Coronavirus information for businesses and self-employed
Businesses and workers in the Solent area will be facing extremely challenging circumstances over the coming weeks and months. We have detailed below the various areas of business support that we are currently aware of.
The Government are delivering a whole range of support mechanisms for businesses to help them with various factors that are emerging as a result of Covid-19. This information and advice is evolving rapidly.
For the most up to date advice for businesses from the Government please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
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 that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020 and is initially open for three months, but will be extended if necessary.
More information can be found at the following link: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=GovDelivery
The new Self-employment Income Support Scheme to support self-employed people who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Self-employed people do not need to get in touch with HMRC as the scheme isn’t yet open for applications. HMRC will contact eligible customers by the beginning of June, inviting them to apply.
The government has also introduced the following help for the self-employed:
* Deferral of Self Assessment Income Tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020
* Grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates
* Increased amounts of Universal Credit
* Business Interruption Loan Scheme
* Directors of their own company paid through PAYE, may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.
The Government have a dedicated Coronavirus helpline 0300 456 3565.
Solent LEP are posting regular updates on their website at the following link: https://solentlep.org.uk/coronavirus-support-hub/
Solent LEP are working with partners across the region to put in place a number of additional support mechanisms, including;
* Support to provide businesses with the infrastructure to continue business remotely
* A free online diagnostic tool to review the current business position and identify tactics for building greater resilience
* Online masterclasses and resources in relation to access to finance, developing e-commerce offers and actions to support your response in relation to COVID-19.
Businesses are encouraged to sign up to the Solent LEP e-newsletter to be kept informed of updates. Follow the link to the Solent LEP homepage where you can sign up to the newsletter https://solentlep.org.uk
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce have information at the following link: https://www.hampshirechamber.co.uk/events-and-news/events/coronavirus.html