While this year’s Budget contained a lot of talk around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) it also included some new proposals for businesses to help with the current economic situation.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Response
The Government will now support businesses that experience increased costs or disruptions to their cash flow, including expanded Business Rates reliefs, a temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for small to support up to £1 billion in lending to SMEs, a £2.2 billion grant scheme for small businesses and a dedicated helpline for those who require a deferral period on their tax liabilities.
You can contact HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Government has also announced that within their £12 billion plan, £5 billion will be set aside as an emergency response fund to help businesses with fewer than 250 employees pay for their staff’s statutory sick pay for two weeks, alongside other support for the NHS and other public services in England.
For those who are self-employed who are not eligible for statutory sick pay, they will now be able to claim contributory Employment Support Allowance. The ESA benefit will now be available from day one rather than day seven.
How will this affect small business owners?
- The Government will refund you any statutory sick pay if your employees (under 250 employees) are off sick due to coronavirus.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme means you’ll be able to access lending and overdraft facilities. The Government will provide lenders with an 80% guarantee on each loan. Businesses will not be charged for this guarantee.
- Self-employed persons will now be able to access the ESA benefit from day one.
For those with brick and mortar stores, the Government have now abolished business rated in England for firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value below £51,000. This was after they announced a retail discount of 50% in 2020-21 and have now increased this to a 100% discount.
For those businesses who pay little or no business rates because of the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) scheme, the Government will also be providing them with £2.2 billion of funding for local authorities in England. This will help these businesses continue to meet their ongoing business costs.
What does the budget mean for small businesses?
- Businesses within the retail leisure and hospitality sectors will now not have to pay any business rates during 2020-21.
- Businesses on the SBRR Scheme can access funding from their local authority of up to £3000.