A round up of the latest announcements
New Bounce Back Loan Scheme
This newly announced scheme will cover loans to businesses needing to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.
There will be no arrangement fees, it is 100% guaranteed by the government, with no interest charges or capital repayments for the first 12 months.
This scheme will be open for applications from Monday 4th May.
Check here on how to apply and for eligibility criteria.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The HMRC portal opened on 20th April, with more than 140,000 businesses applying for furlough payments to cover staff wages. Whilst the payment turnaround time was predicted to be approx 6 to 10 working days for the first claims, our clients received theirs within 4 to 5 days.
Applications can be made up to 14 days before the next pay day, providing your employees will be furlough for a minimum 3 week period at a time.
Whilst the scheme was originally set to be available for 3 months, this has now been extended to 4 months and will run to the end of June. We believe the government will review any possible extensions when more information is available.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Following the bad press received by banks for their unhelpful approach to applicants, this scheme has seen a very slow uptake so far.
Available for loans of up to £5m, this scheme requires more stringent eligibility criteria than the new Bounce Bank Loan, due to the size of loans being offered.
Small Business Rate Cash Grants
We believe the majority of these grants have now been received by eligible businesses, but unfortunately some are still waiting.
Each local authority appeared to have it’s own application process, despite the government announcing that eligible businesses would be contacted directly by their relevant authority in the first instance. This lead to a fair amount of confusion amongst members of our online support group.
We have now had confirmation that whilst it is not repayable, as it’s a grant and not a loan, it is however taxable as income to your business.
There was much debate at the outset about whether directors could furlough themselves under the job retention scheme, due to their statutory duties as a company director. This was finally cleared up, allowing them to continue to work on keeping the accounting records up to date, paying bills etc, but they are not allowed to generate income for the company in any way, during furlough.
However, this was only a slight help as most directors generally take only a small monthly salary and top their income up with dividends paid from profits. With the 80% furlough payments being based on salary only this leaves directors at a huge disadvantage.
There have been, and are still, calls for the government to provide support for directors under the more generous self employed income support scheme.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme
Whilst this scheme has taken the longest to action we have been told that HMRC will write out to those eligible for payment under the scheme in the middle of May, inviting them to apply for the scheme. Payments should then be sent out in early June
Very sadly, whilst this crisis has brought most people and communities together, there are a number of others that have decided now would be a good time to scam you!
Please be very careful.