Last Updated: 12/11/2020

NOTE: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has now been updated. For the full details, please visit our update blog.

The outbreak of coronavirus COVID 19 is having a significant impact on businesses across Derby, Nottingham, and the wider East Midlands area due to the disruption caused by social distancing measures. The UK Government has announced several funding options to support businesses at this difficult time. You can find a list of available business loans and grants below, with links to official government resources. 

We will update this post as and when new measures are announced, so please check back to stay up to date with all the options available to you. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Job Retention Scheme aims to support businesses by paying a part of the salary for employees that would have otherwise been laid off. All UK businesses are eligible for this regardless of their size.  The government will cover the costs of up to 80% of workers’ wages up to a limit of £2,500 a month. All payments can be backdated from 1st March 2020. This is currently in place for 3 months, at which point it will be reviewed.  

Update 12/11/2020: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 31st March 2021. From 1st November 2020, employers are able to claim 80% of the employee’s usual salary for any hours they have not worked, capped at a maximum of £2,500 per month. To qualify for this, the employer should have completed a Real-Time Information (RTI) submission between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020, which notifies HMRC of payment of the employee’s earnings. However, employers do not need to have used the scheme before to claim for periods from 1st November. Visit our update blog for the full information.

To claim this you will need to designate employees as “furloughed workers”. Furloughed workers are workers that are temporarily laid off due to special circumstances. Employees must be made aware of this change.

Claims can be made for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date. This means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.

Workers that were employed on 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. you submitted an RTI on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

Then you must submit this information to HMRC along with employees’ earnings. Businesses will be able to submit this information through a new online portal which is currently being set up, and HMRC will send out further details on this shortly. The current planned launch date for this service is 20‌‌ April 2020 and the plan is for claims to be paid within 6 working days.

Deferral of VAT Payments 

VAT payments will be deferred for 3 months for all UK businesses, from 20 March 2020 up until 30 June 2020. All UK businesses are eligible and you do not need to apply for this scheme. If you have any outstanding VAT liabilities to settle that have accumulated due to the deferral, you will have until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to settle this. No penalties or interest will be charged during the deferral period. 

Support for employers who are paying sick pay to employees

Businesses with 250 employees or fewer (as of 28th February 2020) can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs for any sickness absence due to COVID-19.  Employers can claim up to 2 weeks of SSP for each eligible employee. Employers can reclaim any expenditure for any employee that has claimed SSP due to COVID-19. It is important to maintain any records of staff illness and payments of SSP, however, it should be noted that employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. An isolation note can be provided instead from NHS111 online if necessary.  

A rebate scheme for this is currently in development and further detail will be provided after relevant legislation has gone through. 

Support for retail, hospitality and leisure business

Business rates holiday

Retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses based in England will have a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year. You do not need to apply for this as it will be taken off your next council tax bill in April 2020.

Cash grants

Retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses based in England are entitled to a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.  If your business has a rateable value of under £15,000 you can receive a grant of up to £10,000. If your business has a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000, you can receive a grant of up to £25,000.

If you are eligible for this grant, your local authority will write to you. If you would like to check whether you are eligible, you should check with your local council.

Nurseries that pay business rates

Nurseries in England will get a business rates holiday for the tax year year 2020/21. This will appear on your next council tax bill in 2020.

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

There is a Small Business Grant Scheme available for small businesses that:

  • occupy property
  • are based in England
  • already receive small business rate relief and/or rural rate relief

The government will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible UK businesses if they need help with ongoing business costs. Your local authority will be in touch with you if you are eligible. If you would like to check whether you are eligible, you should check with your local council.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan

UK-based SMEs are eligible for this scheme if they have a turnover of no more than £45 million per year, and the business meets other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

This scheme will support SMEs with access to working capital of up to £5 million in value for up to 6 years. This includes loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance. The government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender levy fees.  Lenders will be provided with an 80% guarantee on each loan by the government to lenders so they can continue to provide finance to SMEs. This guarantee is subject to a per-lender cap on claims.

This scheme is now open for applications. You should talk to your bank or an accredited finance provider as soon as possible to discuss your business plan.

Time To Pay Service

All businesses in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities could receive support with their tax affairs via the Time To Pay Service. These are arranged on an individual case basis.  

If you have already missed a tax payment or are going to miss one imminently due to COVID-19, you should get in contact with HMRC via their dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559. However, HMRC is asking that anyone worried about future payments waits to call closer to the time.

Support for business in Derbyshire and Nottingham

Derbyshire County Council are providing an emergency relief fund for businesses with nine or fewer employees and sole traders. In these cases, you are able to apply online for £500 in emergency support. Businesses will need to be registered in Derbyshire and must be able to show evidence of a loss of income due to COVID19.  To apply, you should visit the Derbyshire County Council website. 

Nottingham-based businesses and self employed workers may be eligible for help and support from Nottingham City Council. Please check the website for more details. 

Further Support

We realise that this is a challenging time for small businesses, and that many business owners are evaluating all their options. If you would like to discuss your options with our team, please get in touch and we may be able to help.

This is an evolving situation, so please check back for further updates on any support packages as they are announced.

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