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