COVID-19 Business Support from North Devon Council

Covid-19 (Coronavirus)
Support for Businesses

Over the past month, the Government has been making announcements of financial support for businesses and households affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

This factsheet provides a breakdown of the key financial instruments that are currently available.  However, further announcements are being made daily and we will endeavour to keep you up to date as new measures are bought forward – particularly around support for the self-employed who are currently not included in many of the support packages detailed below.

If you are a concerned business and want to contact us for help:

Please email:  economicdevelopment@northdevon.gov.uk

Cash Payments to help businesses meet their ongoing costs

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)

All businesses in England already receiving Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) as at 11th March 2020, will be eligible for a payment of £10,000 for each property that was eligible for the Rates Relief.  
This includes businesses in receipt of tapered Rates Relief on properties valued at between £12,001 and £15,000 

Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

Businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount, with a rateable value of:

a) up to and including £15,000 will be eligible for a grant of £10,000, or

b) between £15,001 and £50,999 will be eligible for a grant of £25,000

for each property that was eligible for the Retail Discount.

Payment of both of these grants will be made automatically by the local authority in early April when the Government releases the funds and will be paid to the registered ratepayer. Businesses do not, therefore, need to apply for these grants, but the Council will need to collect information about each business before making payment, especially where they don’t currently hold bank details, email addresses or telephone numbers. 

Your local council will be in touch. These bank details will not be requested over the phone.

For further detail and information for North Devon Council area please visit the website;
www.northdevon.gov.uk/business-advice-coronavirus

or contact Dominie Dunbrook – economicdevelopment@northdevon.gov.uk

Businesses not currently paying Business Rates, or with a rateable value of £51,000 or more are not included in these schemes.

Self-employed Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

How to apply

You cannot apply for this scheme yet.

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Loan Funding Schemes

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides access to a range of borrowing facilities of up to £5 million and repayable over a maximum period of 6 years.
Funding is provided by commercial lenders, including all the major banks and is backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to businesses.

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.

To be eligible for a facility under CBILS, the business must:

  • Be UK based in its business activity with annual turnover or no more than £45m
  • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable your business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty

In the first instance, businesses should approach their own provider – ideally via the lender’s website. They may also consider approaching other lenders if they are unable to access the finance they need.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

This scheme is administered by the Bank of England and is aimed at larger businesses that make a material contribution to the UK economy and employ significant numbers in the UK.

Typically, these businesses should have a short-term credit rating of A3/P3/F3/R3 or above, or a long-term rating of BBB-/Baa3/BBB- or above by at least one of the major credit ratings agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s or Fitch.

Businesses that feel they may be eligible for this should approach their own Bank who will then contact the Bank of England.

Measures to help businesses manage cashflow

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Businesses

In addition to the grant payments above, no Business Rates will be payable for the 2020-21 tax year on any business premises used:

  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
Business Rates Holiday for (children’s) Nursery Businesses

Similarly, no Business Rates will be payable for the 2020-21 tax year on any business premises used:
• by Nursery providers listed on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
• wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

The Councils are currently in the process of re-issuing council tax bills to reflect these Business Rates Holidays and no action is required by the business.

VAT Payment Deferment

Any VAT liabilities incurred between 20th March and 30th June 2020 may be deferred, with taxpayers being given until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any liabilities accumulated during this three-month period.

This is an automatic offer to all VAT-registered businesses, so no applications are required – businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. 

Businesses that normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC does not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.

Any VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Self-Assessment Income Tax Deferment

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments that would be due on the 31st July 2020 may be deferred until the 31st January 2021.

This is an automatic offer to all who are registered as self-employed, and no applications are required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect payment.


HMRC’s Time to Pay Service

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.

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

If you’re worried about a future payment, please call nearer the time.

Please note that this is an evolving situation and new information is coming through on a daily basis. The details provided above are correct to the best of our knowledge but we would recommend that you keep an eye on the official Government website to check for the latest details:  https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress – call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

You can also email economicdevelopment@northdevon.gov.uk to request more information about Coronavirus related business grants when it becomes available.