Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – February 23rd, 2021

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Feb 23 2021

Last night the Prime Minister addressed the nation and outlined a roadmap for removing the various restrictions that are currently in place due to Covid 19. It is extremely important to note that the Prime Minister stressed many times throughout the press conference that beyond Step 1, the dates are not set in stone and could be changed – it will depend on the data that is gathered at each step as to whether the next step is able to proceed as planned.

This is just a brief summary of the roadmap and you can read more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary

Step 1

The first step will begin on March 8th, 2021 and see the following happen:
– all schools will re-open with all children returning to face-to-face education
– breakfast and after-school clubs will be able to open, and outdoor after-school sports and activities will also be allowed to restart
– there will be twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils – with the tests being done at home after the first 3 tests are administered at school
– students who are on practical courses at Universities in England can return to classes
– people will be able to go outside for recreation and exercise with their household or support bubble, or to meet with one other person from another household in outdoor public spaces like parks
-care home residents can have one regular visit

The second phase of Step 1 will start on March 29th, 2021:
– outdoor gatherings, including in private gardens, of either 6 people or two households will be allowed
– outdoor sports facilities (tennis courts, basketball courts etc) and open-air swimming pools can open
– organised adult and children’s sports can resume
– while the “stay at home” rule will end on March 29th, many restrictions will still remain in place such as continuing to work from home where possible, travel abroad will still be prohibited

Step 2

Step 2 will not happen any earlier than April 12th, 2021 – however, this date is not yet set in stone and could be subject to change depending on the data gathered once Step 1 is in place:
– all non-essential retail can open
– all close-contact service business can open
– public buildings – including libraries and community centres can open
– indoor leisure facilities such as gyms can re-open but ONLY for use by people in their own household groups
– most outdoor attractions and settings (zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas) can open
– self-contained accommodation – campsites, holiday lets – where indoor facilities are not shared with other households can open
– hospitality venues can open and serve to people outdoors – people will not need to order a substantial meal with alcohol and the curfew will be lifted – only table service will be allowed, and the wider social contact rules are still going to be in place to prevent indoor mixing between households
– funerals can continue with up to 30 people
– 15 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events

Step 3

Step 3 will not happen any earlier than May 17th, 2021, however, this date is not yet set in stone and could be subject to change depending on the data gathered once Step 1 and Step 2 are in place:
– rule of six will look to be abolished and replaced with a limit of 30 people outdoors
– the rule of six or two households will still apply to indoor mixing
– indoor hospitability venues can re-open – the curfews and rule about ordering a substantial meal will no longer be in place, but only table service will be allowed
– other indoor entertainment venues – cinemas, children play areas – can re-open
– accommodation sector including hotels, hostels, B&Bs can open
– indoor adult group sport and exercises classes can start
– some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity or 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is the lower number) can start
– some larger performances and sporting events in outdoor venues with a capacity of 10,000 people or a quarter-full (whichever is the lower number) can start
-up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes

Step 4

Step 4 will not happen any earlier than June 21st, 2021, however, this date is not yet set in stone and could be subject to change depending on the data gathered once Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 are in place:
– remaining parts of the economy would be able to open – nightclubs
– restrictions on large events and performances that were in place in Step 3 would start to be eased
– potential for all legal limits on social contact to be removed

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – February 10th, 2021

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Feb 10 2021

It’s been a while since anything important has been announced that was worth a blog post, but in the last week a couple of announcements have been made – though not well publicised, so I thought I would do a blog to summarise them. I expect there will be more updates after the budget on March 3rd, 2021.

Bounce Back Loans

Last week the government announced that those who took out bounce back loans will have the option to delay all repayments for a further 6 months. The new option is being called “Pay as you Grow” and allows borrowers the flexibility to tailor their repayment schedule to suit their circumstances. They will also be allowed to extend the length of their loans from 6 to 10 years (therefore reducing the monthly repayments by almost half), make interest-only repayments for 6 months (this option can be used up to 3 times throughout the loan), or even pause repayments for up to 6 months (this option can only be used once). The option to pause repayments has been changed so that it will now be available to everyone from their first repayment, instead of after the first 6 repayments have been made. These new options are in addition to the government paying the interest for the first year of the loan. Lenders should reach out to borrowers to provide information on the repayment schedules and how to access the new flexible repayment options – this should be done 3 months before the first repayment is due. You can read the full news article here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-eases-burden-on-more-than-a-million-businesses-through-pay-as-you-grow-flexible-repayment-options

VAT Deferral Scheme

The new VAT deferral scheme opening date has now been announced. People will be able to join the new scheme between 23/02/2021 and 21/06/2021. The purpose of this scheme is to allow those have already deferred their VAT payments through the earlier deferral scheme, to extend the length of time they have to make that payment. There are 3 options available to those businesses who have deferred their VAT payments:
1) Pay the deferred VAT in full by 31/03/2021;
2) Joint the new payment scheme before 21/06/2021; or
3) agree extra help to pay HMRC by 30/06/2021.

