As further restrictions are put in place due to increases in the coronavirus infection rate, the government has introduced new measures to support small businesses

Businesses affected by local lockdowns 

Businesses in England affected by local lockdowns will be able to receive grants of up to £1,500 every three weeks. To qualify for the grant your business must be required to close due to local covid-19 restrictions. 
 
Who qualifies? Larger businesses can claim the full £1,500 while smaller businesses can claim £1,000 every three weeks. 
 
If your business premises have a rateable value of less than £51,000 or you occupy all or part of a property with an annual rent or mortgage payment of less than £51,000, you’ll receive £1,000. 
 
If your premises have a rateable value of £51,000 or more or you occupy all or part of a property with an annual rent or mortgage payment of £51,000 or above, you will receive £1,500. 
 
The payments will be triggered by a national decision to close local businesses where the infection rate is high, and they will continue every three weeks while the lockdown continues. 
 
This support doesn’t extend to businesses still closed nationally such as nightclubs. 
 
Other businesses affected by local covid-19 measures that lead to closures, even when they aren’t on the business rates list, might qualify for discretionary funding from their local authority. The amount will vary up to £1,500. 
 
Note: local grants for closed businesses will be treated as taxable income. 

Supporting jobs 

The Plan for Jobs is intended to support innovative businesses that create jobs around the country with investment of over £8billion for new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects. 
 
The Job Support Scheme will come into effect from 1 November, when the current furlough scheme comes to an end. Employees who have not already received a redundancy notice will continue to be paid as long as they work at least a third of their normal hours. The cost of hours not worked will be split between you as the employer, the government, through wage support, and employees through a wage reduction. 
 
For every hour not worked, you and the government will each pay one third of the employee’s usual pay. The government’s contribution will be capped at £697.92 a month. The intention is to make sure that employees earn a minimum of 77% of their usual wages. 
 
You will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if you meet the eligibility criteria for employees who continue to be employed until the end of January 2021. 
 

Other support 

The government has also confirmed that it will continue to provide financial support for people on low incomes who are required to self-isolate. 
 
Applications for the second phase of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) must be received by 19 October. The government has now announced two further grant periods for November 2020 to January 2021 and February to April 2021, but at reduced levels. 
 
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) allows businesses with a turnover of up to £45million to apply for loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5million. This has been extended until 30 November for all viable businesses affected by covid-19 and the loan term can now be extended from six years to 10 years. 
 
A new £2billion Kickstart Scheme is now open for applications to create new six-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. 
 
Last month the government announced that Self-Assessment taxpayers who need to pay up to £30,000 could defer payments due on 31 January 2021 (including payments deferred from July 2020) until 31 January 2022. 
 
If you would like to review your business finances and the possible ongoing implications of covid-19 please get in touch
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