We know that it can be a very concerning time for everyone at the moment with the Covid-19 virus, especially for those in business. On this page you will find, links to the latest advice from Government about keeping safe as well as links to advice on financial support for businesses. Please visit our Levy Payers page to see how BID can help you.
Please see the our #supportKL page for all links & the latest news from King’s Lynn Businesses and how you can support them.
Advice for Businesses
Below is a list of the key areas of assistance available to Businesses affected by the Coronavirus, please also visit this page for more information.
Business Rates – Businesses in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors will not have to pay business rates in the tax year 2020/21. This applies to shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, cinemas, hotels. You do not need to take any action. The Local Authority will automatically apply this to your bill and will be sending you a bill to this effect very shortly. Read more here.
Expanded Retail Discount – Business Rate Holiday – The Government has added to range of businesses who are eligible for a business rates holiday in 2020/21. In addition to those initially listed, the scheme now includes hair and beauty businesses, estate agents, employment agencies, funeral directors, dry cleaners and more, see the full list here; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875613/Expanded_Retail_Discount_Guidance_25.03.20.doc.pdf Again, you do not need to take any action. The Local Authority will automatically apply this to your bill and will be sending you a bill to this effect very shortly.
Job Retention Scheme – All employers with a PAYE scheme 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 March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary. You need to identify workers to be furloughed and inform them of the changes. You will then need to submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings. This will be available on HMRC website shortly.
Business Interruption Loan – a temporary loan scheme for SMEs to provide access to overdrafts, loans and finance of up to £5m over 6 years. These loans will be delivered through commercial lenders including the main high street banks.
HMRC- Time to Pay arrangements available through dedicated HMRC COVID-19 helpline: 0800 0159 559. There is a waiver of late payment penalties (for businesses who can’t pay or have administrative difficulties contacting HMRC). VAT payments have been deferred for 3 months to 30th June for all businesses. The July self-assessment payment for Income Tax has been delayed until January 2021. There is a full Universal Credit available at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for the self-employed. Finally, there is a NEW HMRC telephone helpline for businesses: 0800 024 1222
Statutory Sick Pay – Government will refund the cost of providing 14 days SSP per employee (businesses with less than 250 employees)
- £10,000 for the smallest businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief
- £25,000 for the small retail, hospitality and leisure sector businesses with a rateable value less than £51,000
both available from BCKLWN
These are now available for application via the website, simply fill out the eligbility checker and follow the next steps if applicable.
Planning Regulations – Planning rules have been relaxed allowing pubs and restaurants to act as hot food takeaways.
Mortgage & Rent Support – There is a 3 month mortgage payment holiday currently available, as well as a 3 month cessation on repossessions. Commerical tenants unable to pay will also be protected from eviction
Banks – Banks have committed to make £14billion available to UK businesses
Further Advice for Business
New Anglia Growth Hub is Government funded and ready to offer free advice to all businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk.
If you feel your business has been affected by Coronavirus, whether you are experiencing supply chain issues, order or booking cancellations, a reduction in sales, or any other challenge, contact the Growth Hub to speak to one of our qualified business advisers. They offer free support and advice and can help you to access the support measures put in place by Government.
Email email@example.com or telephone 0300 333 6536 (Mon- Fri 9am-5pm).
Employers and employees Advice
Advice for employees / individuals if they are facing a loss of income etc
If you have closed your premises, please check them regularly to ensure that they are secure. We have provided a checklist for guidance:
- Test your alarm regularly and ensure it is fully operational
- Identify vulnerable areas in your property, check these are secure, check security gates, bollards and fire exit doors remain secure.
- Check service doors are closed and locked.
- Make sure you have an up to date list of key holders who can be contacted in times of emergency.
- Place high value items in secure stockrooms and out of view.
- Use timer switches or ensure sufficient lighting is left on at the premises / surrounding area.
- Remove combustible materials from the proximity of the building such as packaging – consider the risk of arson.
- Review your CCTV to confirm it is operational, provides good quality images and is positioned to cover as much of the store’s public and private areas. You may wish to consider a mobile phone app that allows connectivity and a vocal capacity to engage with any intruder.
- Do not leave any cash on the premises (leave a note on the door stating that no cash or valuables are kept overnight) or store then in a security accredited safe bolted to the floor.
- If you are keeping an eye on CCTV footage or have on-site security, you can report incidents and suspicious behaviour directly to Police, call 101 to report a non-urgent incident / an event that has taken place. If you are on Shopwatch / Pubwatch contact the local policing team and our Streetrangers so that other businesses can be informed.
Please see our #supportKL page for all of the current business offers during this period.