If one of the options isn’t taking, interest or penalties may be charged on the deferred VAT that is owed. Anyone who is on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme will be invited to join the new payment scheme later in March 2021.

Businesses will be able to use the online services to join the new deferral scheme. However, there are certain eligibility criteria that must be followed:
– you must join the scheme yourself; your agent or accountant cannot do this for you
– you must still have deferred VAT to pay
– you must be up to date with the rest of your VAT returns
– you must join by 21/06/2021
– you must pay the first instalment due on the deferred VAT when you join
– you must pay instalments by direct debit

You will still be able to have a Time to Pay agreement for other HMRC debts and outstanding tax, even if you join this scheme.

The number of instalments you will pay will depend on the date that you join the scheme. You can read the full article published by the Government which goes into further details about the new VAT deferral scheme here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – December 21st, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Dec 21

On Saturday, the Prime Minister announced that a new tier – Tier 4 – had been created and due to the sharp rise in cases, the following areas have been moved to Tier 4:
– all 32 boroughs of London plus the City of London
– South East: Kent and Medway, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire (Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire), Surrey (excluding Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Havant, Gosport and Portsmouth
– East of England: Hertfordshire, Essex (excluding Tendring, Uttlesford and Colchester), Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton and Peterborough

All areas covered by Tier 4 have been issued with a “Stay At Home” notice which means people cannot travel out of this tier unless it’s for work or education. You also cannot meet anyone outside of your household indoors, including over Christmas and you can only meet one person from another household outdoors. These rules take effect from December 20th, 2020 until at least December 30th, 2020 when the rules will be reviewed.

This came as quite a shock for a lot of people and it now means that many businesses have had to close as they are not considered essential and everyone should be working from home, unless their job means they can’t (construction, manufacturing, health care worker).

Businesses that need to close in all Tier 4 areas include:

  • all non-essential retail (clothing stores, homeware stores, vehicle showrooms, betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses, market stalls selling non-essential goods. These stores can continue to operate click-and-collect and delivery services – but they cannot be open for the general public to just walk in.
  • hospitality venues – cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs – unless they are providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • accommodation – hotels, hostels, guest houses, campsites – unless for specific circumstances like being someone’s main residence, to provide support to the homeless or if someone has to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities – leisure centres, indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts, indoor fitness/dance studios, indoor riding centres and indoor climbing walls
  • entertainment venues – theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, indoor play and soft play centres, circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks
  • indoor attractions at venues like botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks
  • personal care facilities – hair/beauty/tanning/nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body/skin piercing services – these services should not be provided in other people’s homes
  • community centres and halls – except for a limited number of exempt activities, libraries can remain open to provide access to IT and digital services and for click-and-collect services

Other businesses can stay open as long as they are following Covid-19 Secure guidelines, and providing essential goods and services – food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licenses, market stalls selling essential goods, businesses providing repair services, petrol stations, automatic car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi and vehicle hire businesses.

To see a full list of businesses that can stay open and activities that can be held in businesses that have had to close, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home#financial-support.

At present, no further guidelines have been provided in terms of any special financial support Tier 4 businesses will receive, but I will keep an eye on things and if anything is announced, I will share it. The same support that is available to all businesses affected is available: furlough scheme, Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, Bounce Back Loans. You can find a list of all the different support schemes available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – November 25th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates November 25

The third instalment of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme can be claimed from November 30th, 2020. The government have released further guidance in terms of eligibility for the grant. You will be able to claim the grant up to January 29th, 2021.

This taxable grant will be worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits and paid in one instalment of up to £7,500.

Existing criteria:

  • you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership – you cannot claim this grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust
  • you must have traded in both the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 tax return
  • you must have submitted your Self-Assessment Tax Return for the 2018/2019 tax year on or before 23/04/2020
  • your trading profits for the 2018/2019 tax year must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income
  • if you are not eligible based on the 2018/2019 tax return, the government will also look at 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 tax years.

