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Emergency measures for business

A comprehensive list of information for businesses during the current climate

The Government has recently published Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses on GOV.UK 

Grants for Businesses in Folkestone & Hythe District - what businesses need to do to access the government's Coronavirus business grant support

To receive this business grant, please provide the required details in the electronic form available on the Folkestone-hythe.gov.uk website folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/business-grant-fund.  Please note that some of the information required to complete this form is available on any previous correspondence from the Business Rates team. 

Time to Pay

Scheme to help 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 businesssupport.gov.uk/time-to-pay/

Income Tax Deferral

Income Tax payments due in July 2020 for the self employed under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021 businesssupport.gov.uk/income-tax-deferral-for-the-self-employed/

Universal Credit

The self-employed can claim Universal Credit if required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus  understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/new-to-universal-credit/self-employment/

27 March Update

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Further support is now available for self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19). For further information and how to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months see links below

Guidance for UK businesses trading internationally

Advice for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-uk-businesses/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-uk-businesses-trading-internationally

Guidance for staff in the transport sector

Updated guidance on 26 March 2020 to assist transport settings in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19). gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector

Further Businesses, Venues and Premises closures

Updated guidance on 26 March 202 on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises, as part of further social distancing measures. gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

26 March Update

Folkestone & Hythe District - What businesses need to do to access the government's Coronavirus business grant support

To receive this business grant, please provide the required details in the electronic form available on the Folkestone-hythe.gov.uk website.  Please note that some of the information required to complete this form is available on any previous correspondence from the Business Rates team. Please us the following link for full details  folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/business-grant-fund

Further businesses and premises to close

Please review the following link to a document providing guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises, as part of further social distancing measures.  assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875881/Guidance_of_business_closures_250320.pdf

25 March Update

Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Small Business Grant Fund & Retail (SBGF), Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) (Version 2) - updated guidance 25 March 2020

This guidance sets out updated details and eligibility criteria for the SBGF and RHLGF and informs local authorities about the operation and delivery of the 2 funding schemes.

See more information and application form here

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance

Local dedicated telephone Help Line for business support

The council has also part-funded a dedicated business support telephone helpline which will be run through Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Any businesses requiring help and guidance in these difficult times can contact an adviser who will be at the end of the phone to help.

A dedicated help line telephone number 03333 602 300 will be available Monday to Friday 08:30 to 18:30 for businesses to speak to an adviser who will be able to

  • Advise on the type of support that can be accessed and signpost to the correct provider of any HMG support
  • Provide information, sound guidance and advice around key topics such as crisis management, cash flow and debt management, staff retention strategies, etc.
  • Gather local intelligence on where further support is needed
  • Signpost to further pro bono support offered by the private sector

 24 March Update

Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • includes information on what you need to know following the Prime Ministers announcement on 23rd March

Covid-19 Support for businesses

Expanded retail business rate discount

  • guidance on the operation of expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021 coronavirus response

Expanded Retail Discount 2020-21: Coronavirus Response - Local Authority Guidance

Nursery schools business rate holiday

  • Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.

Information for business rates holiday for nurseries

Business VAT Deferral

  • Support for businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months

Information for business support - VAT deferral

Business extension period to file accounts during COVID-19

  • Businesses are being given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19

Information for more time to file your company accounts

Support for the Self Employed

  • Time to Pay - scheme to help 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.

Information for business support - time to pay

  • Income Tax Deferral - Income Tax payments due in July 2020 for the self employed under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021

Information for a deferral of income tax - self employed

  • Universal Credit - the self-employed can claim Universal Credit if required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus .

Information for Universal Credit for self employment

The Government has made a series of announcements in the Budget and recently in the past few days on measures to support businesses during this difficult time to help businesses cope with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, including:

Businesses to Close

Following the new guidance given by the Prime Minister on 23 March stating that all non-essential businesses and premises must now close, it also identifies those places that can remain open.

Further businesses and premises to close: guidance

Statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs

  • Small and medium-sized businesses and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
  • The refund will cover up to 2 weeks' SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as at 28 February 2020.
  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP. Employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.
  • The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force.
  • The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

GOV.UK Publications Guidance - sick pay

Business rates holiday and grant funding

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • The Government will introduce a business rates retail 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 re billed by their local authority as soon as possible.
  • A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March.

GOV.UK Publications Guidance - Business rates holidays

Small business rate relief

The government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

  • If your business is eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, you will be contacted by your local authority - you do not need to apply.
  • Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

GOV.UK Publication Guidance - Small business rate relief

Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS)

A new temporary scheme delivered by the British Business Bank through your current business bank for loans between £1,000 - £5million. It will launch on 23 March 2020 to support access bank lending and overdrafts.

