Coronavirus advice for businesses

Business Doncaster

Business support during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus

Updated: 30th June 16:15pm

Business Doncaster is committed to keeping businesses updated on the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) information. We have collated the most up to date advice from the government, public agencies and health services and will update this page as soon as new information becomes available.

We are keen to understand the local and sectoral impacts that the response measures to Covid-19 are having on businesses in Doncaster and it would help us greatly if you could answer a few questions on our survey here.

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can. The government has published staying safe outside your home for guidance on what the new rules will mean. These will take effect on Wednesday 13th May 2020. Take a look at the FAQs around the new guidance and what you need to do here.

 

SCAM ALERT

Please be aware that there have been fraudulent applications for COVID-19 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants via scam emails.

Each attempt uses the closure of premises or homeworking to justify the enquiry for information relating to premises, reference numbers and/or Extended Retail Discount.

It has been confirmed that some of the senders are known to the legitimate businesses; however further investigation confirms the e-mail addresses are not formatted correctly, website details are incorrect, telephone numbers false and the businesses unaware of the correspondence.

Extra care must be taken to ensure information is not inadvertently shared with fraudsters. Many members were able to confirm the scam by making direct contact with the businesses prior to responding to the enquiries.

 

Support for businesses

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sizes businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates discount for most retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

 

Coronavirus business support finder tool

Find out which business support you are eligible for quickly via the Governments business support finder tool here.

 

Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme - OPEN NOW

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. 

Those eligible will be able to claim a second and final grant in August. The grant will be worth 70 percent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

This scheme is being extended. If you’re eligible for the second and final grant, and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 you’ll be able to make a claim in August 2020. You can claim for the second grant even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

**The online service to claim is now open**

If you’re eligible, you will be advised of the date you can make your claim from. If your claim is approved you’ll receive your payment within 6 working days.

Make your claim here.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Claim portal now open)

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme 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.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is open until the end of October 2020.

You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.

Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.

Please note:

You must have:

  • created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • enrolled for PAYE online
  • a UK bank account

From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June 2020. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3-week period prior to 30 June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June 2020, in order for the current three week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

From 1 August 2020, you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages. 

**The HMRC portal to make claims is NOW OPEN**

HMRC have produced this step by step guidance on how to make a claim. There is also a calculator to help you work out your claim. The system can process up to 450,000 applications per hour and employers should receive the money within 6 working days of making an application. 

You can access the service here.

 

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Small firms can now access 100% taxpayer-backed loans.

This scheme offers firms loans up to £50,000 within days of applying and requires filling in a two-page self-certification form online.

The loan terms mean that no capital or interest repayments will be due for one year. Instead, the government will pay the interest for the first 12 months.

Find out more about the scheme here

 

Business Interruption Loan Scheme (Updated scheme)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

CBILS has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. The changes mean even more smaller businesses across the UK impacted by the coronavirus crisis can access the funding they need.

Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme.

This significantly increases the number of businesses eligible for the scheme. The expanded scheme will be operational with lenders from Monday 6 April 2020.

The new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £200m to firms with an annual turnover of between £45m and £500m. This will give banks the confidence to lend to many more businesses which are impacted by coronavirus.

British Business Bank operates CBILS via its accredited lenders. There are over 40 of these lenders currently working to provide finance. They include, high-street banks, challenger banks, asset-based lenders, smaller specialist local lenders.

CBILS gives the lender a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments to encourage more lending in the form of term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.

Find out more about CBILS here.

Find out more about CLBILS here.

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/

 

Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

The Government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

Find out more about eligibility and how to access the VAT deferral here.

Find out more about eligibility and how to access the Income Tax scheme here.

 

Paying sick pay to employees

Legislation is to be brought forward to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

Small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, can now apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.  

Employers are able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service.

Find out more about the eligibility criteria for the scheme here.

 

Support with business rates

A 100% business rates discount for most retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year will be introduced.

This is irrespective of the rateable value of the property.

Find out more about eligibility and access the scheme here.

**Please note – THERE IS NO ACTION FOR YOU. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019/20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

 

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses (now known as the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund)

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

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

The Extended Retail Relief Scheme has been extended to also cover bingo halls, estate agents and letting agencies with a rateable value of under £51,000 in scope of the grant.

**Requests are now open** please complete the online form here to check your eligibility.

When submitting their request companies should use their postcode and select the address from there in the first instance rather than trying to manually input the address. If you encounter any issues please contact our Business Rates team via email: LocalTaxation@doncaster.gov.uk with all of your details including business rates reference number and bank account details and their team will pick these up.

If you receive a message to say your submission is closed, please note this is not the case and the Business Rates team will contact you.

Payments started circulating from the 3rd April 2020.

Doncaster Council's Business Rates team will send you a text message when you have been paid. This will be followed up by a letter about eligibility and state aid and a remittance advice. 

 

Businesses that pay little or no business rates (now known as the Small Business Grant Fund)

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.