New criteria:

  • you must either currently be trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus or have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
  • you must intend to continue to trade
  • reasonably believe that there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits – you can read about what the government believes to be considered reduced demand by going here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-your-trading-conditions-affect-your-eligibility-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme
  • your business must have been affected by coronavirus since 01/11/2020 up to 29/01/2021 with your profits having been significantly reduced
  • the grant is subject to income tax and National Insurance and must be reported on your 2020/2021 Self-Assessment Tax Return
  • you must keep evidence of your reduction in profits – your accounts which show a reduction in activity compared to previous years, records of reduced or cancelled contracts/appointments, a record of dates where you had reduced demand or capacity due to government restrictions, a record of dates you had to close due to government restrictions, NHS Test and Trace communications if you’ve had to self-isolate, letter or e-mail from NHS asking you to shield, etc.
  • if your reduction in profits is due to increased costs (for buying facemasks and cleaning supplies for example), this will not be considered as reduced demand

There are some examples of reduced demand on the government website which you can find here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-your-trading-conditions-affect-your-eligibility-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme#examples

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – November 23rd, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Nov 23rd

After announcing his plan to the House of Commons earlier today, the Prime Minister held a press conference this evening to let the public know what the plan is going to be going forwards. From December 3rd, 2020, England will leave the current national lockdown and return to the previous 3-tier system. However, there will be some changes to the system. The government will announce on Thursday which areas will be in which tier.

All Tiers

  • everyone, unless they have an exemption, must wear a face-covering in most indoor public settings
  • follow the rules on meeting each other safely
  • should attend school/college unless self-isolating
  • should walk/cycle where possible and avoid public transport
  • must follow the gathering limits as per their tier except in specific circumstances
  • all businesses/venues that are open must follow Covid-19 secure guidelines other than those that are still required to remain closed by law (ie nightclubs)
  • in all tiers the following businesses can be open:
    • essential and non-essential retail including indoor/outdoor markets and car boot sales
    • some leisure and sporting facilities including gyms, sports courts, leisure centres, fitness/dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds – subject to the relevant social contact rules for each tier. In Tier 3, indoor group activities and classes should not take place.
    • personal care/close contact services – hairdressers/barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas/beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons
    • public buildings like libraries, community centres and halls. In Tier 3, they should not host events for private hire like birthday parties.
    • places of worship subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier
  • everyone who can work from home should continue to do so; those who cannot may include people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, public-sector employees working in essential services like education settings.

There are then specific rules for each Tier.

Tier 1:

  • must not social in groups larger than 6 people indoors/outdoors, except where there is a legal exemption
  • hospitality businesses selling food/drink for consumption on their premises must:
    • provide table service only (for premises that serve alcohol)
    • close between 11 pm and 5 am (venues in airports/ports/transport services/motorway services are exempt)
    • stop taking orders after 10 pm
  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food/drink for consumption off-premises can continue to do so after 10 pm as long as it is only through delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • early closure of venues (11 pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, blowing alleys, arcades, theme parks, bingo halls
  • public attendance at outdoor/indoor events, spectator sports and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • places of worship can remain open but people must not gather in groups of more than 6
  • weddings with a maximum of 15 people, funerals with a maximum of 30 people and commemorative events with a max of 15 people can go-ahead
  • organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue if the rule of 6 is followed. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s.
  • if you live in Tier 1 and travel to an area in a higher Tier you should follow the rules for that area while you are there. You should avoid travel/overnight stays in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary (work, education, youth services, medical treatment, caring responsibilities). You can travel through a Tier 3 area as part of a longer journey.

Tier 2:

  • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble, in any indoor setting (including home and public places)
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside including in a garden or public space
  • pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only (in premises that sell alcohol)
    • close between 11 pm and 5 am (venues in airports/ports/transport services/motorway services are exempt)
    • stop taking orders after 10 pm
  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food/drink for consumption off-premises can continue to do so after 10 pm as long as it is only through delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • early closure of venues (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, blowing alleys, arcades, theme parks, bingo halls
  • public attendance at outdoor/indoor events, spectator sports and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • places of worship can remain open you must not socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble
  • weddings with a maximum of 15 people, funerals with a maximum of 30 people and commemorative events with a max of 15 people can go-ahead
  • organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s.
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • if you live in Tier 2 you must continue to follow Tier 2 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 area. Avoid travel/overnight stays in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary (work, education, youth services, medical treatment, caring responsibilities). You can travel through a Tier 3 area as part of a longer journey.

