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Coronavirus: Information for businesses and employees -update

18th March 2020

The latest COVID-19 updates and guidance for businesses and employees.

The coronavirus pandemic is firstly a health emergency, but secondly an economic emergency.

In order to help ensure our BID levy payers are fully informed, we have created this page to keep businesses up to date with the latest advice and information for businesses.

If Rochdale BID can do anything to support your business, please get in touch.

GOVERNMENT ADVICE

NEW SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES (17th March)

The government has announced a package of support for businesses. The Prime Minister said the government will do whatever it takes to support the UK economy.

  • £330bn of government-backed and guaranteed loans
  • "Business rates holiday" extended to ALL retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for 12 months (as originally announced in The Budget)
  • Cash grants for up to £25,000 for smaller retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
  • £10,000 cash grants for the smallest businesses
  • Mortgage lenders will offer a three-month "mortgage period"
  • Planning rules will be relaxed to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food take-aways

Read the full details of the latest support package here.

USEFUL LINKS

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES (11th March)

The 2020 Budget contained a series of announcements that will support businesses coping with the economic impact of Coronavirus.

Business rate holiday: Shops, cinemas, restaurants, pubs, and music venues with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will not pay business rates in the year from April 6th 2020. This will also include art galleries, museums, gyms, nightclubs, theatres and guest houses.  This will benefit the majority of Rochdale BID's levy payers. Please note, the Rochdale BID levy is different from business rates and therefore is still applicable.

There is an additional allowance for pubs with a rateable value of up to £100,000 of a £5,000 discount.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: This temporary loan scheme will support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The British Business Bank will guarantee 80% of the value of loans offered by banks to businesses, up to a £1.2 million cap per individual loan. There will also be a cap for each lender on the total value of loans they can offer. Although there is, as yet, no further detail on the level of this lender cap or routes of application for businesses, the government has said that the scheme will support up to £1 billion of additional lending.

Following the announcement last night regarding loans and grants available for small businesses in the wake of the Coronavirus, the government have set up a helpline:

https://www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline

Time to Pay Helpline: The government has announced that businesses and those who are self-employed can access support and advice on their tax obligations and payments via a new dedicated COVID-19 telephone helpline. Using this helpline, businesses may be able to agree a ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement with HMRC.

The budget also states that HMRC will waive late payment penalties and interest where a business experiences administrative difficulties contacting HMRC or paying taxes due to COVID-19.

HMRC Coronavirus Helpline: 0800 015 9559 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday, 8am to 4pm)

Statutory Sick Pay: For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

Private Lenders: A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.

For further guidance for employers and businesses, please visit the government website.

18 Mar 2020