How Can My Business Survive The Coronavirus?
Confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed 3,000,000 globally, according to current statistics. The UK won’t be seeing the opening of retail stores and restaurants for the foreseeable, Australia’s largest cities are shut down, and India’s business railway network has been forced to close. With the Covid-19 virus accelerating, we have all been warned to avoid social contact in order to help the NHS manage the number of patients needing intensive care.
On top of you worrying about your health as the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak gains momentum and numbers of confirmed cases in the UK soar, it is also becoming an increasingly worrying time for business owners. You may be asking yourself: how can my business survive the coronavirus pandemic?
Well, when there’s a will, there’s a way. By implementing the following strategies and advice, your business doesn’t have to suffer tremendously. Read on to find out more about the new Government grants and loans that are available to help your business get through this global pandemic.
The 2020 Budget
When Chancellor Rishi Sunak released his 2020 Budget on 11th March, he unveiled a £30 billion package to help boost the economy and to get the country through the Covid-19 outbreak.
Rishi Sunak has prioritised suspending business rates for many firms, extending sick pay and boosting funds into the NHS. When this £30 billion package is divided-up, this leaves a £7 billion investment into businesses and workers in the UK.
If your business rates for a shop front, restaurant, music venue, etc. and has an estimated value below £51,000, then you will stand to benefit from the budget and your rates will be suspended for the 2020-2021 tax year. The Government has also agreed to meet the costs that businesses, with less than 250 employees, will face from increased staff sickness levels. The Government will by providing statutory sick pay for those who cannot work due to the Covid-19 virus.
After its release, however, the 2020 Budget still left many other uncertainties for business owners. But, things are looking a bit brighter with the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and if you’re not all clued up on this, read on to find out more.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
On 17th March, Rishi Sunak released a package of Government-backed and guaranteed loans to help support businesses. The Chancellor has made available £330 billion worth of guarantees, and this is just for starters. It was after this announcement that Rishi Sunak introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 20th March.
This scheme is essentially a Government grant, and it aims to reimburse employers for 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, with a maximum amount of £2,500 each month. It has also been arranged that this scheme will backdate employees to 1st March 2020 to help keep as many people as possible in employment.
Businesses can capitalise on this grant for at least three months; however, the Chancellor has agreed to extend the Job Retention Scheme for as long as it is necessary.
How Does Your Business Qualify?
According to the Chancellor, all UK businesses are eligible. So, all businesses, small or large, charitable or non-profit, will qualify for Government-funded help.
The Job Retention Scheme enables employers to contact HMRC for a grant to help them pay their furloughed employers; those who are unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic but have been kept on. You will be able to apply for this business support through a new, online portal created by HMRC soon.
It is vital to remember this grant works as a reimbursement. You, as the employer, will make the wage payment and then the Government, through HMRC, will reimburse 80% of the wage costs for these workers.
Closing pubs and restaurants will have a significant impact on the livelihood of their owners and workers, with more and more people heeding Boris Johnson’s advice and staying clear of any non-essential social contact and travel. Despite this impact, the Chancellor has assured us all that the damage will be significant, but temporary.
This business support scheme is more generous than some of the high welfare available in Scandinavian countries. The wage subsidy transforms the UK’s social safety net. Faisal Islam has analysed the Government’s response, and believes that “the Treasury does believe that the very sharp plunge in the size of the economy can be followed by a bounce back.”
Other Measures Supporting Your Business
In addition to statutory sick pay relief packages and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Government has released a long list of financial support packages for businesses during the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.
The Government has released several different grants offering instant financial support for your business. There is a £10,000 small business grant funding for all businesses who receive the small business rate relief or rural rate relief; as well as grant fundings of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses who have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. The Chancellor has also arranged for a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses within England.
With many businesses finding themselves in financial distress, VAT and Income Tax payments have been deferred until the end of June, to help reduce businesses’ outgoings and improve their cash flow. You may also find yourself eligible for tax support through the HMRC’s Time To Pay Scheme. The arrangements are tailored to individual circumstances but general eligibility is determined on whether your business pays tax to the UK Government, and has outstanding tax liabilities.
Visit the Government’s webpage outlining an extensive list of all the support available to business now, and see how your business can obtain financial relief.
You Are Not Alone!
If all this information is leaving you feeling a bit overwhelmed or stressed about your next step, we can help. Here at Cheshire Cat, we are offering free telephone consultations where we will offer help and advice, or just a friendly voice to aid you during the coronavirus crisis. We too know the panic, so from business to business, let’s have each others backs!
If you are concerned that your business is going to suffer due to the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak or ongoing business costs will leave you in difficulty, don’t hesitate in reaching out to the owners of Cheshire Cat Marketing on 01606 251036 or through email via [email protected]. They will be more than happy to dedicate their time and efforts into finding a solution for your business to help you stay afloat during this increasingly difficult time. Don’t suffer in silence, get in touch and share your burden with us; having started up our own business, we understand, at first-hand, the concerns that you are facing.
Make the most of the loans and grants on offer from the Government to help keep your business afloat. Keep isolating, stay positive, and let’s get through this uneasy start to 2020!
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