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COVID-19: 2nd National Lockdown – News and Updates

COVID-19: 2nd National Lockdown – News and Updates

Thursday, 5th November 2020

The 2nd National Lockdown started on Thursday 5th November . This means further News and Updates for everyone who will be affected by this, both individuals and business owners.

There are updates to the following:

  • Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • Job Support Scheme (JSS)
  • Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • Business Interruption Loans (CBILs)
  • Grants

JOB RETENTION SCHEME AND JOB SUPPORT SCHEME

The Chancellor has announced an extension to CJRS and a delay to the beginning of the Job Support Scheme (JSS).

The CJRS was due to end on 31st October 2020, however this has now been extended.

Rishi Sunak has announced that the furlough scheme will now be extended to cover the period up to the end of March 2021, amid increased measures for business support as the UK enters this four-week lockdown.

Does this affected your business?

Any employer having to either close their business, or reduce the number of hours offered to employees, due to lockdown will be supported by CJRS.

The UK government will continue to pay 80% of wages for the hours furloughed employees do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 for periods from 1 November 2020.

Employers will need to pay all employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions. They can choose to top up the furloughed employees’ wages beyond the 80% paid by the UK government for hours not worked, but this is not a requirement.

Eligible employees must have been on the payroll as at 30th October and employers must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20th ‌March 2020 and 30th ‌October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee

If an employee was on the payroll on 23rd ‌September‌ 2020 (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23rd  September) and were made redundant or stopped working afterwards, they can also qualify for the scheme if they are re-employed.

Claims for the CJRS do not need to have been made previously.

The new Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on Sunday 1st November 2020, has now been postponed.

SELF-EMPLOYED INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME

The government has said it will increase its financial support to the self-employed over the coming months. They will also ensure people get paid faster than previously planned

To reflect the recent changes to CJRS and JSS, the third instalment of the UK-wide self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) will be made more generous – with self-employed individuals receiving 80% of their average trading profits for November.

In addition, the claims window is being brought forward from 14th December to 30th November.

Rishi Sunak has also announced a doubling of the self-employment grant to 80% of trading profits for the 3 months to January 2021.

The maximum grant will increase to £5,160 for November and up to a maximum of £7,500, for December and January.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the grant extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must have been previously eligible for the SEISS first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants).

They must declare that they intend to continue to trade but have either been actively trading but impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus or were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus.

Guidance and support

We cannot make the claim for you, however we can talk you through the process and provide you with an estimate of how much you should be entitled to.

If you think that you may be eligible to make a claim for the extended grants but are not sure what to do then contact us now.

Anyone can check if they qualify and you will get an instant response by using HMRC’s eligibility checker.

What if you do not qualify?

Unfortunately, this does mean that self-employed individuals who did not complete a 2018/2019 self-assessment tax return are in line to miss out again on these grants. Is this you? You can consider the loans and grants that are available along with HMRC’s encouragement to sign up for Universal Credit.

The latest extension to support measures will be reviewed in January.

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOANS

More businesses will be able to access additional support as deadlines for applications for government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund have been further extended until 31 January 2021.

There are over 40 accredited CBILS lenders that provide finance for up to 6 years with the first year payment free.

A breakdown of the loan is as follows:

  • Loan amount – min £50,000 to max £5,000,000
  • Loan term –  up to 6 years
  • APR – From 3%
  • Fees/costs – No fees to be paid & 12 months interest free
  • Cover – No Personal Guarantee

Whether you are looking for cashflow headroom, working capital finance, or funding for growth or assets, these loans will help you.

GRANTS

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG)

This scheme was already in place pre 31st October to support businesses in a local lockdown area.

Business premises that have been forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month. These are payable under the Local Restrictions Support Grant’, the scheme will be extended to support eligible businesses nationwide.

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks

Grant scheme – Discretionary Funding

£1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

You may receive a grant of up to £1,500 at the discretion of your local council if:

  • your business is required to close but you do not pay business rates
  • your business is not required to close, but has been severely affected, for example as a result of customer businesses being closed

Each council will publish details of discretionary funding on their website. We will keep monitoring the local council websites and will release an update once further information becomes available.

Exclusions

The guidance for LRSG also states some business types that would be excluded from support under LRSG and Discretionary Fund including;

  • Businesses that have chosen to close, but have not been required to close as part of a local lockdown
  • Businesses that have reached the state aid limit

We await details as to whether the exclusions will be carried forward into the revised scheme.

Small Business Grants

The Government supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 to 2020 are providing grants to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of, predominately, between £1,000 and £3,000, but a maximum of £5,000 is available ONLY in exceptional circumstances to help businesses adapt and recover following the coronavirus pandemic.

The money is a 100% government grant containing no obligation for businesses to contribute financially. Businesses can use the funding to pay for the following activities:

  • Access to specialist professional advice e.g. human resources, accountants, legal, financial, IT / digital, etc…and/or the
  • Purchase of minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify

In order to be eligible to apply, your business must meet ALL of the following criteria pertaining to being a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME):

  • Fewer than 250 employees
  • Annual Turnover of less than 50 million euros
  • Balance Sheet less than 43 million euros
  • Able to evidence at least 1 year trading history

These grants are paid directly to the specialist or supplier providing goods/services.

GET IN TOUCH WITH ONYX

With winter fast approaching, we can help to support your business into the spring of next year —and beyond.

Unsure of if you are eligible to claim the CJRS, or JSS. Perhaps you need assistance with the SEISS or with a loan application. Would you like to know how much grant you may be entitled to or need help with managing the grant once received?

Contact us now or e-mail us at  enquiries@onyx.accountants for a FREE no obligation consultation.

Got any questions or queries? Our friendly team of tax specialists are happy to help. Just drop us a line! Call us on 0121 753 5522 or 01902 759 800.

Keep up to date with the latest announcements by visiting our dedicated page https://onyx.accountants/covid/