Here is a summary of the latest points we have regarding Coronavirus mitigation for small businesses.
1 Tell all employees to stay away if there are any virus-like symptoms in their household or immediate family or social circle. They should self-isolate for 14 days even if they themselves do not show symptoms.
2 Have an open and flexible attitude within teams – we’ve agreed in our office all to avoid events and to disclose any travelling
3 If employees are off sick or self-isolating pay SSP from day one* (was day four). In most cases the SSP will be recoverable from HMRC* for up to two weeks.
4 Some contracts give employees full pay for a number of days or a period of time. In which case still pay the SSP from day one as that is reclaimable from HMRC, but also top up to full pay as per the contract term.
5 If you have small business rates relief it is our understanding that a grant of £10,000 will be available*. We still don’t have any details on how to claim or when it will be paid. Retailers will get up to £25,000*.
6 Many businesses that don’t get small business rates relief will get a rates holiday instead of the grant*.
7 Unfortunately no announcements of grants or cost reductions for those that work from home or a shared space.
8 The government have announced a £350bn package of which £330bn will be loans which will have to be repaid. Again no details on how to claim for those that have a cashflow problem. We’d suggest thinking carefully before taking loans – they will help with cashflow but will make matters worse if the problem is actually lack of profits.
9 If you have problems paying your tax speak to us first, but you may also need to call the HMRC dedicated helpline.
10 If you are suffering any kind of loss due to coronavirus (most are) check all of your insurance policies just in case some kind of claim can be made. For example business interruption cover has now been found to include losses caused by the government advice to avoid pubs, restaurants etc.
*these points are promised by government but not actually law yet
Finally, for those of you that are based near to our office, we are sorry to ask please don’t visit us. We’ll welcome you with open arms once this crisis is over but meantime please call, email or book online discussions rather than call in.