Briefing 1: 17th March Chancellor announces further Business Support.

Latest Update from the Government to support businesses through these unprecedented times. 17th March 2020

  • Rishi Sunak the Chancellor has promised £350bn in an emergency rescue package for business’
  • Sunak has announced state loan guarantees worth £330bn, one for large firms and one for SME’s (small and medium sized entities) along with a further £20bn of financial handouts to help struggling businesses cope with the economic catastrophe caused by the rapid spread of coronavirus in the UK.


  • A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch next week to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.

This loan is accessed via your current bankers if they appear in the list generated from the link below.  If your bankers are not on this list – ring us.  So call them after launch date – which is next week.  They say it should take no longer than a standard application. Here is a link to the participating banks.

  • All shops, pubs, restaurants and other leisure businesses will not have to pay business rates for a year under the new plans. Companies in this sector with a rateable value (a measure of property values) of up to £51,000 will be able to apply for grants of up to £25,000 to help cover their immediate cash-flow problems.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March

  • A one-off grant of £10,000 will be provided to businesses currently eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.  This is not sector specific.

If your business is eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, you will be contacted by your local authority – you do not need to apply

  • The Treasury will delay by a year the introduction of controversial off payrolling/IR35 rules affecting tens of thousands of companies and 230,000 freelance contractors



  • Sunak announced that banks had agreed to give struggling customers a mortgage holiday of up to three months.
  • However, the chancellor did not lay out any specific measures to help renters.

Since then our prime minister has said there will be protection for tenants.  He just said he would endeavour to ensure tenants aren’t evicted.  Further to follow here.

Employees SSP

  • Employees will be entitled to receive statutory sick pay (SSP) if they need to self-isolate due to:
  • Having coronavirus
  • Having symptoms of coronavirus
  • Someone in their household having coronavirus
  • Being advised to self-isolate by a medical professional

If someone is experiencing symptoms, all members of their household must self-isolate for 14 days. Individuals who live alone must self-isolate for 7 days.

  • The normal qualifying rules for SSP will apply. An employee will be entitled to SSP if they:
  • Have done some work under their contract
  • Have average weekly earnings of £118 per week (19/20 tax year), increasing to £120 per week from 6 April 2020
  • SSP will be paid from the first day of absence for anyone self-isolating due to coronavirus from 13 March 2020. SSP rates are as follows:

£94.25 per week for 19/20 tax year

£95.85 per week for 20/21 tax year

Please remember that the weekly rate of SSP applies regardless of the number of days an eligible employee works (working days are known as qualifying days).

  • The Government has confirmed that employees will not need to provide a fit note in order to receive SSP when self-isolating due to coronavirus.
  • The Government is allowing small and medium-sized employers to reclaim SSP paid for sickness due to coronavirus for a 2 week period per employee.  The definition of small and medium is those employers with 250 employees or less.  The employee headcount will be determined by the number of people that were payrolled by a business as of 28 February 2020 
  • You will not reclaim SSP through your RTI submissions when processing payroll. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.  We will update you as its released.

• If you need to contact HMRC to arrange a time to pay for any Taxes that are due that you can’t pay in their entirety.  Below is HMRC’s party line. 

Before you contact HMRC

You’ll need to know:

  • your reference number (for example, your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference or VAT reference number)
  • the amount of the tax bill you’re finding it difficult to pay and the reasons why
  • what you’ve done to try to get the money to pay the bill
  • how much you can pay immediately and how long you may need to pay the rest
  • your bank account details

What happens when you contact HMRC

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will ask you about:

  • your income and expenditure
  • your assets, like savings and investments
  • what you’re doing to get your tax payments back in order

HMRC will decide whether you should be able to pay immediately. If you cannot, they’ll decide whether you’ll be able to get your payments back on track with more time.

You’ll be asked more in-depth questions if you’ve been given more time to pay before. In more complex cases HMRC may ask for evidence before they make a decision.

England and Company are here to support you during this time, please call us on the usual number 01202 880384, alternatively please email your main contact or  info@englandandcompany.co.uk if you require any advice on the above.




Stacey Yates

Stacey Yates


TEL: 01202 880384

Email: info@englandandcompany.co.uk



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