Stewart Associates (Shrewsbury) Ltd
Emstrey House (North), Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6LG.

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18 March 2020

The Virus - Financial measures for business

Loans to business - As I write the details of the operation of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to be delivered by the British Business Bank, have not been released although the government tell us they are guaranteeing up to 80% of any losses the lender incurs with no fees and they will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.

Does the six months interest which has been "covered" have to be subsequently reimbursed I don't know at this stage.

SSP - For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. Although being "Sick Pay" there has to be an illness element for this to apply it includes employees who are self-isolating as a precaution.

Time to Pay - This may be crucial for many - A helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs enabling businesses to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC's dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Cash Grant - There will be a £10,000 cash grant (absolute or maximum?) to our smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be contacted by their local authority - it seems they do not need to apply. The funding will be provided to local authorities in early April.

Rates - There is a business rates holiday (at present unclear whether a deferment or a complete exemption) for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020/21 tax year. A £25,000 grant (absolute or maximum?) will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. At present it is unclear which businesses specifically fall in to this sector. Any enquiries should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Business interruption insurance - has received a lot of publicity and while the government have announced an agreement with Insurers to relax the qualifying conditions please check with your insurance provider if you have appropriate cover.

General employment best practice -


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