The UK Government has published a COVID-19 page which details the support available for businesses. Key information on the page includes: paying sick pay to employees, business rates, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility, Time to Pay service, Insurance.
• The Treasury has published guidance for Local Authorities on the Expanded Retail Discount 2020/21: Coronavirus Response, which sets out in more detail what is meant by ‘leisure, hospitality and retail’ when referring to the business rate holiday and other schemes
• The UK Government has published a summary of impacts relating to the Coronavirus Bill
• The Bank of England and the Treasury are working to launch the COVID Corporate Financing Facility. An outline of the scheme can be found on the website
• The Bank of England has cut the Bank Rate to 0.1%
• Following the UK Government’s announcement of increased measures to delay transmission, further guidance on social distancing has been published
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a large economic stimulus package designed to protect businesses, with a focus on the hospitality and leisure industries.
• A short-term lending scheme for large firms: provided by the Bank of England. More detail will be released this week.
• The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: offering loans up to £5m with a six-month interest free period. The loans will be provided through normal banks and other lenders. If you want to use the scheme you should speak to a bank or lender.
• 12-month business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses: available to all businesses in these sectors. If you think you might be eligible you should contact your local authority.
• Increasing grants to small businesses from £3,000 to £10,000: available to any business which benefits from small business rate relief. Your local authority will get in contact automatically, and the scheme will be available from April.
• A £25,000 grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises: available to businesses in these sectors whose premises have a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000. You should contact your local authority if you think you qualify.
• A three-month mortgage holiday: for homeowners who need it. If you want to use the scheme you should speak to your mortgage lender.
• Relaxation of some regulations: including allowing pubs and restaurants to offer takeaway without a specific licence. We expect more information to follow.
• Support with tax: if you need help with your tax liabilities, you should speak to HMRC’s Time To Pay service on +44 (0) 800 0159 559.
• Insurance claims: confirmation that government advice to avoid hospitality and leisure is sufficient for businesses to claim on their insurance where they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place. You should speak to your insurer if you think you may be covered.