COVID-19 Support

We know this is a very difficult time for everyone and we are here to support our members with anything that you need. Our Patrol Team are out every day checking your businesses are safe and secure and providing support to the essential businesses that have remained open during this difficult time.

We are keeping a very close eye on Government advice and taking all necessary steps and making plans for when we can all get back to a new form of ‘normal’.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced all non-essential retailers will be able to reopen in England from 15 June as part of plans to further ease the lockdown.

Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June.

Mr Johnson said new guidance had been published for the retail sector “detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards”.

Below is a complete guide to all financial support available to businesses during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme)

Claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

To make a claim, you will need:

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the billing address on your bank account (this is the address on your bank statements)
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number (if you have one or more without a National Insurance number please contact HMRC)
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amount you’re claiming for including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You also need to provide either:

  • your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent)
  • your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
  • your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
  • your company registration number

CLAIM NOW

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined changes to the Furlough Scheme. In June and July the furlough scheme will continue as before with the government covering 80% of wages up to £2,500, but from September employers will be asked to contribute towards staff wages.

The subsidy will taper off from August, with businesses expected to pay a greater share of their staff salaries, starting with covering National Insurance and pension contributions.

From September the government will cover only 70% of salaries, to a cap of £2,190 and from October it will pay 60%, to a cap of £1,875. Employers will make up the shortfall to get salaries back to 80% of pre-Covid lockdown levels.

Paying Sick Pay

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

If you’re an employer who pays more than the current rate of SSP you can only claim the current rate amount.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • have coronavirus
  • cannot work because they are self-isolating at home
  • are shielding in line with public guidance

 

Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim.

Paying tax

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to:

  • defer the payment until a later date
  • pay the VAT due as normal

HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount deferred as a result of the Chancellor’s announcement.

You can only defer:

  • quarterly and monthly VAT returns’ payments for the periods ending in February, March and April
  • payments on account due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
  • annual accounting advance payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020

The deferral does not cover payments for VAT MOSS or import VAT.

HMRC will continue to process VAT reclaims and refunds as normal and most repayments are paid within 5 working days.

Repayments will not be offset against any deferred VAT, but they will be offset against existing debts.

You can apply online to move to monthly returns to improve your cashflow if you’re in a repayment position.

If you defer a payment on account between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 but the balancing payment is outside of these dates, the amount you must pay is the balancing payment less any deferred payments. Deferring payments will not create a repayment.

Business Rates Relief

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

You’re eligible if your property is a:

  • shop
  • restaurant, café, bar or pub
  • cinema or live music venue
  • assembly or leisure property – for example, a sports club, a gym or a spa
  • hospitality property – for example, a hotel, a guest house or self-catering accommodation

You do not need to take any action, Birmingham City Council will apply the discount automatically.

Business Support Grant Funds

There are 2 grant schemes for businesses in Birmingham

Scheme 1

  • £10,000 for businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (one grant per business)

Scheme 2

a £10,000 for retail, hospitality or leisure businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less (one grant per premises)

25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000 (one grant per premises)

Please note: any businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 and over will not qualify.

You will only qualify for a grant from either Scheme 1 or Scheme 2

Eligible businesses do not need to apply for these grants; the money will be paid automatically based upon the data that Birmingham City Council hold.

The only action you as a business need to take is to ensure you have supplied Birmingham City Council with as much information as you can about your business, they can then process the payment as quickly as possible.

You will require the following information when completing the form:

  • Business Rates Account Number
  • Rateable Value
  • Company House Number or
  • National Insurance details for sole traders
  • VAT registration number
  • Bank details
  • Any State Aid details (previous grants received)

Please note due to the extremely high number of grants that need to be processed, it may take several weeks for some transactions to be cleared.

CONFIRM YOUR BUSINESS DETAILS 

 

Support for the Self Employed

The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and all of the following apply:

  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus

Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:

  • you’re unable to work because you:
    • are shielding
    • are self-isolating
    • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
  • you’ve had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because:
    • your supply chain has been interrupted
    • you have fewer or no customers or clients
    • your staff are unable to come in to work

You should not claim the grant if you’re a limited company or operating a trade through a trust.

CHECK NOW TO SEE IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE

Support for small and medium sized businesses

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.

The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

Coronavirus Future Fund

The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Bounce Back Loan

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

Support for large businesses

Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) supports large businesses, with an annual turnover of over £45 million.

All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45 million per year can apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million can apply for up to £50 million of finance.

Corporate Financing Facility

Under the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from large companies.

This scheme will support your company if it’s been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Bank of England.

It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.