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CHECK ALERT TIER BY AREA
INTERIM & PENDING :- REMINDERS FOR YOUR DIARY
TIER SYSTEM IN ENGLAND - WHO'S CLOSED, GRANTS & SUPPORT
BOUNCE BACK LOANS
JOB RETENTION SCHEME
WORKING SAFELY AND TRACK AND TRACE
BUSINESSES WHO NEED BREATHING SPACE
RENTING AND COMMERCIAL TENANCIES
RATES HOLIDAY FOR RETAIL, HOSPITALITY & LEISURE
STATUTORY SICK PAY
£500 SELF ISOLATION PAYMENT FOR THOSE ON LOW INCOME
PAYING TAXES AND TIME TO PAY SERVICE
INSURANCE AND COVID 19
INTERIM & PENDING :- SUPPORT DIARY REMINDERS
MAR 3 BUDGET AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT PHASE OF SUPPORT
MAR 31 PROPOSED EXTENSION OF BAN ON MORTAGE REPOSSESSIONS ENDS
APR 30 END OF THE JOB RETENTION SCHEME
You can find out more here on reopening businesses and venues in England, and the full 60 page Covid Spring 2021 document can be accessed here.
A-Z OF RULES FROM JANUARY 6TH
Designated venues in certain sectors must request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff
GRANTS FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES
CLOSED BUSINESS LOCKDOWN GRANT :-
These payments began to to be made from around about January 18 for those businesses that were already active on the Local Authority database, from any successful applications made during the November lockdown for those businesses that were forced to close by law.
The automatic distribution of a Closed Business Lockdown Payment of £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000 came alongside an upfront and automatically recurring, six week payment of the Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed Addendum payment of £2,000, £3,000 or £4,500.
Businesses will automatically receive both elements together, with in some instances, a third small payment of a balancing pro-rata payment for the days between December 31 and January 4.
No application is needed unless you did not claim the grant in November 2020
HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET?
RATEABLE VALUE CBLP LRSG CA TOTAL
Less than £15,000 £4,000 £2,000 £ 6,000
£15,000 - £51,000 £6,000 £3,000 £ 9,000
Above £51,000 £9,000 £4,500 £13,500
Local Authorities are now restarting the recurring payments due for the period from February 15 to March for both the LRSG Closed, after the confirmation of the closed of retail and hospitality until at least April 12
A closure date of March 31 will apply to applications nationally on grant application for the period January 5 - February 15
A closure date of May 31 applies for applications for the period February 16 to March 31
Both grants are taxable and the LRSG Closed is contingent on having a business rate listing, and being forced to close by law.
Businesses that are eligible are those that have been mandated to close by Government and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.
Hospitality, Leisure and Accommodation businesses that had to close under local tier restrictions, before the 6th January and are already in receipt of a recurring Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed Addendum (LRSGCA) payment, will now automatically receive a six week upfront payment for the period to February 15, rather than the previous fortnightly payment and this will be automatically paid alongside a Closed Business Lockdown Payment, a one-off grant of £4,000, £6,000, or £9,000 as soon as possible.
Non-essential retail businesses, personal care business and others, who were closed under law and successfully applied for a grant in the November national lockdown, but then re-opened before Christmas and saw those grants cease, will now also be automatically paid a six week block payment for the period January 5th to February 15th. This will be paid along with the relevant lump sum payment of CBLP, according to their business rates listing.
I understand certain local councils may now consider simply posting an enquiry form for any other eligible, rateable business that is not already on their database from the November lockdown grants and which was forced to close from January 5.
This will negate the need to start a full additional application process.
NON-RATES LISTED BUSINESSES OR THOSE STILL OPEN
Whilst the support is consistent for those business forced to close, for those who aren't the person listed as the ratepayer on their premises, those who don't have a rates listing, or those who fall outside of the sectors told to close, but who have seen their trade fall off a cliff, the proposed road to any support at all is far less certain.
For all those non-rateable businesses, or those still open but seeing a severe drop in demand, there will be a separate application process under the Additional Restrictions Grant. (Round 2).
Some councils have chosen to make a recurring payment to those business who were awarded an ARG payment from the November/December round of applications, others have asked those businesses not to apply again and their case will be considered. Check your own councils website below for applications instructions for ARG Round 2 in your area.
This is one-off funding and intended to support businesses more broadly, as a key part of local economies, who would not otherwise be eligible and whether they were rateable businesses or not.
Closed businesses that do not have a rateable value
Closed business that have costs that are significantly higher
Businesses that are severely impacted rather than closed.
Government expects the funding to be targeted at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.
However, Local Authorities have the freedom to determine the precise eligibility criteria for these grants. Each council has been given the opportunity to make it's own decision on eligibility priorities locally.
That eligibility criteria for the A.R.G. and the applications forms needed appear on the relevant pages below.
