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COVID-19 Financial Business Support For North East SMEs

Tuesday 24 March 2020

11 minute read

By Rachael Farley

With so much uncertainty around COVID-19 and with the latest announcement to shut all non-essential businesses, you might be worried about the financial security of your company.

There are currently a variety of financial loans and grants available for SMEs in the North East, from those that are self-employed to small businesses to large corporations. 

We’ve compiled together the latest information in the following blog as an aid for the local community to raise awareness of the business support available.

Please Note: This is a fast-changing situation, as we're sure you're aware, so the information below is accurate as of 12pm on Tuesday 24 March 2020, but is subject to change. You should also speak with the appropriate people for all financial and legal support, we are simply sharing advice.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the payroll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

Small Business Grant Funding

The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.

Time to Pay

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

The new COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. The scheme will be funded by central bank reserves – in line with other Bank of England market operations. It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.

VAT Deferral

The Government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

Income Tax Deferral for the Self-Employed

If you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

North East Chamber of Commerce Fund

North East England Chamber of Commerce has announced (Monday, 23 March 2020) it is supporting regional businesses with a financial package of up to £100k in total.

This fund will be allocated as a rebate on a company’s Chamber membership fees for a specific period of time for a sum up to 100%.

Tees Valley Business Support Helpline

Tees Valley Support

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen has launched a dedicated business support helpline for all businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

The helpline will operate Monday to Friday, between 8am and 6pm to provide advice and support during the COVID-19 pandemic and will help signpost people and businesses, where needed. 

Other Useful COVID-19 Sources

We know this is a very difficult time for many businesses in the region and we’d like to offer our support in any way we can with our brilliant team of web developers, designers and marketers. You can get in touch with us by emailing hello@thriveability.co.uk or calling 01325 778 786.

If you're looking to embark on a website build project, whether it's completely from scratch or a site refresh, our ebook will give you the knowledge to make your project as stress-free as possible.

The Website Design Handbook for Businesses

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