We know this is a really challenging time and there is no end of information available to businesses. We have pulled together a really short summary of what we think you need to know, with links to the Government / other website for more detail.
Please visit our Levy Payers page to see how BID can help you.
Please visit 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 & Expanded Retail Discount – Business Rate Holiday –
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. The Government has added to the 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;
You do not need to take any action. The Local Authority has already sent amended bills to rates payers. Read more here.
Grants for Business-
The Chancellor has made available 2 grant schemes, one for small businesses eligible for small business rates relief and the other for businesses who qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount as outlined below;
- Small Business Grant £10,000 per business eligible for Small Business Rates Relief
- Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant for businesses who qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount;
- Qualifying businesses with a rateable value up to £15,000 will receive £10,000.
- Qualifying businesses with a rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999 will receive £25,000.
These are now available for application via the Borough Council’s website, simply fill out the eligibility checker and follow the steps required. Your grant will be processed more quickly if you supply the correct information.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme-
CJRS – Update from 29th May 2020
On 29th May the Chancellor announced details of changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme). As announced earlier in the month, changes were needed to allow more flexibility and support businesses to re-open gradually and in response to demand. Here is a very brief summary of the changes;
July – the Government will continue to pay 80% of value of salary but an employer can choose to bring an employee back to work part time. The employer will need to pay the wages of the employee whilst they are in work, the Government will pick up the hours that they are not yet required to work.
August – the Government will continue to pay up to 80% of salary costs (when an employee is not working) and will ask Employers to pick up ER NICS.
September – the Government will pay up to 70% of salary costs and expect employers to pay the remainder, plus NICS.
October – the Government contribution will drop to 60%
All the details of the changes can be found here;
Employees can be on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.
All applications need to be made online and payment will be received within 6 working days.
More detailed instructions regarding information required to submit a claim can be found on the application page, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Coronavirus 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. Talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited providers.
HMRC – Tax
There are a number of tax deferral schemes in operation to help businesses manage their cashflow. Time to Pay arrangements are available through dedicated HMRC COVID-19 helpline: 0800 024 1222
- You may be able to delay VAT payments due before 30 June 2020 until 31 March 2021
- You may be able to delay your Self-Assessment payment on account due in July 2020 until 31 January 2021
Statutory Sick Pay
Government will refund the cost of providing 14 days SSP per employee (businesses with less than 250 employees) for periods of sickness on or after 13 March 2020 and which relate to the Coronavirus, i.e. they have contracted the virus or are self-isolating.
For further details and how to apply; https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay/how-to-claim
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
Government will provide a grant worth up to 80% of your profits, with a cap of £2,500 pcm. The amount of grant you receive will be calculated on your average profits as submitted in your last 3 tax returns. The grant will be payable from June, and HMRC will contact you in mid-May if you are eligible to apply. For further information, go to;https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
SEISS – Update 29th May – This has been extended to August. Applicants can claim a second and final grant of up to 70% of their monthly trading profits paid out in a single instalment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
Mortgage & Rent Support – Some Banks and Building Societies are offering their customers a 3-month mortgage payment holiday. Contact your mortgage provider to discuss your personal circumstances.
Private renters and those in social housing are being protected from eviction if unable to pay their rent due to financial difficulties at this time. Similarly, commercial tenants unable to pay rent will also be protected from eviction for a 3-month period.
Planning Regulations – Planning rules have been relaxed allowing pubs and restaurants to act as hot food takeaways.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 need financial assistance immediately, go to the webpage below which has lots of clear and usual information.
N.B. Please be aware of phishing emails and telephone scams at this time. Never give your personal details, especially bank account details to anyone over the phone or via email.
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.