This is a difficult time for everyone and I’ll keep trying to help. If you can’t find the information you need via my website or if there is a specific problem you need my help with please email me.
I also know that the government’s latest announcements will not help everyone and I’m working with other MPs on what else is needed and continuing to suggest this to the government. I’ll keep updating this website as new information comes in.
You can see the hub for all Coronavirus Government guidance here.
The following emergency support for businesses who are affected by the Coronavirus pandemic is available:
• A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme that will see retail banks offer loans of up to £5m to support SMEs, available from Monday 23rd March. The Government will cover the interest on these loans for the first twelve months.
More information is available here.
• A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be introduced, to prevent the need for job cuts. Any employer will be able to apply for a grant from HMRC, the grant will cover 80% of wages up to a limit of £2500 per month for those employees that are not working but are kept on the payroll. The payments will be backdated to 1st March and will be available for three months initially. The government is working to set up the mechanism to deliver this scheme as soon as possible and more information will be announced in due course.
• The next quarter of VAT will be deferred until the end of June. Businesses will have until the end of the financial year to pay.
• Scaling up HMRC Time To Pay service, allowing businesses and the self-employed to defer tax payments over an agreed period of time. The helpline for businesses in distress regarding their tax liabilities can be contacted on 0800 015 9559.
• Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs for businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be met by the Government in full for up to 14 days per employee.
• For those work for themselves: the next round of self-assessments payments will be deferred to January 2021 and the minimum income floor will be suspended so that the self-employed can access universal credit at the rate of Statutory Sick Pay.
• 100% Business Rate holiday for all businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector for one year in 2020-21. Eligible pubs will also be entitled to a business rate discount of £5,000.
Cash grants worth:
• £25,000 to the smallest businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector.
• £10,000 for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief.
• For large businesses that need £5mn or more the Bank of England’s Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) may be of assistance.
The Government has confirmed its advice for people to avoid social venues (pubs, clubs, theatres) was tantamount to a ban and that insurers would pay out on policies that have this coverage. However, only relatively few companies have pandemic business interruption coverage. For those firms the Government says the monetary support should help. The Association of British Insurers advises businesses to check their cover and to discuss concerns with brokers
For detailed guidance and answers to FAQs from The Confederation of British Industry click here.
Advice or help from government
If you are a business who needs any help or advice from the Government in relation to coronavirus, please use the following numbers:
Business Support Helpline (England)
Telephone: 0300 456 3565; Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find Business Support Scotland
Telephone: 0300 303 0660; Textphone: 0800 023 2071; Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm
Business Wales Helpline
Telephone: 0300 060 3000; Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm