Small businesses

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    The Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders. More information for small businesses or business advisors here:


    For small businesses working in your community, or run by your residents, here’s some information about the government’s support for small businesses.

    Job Retention Scheme.
    This is available for any employer in the country small or large, charitable or non-profit will and all will be eligible for the scheme.

    Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but kept on payroll rather than being laid off. Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month.

    Business rates holiday
    There will be a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England.

    Deferring VAT payments
    This means no business will pay any VAT liability from now until the end of June and businesses will have to the end of the financial year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

    Increasing Universal Credit
    To strengthen the safety net the chancellor will be increasing Universal Credit standard allowance for the next 12 months by £1,000 a year, alongside the same increase for working tax credit basic element for the same 12 month period. This he mentioned will benefit 4 million of the most vulnerable households.

    People who are self-employed
    Self-employed individuals can now access in full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for employees.

    Self-assessment liability payments deferred
    The next self-assessment liability payments due 31 July 2020 will be deferred to 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

    More information here:


    I have been asked how the Job Retention scheme would apply to staff if hours are cut from say 39 hours to 24 hours.

    I know it is early days as yet and the rules are still being written but has anyone heard if this scheme would support these staff.


    Some information from Social Enterprise Northern Ireland:


    @Janvis The information I’ve been given by an accountancy firm is this:

    “Further to your question regarding your staff working less hours, unfortunately this would not be counted as being furloughed as they would have to work zero hours for you to comply. At the moment we do not have access to information on how they will get paid and are waiting for it to be released by the government”


    Thank you Matthew

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