How can I find out more about the coronavirus mortgage holiday?
A ‘payment holiday’ means you agree with your lender that you will not have to make mortgage payments for a set amount of time. Payment holidays are designed to help you when you may experience payment difficulties – in this case because of the coronavirus situation.
Will the mortgage holiday apply to landlords?
Landlords will be protected as 3 month mortgage payment holiday is extended to Buy to Let mortgages.
Will I have to apply for the mortgage holiday or will it automatically be applied?
You will have to apply for the mortgage holiday with your lender. More guidance on this process is here: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/03/coronavirus-how-to-apply-for-a-three-month-mortgage-payment-holiday/
Which lenders are offering preferential terms for extensions or payment holidays for business affected by the crisis?
Banks and other lenders have announced a range of financial support to help businesses deal with the impact of coronavirus, including: Barclays, Santander, Virgin Money, Lloyds, Natwest and TSB.
Barclays has launched a free telephone helpline offering support and information to its business banking customers. It is also providing repayment holidays for personal banking customers on overdrafts and mortgages.For more information: https://home.barclays/news/2020/03/supporting-our-customers-and-clients-impacted-by-coronavirus–co/
How can my Business Rates bill be reduced?
Businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors will receive 100% rate relief for 2020/21 regardless of the rateable value. They will not need to pay business rates for 2020/21.
To support nurseries at this time, the Chancellor has also decided that they will also now be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year. That means non-local authority providers of childcare will pay no business rates in 2020-21, from 1 April.
I am not eligible for any of the coronavirus business rates relief and I am going to struggle to pay my Business Rates bill. What should I do?
If you do not inform us that you are having difficulty making regular payments, you may incur further costs.
To discuss payment or request to pay over 12 instalments:
telephone 020 8315 2174
Will the BID give me any additional time to pay for my BID Levy bill?
Please contact your BID:
What are the rules about which businesses must close due to the coronavirus outbreak?
Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close to see which businesses and premises must remain closed.
I am a restaurant or cafe – will I be allowed to provide hot food take away / delivery services to my customers?
The Communities Secretary has announced that planning rules have been relaxed so pubs, restaurants and cafes can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.
I run a delivery service – but am restricted to certain hours for my drivers to work. Due to the demand can I now extend the hours they can work?
The Government has announced measures to temporarily relax some of the regulations around drivers hours to assist with increased goods deliveries.
Where can I find information on Employee issues?
There are many employment issues arising from the corona virus outbreak, including what to do if employees are off sick, self-isolating or caring for others, if the workplace needs to close and if an employee has corona virus symptoms at work.
Can I pay staff statutory sick pay – and when can I start paying it?
Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.
Will I be reimbursed for all the days the staff member is self-isolating or is there a limit?
If you are a small- or medium-sized business, you may be entitled to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for sickness absence due to COVID-19 for up to 2 weeks per employee
What is the SSP weekly rate?
The weekly rate for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is £95.85 for up to 28 weeks. It is paid:
If I need to put staff ‘on furlough’ temporarily, can I get help from the government to pay them at least some of their wages?
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. Further details, including full guidance on how the scheme works, can be found here: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/
What help can I get if I am self-employed or freelancing?
I have closed or scaled back my business because of coronavirus. Can I claim anything on my business interruption insurance?
If I am going to have trouble paying my tax, National Insurance or VAT bill who should I talk to?
HMRC has launched a new helpline for businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19
What grants are available from the government to help my business survive?
Several additional grant schemes for small businesses whose incomes have been significantly affected by Covid19 restrictions have been announced by Bexley Council
Find coronavirus financial support for your business
What other grants would my business possibly be able to get?
Grants Online has compiled a list of a number of Community Foundations and other organisations that have launched funding programmes to assist local organisations in responding to the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic. This list will be updated over the next few days and weeks as and when information becomes available. For more information visit: https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html
What happens when a staff member is having to self-isolate with Covid19 symptoms – or is self-isolating due to another family member with Covid19 symptoms?
Employees and workers must receive any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to them if they need to self-isolate because of coronavirus. Further guidance available here:
If I need to lay off staff what guidance is available to me on the redundancy process?
Employers that cannot afford to pay their employees’ redundancy pay can apply for financial support.
Do I still have to pay my VAT bill for this quarter?
The following from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) provides more guidance on how this will work: https://www.icaew.com/insights/tax-news/2020/mar-2020/covid19-vat-and-self-assessment-payment-deferral
What should I do if I don’t think I can keep up my rental payments on my business premises?
The British Property Federation (www.bpf.org.uk) is encouraging its members to act responsibly with their tenants now struggling due to the corona virus outbreak. You are advised to contact your landlord as early as possible to discuss your concerns.
If I cannot pay my commercial rent will my landlord be able to evict me from the premises?
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. This was announced by the Government on 23 March and will be included in Covid 19 Legislation:
Can I get help if I cannot afford my energy bills due to the corona virus crisis?
Advice on what to do is available from the Citizens Advice Bureau website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/your-small-businesss-energy-supply/your-small-business-cant-afford-its-energy-bills/
If I am self employed can I defer payments due on my Income Tax Self-Assessment?
ICAEW guidance on this is available here: https://www.icaew.com/insights/tax-news/2020/mar-2020/covid19-vat-and-self-assessment-payment-deferral
Due to current conditions I am going to have difficulty filing accounts or other reports to Companies House – can I delay?
Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19 according to a Government announcement on 25 March.
More information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-more-time-to-file-your-companys-accounts
How can I start home deliveries?
More convenience retailers are looking at home delivery as an option to reach local customers that are self-isolating or otherwise unable to travel to their local shop. New guidance details what retailers should consider when starting a home delivery service.
What is Universal Credit and can I apply?
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It is paid monthly.
If you are on a low-income or out of work, then you may be able to claim for Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits:
Child Tax Credit
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Working Tax Credit
If you currently get any of these benefits, you do not need to do anything unless:
you have a change of circumstances you need to report
the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacts you about moving to Universal Credit
For more information visit - www.gov.uk/universal-credit
What is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme?
What is the Bounce Back Loan scheme for small businesses?
What is the Future Fund?
Where can I find coronavirus financial support?
The Government has launched a new tool to help businesses find coronavirus financial support. After answering a series of questions, businesses are signposted to a list of support they may be entitled to. Visit the tool at www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.
What is the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)?
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will provide financial assistance to self-employed people who have lost income due to coronavirus.