As you may be aware, the PM has just announced measures to enforce the social isolation guidance given last week. The measures will last a minimum of three weeks, key points are:

From this evening people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from work but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Shops selling non-essential goods will also be shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together prohibited.
If people do not follow the rules police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

It’s not completely clear what that means for different sectors but it’s likely to mean that businesses, other than essential sectors, must encourage staff to work from home wherever possible – if you need support in this area please contact our IT partners.

While these measures are needed to stop the spread of the virus, they will put more pressure on UK SMEs. It is therefore imperative you contact us immediately so we can help you access the government funding and grants that are available to you. As a reminder, the key things you should be considering are as follows:

This week
Contact us for help accessing government funding
– There are 12 month interest-free loans available via the banks (under the Business Interruption Loan Scheme) and other institutions and we can help manage the process from beginning to end. If you haven’t already started this process please contact us immediately so we can assist you, we are anticipating significant delays if you don’t act quickly.

Contact us for help with time to pay arrangements – Businesses and self-employed people with outstanding tax liabilities (excluding VAT), will have the option of paying by instalments online. TC has already helped many clients to obtain extended payment terms.

Contact landlords to negotiate payment plans or holidays – Commercial tenants will now be protected from eviction for three months if they cannot pay their rent due to coronavirus. If you need any guidance or support on how to handle this, you can call us now.

Contact us for help negotiating business rate payment holidays – If your business isn’t eligible for an automatic grant then speak to your local authority to see what flexibility they can offer. Contact us now if you need advice or support on this.

Apply for 3 month personal and corporate mortgage holidays – These are available for residential or Buy to Let mortgages, as well as landlords with affected tenants. Contact your lender now.

Contact your insurance brokers – Find out if your policy covers business interruption, and if so, what the conditions are for eligibility.

Previously Announced Measures Awaiting Further Detail
Government to pay 80% of staff wages – The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) won’t be live for 2-3 weeks, and grants are unlikely to be paid until the end of April. Contact TC, and we can talk you through the options available as they emerge.

Enhanced SSP – To be paid from day 1 of absence and will apply retrospectively from 13 March. Self-employed workers will be able to access universal credit at the same rate. A mechanism for reimbursement is still being developed.

Automatic Measures Already Announced
SBRR – One-off grant of £10,000 to business currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief. You will be contacted by your local authority in early April – you do not need to apply.

Deferred VAT payment – Businesses can defer VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until April 2021. All UK businesses are eligible, and no applications are required.

Deferred 31 July 2020 Self-employed tax payment – This payment will be deferred until 31 January 2021.

Automatic Measures for Specific Sectors
Businesses in retail, hospitality, and leisure will receive cash grants of up to £25,000 per property, in addition to a business rates holiday until April 2021.

Nursery businesses subject to business rates will also receive immediate support.

Anticipated Measures To Come
We are anticipating extra support for self-employed people, either via further enhancements to the benefits system, or more likely, a scheme that is similar to the CJRS.

TC Group is here to guide you through this challenging period. Contact us today to discuss the points raised in this email or any other concerns you have as a business owner, about your personal finances, or, as an employer now on 0330 088 7111.

TC Client Services
From tomorrow we are closing all of our physical premises which may have a temporary impact on our post handling whilst we adapt our processes, we will be in touch shortly with further details. All other services will continue as normal and most staff have been working at home over the past 2 weeks so we will continue to support you in the normal way via calls, emails and video conferencing.

Kind regards

TC Group

Coronavirus – if you want to discuss government funding, HR options, mortgage holidays or tax breaks please contact us now.

Trades Against The Virus
Trades against the virus is a construction industry campaign to boost the stocks of food in the nation’s food banks in preparation for the escalating public health crisis. Find out how you can do your part.