Business Continuity and Coronovirus – What Can YOU Do Right Now

The old wartime slogan is more relevant today than at any since the end of World War II. But if you want a little more practical advice than just plough on, read on…

First of all thanks to my good friend Naveed Mughal of Purlieus Consulting for summarising this information in a very clear and succinct way…

In the last 48 hours there has been a raft of measures introduced by the government to support small and large businesses throughout the Coronavirus crisis. This is an evolving situation so to get the most up-to-date advice please visit the government website page:

In the rest of the post, I will summarise the help available for small businesses. There is likely to be a grant or loan which your business can use to help during the Coronavirus Crisis.

All small businesses (less than 250 employees) can get the following help:

  • 2 weeks of statutory sick pay paid for employees off because of COVID-19
  • If you are struggling to pay a tax bill which is due (or you think you will struggle with), then HMRC have set up a Coronavirus Help To Pay helpline, which will work with you to put in place a “time to pay” plan.  If you think you will need to do this, please give us a call first, but the telephone number of the helpline is 0800 0159 559
  • If your business has insurance cover for a pandemic and government-ordered closure, e.g. the government’s advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc, the government and insurance industry have confirmed that there are now sufficient grounds to make a claim. But this is a case of check the small print of your insurance policy!
  • The ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ is believed to be open w/c 23rd March. Any loans approved from this scheme are interest free for the first 6 months, with the government paying the interest. If you think you will need to access this scheme, please give us a call so we can work through the paperwork with you.

If your business is eligible for small business rate relief OR rural rate relief:

  • your local authority will provide you with a one-off grant of £10,000. (So, doesn’t need to be paid back). Your local authority will be in touch to arrange the grant. More details will be available in early April.

If you are a retail, hospitality or leisure business:

  • The government is giving you a payment holiday for your business rates for the 2020/2021 tax year. We are expecting more guidance on this by 20th March
  • If your business received the retail discount in 2019/2020 tax year, your local authority will rebill you as soon as possible
  • A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. Your local authority will be able to tell you whether you are eligible and how to claim.

As a firm we believe that many businesses may struggle to pay their April or May payroll. If this could be your business, please get in touch so we can help you find a plan to ensure the health of your business going forward