Coronavirus - Anything else?

Last updated, 30 March 2020 at 8:45pm

IR35 

HM Treasury have confirmed that the roll-out of IR35 reforms to the private sector will be halted for a year until April 2021 to ease the pressure on businesses in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

Business Rates

  • Suspension of business rates for all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector for a period of 12 months (irrespective of size).  
    Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those that are wholly or mainly being used:

    • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues for assembly and leisure

    • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

    • There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible. Please do not get in touch with your local council as this will happen automatically.

​You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.  Further guidance for local authorities is available in the expanded retail discount guidance.

  • Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates.  The Government will introduce a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.  Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register which are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.  There is no action for businesses to take. This will apply to the next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue bills to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible. 

  • Cash grant of up to £25,000 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector with a rateable value up to £51,000.  For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.  For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.
    Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those that are wholly or mainly being used:
    • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
    • for assembly and leisure
    • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

    You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

  • Pubs in England with a rateable value below £100,000 to receive a £5,000 business rates discount from 1 April 2020.

  • Small businesses that already pay little or no business rates will receive a £10,000 cash grant. Applies to businesses based in England which already receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Business Rate Relief and occupy a property.

Loans

  • Temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for banks to offer loans of up to £5 million to support small and medium sized businesses with no interest for the first 12 months.  Businesses must be based in the UK, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year and meet the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria.
    The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all. You should talk to your bank or finance provider as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

  • Mortgage lenders to offer a three month mortgage holiday for those in difficulty because of coronavirus.

  • Borrowers will need to contact their mortgage provider to request a payment holiday.

Anything Else?

  • The Government will introduce steps to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways to service individuals required to stay at home.

  • Businesses should check the terms and conditions of their business interruption insurance policies and contact their provider.  
    The Government and insurance industry have confirmed that relevant businesses with pandemic and Government-ordered closure clauses within their policies will be able to make a claim.

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