OUTSIDE NATIONAL RESTRICTIONS PERIODS THESE GRANTS APPLY
This is a grant for businesses in the highest band of local restrictions – Level 2,3 & 4– which have been required to close during periods of local restrictions.
Businesses that have chosen to close, but not been required to are not eligible for this grant.
ALL BUSINESSES MUST HAVE A RATEABLE VALUE TO BE ELIGIBLE
*During the period of national restrictions in England this grant was superseded by the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum.
GRANT LEVEL AND FREQUENCY
Eligible applicants will receive support for every two weeks your business is closed.
Rateable value and support per 2 weeks per 4 weeks
£15,000 or under £ 667 £1334
£15,001-£50,999 £1000 £2000
£51,000 or over £1500 £3000
You can find the rateable value of your premises on your latest business rates bill
LRSG (OPEN) :- TIER 2,TIER 3, TIER 4
Local councils have the freedom to determine the precise eligibility criteria for these grants. However, in general, funding is targeted at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.
ALL BUSINESSES MUST HAVE A RATEABLE VALUE TO BE ELIGIBLE
Your business may be eligible if it:
is based in England
is in an area subject to ‘High’ or ‘Very High’ local restrictions since 1 August 2020 and has been severely impacted because of the local restrictions
was established before the introduction of Local COVID alert level: High restrictions
has not had to close but has been impacted by local restrictions
Businesses that are not required to close but are impacted may continue to receive funding under LRSG (Open) if restrictions are increased to Local COVID alert level: Very High. Closed businesses are eligible for LRSG (Closed).
These backdated grants will be made available at 70% of the value of the LRSG closed grants up to a maximum of £1,050 per two weeks for this period.
WHAT YOU GET
Rateable value of premises per 2 weeks per 4 weeks
£15,000 or under £ 467 £ 934
£15,001-£50,999 £ 700 £1400
£51,000 or over £1050 £2100
The number of those business locally, along with the amount of any grants available mean the suggested grants per applicant in the table below may well not be achievable locally.
HOW TO APPLY
Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply.
In the event of national restrictions being introduced, LRSG (Open) will cease to apply, as relevant businesses will receive funding from either the:
national restrictions grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum)
local council discretionary grant (Additional Restrictions Grant)
Where subsequently closed under national measures in England, these businesses moved to the national closure scheme from Nov. 5 - Dec. 2, before they re-opened.
BACK DATED GRANTS FROM AUGUST 1
This funding also allowed each Local Authority to run a discretionary grant scheme to support those businesses if previously impacted by the Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions, for any period from August 1 - November 4.
Businesses in areas under local restrictions measures are therefore able to apply for a local authority grant, retrospectively backdated to the date relevant to their local area, where restrictions may have applied back as far as August 1.
In Lancashire this applies to those hospitality businesses forced to close from 10 pm - 5 am from September 22nd
Tier 3 local restrictions only kicked in in most of the rest of Lancashire before the national closures on Nov. 5
The period November 5 - Dec 2 does not apply
BUSINESSES CLOSED FROM (NOV. 5TH- DEC. 2)
Businesses that were open as usual, but were then required to close between 5 November and 2 December 2020 due to the national restrictions imposed by the government are eligible for LRSG (Closed) Addendum.
Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 28 day period under national restrictions.
When and if national restrictions are introduced and businesses are required to close, LRSG (Closed) is superseded by LRSG (Closed) Addendum.
Your business may be eligible if it:
is based in England
occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
has been required to close because of the national restrictions from 5 November to 2 December 2020
has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises
For example, this could include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses. It could also include businesses that operate primarily as an in-person venue, but which have been forced to close those services and provide a takeaway-only service instead.
Eligible businesses can get one grant for each non-domestic property.
MORTGAGE HOLIDAYS EXTENDED
Mortgage payment holidays were due to end on October 31 but have been extended
The FCA has now confirmed updated guidance to firms setting out enhanced support that should be available to mortgage borrowers experiencing payment difficulties as a result of coronavirus.
What support is available?
The FCA reiterates that consumers should keep up with payments on their mortgage if they can afford to do so and should only seek support where such support is absolutely necessary. The FCA has also provided more detail on which groups of consumers will and won’t be able to access payment deferrals:
Those who have not yet had a payment deferral will be eligible for payment deferrals of 6 months in total.
Those who currently have a payment deferral will be eligible to top up to 6 months in total.
Those who have previously had payment deferrals of less than 6 months will be able to top up, as long as total deferrals don’t exceed 6 months. This includes those receiving tailored support and those who are behind on payments.
Borrowers who have already had 6 months of payment deferrals will not be eligible for a further payment deferral. Firms will provide tailored support appropriate to their circumstances. This may include the option to defer further payments.
The FCA has also confirmed that no one should have their home repossessed without their agreement until April 1, 2021.
