With the announcement today that businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure will receive a grant of up to £9k per property, we thought it was a good opportunity to update you all about the help which is currently available. We will update this page if and when more information and Government measures are announced.

Protecting employees’ salaries

Job Retention Scheme

To protect your employees and their jobs, the Government helps to pay wages under the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.

The scheme was originally due to close on 31 October, but has now been extended until 30 April 2021.

The grant available is now 80 per cent of wages up to a cap of £2,500.

You don’t need to contribute for the hours the employee doesn’t work – you’ll only pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions.

How do I access this support?

See our full guide to the Job Retention Scheme and how to apply at the button below.

Ultimate guide to furloughing staff

Creating jobs with the Kickstart Scheme Grant

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

What you’ll get:

  • £1,500 per job placement

How do I access this support?

You need to have a minimum of 30 job placements before applying. Find out how to apply if you have 29 or less job placements.

You will need to provide information about the job placements during the application.

You can apply online here.

Grants

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

This scheme has been extended to April 2021. If you were not eligible for the first and second grant based on the information in your Self Assessment tax returns, you will not be eligible for the third.

To make a claim for the third grant your business must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021, which you reasonably believe will have a significant reduction in your profits.

The third taxable grant is worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

How do I access this support?

You can apply online via your Government Gateway. You must make your claim for the third grant on or before 29 January 2021.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) for businesses forced to close

Businesses that have been required to close due to national restrictions imposed by government as of 5 January 2021 may be eligible for a one-off grant of up to £9,000.

What you’ll get:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

For businesses that were open as usual, but were then required to close between 5 November and 2 December 2020 due to the national restrictions, they will receive:

  • £1,334 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £2,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £3,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period they are closed.

You will need to show that your business:

  • is based in England
  • occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
  • has been required to close for at least 14 days because of the restrictions
  • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

How do I access this support?

You can apply by visiting your local council’s website. You can find your local council here.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) for open businesses

Businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions may be eligible for LRSG (Open).

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period under local restrictions.

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • is based in England
  • is in an area subject to Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions since 1 August 2020 and has been severely impacted because of the local restrictions
  • was established before the introduction of Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions
  • has not had to close but has been impacted by local restrictions

What you’ll get:

  • £467 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £700 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £1,050 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

How do I access this support?

You can apply by visiting your local council’s website. You can find your local council here.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG Sector))

Businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions introduced in March 2020, and have not been able to re-open, may be eligible for LRSG (Sector) funding.

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period they are closed.

Eligible businesses include:

  • nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  • adult entertainment venues and hostess bars

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • is based in England
  • occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
  • has been closed since 23 March 2020 because of national restrictions

What you’ll get:

  • £667 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £1,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £1,500 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

The grant will be extended to cover each additional 14-day period of closure. If your business is closed for 28 days, or 2 payment cycles, it will receive £1,334, £2,000 or £3,000, depending on the rateable value of the property.

How do I access this support?

You can apply by visiting your local council’s website. You can find your local council here.

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through LRSG (Closed).

Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG.

How do I access this support?

You can apply by visiting your local council’s website. You can find your local council here.

Government-backed loans

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

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.

The scheme is open until 31 March 2021.

Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply by reading our detailed article at the button below.

Guide to CBILS

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

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.

The scheme is open to applications until 31 March 2021.

If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.

To find out if you’re eligible and how to apply, read our detailed article at the button below.

Guide to BBLS

Business rates relief

For businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and nurseries

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and nurseries 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
  • nursery on the Ofsted’s Early Years Register

How do I access this support?

You do not need to take any action. Your local council will apply the discount automatically.

You can estimate the business rate relief using the business rates calculator.

Contact your local council if you’re not getting a relief you think you’re entitled to.

Paying Tax

Paying your Self-Assessment Tax bill in instalments 

On 5 October, HMRC announced further details surrounding their new ‘Enhanced Payment Plan’ instalment scheme.

The scheme was introduced to allow the 31 January 2021 Self-Assessment tax payments to be spread the cost into monthly payments. This is the tax due on completion of your personal tax return. It doesn’t cover any other taxes like Corporation Tax, VAT or PAYE for employers.

The Enhanced Payment Plan is only eligible for those with a tax bill between £32 to £30,000. There are however additional requirements that effectively need to demonstrate that other than tight cashflow due to Coronavirus, you have not had any other issues with HMRC recently (certainly on your personal account).

Read the full details of eligibility and how to apply in our article at the button below.

How to pay your Self-Assessment Tax in instalments

VAT deferral

If you deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make, you can:

  • pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021
  • opt in to the VAT deferral new payment scheme when it launches in 2021, which means instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make up to 11 smaller monthly instalments, interest free. All instalments must be paid by the end of March 2022
  • contact HMRC if you need more help to pay

We will provide more details when the new payment scheme opens. Ahead of time, if you’d like to opt in, ensure you:

  • create your own Government Gateway account if you don’t already have one
  • submit any outstanding VAT returns from the last 4 years. You will not be able to join the scheme if you have not done so
  • correct errors on your VAT returns as soon as possible. Corrections received after 31 December 2020 may not show in your deferred VAT balance
  • make sure you know how much you owe, including the amount you originally deferred and how much you may have already paid

Want to find out more?

Call us on (01474) 853856 and we will put you in contact with one of our advisers, or send us an enquiry by clicking below.

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