Where can businesses find help during Covid-19 crisis?
The Coronavirus crisis has engulfed the world and is without doubt the biggest social and economic challenge facing the UK since the Second World War. With the entire country now in lock down for the next 3 weeks at least, the pressures facing businesses are more acute than ever. It has affected the operations of Allied Surveyors with all staff now working from home and all our normal business services, such as residential and commercial valuations, temporarily suspended.
However, there is help out there for businesses and the self-employed. Last Friday, 20th March, the chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a wide ranging and unprecedented package of economic measures; the largest in peacetime history. “We will do whatever it takes,” he repeatedly said during his address to the nation. In this blog we have highlighted these key support measures available to businesses of all sizes:
Government Furlough Scheme
Perhaps the most vital of all the support measures is the pledge by the government to cover up to 80 per cent of wage costs (details to be confirmed) backdated to 1st March for a period of 3 months or longer, if needed, for small businesses, charities and not for profit organisations. These grants are due to be available to business within weeks.
The government and its devolved authorities have put together a comprehensive package to help businesses, especially those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, with their business rates. After rent and staff costs this can often the largest overhead any business will have.
- 12 months 100% relief rates holiday for businesses in hospitality, leisure and retail. Grants will also be available for Scottish companies in this sector
- Providing a £25,000 grant for businesses in hospitality, leisure and retail with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000.
- Small firms receiving the small business bonus or rural relief will be eligible for a £10,000 grant. Businesses will be also be able to request to defer all payment.
- All non-domestic properties will get 1.6% relief, reversing the poundage change.
Further information on how you can apply for these rates relief measures can be found at here.
In addition, we would also highlight the following measures available to businesses:
- The business loans that were previously announced will be available from Monday 23 March and will now be interest free for 12 months (was 6 months)
- Deferring the next quarter of VAT through to the end of June (those payments can now be paid at the end of the financial year)
- Universal Credit - standard allowance to rise over the next 12 months by £1,000
- Suspension of the minimum income floor for the self-employed: self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees
- Taxes - next self-assessment payments deferred to Jan 2021 for the self employed
Unprecedented times require unprecedented measures and the government has certainly made a significant statement with this economic support package.
On a more local level Allied Surveyors remains in a position to help wherever feasibly possible. All of our 30 offices are currently closed with staff working from home, but we are still answering and responding to any queries people may have. You should email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance and your query with then be fielded by the appropriate surveyor.
You can rest assured that when the restrictions are lifted and life begins to return to normal, we will be ready to respond to your needs and provide the dedicated surveying service you have come to know and rely upon.
Federation of Small Businesses
HM Revenue and Customs