What help is out there for small businesses and individuals in Wales in the times of COVID-19?
The coronavirus has hit us all hard. The uncertainty of how we will manage financially is just one concern. So what help is out there?
Businesses with Premises:
Business Rate Relief:
Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £500,000 or less will get one year business rates relief in the financial year 2020 to 2021.This means that you will not have to pay any business rates during this time.
This will be administered through the business rates system. You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will contact you.
Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales with a rateable value of £12,001 and £51,000 will get a grant of £25,000.
Businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 or less that are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief will get a grant of £10,000.
This will be administered through the business rates system.
Get information about how to apply for the business grant on Business Wales
Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.
The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.
There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.
Welsh Government: Economic Resilience Fund
The fund will provide additional financial support during the coronavirus pandemic and will help organisations to manage cash flow pressures. It will help to address gaps not met by schemes already announced by the UK Government, Welsh Government and Development Bank of Wales. The fund will release £200m of funding, will be targeted at microbusinesses, SMEs and large businesses of critical social or economic importance to Wales.
- Micro businesses, including start-ups, employing up to nine employees could be eligible for up to £10k support. This includes sole traders employing staff.
- Small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees could be eligible for grants of up to £100,000
- Funding will also be available to support large businesses with more than 250 employees. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis
Full details on the eligibility criteria can be found at: https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/
The application process for businesses qualifying for financial support from the Economic Resilience Fund will open on Friday 17 April 2020 via the Business Wales website
Businesses with Staff:
If you aren’t able to run your business due to the virus, then you can ‘furlough’ your staff (ie give them a temporary leave of absence) and they will receive 80% of their normal pay, up to £2,500/month. This is currently a three-month scheme, backdated to 1 March and the government is proposing a grant of up to £2500 per employee per month to cover up to 80% of an individual’s salary. The purpose of the grant is to prevent redundancies.
For more information, and details on how you can claim this grant can be found here.
If you have staff off on SSP, you may be able to claim this back from the Government, depending on how many staff your business has.
VAT registered businesses
You can defer VAT payments for 3 months. If you have a payment due between 20 March and 20 June 2020 you can defer the payment. It will still need to be paid at some point though, and you will still need to file on time.
Sole Traders/Self Employed:
You can apply for a taxable grant of 80% of your trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, as long as your profit is under £50,000 a year. It is initially available for 3 months, and you are still able to work while receiving the grant. This is based on your 2018-2019 Tax Return, so if you haven’t completed this, you need to do it ASAP to be eligible. Mark from Choice Bookkeeping is happy to help with this for you!
Directors of Limited Companies
This is a more complicated area, and depending on how you pay yourself will have an impact. Please contact Mark at Choice Bookkeeping for details on your individual circumstances.
Those who don’t fit into any of the above:
If you don’t fit into any of the above categories (eg only started self-employment recently) you can apply for Universal Credit here.
Confused about your options or need to get your tax return completed straight away? Mark and the team at Choice Bookkeeping are on hand to help with all your bookkeeping needs. As an affordable alternative to an expensive accountant, speak to Choice Bookkeeping for a free consultation to see how they can help you and your business with all your bookkeeping needs. From filing of self-assessment returns, company accounts, payroll, setting you up on the right accounting software and so much more. With offices in Monmouthshire and Pembrokeshire, they cover all of South and West Wales and the surrounding areas. Give them a call today on 01291 690646