Tier 3:

  • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble; includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, public gardens, grounds of a heritage site/castle, sports facilities
  • hospitality settings such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services
  • accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, guest houses must close. There are exemptions such as for those who use these venues as their main residence and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work, education or training.
  • indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close which includes: indoor play centres/areas including trampolining parks and soft plays, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, arcades, cinemas, theatres, concert halls etc
  • indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets can stay open). Includes indoor attractions within zoos/safari parks, aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, museums, galleries, botanical gardens, theme parks, circuses, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites
  • no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place.
  • large outdoor events should not take place with exception of drive-in events
  • places of worship remain open but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household/support bubble
  • weddings with a maximum of 15 people, funerals with a maximum of 30 people and commemorative events with a max of 15 people can go-ahead
  • organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercises classes can continue – but higher-risk contact activity should not take place
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercises classes cannot take place. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s.
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including overnight stays other than where necessary (work, education, youth services, medical treatment, caring responsibilities). You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey.

There is further information about the various exemptions and additional guidance as I didn’t include every single type of business/venue within the different tiers and you can read that here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know

The government will be making further announcements on Thursday about what Tier each area will be in, so I will be monitoring that information, as well as any further developments.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – November 5th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Nov 5

Earlier today the Chancellor made a couple of announcements to the Commons about the support for businesses and some changes that were being made. I have outlined all of the changes to date below:

1) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) has now been extended until the end of March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maimum of £2,500/month. Employers will only be asked to ccover National Insurance Contributions and Employer Pension Contributions for the hours not worked.

The scheme can be used for employees for any amount of time and shift patterns, including furloughing full-time.

The scheme will still operate the same as it previously has – businesses will be able to claim either shortly before, during or after running their payroll, and they will be able to make claims from 11/11/2020. Any claims for subsequent months should be made by day 14 of the following month.

There is no requirement for employers/employees to have used the scheme before and any employee who was employed and on the payroll on 30/10/2020 and the RTI submission for that employee has been filed on or before 30/10/2020, are eligible to use the scheme.

The Chancellor has also stated that any employee that was on the payroll on 23/09/2020 and were made redundant or stopped working, can be re-employed and can be claimed for on the scheme. They must have been included on an RTI submission from 20/03/2020 to 23/09/2020.

The scheme will be reviewed in January 2021.

The government has said that full guidance will be published on 10/11/2020.

Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extension-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/extension-of-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

2) Self-employed Income Support Scheme

The grant covering the period from November 2020 to January 2021 will now be for 80% of average trading profits for the whole period, up to a maximum of £7,500. The grant will be able to be claimed from 30/11/2020.

There will be a fourth grant which will cover February 2021 to April 2021, but the details will be announced at a later date.

Further Information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

3) Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus scheme that was to be paid to employers in February 2021 for every employee they kept on has been put on hold and it will be reviewed at a later date.

4) Funding for Devolved Administrations

The additional funding for the devolved administrations has been increased from £14 billion to £16 billion.

5) Businesses that have had to close in England

Businesses that have had to close in England will be able to receive up to £3,000/month from their Local Authority. The amount a business receives will depend on the rateable value of their property.

6) Local Authorities in England

Local Authorities are being given an additional £1.1 billion that can be used for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses within their area more broadly.

7) Backdated Cash Grants for Tier 2/3 in England

All businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sector, in England that are in Tier 2 or 3 that have suffered from reduced demand due to local restrictions that were introduced between 01/08/2020 and 05/11/2020 will receive backdated grants of 70% of the value of closed grants up to a maximum of £2,100/month for that period.

The government will make the allocations to Local Authorities later this week with the view for the LAs to be able to start providing funding the following week.

8) Government Backed Loan Schemes

There are plans to extend the application deadline for the government backed loan schemes – which include Bounce Back Loans, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, Future Fund, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans – to the end of January 2021.

The rules for the Bounce Back Loans are also going to be adjusted to allow any business that borrowed less than the maximum amount that could be claimed (lower of £50,000 or less than 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan. This option will be available from next week and it can only be used once.

