Key Takeaways for Your Business in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Manchester, UK - 4 May 2017: Salford Quays Lift Bridge In Manchester

Continued change to our working and personal lives is to be expected in the coming weeks. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said; “We can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks and I’m absolutely confident that we can send coronavirus packing in this country but only if we take the steps — we all take the steps — that we have outlined.”

With many people working from home, and government advice and policies constantly being announced, we created this article to summarise the key updates you should know.

Key Updates

The main element we think businesses need to understand is the £330bn Coronavirus support package that the government has announced.

In a recent press conference, Boris Johnson stated that “we must act like any wartime government and do whatever it takes to protect our economy. We must support millions of businesses and tens of millions of families.”

Relevant financial measures followed, accordingly. These are:

  • Small businesses are eligible for small business grant funding. The cash grant offered was originally £3,000, but has been raised to £10,000.

  • For businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sector, the government is offering cash grants of up to £25,000.

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offers loans of up to £5 million through The British Business Bank, for businesses with a turnover of less than £41 million. No interest payable for the first six months. The Government is committed to covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees.
  • Supporting liquidity, a new lending facility from the Bank of England helps larger firms to bridge disruption to their cash flows.
  • A business rates holiday is being offered to all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England, who now will pay no business rates for 12 months.
  • Statutory Sick Pay is being leveraged, too. 1 in 5 people are predicted to be ill or off work due to Coronavirus. To support isolation measures and stop the spread of the illness, the government is allowing 2 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to be reclaimed by SMEs.
  • Statutory sick pay has also been amended to provide further support for the self-employed. If self-employed, you can now claim SSP on day 1 instead of day 8, and claim a higher amount of £94.25 per week. Read more on the Government website, here.

  • Similarly, the next set of self-assessment tax payments have been delayed for self-employed workers, in order to give people more time to pay.
  • A helpline has been set up for businesses that need to discuss the financial risk with outstanding tax liabilities they’re experiencing. The helpline will ensure that they have support with their tax affairs and agree a Time to Pay arrangement. You can call this helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Overall, you can stay up to date with the latest updates by enabling Google Alerts and news channel notifications.

If your business works with research and development (R&D), we recommend looking into your R&D tax relief options in order to reclaim much-needed funds in this challenging time. The R&D tax relief is a government initiative which aims to incentivise innovative activity with a  “super” tax relief for company R&D.

What constitutes R&D activity, exactly? If your business has made advancements in concept, product or process in the last two years and looked for an advance in science or technology, that’s R&D! From software development to environmental products and food & drink development, it’s all covered.

The Tide Group offers an accelerated R&D reclaim process to help businesses recoup more from HMRC, faster. To discuss how we can help you increase your funds, get in touch with Kate on  07825516161 or kate@thetidegroup.com

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