In response to the latest national lockdown, HM Treasury has announced an extension of several of the support schemes for businesses affected by the pandemic. This lockdown is different to the March 2020 lockdown as some businesses which were required to close then are allowed to remain open.
We suggest that all businesses double-check against Government guidance before making the decision to close your premises.
As before, hospitality, retain and leisure will be the most adversely affected and the Government’s latest announcements are designed to try and combat this. The Government has announced the following:
· A one-off top up grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property.
· £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses.
· £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities to allow for Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month.
· The existing extension of the Furlough Scheme that was announced before Christmas.
One Off Grants
Qualifying businesses will be eligible for:
· £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under;
· £6,000 for business with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000;
· £9,000 for business with a rateable value of over £51,000
The money will be made available by Local Authorities, however, we are presently awaiting the updates to these sites. We therefore suggest that you continue to monitor your Local Authority websites for further updates.
The announcements are likely to provide some welcome relief to those businesses most affected by the restrictions and there is more certainty now than there was in March last year. However, the Government seems to be banking on a rapid roll-out of the vaccine and these measures may need to go further if the ambitious vaccination target is not achieved.
The Government are now trying to provide ‘summary’ resources for business, employees and also for the self-employed affected by Coronavirus, so users can access help. Ultimately these will document only what has been detailed in earlier Briefings by ourselves and others but they do make a helpful ‘one stop’ location for those requiring assistance. Please use the link below to access:-
Business Loan Schemes
In our last Briefing we advised that the various Government backed loan Schemes had been extended until the end of March 2021. The Government have now announced that support would be available beyond March and we hoped to be able to provide more detail on this. To date, no further information has been published, but we will update you as soon as this is available.
The Government managed to agree a “post Brexit” deal on trade and other services just a week before the end of the “transition period”.
In our last Briefing we explained how VAT would work with effect from 1 January 2021. Further information on how Brexit will affect your business can be found at the below link to HM Revenue & Customs, as well as advice on a personal level such as travel.
In addition to the above, the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) have provided a useful guide, details of which can be found at the link below.
The Chamber also have a helpline for businesses concerned about Brexit. You can contact an Advisor on 01202 714800.
England & Company working arrangements
As with all businesses, the National lockdown has affected the way our office is run. With immediate effect we must advise you that our office is closed to clients, with the exception of when you have books and records to drop off to us, or completed paperwork to return.
Our Reception will still be manned by Laura daily, so if you do call at the office she will open the outside doors remotely and request that you leave your documents in the foyer. All client meetings will now be held via Zoom or on the telephone. All Directors and Client Managers are still be available as normal, albeit that they are working from home.
If you do need to contact any of us, then please continue to either use email or telephone the office on 01202 880384, whereby a message will be taken and your respective Director/Client Manager will call you back. Please note that as the call backs will be from our mobiles, the number may show as “withheld”.
So as close to business as normal as we can get!