In the past few days, there have been further announcements of government support for businesses which are suffering as a consequence of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. This is alongside the announcement of additional restrictions in many parts of the north-west including Cheshire and Liverpool.
From 1st November this will be the government’s main job support scheme. Provided that employees work at least one-third of their normal hours then the government will contribute one-third of their pay for the unworked hours, and the employer will be expected to contribute a further third. This is as announced at the end of September.
Please click for more details in our earlier communication on the Government Winter Support Plan
Businesses required to remain closed
There are a small number of businesses which have been required to remain closed since March. In addition, some businesses in the most severe lockdown areas (currently just the Liverpool area) will also be required to remain closed. The government has in recent days announced two extensions to the support available to these businesses as follows.
Payment of Wages
Where a business is required by law to remain closed, whether on a national or a local basis, from 1 November the government will pay up to two-thirds of the employees’ wages up to a cap of £2100 per month. The furlough scheme continues to apply until 31st October.
This is significantly more generous than the maximum government contribution under the short time working scheme, but employees will receive only 67% of their normal earnings whereas they receive a minimum of 77% under the short time working scheme and 80% under furlough.
This support is also available to hospitality businesses which are required to move to delivery only or collection only. It is not available to businesses which are required to close as a result of an outbreak; the business must be of a type which is required to remain closed.
Premises Related Grants
Again where a business is required by law to remain closed, the government has announced that it will make fortnightly grants of either £667, £1000 or £1500. The value of the grant will depend on the rateable value of the business premises.
At present there does not appear to be any additional specific support for sole traders whose businesses fall into this category. They will be able to claim the premises grants where applicable but will otherwise need to claim under the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.
It remains the case that the current furlough scheme comes to an end on 31 October.
It has recently been announced that claims – and adjustments to previous claims – will have to be made before a final deadline of 30th November 2020. For those clients where we have been completing claims, we will be working to have all claims completed by mid-November and certainly in advance of that date. Please let us know if you need any assistance in this respect.
Other government grants and support
We are aware that there are a number of bodies making grants. However, these schemes appear to be opening and closing at very short notice. We have attached a link to the scheme which the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership is running for businesses in this area. There will be equivalents in other areas (and with different deadlines). There will also be grants available in some of the most severely hit sectors. It is worth keeping an eye on what might be available and being prepared to apply at very short notice.
Harts Webinar Series: Success in a Changing Landscape
We continue our series of seven fortnightly interactive webinars to help keep your business agile, proactive and thriving in uncertain times. Each 45 minute sessions, hosted by Steven Glicher and guests, are designed to provide practical, really useful information and the opportunity to discuss any issues raised.
This weeks seminar ‘Technology and Your Team’ is now available to view on our YouTube page along with all the previous webinars in the series.
Cheadle Office is now Open
Our Cheadle office is now open with restricted hours, please contact us before visiting.
However, Macclesfield Office remains open normal hours.
Get in Touch
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The team at Harts