19 Mar 2020
Government support to protect Businesses affected by COVID-19
- Small and medium-sized businesses and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19 for 2 weeks per eligible employee who is off-work.
- For eligible individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or those who are unable to work because they are self-isolating in line with Government advice, SSP will be payable from day 1 instead of day 4 for affected individuals, without any medical proof for 7 days. After the 7 days, the business will decide if they need further evidence.
- Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year, expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors.
- Planned rates discount for pubs of £5,000.
- For guidance, the businesses should contact their local authority from 20th March.
- Grants of £25,000 to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.
- One-off grant of £10,000 to around 700,000 business currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rate Relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.
- Loan of amount up to £5 million.
- First 6-month finance interest free (Government t to cover interest for first 6 months).
- Government to provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) without any charge to businesses or banks.
- Provisions to provide further discretionary financial support to businesses.
- 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.
- You can call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 for help and advice.
- Relaxation in planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing takeaways without a planning application.
- Businesses are encouraged to check their terms of insurance, if they cover for both pandemics and government, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020, that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim.