CLIENT BRIEFING ON COVID-19

COVID-19 has thrust the UK and the rest of the world into unprecedented times of uncertainty, not only in terms personal health and wellbeing, but the financial insecurity to almost every business and individual.

There are a number of actions that businesses need to urgently address, including:

  • Formulating an action plan for the business to deal with Coronavirus.
  • Deciding on HR policies for home working and for those staff self-isolating or catch Coronavirus.
  • Taking measures to ensure maximise liquidity over coming weeks/months.
  • Consider suspending CAPEX and discretionary spending.
  • Engaging with key suppliers regarding credit terms and to ensure continuity of supply.
  • Reviewing insurance policies to see if there is any provision for making claims for business interruption.
  • Engaging with banks at an early stage to discuss potential assistance e.g. emergency funding, loan repayment holidays.

It is also imperative to keep up to date with government measures being taken to support businesses over this time.  Announcements are now being made daily, so please bear in mind that it is a constantly changing environment.

On 17 March 2020, the UK government set out financial measures to help the UK economy and businesses deal with the impact from the coronavirus. The package announced is worth 15% of UK GDP, a substantial increase from a those mentioned in last weeks’ budget, worth 1% of GDP, and include:

  • £330bn government-back loans and guarantees: This will be available for all sizes of businesses to help them pay wages, suppliers, and keep afloat during turbulent times.  The Chancellor announced that this would be increased if required.
  • Business interruption loan scheme: Government  backed  loans up to £5m for SME’s.
  • £25,000 cash grants: This will be available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • £10,000 cash grants: These will be available for business who already pay little or even no business rates due to small business rate relief.
  • Three-month mortgage holidays: All mortgage lenders will now provide three-month mortgage holidays for those that need them.
  • Business rate holiday: This is applied to the 2020/21 year for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England.
  • HMRC time to pay facilities: All businesses and self employed in financial distress and outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible for a time to pay service.
  • Sick Pay reimbursed to employers: Small and medium-sized businesses employers can reclaim SSP for the first 2 weeks for eligible sick employees for absence due to COVID-19.

Further details can be found on the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

In addition to the above, the government has postponed the controversial reforms to the IR35 tax rules applied to personal service companies in the private sector for 12 months until April 2021 in order to help alleviate pressure on both businesses and individuals.

Further measures are set to be announced by the Government over the coming days, including an Employment Support Package, which will have the aim of assisting employers in retaining their employees

All the staff at Banks Sheridan are committed to supporting our clients during these uncertain times and will endeavour to keep you informed as further important announcements are made.

If we can assist further please do not hesitate to contact us.