COVID-19 Business update 26/05/2020: Retail update, tax clarifications, claim for SSP

This is part of a regular update I send out to businesses in Scunthorpe. If would like to receive my updates as soon as possible click here to subscribe to my COVID-19 Business newsletter.

Update 26/05/2020 

 

PHASED REOPENING OF RETAIL SECTOR

If you missed it, the Prime Minister announced yesterday that all outdoor markets and car showrooms were able to open from 1st June, with all non-essential retail following on the 15th June. All of this will, of course, be subject to the latest Government guidance and scientific advice. 

Please make sure to read over and implement government guidelines for Covid-Secure shops and branches. The Government is also working with the council to introduce safety measures to make our high streets covid-secure.

 

CORONAVIRUS STATUTORY SICK PAY REBATE SCHEME

From today, employers will be able to reclaim SSP on gov.uk for the following employees:

  • Those self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms or if someone in their household had symptoms after 13th March 2020
  • Those shielding after 16th April 2020 (note that it has always been my strong advice to furlough those who need to shield)

You can calculate your employee’s SSP here. And you can CLAIM HERE.

 

COMPANY EXPENSES

How to treat expenses and benefits during COVID-19. And which expenses are taxable. 

EVERYONE IN UK WITH SYMPTOMS NOW ELIGIBLE FOR COVID-19 TESTS

You can access testing here.  Note that these tests will find out if you currently have Coronavirus, not if you have had the virus. 
 

VOLUNTARY, COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISES

One of the things that make me proud to represent Scunthorpe is the number of businesses and community groups here that have stepped up to help the local community during this crisis. 

The government has put together a list of available financial support for specialist organisations is here. For charities, the government has unlocked £150 million in extra money from dormant bank accounts, with money going straight into funds for charities which can be accessed through the national lottery community fund here.
 

RULES ON WAIVING INCOME OR CHARITY DONATIONS 

I know that many of you have been reinvesting to keep your business together. HMRC has put together guidance to help support and clarify tax implications for those who choose to waive or give up part of their income to support their businesses or charities.
 

COUNCIL DISCRETIONARY GRANT FUNDING:

I have been in touch with NLC's business team daily to push for more details since the scheme has been announced. I understand that many businesses are anxious about this and I am expecting an announcement soon. 

Due to the discretionary element, this scheme is highly complex and NLC is working to make sure that it will run smoothly once announced. 

CORONAVIRUS LARGE BUSINESS INTERRUPTION SCHEME

Maximum loan size available has been increased from £50 million to £200 million. For large businesses who can borrow up to 25% of turnover.

 

FASTSTART COMPETITION

 Extra £40 million added to £20 million Investment in Government FastStart Competition, which aims to reward businesses that have come up with innovative and research-based ways to strengthen industries with grants of up to £50,000. Find out more here.

 

CORONAVIRUS FUTURE FUND NOW AVAILABLE

A new government loan scheme for UK companies that usually rely on equity investment but are pre-profit. Convertible loans between £125K and £5 million, subject to equal match funding from private investors.

You must have raised at least £250,000 in equity investment in the last five years.

Apply here

 

KEY INDUSTRY UPDATES:

 

CARE HOMES: Antibody tests (ie tests that find out if you have HAD coronavirus) are set to be made available to all NHS and care staff in England, starting next week.

KEY INFORMATION FOR PARENTS :I have wrote up a guide for parents on what they should do to prepare for reopening.

SHIPPING AND SEA PORTS: Updated guidance

WASTE AND RECYCLING CENTRES: Guidance on reopening.

WATER SUPPLIES: Fact sheet on how to keep water supply safe after COVID-19 lockdown.

APPRENTICESHIPS: New info on training and assessing apprentices in line with safer working guidelines, calculating wages for furloughed apprentices, off-the-job-training and now redundant apprentices.

DOMESTIC SEAFOOD SUPPLY SCHEME: A new grant scheme for projects that increase the supply of local seafood into domestic markets. If you have a scheme to increase local consumption, that needs funding, you can apply for up to £100,000 to spend by the end of the year. 

URBAN CENTRES AND GREEN SPACES: Newly-added guidance on face coverings and cleaning.

 

Nominate a hero in the Coronavirus fightback for a national honour.

OTHER NON-CORONAVIRUS RELATED BUSINESS NEWS 

NEW UK GLOBAL TARIFF SCHEDULE PUBLISHED

The government has unveiled the replacement for the EU’s Common External Tariff. Our new tariff will apply to all countries with whom we don’t have a preferential trade deal.

  • It will cut all tariffs originally below 2%, such as those on fire extinguishers, school pencils and gardening tools.
  • All tariffs are going to be rounded down, so they are simpler to use e.g. Reading glasses down from 2.9% to 2%.
  • Zero tariffs on a wide range of tools used in UK Production eg. Spanners, wrenches.
  • Zero tariffs on products that are hard to obtain in UK such as Pistachios and cooking oils, to lower costs.
  • Zero tariffs on renewable energy products.
  • Tariffs retained on external meats to protect our homegrown produce.

You can read the Trade Secretary's statement and letter on my website hereread more about UK tariffs from 1 January 2021 here, and check UK trade tariffs from 1 January 2021 here.

 

Take care,
Holly