Consumers will have until 31 March 2021 to apply for an initial or a further payment deferral. After that date, they will be able to extend existing deferrals to 31 July 2021, provided these extensions cover consecutive payments, and subject to the maximum 6 months allowed. Borrowers who have not yet taken a deferral, and who think they need the full 6 months should apply in good time before their February 2021 payment is due.
Payment deferrals under these proposals would not be reported as missed payments on a borrower’s credit file. This does not mean that consumers’ ability to access credit will be unaffected in future, as lenders may take into account a range of information when making lending decisions.
Tailored support may be reported on a borrower’s credit file, and lenders should inform borrowers where this will be the case. Any payment deferrals offered as tailored support could be recorded on a borrower’s credit file.
In October, the FCA issued separate guidance for borrowers with interest only or part-and-part mortgages whose capital repayment plans were affected by the crisis. This means that borrowers whose mortgages matured from 20 March 2020 can delay the repayment of the capital on their mortgage until 31 October 2021.
The FCA has confirmed that as well as accessing payment deferrals before maturity, these borrowers can access payment deferrals after maturity without this affecting their ability to delay the capital repayment.
If you already have a Bounce Back Loan, but borrowed less than you were entitled to, from 10 November you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.
Lenders from 9th February 2021 will proactively and directly inform their customers of Pay as You Grow, and borrowers should only expect correspondence three months before their first repayments are due.
The government has made clear that lenders are expected to offer PAYG options to all borrowers under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
Following discussions with lenders, all borrowers should receive identical information on PAYG being offered.
It will provide businesses with the following options:
Extend the length of the loan from six years to ten
Make interest-only payments for six months, with the option to use this up to three times throughout the loan
Pause repayments entirely for up to six months
Businesses can borrow from £2,000 - £50,000
Capped at 25% of turnover.
Rapid online application and approval
Funds 24 hours after approval
Interest and repayment free for 12 months
Loan terms up to 10 years at a maximum of 2.5%
No personal guarantee
For sole traders or small partnerships, who often risk their personal assets when borrowing, the terms of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme means no recovery action can be taken over a principal private residence or a primary personal vehicle.
Any customer with a CBILS loan, or overdraft of £50,000 or less, will be able to switch that facility to a BBLS loan should they choose to do so until March 31st.
FULL DETAILS: -
The scheme has been extended to March 31st with a new maximum terms of 10 years,
FAQs FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: BOUNCE BACK LOANS
What is the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? Am I eligible? How do I apply? How long is the scheme open? How much can I apply for? How long will it take me to get the funds? What products are available under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? When do I have to start repayments? What fees and interest will I be required to pay? What term can I borrow this over? How much am I meant to repay? Can I repay early? What checks will I be subject to? What protections do I have under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? What can I use the loan for? What happens if I find I’m struggling to repay the loan? Do you support all businesses? Can I apply for a CBILS facility as well as a Bounce Back Loan Scheme facility? What is the difference between CBILS facility and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? What is the difference between Start Up Loans and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? Is the loan available under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme a personal loan or a business loan? Does this contribute to my State aid allowance? Which businesses meet the “business in difficulty” criteria? What if I want to complain about my loan under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme?
HOW TO APPLY & FIND A LENDER
APPROACH A LENDER
You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via its website.
In the first instance, you should approach your own provider. You may also consider approaching other lenders if you are unable to access the finance you require.
You will need to fill in a short application form online, which self-certifies that your business is eligible for a loan under BBLS.
If your business is eligible, it will be subject to appropriate customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks. Some state aid restrictions may apply to your application.
Note: There is high demand for finance through BBLS. Phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person.
THE LENDER MAKES A DECISION
The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance.
Under the scheme, lenders are not permitted to:
take any form of personal guarantee
take recovery action over a borrower’s personal assets (such as their main home or personal vehicle)
IF THE LENDER TURNS YOU DOWN
If one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders within the scheme.
BBLS is designed to be fast for lenders to process and quick and easy for businesses to access. To help achieve this, you will only be required to fill out a short application form online.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Your business must be able to self‑declare to the lender that it:
has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
was not a business in difficulty at 31 December 2019 (if it was, you must confirm your business complies with additional state aid restrictions under de minimis state aid rules)
is engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK and was established by 1 March 2020
is not using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme (CCFF), unless the Bounce Back Loan will refinance the whole of the CBILS, CLBILS or CCFF facility
is not in bankruptcy or liquidation or undergoing debt restructuring at the time it submits its application for finance
derives more than 50% of its income from its trading activity (this requirement does not apply to charities or further-education colleges)
is not in a restricted sector (see below)
Note: The above is not an exhaustive list – see our Frequently asked questions for more information.
Bounce Back Loans are available to businesses in all sectors, except the following:
Credit institutions (falling within the remit of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive)
State-funded primary and secondary schools
LOANS OF £50,001- £5M
Under CBILS, lenders will not take personal guarantees of any form for facilities below £250,000.
DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MARCH 31ST
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is available for SMEs through more than 40 accredited lenders across the UK.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE
Your business must:
Be UK-based in its business activity
Have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million
Have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the current pandemic
Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
HOW TO APPLY
1. FIND A LENDER
2. APPROACH A LENDER
You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via the lender’s website.
Notes: There is high demand for CBILS facilities. Phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person.
WHAT LENDERS WILL NEED FROM YOU
When you apply for a business loan, most lenders will ask you for the following:
Note: For many customers approaching their existing lenders for a smaller facility, the process may be automated and therefore may not require the same level of documentation
DETAILS OF THE LOAN
The amount you would like to borrow
What the money is for — the lender will check that it’s a suitable business purpose and the right type of finance for your needs
The period over which you will make the repayments — the lender will assess whether the loan is affordable for you
You will need to provide certain evidence to show that you can afford to repay the loan. This is likely to include:
Cash flow forecast
Details of assets
The above requirements will vary from lender to lender.
If you do not have everything listed here, a CBILS loan could still be an option to provide finance to support your business.
If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.
The scheme has been extended. If you were not eligible for the first and second grant based on the information in your Self-Assessment tax returns, you will not be eligible for the third.
HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your business will have a significant reduction in profits.
To make a claim for the third grant your business must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021.
The third taxable grant is worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.
Applications for the third grant will open from 30 November 2020. Make your claim from the date we give you either by email, letter or within the service. If you’re eligible, you must make your claim for the third grant on or before 29 January 2021.
The grant does not need to be repaid if you’re eligible but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must be reported on your 2020 to 2021 Self-Assessment tax return.
Grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.
You can follow these steps to help you understand what you can do now.
To be eligible for the third grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.
If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.
a) You must have traded in both tax years:
· 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
· 2019 to 2020
b) You must either:
c) You must also declare that:
· you intend to continue to trade
· you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits
In order to claim, you must reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during the period 1 November to 29 January 2021. You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.
Before you make a claim, you must decide if the impact on your business will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits for the tax year you report them in.
HMRC cannot make this decision for you because your individual and wider business circumstances will need to be considered when deciding whether the reduction is significant.
You should wait until you have a reasonable belief that your trading profits are going to be significantly reduced, before you make your claim.
To work out your eligibility we will first look at your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.
If you’re not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return, we will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019.
Some circumstances can affect your eligibility such as if:
Find out more information on how your circumstances affect your eligibility.
The online service for the third grant will be available from 30 November 2020.
You can then make your claim here on or before 29 January 2021.
You should contact HMRC if you receive any suspicious texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC as this may be a scam.
This is an example of how we will work out how much grant you’ll get if your average trading profits were £42,000 over the last 3 tax years.
If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a grant worth of 80% paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits and capped at £7,500 in total.
Average trading profit £42,000
Divide by 12 £ 3,500
Multiply by £10,500
Work out 80% £ 8,400
You will only receive £7,500 due to the cap
FURTHER SUPPORT IN FEBRUARY
There will be a fourth grant covering February 2021 to April 2021. We will set out further details, including the level of the fourth grant in due course.
OTHER SELF-EMPLOYED HELP
Get other financial support
You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but even if the claim is not approved it will affect any tax credits you claim and may affect other benefits. So you should:
· find out what to do if you’re already getting benefits
If you make a claim for Universal Credit the grant may affect the amount you get, but will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.
The government is also providing the following help for the self-employed:
If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The online service has closed for the first and second grant.
Find out about the first and second grant in a previous version of this guidance on The National Archives.
JOB RETENTION SCHEME EXTENDED TO APRIL 30
This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. There will be a short period needed to change the legal terms of the scheme and update the system and businesses will be paid in arrears for that period
The CJRS is being extended until April 2021. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.
As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
Further details, including how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, will be provided shortly.
The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends. The Job Support Scheme will be introduced following the end of the CJRS.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted.
All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.
To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020.
This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
*As under the current CJRS rules:
Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees
Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.
80% WAGES AND MINIMAL EMPLOYER COSTS
For hours not worked by the employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions for hours worked and should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.
As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
Claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November from 8am on November 11, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
Find out if you’re eligible, and how much your employer can claim if they put you on temporary leave ('furlough') because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Calculate how much you have to pay your furloughed employees for hours on furlough, how much you can claim for employer NICs and pension contributions and how much you can claim back.
Find out what steps you need to take before you calculate how much you can claim for furloughed and flexibly furloughed employees.
Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
JOB RETENTION SCHEME RE-PAYMENTS
The original scheme ended on October 31 2020. If you feel that you may have over claimed for employees wages under the Job Retention Scheme you should contact HMRC to arrange re-payment.