This email is part of a regular update I send out to businesses in Scunthorpe. If you have not received this email directly from me please click here to subscribe to my COVID-19 Business newsletter.
Update - 26 /03/2020
Support package for the self-employed
It has been a difficult week for all of us in Scunthorpe, in particular, those who are self-employed. I spent the last week corresponding with constituents, contacting colleagues and ministers, and asking them to take immediate action.
Today the Chancellor announced a package for the self-employed that, like what many of you have asked for, mirrors what is being provided to employees. You can read his letter about the package for self-employed people here.
Key details of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (click link for more info):
- The Government will pay self-employed people a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, for three months (will be extended if necessary).
- Those who are self-employed can still carry on with business despite being entitled to this grant, however, I must caution you to exercise caution and prevent any unnecessary contact.
- Those who are self-employed will still qualify if they have filed their tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. The three years benchmark is to provide a clearer profit average.
- The scheme is targeted at those "most in need" of it and will only be open to those with trading profits up to £50,000, which will help 95% of the self-employed.
- Furthermore, self-employed individuals will be able to access loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme.
- Due to the complexity of this scheme, the 3-month lump sum of this support scheme will only be available by June. Meanwhile, the Chancellor has said that an advance payment from Universal Credit will be made "almost immediately". I understand that there is a large backlog at Jobcentres, and my team and I are working around the clock to try and help people.
- Those who are self-employed should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank accounts.
As usual, I will keep you well updated when I receive further details.
Standing up for businesses and workers in Scunthorpe
In addition, today I have written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak to ask for more support for agency workers and those who are on zero-hours contracts. You can read my letter here.
Having heard your concerns I have also written to the Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, to ask for more flexibility on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. You can read my letter here.
Small Business Grants
Having spoken to North Lincs Council I understand that the Government’s Small Business Grants funding will be distributed starting 3rd April.
Please remember to re-register your business with the link below as the council has updated their registration forms to ask for more information.
I have asked for the Council to give priority to those who have already registered with the first form, which they have agreed to, but you must register again if you have not done so.
Other key updates: