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

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.

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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