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Business Financing

Due to the current pandemic, most companies have had to resort to funding, along with this there is economic uncertainty which is highly difficult for many companies.
Below is a summary of the 14 key government schemes, which are now available to support businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic:

Business Rates
The UK Government announced business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020/2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019/2020 tax year are expected to be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.
Plus, the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, will receive a grant of £10,000. For sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 – £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Reduced bank rates
The Bank of England reduced bank rates by 15bps to 0.1%. The Bank of England will also enlarge the Term Funding Scheme with additional incentives for SMEs (TFSME).

Deferring VAT and income tax payments
Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments will be deferred for 3 months until 30 June 2020. For self-employed, income tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

HMRC Time To Pay service
Businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, are eligible to receive tax support through the HMRC Time To Pay service.

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.

Extension given to file accounts
Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help avoid penalties.

Commercial insurance
Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases such as COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered the closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim.

Job Retention Scheme
All UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salaries for those that would otherwise have been laid off during the COVID-19 crisis.

Corporate Financing Facility
The joint HM Treasury and Bank of England lending facility named the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), announced a number of measures to support businesses. The facility is designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flow through the purchase of short-term debt in the form of commercial paper.

Business rates for nurseries
The UK Government introduced business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020/2021 tax year.

Cross government fund
The Welsh Government is expected to put in place a cross-sector, cross-government fund to respond to the specific needs of businesses, during what will be a managed period of enterprise hibernation. This will help meet fixed costs which are no longer covered by earned income and which are not adequately addressed by the UK Government interventions.

Emergency rates package for Northern Ireland
The Department of Finance has announced a £100 million emergency rate package for businesses that are expected to pay zero rates for the next three months.
Delay in rate bills – rate bills for 2020-21 were due to be issued in April 2020. To avoid placing financial pressure on ratepayers affected by COVID-19, rate bills will not be issued until June 2020.
Rates holiday for businesses – there will be a three month rates holiday for all business ratepayers, excluding the public sector and utilities.

Welsh Government business rate relief
The Welsh Government has announced a package of support worth more than £1.4bn for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Welsh Government has decided to make one adjustment to the Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) Relief for the hospitality, retail and leisure sector: to not extend the 100% relief to the small proportion of properties with a rateable value of £500,000 and above. Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £500,000 or less will get one year of business rate relief in the financial year 2020/2021.

Welsh Government grants
Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001- £51,000, will get a grant of £25,000. Around 8,500 shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, cinemas, live music venues, hotels, guest and boarding houses and self-catering accommodation will receive funding. Businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 or less are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief and will get a grant of £10,000. There is approx..63,500 businesses in Wales that are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief.

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