Corona Virus Response

To try to help you understand the advice and support that the UK Government is providing to small businesses during the Covid 19 pandemic our business advisors will be filming regular updates which will give you a brief overview of whats available and how to access it.

In the latest of our corona virus support videos, business advisor Peter Daniel looks at the income support that was announced by the Chancellor for the self-employed in the 26th March, looking at how it is calculated, who is eligible, when it is likely to be available and reviewing some of the other measures that can help you as a self-employed person. Information correct as of 27/03/2020

In the 2nd of our corona virus support videos business advisor Peter Daniel looks at the situation for the self-employed. Reviewing what government support is on offer at the moment and why its a challenge to support the self-emp;loyed; Income tax deferment until 2021, Universal Credit should you apply and what does it mean, mortgage holidays and rental payment holidays. Information correct as of 25/03/2020

In our introductory video Blue Orchid advisor Peter Daniel summarises the business & employers support announced as of the 24th March 2020.

Online Advice & Guidance Clinics

As part of our efforts to provide further detailed guidance and support on how best to access the support that the Government is putting in place in response to the fast moving Corona virus pandemic and current isolation measures we will be hosting regular online drop-in support clinics and Q&A sessions with our advisors.

The next scheduled session is:

Title: Covid 19 Support Drop in – reaction to self employment government support

Date: Wednesday  15th April

Time: 11:00 am

Synopsis:  A chance to review the Governments support package for business to date with a team of senior Blue Orchid business advisors, who will try and answer your questions regarding any new information on how to apply and what is eligible .

Link for the event: The link will be posted prior to the session 

Hear how small business owner Rob Leek of Iglu Associates benefited from our first Covid 19 online business support clinic.

For the latest information on changes to our business support programmes in response to the Corona virus pandemic please visit our News page
HM Government Business & Employers Support

In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic and the social isolation actions that are required to combat its spread, the Government is in the process of implementing a number of initiatives to support business and employers.

Whist this remains a fast-moving situation and details continue to emerge Blue Orchid will try and provide accurate information on the support available. As the specifics of these programmes and their application processes are released, we hope to make Blue Orchids advisors available to assist both our current and past clients to access the support that is being made available when the details of these schemes are finalised.

In addition to the summary of the support available below one of our business support associates Jane Pallister has created a detailed guide for the business support being made available by the government, advice on how to stay save in your business and hints and tools to help you through this situation, click here for the guide and check back regularly for updates.

Deferred VAT payments

The Government announced that businesses that have VAT payments between 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020 will now not be required to make a payment during this period. This support applies to all businesses automatically. Businesses will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Self-Assessment Income Tax

If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.
If you are self-employed you are eligible. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

How to access the scheme
You will need to:
i) designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
ii) submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC have stated that they will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

The scheme is now open for applications. All major banks are offering this scheme.To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan.

Statutory Sick Pay

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service.

Time to Pay

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals 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, based on average earnings of the last 3 years. Payment will not be made until June but will be backdated.

To be eligible you must have a trading profit of less than £50,000 and have submitted a 2019 tax return.

Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account.

Cash Grant for Small Business

The government is providing funding for a Small Business Grant Scheme for local authorities to provide a one of grant of £10,000 for small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 and under will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,00

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

You do not need to do anything. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020.

For the full up the minute detailed information on the suport intiative outlined above, who is eligible and how to apply, click here to visit the Government Corona Virus Business Support page