You can read more details about the Financial Support available for Jobs and Businesses here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932977/ECONOMIC_SUPPORT_FACTSHEET_5_November.pdf

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – November 1st, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update Nov 1st

Yesterday evening, October 31st 2020, the Prime Minister held a press conference to explain that England would be entering a National Lockdown from Thursday November 5th 2020 until Wednesday December 2nd 2020.  At that point, England will return to the new tier system that recently announced.  The actual rules and regulations surrounding the lockdown are being debated and voted on in Parliament on Wednesday November 4th so the following guidance may change slightly. However, I will continue to provide updates.

What does the national lockdown mean?

From November 5th, everyone is expected to stay at home apart from for the following reasons:

– to work if you cannot work from home
– education
– to shop for food and essentials
– exercise and recreation outside on your own, with your support bubble or with 1 other person who does not live in your household
– to care for others
– if you are a volunteer
– for childcare

People can no longer meet up with 5 people in outdoor public places as the rule of 6 has been suspended.  You can only meet up with members of your support bubble.

Children of parents who are separated are still allowed to travel between households.

It is advised that people avoid all but essential travel, though the government asks that these trips be kept to a minimum and that where possible, public transport is not used.

Overnight stays and holidays away from your primary residence – including holidays in the UK and abroad will not be allowed.  This includes staying in a second home. However, you can stay overnight for work purposes.

What is happening to businesses?

A number of businesses are going to have to close due to the lockdown, and this includes:
– all non-essential retail shops
– indoor and outdoor leisure facilities – including bowling alleys, leisure centres, gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, climbing walls, riding centres, water and theme parks
– entertainment venues including cinemas,  theatres, museums, galleries, bingo halls, casinos, arcades, zoos, botanical gardens
– close contact service providers – beauty and nail salons, hairdressers, tattooists, massage parlours, spas, tanning salons, body and skin piercing services
– hospitality venues including pubs, restaurants and bars will close, takeaways can stay open but takeaway alcohol is not allowed.
– hotels, hostels and other accommodation businesses should only remain open for those who have to travel for work

Non-essential retail shops can provide click-and-collect services and delivery services.

This list is not exhaustive and further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november?utm_source=7bc5dcb3-89f3-4f85-9727-b8e92a3b168f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate#businesses-and-venues

Weddings and civil partnerships cannot take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Funerals are allowed but only a maximum of 30 people are able to attend.  The government recommends that only close family and friends attend.

Places of worship will be closed except for specific circumstances.

The government is once again asking everyone who can do so, to work from home.  Where that is not possible, for example, construction, manufacturing, or those who work in critical national infrastructure,  people can still travel to/from work

What about financial support?

The Job Retention Scheme which was due to end on October 31st, has been extended for 1 month.  Employees will be paid 80% of their wages (up to a maximum of £2,500).  The flexibility of the scheme will also continue which will allow employees to work where they can.

Employers will only be asked to pay the NI and pension contributions for staff for the month of November.

For employees to be eligible to use the JRS, the employee must have been on the employers PAYE payroll by 23:59 October 30th, 2020. The RTI submission notifying payment of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before October 30th, 2020.

Business premises that are forced to close due to the lockdown will be eligible for grants of up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.  Local Authorities are also being given £1.1 billion to help support local businesses more broadly with one-off payments.

Mortgage holidays that were due to close have also been extended.

You can read further information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – October 22nd, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update October 22

Earlier today the Chancellor announced new measures to help support businesses during the pandemic.

Job Support Scheme
The Job Support Scheme, which starts on November 1st, 2020, has been changed so that now, employees only need to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours (1 day a week) instead of at least 1/3 of their normal hours – with the employer paying for the hours the employee works. The employer will only have to contribute 5% (up to £125/month) towards the wages for the non-worked hours, instead of 1/3. The government will contribute 61.67% (up to £1,541.75/month) which is up from 1/3. This will ensure that the employee will receive at least 73% of their normal wages where they earn £3,125/month or less.

Any business that has had to legally close due to restrictions across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, can access the Job Support Scheme – Closed. This will allow employees to be paid 2/3 of their normal pay up to a maximum of £2,083.33/month. The employer will need to initially pay the employee, but will then be able to be reimbursed by the government in arrears.

