems used by HMRC don’t have this capability, but I’m told that HMRC are working urgently to get this up and running.

Deferring VAT & Income Tax Payments


VAT payments will be deferred 3 months. This deferral period will apply from 20th March 2020 to 30th June 2020.

All VAT registered businesses are eligible

How to get this help?

This is being applied automatically, so there is no application required. No business will need to make a payment with respect of VAT during this period. Taxpayers will be given until 5th April 2021 to settle any outstanding tax liability.

It’s important to note that HMRC have committed to processing and making repayments of VAT a normal.

Income Tax

As soon of you will be painfully aware of the payment on account system we have in the UK for those who are captured by self assessment.

This is where for tax liabilities over £1k, 50% must be paid additionally on the 31st January with a second payment on account of 50% again in July.

Let me explain with an example,

Joe Bloggs has a personal tax liability of £1,200 for the income in the tax year 2018/19. The deadline for his tax return and payment of the liability is 31st January 2020. At this point he must pay the £1,200 due, but also an additional 50% to go towards the 2020/21 tax year’s liability.

Therefore Joe must make a payment of £1,800 to HMRC on 31st January 2020.
On 31st July 2020,, Joe must make a secondary payment on account of 50% of last years tax liability, so in this example another payment of £600.

The government have said that this second payment, doesn’t need to be paid and any fines and interest that would usually relate to the late payment will not be issued.

All self employed individuals are eligible

Similar to VAT, this is automatic, you don’t need to make any application for this.

Employers who are paying SSP (statutory sick pay)

This is for all employers who have had staff sickness in relation to the virus.

The criteria for being able to reclaim SSP for any sickness that is related to Coronavirus is as follows:

  • Refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee.
  • All SSP can be claimed that’s related to Coronavirus

The repayment of the SSP will be set up “over the coming months” so we’re not expected a quick fix on this, mainly because new legislation must be create and passed before they can actually implement.

Please ensure that excellent records are kept of staff absences and payments of SSP, in addition to obtain fit notes from a GO you can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online, and if you live with someone with symptoms you can get a note from the NHS website.

The period the SSP can be claimed for hasn’t be specifically specified as yet, but we would assume it would cover almost all instances (don’t quote me)

Support for businesses that pay business rates

A business rates holiday for the tax year 2020/2021, that means zero business rates from 6th April 2020 to 5th April 2021!

Eligibility is more strict on this one, as you can imagine, here are the points to tick:

You must be based in England.
Be in the retail, hospitality or leisure industry.
So this includes business such as:
Restaurants & Cafes
Drinking Establishments
Live Music Venues
Hotels, Guest Houses Boarding Premises & Self-Catering Accomodation
Any building used for assembly or leisure.

How to get this help?

You don’t need to do anything, councils will take this into account when calculating your next business rates bill in April 2020. It might be that you will be automatically be issued the usual business rates letter before it’s been corrected and need to be reissued, this is due to current systems being used that are (relatively) automated.

If you’re unsure of your current business rates you can check online with a calculator on

Cash Grants

Again this is targeted at the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors (see the list above on what that includes).

For these businesses, if they have a rateable value of less than £15,000 they will receive a grant of £10,000, and if their rateable values is between £15,001 and £50,000 they will receive a grant of £25,000.

The eligible businesses are the same as the business rate holiday.

How to get this help?

You actually don’t need to do anything, the local authority will write to you if you’re eligible, and I appreciate how that may worry some people in terms of timings however I know they will be trying to act on this and get these grants materialised as soon as possible.

As it stands the guidance to local authorities haven’t been supplied yet but will be shortly and any information you require about them you can contact your local authority. If you’re unsure who your local authority is you can check online. Go to:

For all our clients, we will be contacting them as well to understand how we can help provide any information they require as quickly as possible to speed up this process.

Support for businesses who pay little/no business rates

This is a one off grant of £10,000 to those who are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rates Relief.

To be eligible for SBBR your rateable value must be below £15,000.

To be eligible for RRR you must live in a rural area with a population of less than 3,000 AND either be:
– the only village shop or post office and have a rateable value less than £8,500 or
– the only public house or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500

It also probably goes without saying, but its stipulated in the governments information pack that in addition you must be a business that occupies property.

How to get this help?

Again, nothing, your local authority will write to you if you’re eligible, but at present local authorities haven’t been provided with the guidance. Any questions should be directed their way but again we will be in close discussion with our local authorities finding out how we can help them speed up the process.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This is a loan that will be provided by British Business Bank, and is anticipated to be available during WC 23rd March 2020. It’s intention is to allow small and medium businesses access to finance and overdrafts. The government is helping by guaranteeing up to 80% of the loan, so that those lender the money are less at risk, and more likely to accept applications.

Maximum value of these loans are £5m.

The government are also covering all interest relating to the loans for the first 12 months.

To be eligible:
-You must have a turnover of less than 45m
-Must be in an eligible sector – the exclusion list can be found:
– Not received de minimis State Aid exceeding 200,000 euros in the last 3 fiscal years.

An important criteria point is that:
You must be unable to meet a lender’s normal lending requirements for a fully commercial loan or other facility, but would be considered viable in the longer term

-For a full list of eligibility criteria you can go to their website on:

How do I get this help?

You should talk to your bank or finance provider in the first instance, and discuss your business plan with them. Any existing loans, you may want to contact the lenders and ask for a repayment holiday to help cash flow.

It’s important to note that all major banks will offer the scheme and so far, there are 40 accredited providers.

Support for Larger Companies

The Bank of England (BoE) will buy short-term debt from larger companies, this will allow your company to finance your short term liabilities whilst short term funding options are limited.

The government is also supporting corporate finance markets in order to make the supply of credit easier for all firms..

All the details on this haven’t been finalised but you can read more detail on the Bank of Englands website.

All UK Businesses are eligible

Businesses Paying Tax – Time to Pay

HMRC have a “time to pay” service, which essentially is a debt repayment plan. Typically, they allow you to pay your debts over a 6-12 month period.

This measure has always been there really, and it’s just to emphasise that this support is available. Many of our clients have used it in the past and it’s help relief them of significant cash flow difficulties.

The help offered is given on a case by case basis and therefore no specifics can be provided, but if you are in this position, I would implore you to call them rather than burying your head in the sand.

If it looks as though you will miss your next tax payment, call them on 0800 0159 559.


Unfortunately, as pandemics are so unusual and rare, very few of us will have insurance that covers this type of thing. Most business interruption insurance covers where property is damaged, and pandemics will be excluded.

However, it’s worth checking the terms and conditions of your insurance provider, as after discussions with the government, the insurance industry confirmed that the advice to avoid pubs, theatres, etc is sufficient so long as all your other conditions are met. This was confirmed on 17th March 2020.

That just about covers all the business relief currently available as of 21st March 2020.

If you’re unsure and need help, I’d like to reiterate that we are taking calls all weekend and next week will be available on evenings as well to provide advice and information to businesses and individuals.

Our contact details are:
Phone: 01405 854323
Mobile: 07715 383736
Website: Fill out a contact form on our website

Please ask if you have any questions because others will be thinking the same thing, we can then respond and update this blog appropriately so that we can all be helped.

Many thanks for your time and stay safe 🙂

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