Latest Coronavirus Advice For Neath Businesses – 12.30pm 18th March 2020

Coronavirus/COVID-19

Support for Businesses in Neath 

Coronavirus advice – Business Wales – Jeremy Miles – Neath Inspired

Any business affected should as a first port of call, contact the Business Wales telephone helpline on 03000 603000.  They can help with practical advice on coronavirus related support, whether provided by the Welsh Government, the UK Government or elsewhere. If you have any difficulties getting the support and signposting you need, please get back in touch with my office.

Grants £100m will be available for a new Welsh Government grant scheme for small businesses. Further details on this new grant scheme will be confirmed as soon as possible and we will circulate details.

Development Bank of Wales This has equity and loan funding it can make available immediately to otherwise healthy small businesses to them through the cash flow and other challenges they may face in next, difficult, few weeks and months.  Please contact: 0800 587 4140

The Welsh Government has announced that all businesses supported by Development Bank of Wales will give a three-month capital repayment holiday.

Other measures are being considered and we will circulate further information as soon as possible.

Business Rates The Welsh Government has announced that all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% non-domestic rates relief and pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill in 2020-2021. The Welsh Government is allocating every penny of the funding it will be receiving as a consequence of the schemes the UK Government announced in England last week, to support businesses in Wales.

Statutory sick pay The UK Government is bringing forward legislation to allow small and medium sized businesses and employers to reclaim statutory sick pay paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. This will be available to businesses in Wales and the Welsh Government is now working on supporting employers in Wales to make sure they have the right mechanisms in place to access this.  The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19 • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020 • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19 • Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note • Eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force Please call 0800 0159 559 for further information.

Business Loans The UK Government announced a temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme through the British Business Bank. This will be available to businesses in Wales via high street banks and the Development Bank for Wales and it will support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.  The UK Government currently say this will take a few weeks to roll out. As soon as information on roll-out is available, we will circulate it.

Lenders will be provided with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. Businesses and banks will not be charged for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value.

HMRC – Time to Pay  A Time to Pay scheme is also available whereby 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. This is also available to businesses in Wales.  These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.   Self-employed and Freelancers The UK Government has delayed tax reforms known as IR35 for a year, given coronavirus, an important boost for freelancers. This complex piece of counter-tax avoidance law, was intended to be widened to the private sector from April this year, with the aim of targeting those who work as an employee but under their own private company in order to reduce their tax bills. It has however received immense criticism as an attack on thousands of people who need the flexibility of contract work.  The minimum income floor in Universal Credit will be temporarily relaxed for those directly affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating, ensuring self-employed claimants will be compensated for losses in income

 

 

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