The Job Support Scheme – Open, and Job Support Scheme – Closed, with run from November 1st, 2020 to April 30th, 2021 with the terms being reviewed in January 2021. Employers will be able to claim in arrears from December 8th, 2020. An employer does not have to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in order to use the Job Support Scheme. Using the Job Support Scheme will also not impact on claiming the Job Retention Bonus which is available in January 2021.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor has announced that the amount that will be paid to self-employed businesses which covers a three-month period from November 2020 to January 2021 has been increased from 20% to 40% of average monthly trading profits up to a maximum of £3,750.

Additional Grants for Businesses in High Alert Areas

Businesses, in sectors like hospitality, accommodation and leisure, that are still open but are struggling due to local restrictions, will be able to claim cash grants from their Local Authorities of up to £2,100/month, which will be backdated to August.

Properties that have a rateable value of £15,000 or under can apply for grants of £934/month.
Properties that have a rateable value over £15,000 and under £51,000 can apply for grants of £1,400.
Properties with rateable values over £51,000 can apply for grants of £2,100.

In addition, Local Authorities will also receive a 5% top-up amount to these implied grants to cover other businesses that are affected by local restrictions but don’t fit into the categories listed. It will be up to the Local Authorities to determine which businesses are eligible for the grants.

You can read the full press-release that was issued here.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – October 12th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update Oct 12th

Earlier today the Prime Minister spoke to the Commons about the new 3-tier alert levels being rolled out across England. Tonight he discussed these tiers with the public in a press conference.

Tier 1 – Medium
The majority of England is under the first tier which is medium.

In this tier people will need to follow the national restrictions that are in place:
– don’t socialise in groups larger than 6 indoors or outdoors (unless a legal exemption applies) – follow the rule of 6
– businesses and venues can continue to operate in a Covid secure manner (unless they are to remain closed as stated in law)
– hospitality venues are required to only serve food and drink to those seated at tables and must close between 10pm and 5am
– any venue selling food for consumption off the premises can do so after 10pm as long as it is through delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through
– schools and universities remain open
– places of worship remain open, subject to the rule of 6
– weddings and funerals can still happen as long as they follow the restrictions outlined the other day
– exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors or indoors if the rule of 6 is followed
– wear face coverings in areas where mandated
– follow social distancing
– work from home where you can
– plan ahead or avoid busy times and routes when travelling; walk or cycle if you can

Tier 2: High
Areas that are already under increased local restrictions will now be under Tier 2

– no mixing of households in any indoor setting – whether your own home or in a public place
– no socialising in a group of more than 6 outside (including in gardens or other spaces like beaches/parks, unless specific exemptions apply) – follow the rule of 6
– businesses and venues can continue to operate in a Covid secure manner (unless they are to remain closed as stated in law)
– hospitality venues are required to only serve food and drink to those seated at tables and must close between 10pm and 5am
– any venue selling food for consumption off the premises can do so after 10pm as long as it is through delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through
– schools and universities remain open
– places of worship remain open, subject to the rule of 6
– weddings and funerals can still happen as long as they follow the restrictions outlined the other day
– exercises classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors; indoor classes only permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or if it is for youth/disability sport
– can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open for work or education, but reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
– wear face coverings in areas where mandated
– follow social distancing
– work from home where you can
– plan ahead or avoid busy times and routes when travelling; walk or cycle if you can

Tier 3: Very High
At present only Liverpool is under this tier.

Even though there are base guidelines for this tier, the exact restrictions for each area can vary so please check the specific rules for your area by going here. All areas under this tier will be reviewed every 4 weeks.

At a minimum:
– no socialising with anyone you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, indoors, in private gardens, or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
– no socialising in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space (parks, beach, countryside, public garden, sports venues) – follow the rule of 6
– pubs and bars MUST close – can only remain open where they are able to operate as a restaurant (they serve substantial meals and can only serve alcohol as part of a meal)
– schools and universities remain open
– places of worship remain open but no household mixing permitted
– weddings and funerals can still happen as long as they follow the restrictions outlined the other day; but no wedding receptions allowed
– exercises classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors; indoor classes only permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or if it is for youth/disability sport
– avoid travelling outside the very-high alert level area you are in, or entering a very-high alert level, other than for work, education, youth services, to meet caring responsibilities, or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey
– avoid overnight stays in another part of the UK if you are resident in a very-high alert area, or avoid staying overnight in a very-high alert area if you are resident elsewhere
– wear face coverings in areas where mandated
– follow social distancing
– work from home where you can
– can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open for work or education, but reduce the number of journeys you make where possible

The government will speak with local authorities to also agree to add further restrictions which might include:
– restrictions preventing sale of alcohol in hospitality or closing all hospitality (except for takeaway and delivery)
– closing indoor and outdoor entertainment venues and tourist attractions
– closing leisure centres and gyms
– closing public buildings (libraries, community centres)
– closing personal care and close contact services or prohibiting highest-risk activities
– closing performing arts venues for the purposes of performing to audiences

You can read more about the alert levels by going here.

