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What Support is Available to Businesses for the January 2021 Covid 19 lockdown?

What Grants are available to Businesses who have to shut down their Business Premises and are in Retail, Hospitality or Leisure?

The Chancellor made an announcement on 5th January 2021 that additional support would be available in the form of 1 off top up grants to help businesses who have to close due to lock down and are in the following sectors:

Retail, Hospitality, Leisure

The 1 off grants will be as follows:

  • £4000 for a business with a rate-able value of £15000 or under
  • £6000 for a business with a rate-able value between £15000 and £51000
  • £9000 for a business with a rate-able value over £51000

How do businesses qualify and apply for the lock down grants?

Stafford council have stated that the grants will be paid automatically if a business qualifies and they applied for the grants in November 2020.  The qualifying criteria has not yet been announced.  In case the application process changes and is not automatic after the writing of this article, all business owners should keep an eye on updates on your local Borough Council website.  For Stafford Council this is www.staffordbc.gov.uk  Tel 01785 619000.

What help is available for Businesses who are not in Retail, Hospitality or Leisure sectors?

The Local Restrictions Support Grant- Closed, was available if a business was forced to close due to the previous lock down on 5th November 2020.  This grant was available to businesses who had to close their premises or make substantial changes to their trading ability such as food outlets that could only trade as take away.  This grant is extended for the January 2021 Lock down.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant – Closed will continue to be as follows:

Business premises with a rate-able value of £15000 or under would be eligible for £667 per 2 weeks.

Business premises with a rate-able value between £15000 and £51000 would be eligible for £1000 per 2 weeks.

Business premises with a rate-able value of £51000 and above would be eligible for £1500 per 2 weeks.

How do businesses qualify and apply for the Local restrictions Support Grant?

Stafford council have stated that the grants will be paid automatically if a business qualifies and applied for the grants in November 2020.  The qualifying criteria has not yet been announced.  In case the application process changes and is not automatic after the writing of this article, all business owners should keep an eye on updates on the local Borough Council website.  For Stafford Council this www.staffordbc.gov.uk  Tel 01785 619000.

The Grants mentioned above are not for those businesses that run from home.

Update on the Furlough Scheme that helps employers pay their staff:

The Furlough scheme detailed in our earlier update What help can I get for the November 2020 lock down? (forceaccounting.com) is extended to April 2021.

For January 2021 employers can claim assistance of up to 80% of staff hours not worked as before.

The Flexi Furlough scheme also detailed in the earlier update will continue

Update on the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme – SEISS:

The SEISS scheme detailed in our earlier update What help can I get for the November 2020 lock down? (forceaccounting.com) is al so extended.  This is the grant available for the Self-employed and Partnerships, where your business is adversely affected by   Covid 19.  This is a grant and does not need to be repaid.  This grant is not available for Limited Companies.

  1. The November lockdown provided an SEISS to cover November 2020 to January 2021.
  2. A further SEISS grant will be available to cover February 2021 to April 2021 and will be the 4th SEISS grant provided.

How does a Self Employed or Partnership business qualify and apply for the SEISS grant no 4?

To qualify for the extended SEISS grant no 4 your business must have been eligible for the earlier SEISS grants 1 and 2 even if you did not claim them.

You have to declare that you intend to continue to trade but are currently closed due to the lockdown or are still trading but have reduced sales due to Covid 19.

Further details can be found on

www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

What help is available to Directors of Limited Companies who work from home?

Once again there is no direct support for Directors or Freelance who work from home.  In this case the best option is to Furlough yourself and look into Universal Credits.

Update on the Bounce Back Loan:

Bounce Back Loans which help small and medium sized businesses by lending between £2000 and up to 25% of turnover is extended to 31 March 2021.  The Government guarantees 100% of the loan.  There is no interest to pay for the first 12 months.  After 12 months the interest rate is 2.5% per annum.  The maximum amount a business can borrow is £50000.  The length of the loan 6 years but can be repaid earlier without any penalties.

To be eligible for the bounce back loan your business would need to have been established before 1st March 2020 and been adversely impacted by Covid 19.  Applications can be made directly to your own business bank in the first place.   Alternatively, if we can be of help with this please get in touch.

Update on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme:

The CBIL loan is now open to smaller business than it was before.  This is for loans of £30000 or more.   The maximum length of the loan is up to 6 years.  Applications can be made directly to your own business bank in the first place.  There are 117 lenders offering CBIL loans.  The application process for a CBIL is longer than the Bounce back loan as you will need:

  • Management Accounts
  • Cash flow forecasts
  • Business Plan
  • Historic accounts
  • Details of assets

Update on the temporary VAT reduced rate for Hospitality and tourism:

The temporary reduced vat rate of 5% was due to end on 12th January 2021 but now has been extended to 31st March 2021.

What are your next steps?

Make sure you keep an eye on your local council website for Covid 19 support updates as it is all local councils that have been given the available funding and applications and eligibility may change in the future.  For Stafford  Business Support - Coronavirus | Stafford Borough Council (staffordbc.gov.uk)

Our earlier update gives further details on all the above-mentioned updates                                     What help can I get for the November 2020 lock down? (forceaccounting.com)

If you need help or guidance please get in touch.  



 

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