Has your business got COVID-19?

Many businesses have been hit hard with staff - and customers - choosing to self-isolate or simply stay out of the way of the rapidly travelling Corona virus. It's worrying for everyone and the situation is changing daily.

If you own or run a business it's particularly stressful. Will your business survive if people stay at home? If your staff are sick or choose to self-isolate can you cope? Are you in a business that can be run remotely?

From a financial point-of-view we're already fielding questions about how clients can survive if this goes on for many months. 

There are some strategies already put in place by the government - and some that even the organisations responsible for putting them into action are still getting to grips with, but here are the main ones:

  • A statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • A holiday from business rates for 12-months that applies to all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • A small business grant of £10,000 for all business currently receiving small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • A grant of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

There is also a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank. The Bank of England has also made a new lending facility available to provide support for larger firms cash flow during the period of disruption.

HMRC has a Time-to-Pay scheme and there is a helpline (0800 0159 559). If the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 virus have caused your business hardship you can talk to the HMRC about spreading or delaying payment, but each case is reviewed on its own merits.

A tiny drop of positive news! The projected changes to the IR 35 rule has now been delayed by a year and won't take effect until 1st April 2021.

Practical steps

And, of course, if your staff can work from home, make sure they're equipped to do so, safely and securely.