19th March 2020: Key updates on financial support for businesses Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses Summary: There’s a little more information on the government’s official website about financial support today, but as the information about how local authorities should manage allocating the reliefs and business rates reductions won’t get to them until Friday, we’re not going to know exactly how this will all “work” until early next week. The BID Team will continue to monitor the information that’s released and update you as soon as we possibly can. Business Rates Relief for Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Businesses, and £25k grant
If your business is in the retail, leisure or hospitality sector you won’t pay business rates for the 2020-2021 financial year. The information ADC need to get the reliefs to your businesses is going to be made available to them tomorrow, Friday 20th March 2020. The site states that you will be re-billed (suggesting that ADC will send you a new bill with a zero balance for the 2020-21 financial year). This will be confirmed once ADC have the information they need.
Details about how businesses in this sector with a rateable value between £15k and £51k, can access the £25,000 grant will also be published on 20th March. ADC will need time to process the information, so, in my opinion, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to give any specific advice until early next week.
Grant for Businesses that don’t pay Business Rates
The £10,000 grant for businesses in all sectors with a Rateable Value below £15,000, the new information is that that the local authority (ADC) will contact you – you won’t have to apply.
Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - SMEs
Information about how Small and Medium Sized Enterprises can access up to £5m through the Coronavirus Interruption Loan Scheme is being released “in the coming days”, including details of the lenders that will be providing access to the scheme. It has been confirmed that the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.
According to the site, the loans will be available for businesses to access (through participating banks) from Monday 23rd March 2020.
Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
To support larger firms, the Bank of England has announced a new lending facility to provide a quick and cost-effective way to raise working capital via the purchase of short-term debt.
This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, enabling them to continue financing their short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. Further details, including on how to access this funding will follow in the coming days, and the scheme will be available from the week commencing 23 March.
Support with tax bills
Just a reminder that if you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
The suggestion is that things will be much clearer next week, as local authorities will have the information, they need to tell you how to access the funding. Once the information about how the financial support will be managed is available, the BID Team will create an FAQ page that we’ll send out via email and post on our website. If you have any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Heather Allen, BID Coordinator on 07917 692690. Thank you, The BID team