  • The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to businesses up to 250 employees.
  • The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
  • Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as the government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments
  • To be eligible for support via CBILS, the small business must: 
  • Be UK based, with turnover of no more than £41 million per annum
  • Operate within an eligible industrial sector - This includes tourism and hospitality businesses
  • Have a sound borrowing proposal, but insufficient security to meet a lender's normal requirements
  • Be able to confirm that they have not received de minimis State aid beyond €200,000 equivalent over the current and previous two fiscal years

GOV.UK Publication Guidance - Business Interruption Loan Scheme

COVID-19 Corporate financing facility

To support larger firms, the Bank of England has announced a new lending facility to provide a quick and cost effective way to raise working capital via the purchase of short-term debt.

  • This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, enabling them to continue financing their short-term liabilities.
  • It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. 
  • Further details, including on how to access this funding will follow in the coming days, and the scheme will be available from the week commencing 23 March.

GOV.UK Publication Guidance - Corporate financing facility

Interest-free time to pay arrangement from HMRC

Businesses and those who are self-employed can access support and advice on their tax obligations and payments via a new dedicated COVID-19 telephone helpline. Using this helpline, businesses may be able to agree a 'Time to Pay' arrangement with HMRC. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

HMRC will waive late payment penalties and interest where a business experiences administrative difficulties contacting HMRC or paying taxes due to COVID-19.

HMRC Coronavirus Helpline: 0800 015 9559 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday, 8am to 4pm)

Business Interruption Insurance

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim.

  • Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.
  • Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

GOV.UK Publication Guidance - Job Retention Scheme

Relaxation on planning regulations

Communities Secretary confirms the government will set out measures so that pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways to serve people having to stay at home

  • Relaxation of planning measures will be introduced as soon as possible and will apply for a limited period 
  • Currently planning permission is required for businesses to carry out this change
  • The measures will apply to hot food and drinks. Serving of alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to existing licensing laws.
  • Permitted development rights allow movement between one use class and another for example from a restaurant (A3) to a shop (A1) without planning permission.
  • The government will introduce a time limited permitted development right through secondary legislation (negative SI) to allow the temporary change of use of a pub (A4 - drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 - restaurants and cafes) to a hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months only.
  • Businesses will be required to tell the local planning authority when the new use begins and ends

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

For any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants see the link below to the government guidance gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-retail-discount-guidance

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility

If your business is eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, you will be contacted by your local authority. You do not need to apply. Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April and guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council is introducing a support programme for small independent businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors across the district.  This will be delivered via appropriate methods, including by remote means where necessary.

What is this programme?

A comprehensive business support package over a 6-8 week period including:

  • Individual Coaching and Business Support - personalised programme of tailored business support and coaching
  • Business skills needs assessment to address gaps and raise capability.
  • Business plan review, including scrutinising the current business plans and developing an immediate business plan to assist the business for next 6-12 month

How could my business benefit?

The support will provide a personalised programme of tailored coaching and support to help your business to address the issues it faces and to raise capability.

It will help guide your business to continue trading, as footfall declines over the coming weeks and months, support you in moving your business to trade online through social media channels and offer practical advice to help you to continue to trade.

Who is it for?

Independently owned retail & hospitality businesses in Folkestone & Hythe District.  If you are interested in accessing this support, please email economy@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Tourism 

Information and advice for tourism businesses is being released daily by the Tourism Industry Emergency Response group (TIER).  This information can be found here  visitkentbusiness.co.uk/tourism-business-support-and-advice/how-to.../information-for-investors-on-covid-19

Other important information

Accessing Government Business Loans

The British Business Bank who are the administrators of business loans have indicated that loans are available from 23 March 2020.  Please see link below to the British Bank website british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/

Other websites with information that you might find useful are listed below.

Federation of Small Business

Advice on coronavirus including links to legal helplines and FSB insurance fsb.org.uk/resources-page/advice-to-small-businesses-and-fsb-members-about-the-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.html

Advice on Mental health and wellbeing for businesses fsb.org.uk/campaign/it-s-okay-to-talk-about-mental-health.html

There are training sessions available on a range of topics such as on how to use Instagram for business; Facebook tools to help your business. Register to join the group and you can access previous presentations at your convenience. The next one will be held on 27 March 2020. facebook.com/groups/183876879728915

    We understand the difficulties that business is facing at this time.  However, if you have any specific coronavirus-related business issues and feel that it is important to share, then we are keen to hear from you.  The council is constantly looking at ways to support our business community through this difficult period and we can also pass on any intelligence directly to the Government through our own channels.  Please contact us on email at economy@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

     

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