The Autumn budget has been postponed due to the pandemic, but Rishi Sunak has announced a ‘Winter Economy Plan’ which outlines the expansion to the Job Support Scheme, as well as other help for individuals, workers and UK businesses.
Businesses that need to close due to Government restrictions
If your business is legally forced to close and your employees are unable to work for one week or more, they will be paid two-thirds of their salary up to £2,100. You’ll be reimbursed this, but you will need to cover the National Insurance contributions and pension contributions.
You may also be eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) if your business:
- Occupies property on which it pays business rates
- Is in a local lockdown area and has been required to close because of the formal publication of local restrictions guidance that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September. This funding is not retrospective
- Has been required to close for at least 3 weeks because of the lockdown
- Has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises
This could include non-essential retail outlets, personal services, cafes, restaurants (that primarily offer in-person dining but forced to close and only offer Takeaway services). Eligible businesses will get one grant for each property liable for business rates within the lockdown zone.
Businesses that are required to close but do not pay business rates may be eligible for funding at the discretion of the local council, as may businesses not required to close but which are severely impacted. For more details and to see whether you’re eligible, visit the government’s website here.
Open but reduced your employee’s hours?
You may benefit from the Job Support Scheme, is for open businesses that have had to reduce their employees hours. This is different from the Furlough scheme in that it will only pay or ‘viable jobs’ where people can go to work, but where hours have been reduced as a result of the pandemic. Employees must be in work for at least a third of their normal hours and as an employer you will be responsible for paying for this proportion. The government and employers will then top up one third each with the government cap at £697.92 per month.
From November, you may be able to claim a lump sum of 20% of your average monthly profits covering November to January. There will be a further grant covering February to April, but this may be adjusted.
You may also be able to defer the tax payment that’s due for your 2019-2020 tax return by 12 months from January 2021.
Paying your VAT bill
If you deferred your VAT bill until March 2021, the Chancellor announced that this can now be spread over 11 smaller payments, rather than one lump sum.
Did you opt for the Bounce Back Loan?
If you took a Bounce Back Loan through a new Pay As You Grow repayment system, there will be additional flexibility on paying this back. From extending the loan repayment from six to ten years, will almost half the monthly repayments, as well as payment holidays in order to further help businesses recover and protect jobs.
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The government has also announced they are extending applications for the Business Interruption Loan Scheme until the end of November. So if you’ve not yet applied, visit gov.uk for more details.