I understand how difficult this unprecedented crisis will be for businesses. Fill out my survey here to tell me about the issues facing your business and I will do whatever I can to help.

I would urge every businesses to look carefully at the package of support available and do whatever it takes to keep employees on. The measures include:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – every single UK businesses can apply for this scheme. HMRC will reimburse 80% of workers’ salary up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are urgently working to set up this scheme but it may not be operational until mid-end of April.
  • Cash grants: If your business is in leisure, retail or hospitality with a rateable value of under £15,000 you will receive a cash grant of £10,000. Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. Sheffield City Council will write to you if you are eligible for the scheme.
  • Urgent cashflow support (Business Interruption Loan Scheme): Businesses with a turnover of no more than £45m per year can apply for this scheme launching early next week. It will provide 12 months of interest free loans up to £5m in value.
  • Deferring VAT payments: Businesses can defer Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. This is an automatic offer and no applications are required
  • Support for SSP payments: Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be able to reclaim for Statutory Sick Payments up to 2 weeks as a result of Covid-19. Employers will not need to provide records of GP fit notes. If evidence is required by the employer, they can get an isolation note from NHS 111. The Government will work with employers to set up the precise mechanism as soon as possible.
  • Business rates holiday – retail, hospitality and leisure: this will include shops, restuarants, cafes, leisure facilities, hotels, self catering accommodation, cinemas, live music venues, pubs, clubs.

Sheffield Council’s Business Sheffield service is encouraging businesses with any concerns to contact their team of advisors. The team are on hand over the coming weeks and months to help businesses navigate their way through the support that will be available.

Businesses can call 0114 224 5000 or email businesssheffield@sheffield.gov.uk. The Council has also put information for businesses on its website.

ACAS has provided a list of steps that employers can take to support their workers and the Metropolitan Police Business Crime Hub has also produced crime prevention tips that may help businesses to prevent theft and other crimes during the pandemic.

 

Self-employed:

The Government announced the latest scheme for the self-employed on Thursday 26th March. The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment. Find more info here.

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