What financial help will I get if I have to close?

If your business has to close due to any of the restrictions, the Job Support Scheme is being extended to cover 2/3 of the wages of the employees for those businesses (up to a maximum of £2,100/month), and the government will pay those amounts. The business will also be able to receive a cash grant of up to £3,000/month instead of £1,500 every 3 weeks. Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and will only be asked to cover NI Contributions and pension contributions. You can read more about this here.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – September 24th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update Sept 24th

Earlier today the Chancellor addressed the MPs in the Commons to discuss further help that is going to be given to businesses to help them get through the current economic crisis and support jobs. I will try my very best to explain things as clearly and concisely as I can. Like with the other measures that were brought in, I expect further details will continue to be released over the coming weeks and I will make sure I provide any updates as and when they are released.

1) Job Support Scheme (JSS)
The furlough scheme will end on October 31st, 2020, however, from November 1st, a new scheme – the Job Support Scheme – will be in place for a period of 6 months. This scheme will allow workers who are working for at least 1/3 of their normal hours, to receive full pay for the hours they work, plus 1/3 of the wage for the hours not worked from the government and 1/3 of the wage for the hours not worked from the employer. The government will cap the amount they fund at 22% (or £697.92/month). It is open to all small- and medium-sized businesses who have a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme, and larger businesses can use the scheme only if they can show they have been adversely affected by covid-19. If a large business uses the scheme, they will not be able to make any capital distributions (dividend payments) while using the scheme. Employees can be moved on and off the scheme and work different hours, but the scheme must cover a 7-day working pattern. In order for an employer to use the scheme for an employee, they must have been on the payroll since at least 23/09/2020. Any employee who is on the JSS cannot be made redundant or put on notice. It is not restricted to employers who used the furlough scheme – even if an employer didn’t access the furlough scheme, they can use the JSS. It also does not affect an employer claiming the Job Retention Bonus. Employers will be reimbursed for the costs by the government after the work has been done and the employee has been paid.

2) Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
The SEISS will be extended for a further 6 months.
There will be two different taxable grants – the first one will cover 20% of the average monthly trading profits for a three-month period starting in November. The amount will be paid out in one single payment covering the 3 months and be for a total of up to £1875.00. The same eligibility criteria that have been used for the other two SEISS grants will still apply.
The second taxable grant will be from February 2021 to April 2021 but they haven’t yet said what the amount will be. They will be reviewing this and releasing the information later.

3) “Pay as You Grow” Scheme
Any business that took out a government-guaranteed loan (BBLS) will be able to have the payment terms extended from 6 years to 10 years allowing businesses to have lower monthly repayments. A business can move to interest-only payments (which they can use up to 3 times) or suspend payments if they are in real trouble for up to 6 months (which they can only do once and only after they have made 6 payments). The government has said that this will not affect someone’s credit rating. Any business that took out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan will also have their payment terms extended to be over 10 years.

The application for any of the four loans the government announced (BBLS/CBILS/CLBILS/Future Fund) has also been extended to November 30th, 2020.

The Chancellor has stated that a new loan scheme will be available in January, but they haven’t released any further details at this time.

4) VAT Deferral
The businesses that deferred their VAT payments that were due between March and June 2020, will not have to pay a lump sum at the end of March 2021, instead, they will be able to split the payments into smaller, interest-free payments over a period of 11 months, meaning the payments will be more manageable. A business will need to opt-in to take advantage of this new payment scheme and the opt-in process will be put in place by HMRC in early 2021.

5) VAT Reduction for Hospitality and Tourism Sector
The reduction of VAT from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sector was supposed to increase back to the normal VAT rate in January 2021, however, this will now not happen until March 31st, 2021.

6) Self-Assessment Income Tax Payments
Self-employed people who have tax payments due in January 2021 will be able to pay the amounts due over a longer period of time. If the tax debt is up to £30,000, people can go online and set up a 12-month payment plan to January 2022. If the tax debt is over £30,000, people will need to ring HMRC to set up a payment plan.

You can read the latest information here about the announcements made today: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-22-september

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

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