In relation to support and assistance available to businesses, employers and employees, we are forwarding separate communications to you. We are working to identify and advise you of the new support measures being introduced by the government and will be available to assist you in obtaining these measures:
- Eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay – This will allow small and medium sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
- Business Rates Relief—Help available for business rates has been announced relating to Northern Ireland. There will be a 3 month rates holiday, no rates will be charged for April, May and June, full details can be found at https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/covid-19-emergency-rates-package-businesses
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – a scheme to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. We are awaiting further details and clarification on the operation of and how this can be obtained and will forward further information to you as soon as possible. We will be urging all clients to apply for this as a matter of urgency
- Small business grant scheme (NAV < £15K) On Wednesday evening, it was also announced that there will a small business grant scheme including an immediate grant of £10,000 for small businesses eligible for the small business rate relief scheme (SBRR) with a net asset value of up to £15,000. This is expected to assist 27,000 businesses.Please note that as the SBRR scheme does not apply to manufacturing firms it is unclear whether they will qualify for the above.
- Grant for the retail, tourism & hospitality sectors (NAV between £15K – £51K)An immediate grant of £25,000 for companies in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors, with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000. This will assist some 4,000 businesses. We await details on how all of the above will be administered.
- Time to Pay – A dedicated COVID-19 helpline has been set up, by HMRC, to offer businesses and self-employed individuals support with their tax affairs. Bespoke payment arrangements can be agreed, on a case by case basis, giving businesses time limited deferral period for HMRC liabilities. HMRC will also extend filing deadlines, again on a case by case basis, if businesses are experiencing difficulty meeting filing obligations. The dedicated tel no is 0800 0159 559
We will be available to assist our clients by making approaches, to HMRC, to discuss any bespoke payment arrangements required or filing deadline extensions.
We will also assist with cashflow management and communicate with banks and lenders, if required.
Clients should check current insurance policies or speak to brokers to determine levels of cover for business interruption and loss of income.
In relation to employees working arrangements should be considered and planned for. These could include working from home, allowing staff to “work up”, in the future, any time taken and compassionate leave.
The days, weeks and months ahead are uncertain for all of us, but Hamilton Morris Waugh are committed to providing support to all of its clients, throughout this difficult period. Our staff will have the capability to work remotely, if required, and our telephone lines will also continue to be answered, ensuring that we are able to service your requirements.
We will be pleased to assist you in any way we can during this difficult period. We will continue to update you with future government updates.
Directors and Team
Hamilton Morris Waugh