Coronavirus – Today’s updates – Grants, Loans, VAT & more
BUSINESS SUPPORT GRANT FUNDING GUIDANCE
The Guidance around the Business grants has been launchd, enabling Local Authorities to start the implementation. You can find that guidance here.
These grants should be issued automatically, without the need for businesses to claim. We will obviously be keeping an eye on this, but at the moment have no indication as to when these amounts will start to be paid.
As we mentioned earlier, a deferral of VAT has been announced from 20th March 2020 until 30th June 2020.
If you normally pay by Direct Debit, please make sure that you cancel the instruction with your bank so that HMRC cannot automatically collect the payment, but file your Return as usual.
You will have until the 5th April 2021 to make this payment.
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOANS
Yesterday we published the information that we have seen for Barclays version of these loans. There’s been a lot of criticism of the packages the banks are making available, as they appear to be making Personal Guarantees a necessity, loading the risk onto the Business Owner. This goes against the premise the Government announced.
We would expect (hope?) this to change. RBS are leading the way at the moment as they are not asking for Guarantees.
If you are interested in applying for one of these loans our advice at the moment would be to speak to your existing lenders to find out what their current offer is. If it includes a Personal Guarantee, and you can hold on without one, we’d suggest that you do.
CAN YOU STILL TRADE?
Guidance around those who can and can’t continue to trade does allow for some businesses to stay open. Obviously, the priority is to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, but there are some businesses that are deemed as essential and that can still operate if they can do so at a safe distance.
If you’re unsure which category you fall into, you can find more details here.
Network operators were confident that there was sufficient bandwidth to cope with the increasing demand that was inevitable with more of us working from home and schools closing. They evidently didn’t foresee quite how much impact there was going to be (or Joe Wickes’ success!), as there have been numerous reports of problems.
As a result, Ofcom have gussied some advice so that we can all manage our data use, and get the bandwidth we need.
You can find those here.
We’ve been encouraging clients to speak to all regular suppliers and lenders to see what opportunities there are to reduce outgoings already, but councils are starting to allow deferment of Council Tax payments.
If you’re unable to take Dividends from your business at the moment, reducing your personal outgoings can be a really good move and this may help. Different councils are taking different stances, so please do get in touch with your council and see what they are offering.
The Financial Conduct Authority has recently changed the regulations for personal overdrafts, with a view to make the costs more transparent from 6th April. Daily or monthly fees are being replaced by a single interest rate, and these are high – around 40%!
If the impact of Coronavirus is going to put you into, or cause you to extend, a PERSONAL overdraft, speak to your bank or visit their websites to see what they are offering. Many of the changes are being applied automatically, but not all.
We’re expecting support for the self-employed to be announced this evening. If that happens, I’ll do my best to get something posted later tonight or first thing tomorrow to keep you up to date.
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