Coronavirus advice for businesses

Business Doncaster

Business support during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus

Updated: 7th April 15:00

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.

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

 

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 £25m 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/

 

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

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 for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Claim a grant through the scheme here.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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 initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

Please note:

• If an employee is working, but on reduced hours, or for reduced pay, they will not be eligible for this scheme.
• Any employees you place on furlough must be furloughed for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks. Those employees who you do place on furlough cannot undertake work for you.
• To be eligible for the grant employers must confirm in writing to their employee that they have been furloughed. A record of this communication must be kept for five years.
• Company directors can be furloughed but if so, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.
• The HMRC portal to make claims is not yet available.

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

 

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.

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 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 are due to start circulating from the 3rd April 2020.

We recommend that businesses track their submission via their My Doncaster account.

 

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 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 are due to start circulating from the 3rd April 2020.

We recommend that businesses track their submission via their My Doncaster account.

 

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.

 

Business-led innovation in response to global disruption (de minimis)

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million in innovation projects.

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million to respond to new and urgent needs in UK and global communities during and following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Applications due by Wednesday 15th April 2020.

Apply 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.

 

Doncaster Covid-19 Fighting Back Fund (Grants up to £10k available)

The Doncaster Covid-19 Fighting Back Fund Fund aims and priorities are to support voluntary, community and faith sector organisations that are working to ease the immediate difficulties communities are facing, to support their recovery in the coming weeks and months.

The fund is keen to support a range of projects including creative ideas around wellbeing through online activities or arts and culture and Creative activities, led by small groups or individual artists, to inspire hope for the future in Doncaster.

You can find out more and apply 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.

Find out more 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