COVID-19- HOW IT’S AFFECTING MY Business and What Governments Business supports are available?

As this is one of the worst crisis we have seen, businesses all over the Globe getting affected by complete drop in sales. We are completely hit by Covid-19 as we had 3 months Bookings in advance. Most of our customers and us had to cancel the work that doesn’t come into social distancing rules.

All we can do it pray for people who have lost their lives and for the ones at higher risk.
We believe instead for clapping for all the key workers, we should get them food delivered to their doors to appreciate their efforts.
We as a nation should support each other within and after the crisis. As after the crisis, it will be a difficult time for all of us financially. If we buy local and support local businesses we will reduce the financial burden for each other as it would increase jobs in local areas.

Most of you have already heard about Government scheme in this crisis Covid-19. If you haven’t then find out below.

To determine which financial support your business may be eligible for, visit the Government’s Business Support Finder and provide a few key details about your business, such as size, location and turnover.

  • CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has gone live, with businesses able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.

Check the Government’s step by step guide to submitting claims for furloughed employees, and, to avoid any delays with your submission, make sure you have got the following to hand before you start:

  • A Government Gateway ID and password – if you don’t already have an account, you can apply online
  • Be registered for PAYE online – if you aren’t yet registered, you can register online. If you have an agent authorised to act for you on PAYE matters online, they can submit a claim on your behalf
  • The number of furloughed employees you are claiming for with the following information for each individual; Name, National Insurance number, payroll or employee number, claim period and full claim amount, including National Insurance, contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
  • If you have fewer than 100 furloughed employees, you will need to input the information directly into the system for each employee. If you have 100 or more furloughed employees, you will need to upload a file (.xls .xlsx .csv .ods) with the information
  • The following information for your business; Employer PAYE reference number, Unique Taxpayer Reference or Company Registration Number, UK bank account and contact details.

The Chancellor has confirmed that the scheme has been extended by one month until 30 June and there is an online calculator to help work out how much can be claimed.

Once you have submitted your claim, you’ll get a claim reference number. HMRC will then check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by BACS into your bank account within six working days. Any queries regarding the online service should be directed to the HMRC webchat service.

To receive payment by 30 April, employers will need to complete an application by 22 April.

  • DEFERRAL OF VAT

UK VAT-registered businesses which have a VAT payment due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 can defer the payments until on or before 31 March 2021.

You do not need to tell HMRC that you are deferring payment and you will still need to submit your VAT returns on time. If you normally pay by Direct Debit, you should cancel it by contacting your bank. Further information about how to repay the deferred VAT will be available soon.

  • FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

Links for more more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-gives-support-to-millions-of-self-employed-individuals

Alternatively, go to: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/

  • CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders.

Find out more here.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is available for small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45 million, to access finance up to £5 million.

Apply now from an accredited lender by following the steps on the British Business Bank website and there is guidance from ICAEW on preparing a strong application.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme offers loans to all viable businesses.

  • Those with a turnover of more than £45 million can apply for up to £25 million.
  • Those with a turnover of more than £250 million are eligible for up to £50 million.

Apply now from an accredited lender by following the steps on the British Business Bank website.

  • UNIVERSAL CREDIT

People making new claims for Universal Credit will no longer need to call the Department as part of the process.

Instead, a bolstered frontline team will proactively call claimants if they need to check any of the information provided as part of the claim, as well as messaging them on their online journal to confirm details.

SAFEGUARDING

No call should come out of the blue. Claimants should be contacted via their online account or journal and informed that someone will call them.

The DWP caller will go through an identity check with the claimant based on the online application. These might include partner details, dependants, previous addresses etc.

If the recipient of the call has any doubts, they should ask the DWP caller to confirm something that a genuine DWP claims handler should know. Banks often use addresses or account numbers etc.

Scam warning – No representative of DWP will ask for bank details by email or by phone.

More information at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/don-t-call-us-we-ll-call-you

SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS FUND (SBGF)

Eligible businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) are eligible for a payment of £10,000. Companies that are eligible will be contacted by their Local Authority to arrange payment.

  • FINANCIAL SUPPORT IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

The new Coronavirus business hub on GOV.UK is now available at: bit.ly/bizsupportnew

Find coronavirus financial support for your business here.

Build UK has produced an easy reference table, which explains what financial support is available from the Government in response to COVID-19. You can view the document here.

The HMRC helpline number to support businesses concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus has changed to 0800 024 1222.

You can also find out about Coronavirus financial support on HM Government’s Business Support page at: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

COMPLYING WITH COVID-19 SAFETY GUIDELINES – WORKING PRACTICES

SITE OPERATING PROCEDURES

The Government has confirmed that the current lockdown will be extended by at least three weeks, which means that construction sites must continue to implement the Site Operating Procedures ‐ Version 3 for the foreseeable future.

The HSE has also set up a website for workers to report concerns about health and safety where they cannot be resolved by speaking with their employer or trade union.

Build UK has asked that construction workers be deemed ‘essential workers’; however, this is not the case at present unless their work is critical to the response to COVID-19. The Home Office has informed police forces that construction workers and suppliers are permitted to work and the CLC has provided a letter for employers to give to their workforce.

SOCIAL DISTANCING – KEEPING BUSINESSES OPEN

You can view the Government’s advice on staying at home and away from others and social distancing in the workplace.

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