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Coronavirus: Your guide to Government business assistance

business-articlesCoronavirus: Your guide to Government business assistance
While we’re experiencing a period of unprecedented uncertainty, Government assistance to help businesses cope with the current and future impact of coronavirus has been made available in record time.

It will be a disruptive few months to say the least, but Government business assistance gives real reason for optimism.

Support is available now to calm and stabilise your business so you can plan for a healthier future.

As your business has to apply for some relief but may be automatically entitled to other forms, we (and our partners Snowball Finance) have put together the following guide to the types of business assistance available.
Cash grants

If your business is in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors you will receive the following based on their rateable value:

Rateable value                     Cash grant
Less than £15,000                  £10,000
£15,001 - £51,000                   £25,000

Businesses receiving Small Business Rate Relief in any sector will receive a £10,000 cash grant.
Business rate exemptions

A business rates holiday means no rates are payable in 2020/21 year in the retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery sectors.

Your local authority will amend this for you so your business doesn’t need to take any action.

You can check how much this will save your business in the coming year with the rate calculator.
Deferred VAT payments

All businesses with VAT due between 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020 will automatically have their VAT deferred for payment by the end of the 2020/21 tax year.
Job Retention Scheme for employees

The Government will pay 80% of salaries for employees unable to work, with a maximum allowance of £2,500 per month per employee.

All businesses are eligible for this and it applies to employees told to stop working but still on the payroll (‘furloughed workers’).

It also applies to businesses that would have made redundancies had Government assistance not been provided.

Your business can backdate this to cover wage costs from 1st March 2020 and the scheme will initially cover payments for 3 months.
Outstanding tax payments

HMRC is helping all businesses with outstanding tax liabilities with ‘Time to Pay’ arrangements. HMRC are doing this on a case-by-case basis, giving your business some breathing space if you have tax payments due.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for businesses with turnover up to £45m

The British Business Bank launched the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to soften the financial effect of coronavirus on businesses.

The CBILS is available from accredited lenders and partners.

The key points and terms for businesses are:
  • CBILS is a Government backed guarantee (80%) for loan repayments to encourage lending
  • Applicable for businesses with lost or deferred revenue
  • Lenders can provide up to £5m in loans, overdraft, invoice or asset finance
  • Loans are up to 6 years and invoice finance up to 3 years
  • Government pays a Business Interruption Payment on 12 months interest and any lender fees
  • Less than £250,000 is unsecured
  • For amounts above £250,000 the lender must establish that the borrower is unable to provide security
  • A residential property cannot be used as security
  • The borrower is always 100% liable for the debt
  • The business applying for the loan must show it was considered a viable business before coronavirus. Its proposal must show how CBILS will enable trading and help the business get out of short to medium term difficulties
Businesses trading internationally

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is giving assistance administratively and financially for UK businesses trading internationally.

The key support the DIT is providing is:
  • Smoothing clearance of business’ products with customs authorities
  • Advising on issues of business continuity and intellectual property
  • Assisting finding alternative suppliers to ease pressure on supply chains
The main financial support points UK Export Finance (UKEF) provides include:
  • Easing cash flow constraints by guaranteeing bank loans through its Export Capital Scheme
  • Offering export insurance policies to recover costs on terminated orders
  • Supporting overseas buyers so they can continue buying your products
  • A capacity of over £4 billion to support UK firms exporting to China and other regions affected by coronavirus

This is an uncertain and difficult time for many businesses, but if you have FX requirements we’re here to help you find stability and maximise opportunity.

Get in touch with our team on [email protected] or call 44 (0) 20 7847 9288. 

We wish you all well during this difficult period – stay safe, and please contact us if you need us.          
Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.

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