**Requests are now open** please complete the online form here to check your eligibility.

When submitting their request companies should use their postcode and select the address from there in the first instance rather than trying to manually input the address.If you encounter any issues please contact our Business Rates team via email: LocalTaxation@doncaster.gov.uk with all of your details including business rates reference number and bank account details and their team will pick these up.

If you receive a message to say your submission is closed, please note this is not the case and the Business Rates team will contact you.

Payments started circulating from the 3rd April 2020.

Doncaster Council's Business Rates team will send you a text message when you have been paid. This will be followed up by a letter about eligibility and state aid and a remittance advice. 

 

Nursery businesses that pay business rates

A 100% business rates discount for all properties occupied by providers on the Ofsted Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage for the 2020 to 2021 tax year will be introduced.

This is irrespective of the rateable value of the property.

Find out more about eligibility and how to access the scheme here.

 

Support for larger firms - Corporate Financing Facility

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

Find out more about eligibility and accessing the scheme here.

 

Future Fund

The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The scheme will be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.

**NOW OPEN for applications**

The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020.

Find out more about applying for the scheme here.

 

Support for care homes

New guidance sets out the support package to keep care homes safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Care providers can find the details of the support package and additional advice and resources to help stop the spread of infection here.

 

Apprenticeships

If you are an employer who is unfortunately facing having to reduce your workforce temporarily due to the impact of COVID-19, or if you require additional temporary staff at this time the Advance Team at Doncaster Council can help you. Find out more here.

This document sets out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Paying tax: Time to Pay service

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.

Find out more about eligibility and accessing the scheme here.

 

Arts and Creatives Support 

The Arts Council are making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and they have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of their funding.

Find out more here.

  

Heritage Emergency Fund

The £50m fund will be available for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000.

It is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.

Organisations which have received funding in the past or are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant, can apply.

It is now open for applications until 31 July.

Find out more here.

 

Support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

The government is working closely with Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations to support the national response to coronavirus.

For a list of organisations you can speak with to get advice click here. Many of these organisations are also happy to respond to non-member queries related to coronavirus.

This list does not cover all trade associations and business representatives.

 

Support for charities

Information on the support available for charities including financial support and advice on how to run your charity effectively during this difficult period can be found here.

 

Guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations

Find out how your business can offer services, funds and volunteers to the civil society during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak here.

 

Commercial Insurance

Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19.

However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy).

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

 

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction.

These measures will mean no business will automatically forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment up until 30 June.

There is the option for the government to extend this period if needed.

This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent. Commercial tenants are protected from eviction if they are unable to pay rent.

The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent. **No action is required.**

 

Redundancies, layoffs and short time working

Get help managing redundancies in your organisation here and find out what your rights are if you're being made redundant by using these useful guides from Acas.

Find out more alternatives to redundancy from XpertHR here.

 

Extension of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) arrangements

BIDs will be able to extend the maximum duration of their BID arrangements until 31 March 2021 by delaying BID ballots due to take place this year. This enables BIDs, and the local authorities who administer the ballot process, to concentrate on responding to the current emergency.

Find out more about eligibility and how to access the scheme here.

 

Employee Support

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak escalates we recognise that individuals may have concerns about their employment.

Our Advance team are here to help with advice and guidance during this period.

Please contact them on advance@doncaster.gov.uk, call 01302 735556 or visit their website for more information.

 

Business support organisations

The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub gives you access to free, impartial, expert business advice and support to help your business.

Please contact the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub Gateway by telephone on 03330 00 00 39 or email growthhub@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk for more information.

 

Rapid response webinars

The Institute of Leadership & Management has created a series free of webinars to support businesses:

- How to initiate successful homeworking

- Crisis communication principles and crisis preparedness best practice

The CBI's, Confederation of British Industry's has developed new webpages https://www.cbi.org.uk/coronavirus-hub/ and made access available to everyone.

The hub has been built to ensure the CBI is the go-to source of business information on the coronavirus and to support business through these difficult times. It will be open to everyone, and will enable businesses, both large and small, to:

  • Stay in-the-know with the latest information and insight - from government announcements through to economic analysis and insights into how their peers are responding
  • Access support for their business - from webinars to external resources and the latest guidance all in one place
  • See how the CBI is supporting business - by calling on the government for business support across three key areas: people, demand and supply
  • Understand how business can help the effort - by convening around major challenges such as manufacturing vital medical equipment that will save lives.

 

The role of businesses

Businesses have a key role to play in helping to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. In addition to putting in place risk assessments and making contingency plans to reduce the risk to staff, there are a number of useful links that businesses can share with their employees:

- NHS Coronavirus overview

- NHS common questions about Coronavirus

 

Travel advice

Travel operators have published guidance on travel during the Coronavirus outbreak period.

In these unprecedented times we wanted to keep you and your staff updated on any changes to public transport.

Follow the links on this page to keep you up to date.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to call our team on 01302 735555 or email:info@businessdoncaster.com