Coronavirus is a real threat to many industries, especially in the hospitality sector, retail sector and other non-essential industries such as beauticians and leisure activities. Many have noticed the impact already over the last few weeks and sadly this will only get worse as more people self-isolate or decide not to go out, and more severe measures are put into place by the Government.
Is there any help I can get from the government?
The government have announced a series of measures to try and help businesses through the inevitable difficult times ahead. There is currently not a lot of detail behind the announcements, however measures announced include:
- A £3,000 grant for businesses who are exempt from paying business rates.
- For businesses in certain sectors, properties with a rateable value of less than £51k will not have to pay business rates until 2021 (these schemes are often extended and it’s quite possible it would get extended to 2022 and beyond).
- The business rates discount for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 has been increased to £5,000.
- The “Time to Pay” scheme with HMRC is being scaled up.
What if I need more cash to fund my business?
The above measures will help but certainly the biggest announcement is the new temporary business interruption loan scheme being put in place. However, there is no guidance so far, as to how quickly and efficiently loans will be provided.
What should I do now?
We all hope that the reality is not going to be as bad as predicted, not only for our friends, family and wider society but also for businesses many of whom the current situation is critical. There are some steps you can take now.
Its worth contacting your local authority to find out if there is anything that can be done about your business rates.
We will post more blogs when further details are announced of the different schemes.
One final thought….
If you do find that your business is quieter than usual, it might be worth spending some time planning, preparing marketing stuff, blogs and other tasks you normally put off so you’re ready to hit the ground running when things start to return to normal.