BUSINESS: BCP Council announces measures to help businesses through Coronavirus closures


As businesses across the UK are in shutdown, and self-employed workers are wondering where their next job will be coming from, BCP Council has publicised how businesses and the self employed can find help.

The Government has announced a 100% business rate relief for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in the year 2020/2021. This includes businesses such as shops, nightclubs, restaurants, travel agents, and hotels. For more information, and to see the full list of business types, see the website here.

Under the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will have access to support to continue paying their employees who might have otherwise been laid off. HMRC will reimburse 80% of workers wage costs, up to £2,500 per month, they are currently working urgently to set up the system for reimbursement. TO find out how to apply, see the business support website here.

Value Added Tax (VAT) payments will be deferred from 20 March to the end of June. This will be an automatic offer. Read more here.

Businesses and self-employed people who find themselves in financial distress, with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible for help with their tax affairs through HMRC. You can call their dedicated Covid-19 helpline on 0800 0159 559 for help and advice, or for more information see here.

All pubs who serve food, and restaurants in England will be able to operate a hot food takeaway or delivery service without going through the usual approval process. Legislation will shortly be introduced so that pubs and restaurants will be able to notify their Local Authority that they are operating as a takeaway without prior approval.

Large Businesses:

The new COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility means that the Bank of England will buy short term debt from companies to alleviate the stress caused by decreased cash flow, and enabling them to continue financing their short term liabilities. For more information on this see here.

Small/Medium Businesses: 

Support for primarily small and medium-sized businesses will be available through the Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme. The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan, which will be interest free for the first 12 months, up to £5 million in value per loan. For more information, and to apply, see the British Business Bank’s website here.

Self-employed workers:

Payments for Income Tax Self Assessments that are due in July 2020 will be deferred to 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer and no penalties will be imposed during the deferral period. Read more here.


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