Update on Covid-19 support for businesses

More support is available to help businesses in this latest lockdown, expected to last until at least 8 March. Keep up to date with, and claim, any support that your business is entitled to so you can plan cash flow and take remedial action as necessary.

Council grants

The Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment of up to £9,000 supports businesses required to close due to the latest national lockdown. It should be paid automatically if you have previously received a grant, but visit your local council’s website to check. Your business must:

  • be based in England;
  • pay business rates;
  • be required to close because of the national lockdown (closure for any other reason doesn’t count); and
  • be unable to provide the usual in-person customer service (even if a takeaway service is provided).

Fourth SEISS grant postponed

The fourth SEISS grant, promised by the Chancellor in October 2020, will not be paid until after the Budget on 3 March, with no details announced until then. Claims for the third grant opened on 30 November 2020, so the fourth grant will be later than expected. The delay of the payment into March has met with dismay, with some left with no income at all in February. However, it is likely that profits reported for 2019/20 will be taken into account, and this will help anyone who commenced trading after 5 April 2019.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme, designed to create jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds, commenced last September. The scheme covers the minimum wage for six months, along with the associated employer NICs and pension contributions. The scheme has now been simplified with the removal of the 30-vacancy requirement where an employer applies directly.

Annually paid directors

Many small company directors have not been able to benefit from the furlough scheme if they pay themselves annually. Directors may qualify under the latest version of the scheme, and HMRC has recently published examples outlining how claims should be calculated.

Government support for businesses keeps evolving. Visit business support to find out what support is available.

Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

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