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Latest Business News Update: Friday 27 March 2020

March 27, 2020
General News
Merton Chamber

Latest from Merton Council on business rates

Having spoken to Merton Council today, this is the latest update:

• Extended retail relief scheme (including the extension of business covered as per the Government guidance).  Your revised bills will be sent out by post by Monday and no direct debit payments are being taken in April.

• Businesses in receipt of small business rate relief – the Council expects to be able to make the £10,000 grant payments by mid April and will be contacting businesses, if they can, by phone. There will also be a form on their website for businesses to complete. We will provide you with the link to that when it is in place.

• Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses in a property with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 – the Council have identified the eligible businesses and where they have your bank details, the grant of £25,000 will be sent automatically.


Supporting the Self-employed

Yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a range of  measures to support self-employed workers.

With the Self-employed being adversely affected by the COVID-19 restrictions they will receive a grant worth up to 80% of average monthly profits over the last three years with a maximum of £2,500 per month. It will be open for at least three months and will be extended longer if necessary.

The grant will be open to any business with trading profits of up to £50,000 and only available to those in self employment who submitted a tax return in 2019, and the Chancellor also announced a four-week extension for anyone who missed the January tax return deadline.

It is expected self-employed people will have access to the scheme no later than the beginning of June, with HMRC contacting those eligible. Self-employed workers will be paid directly and they will also be able to access the Business Interruption Loan.

Find out more >> click here.

Business Rates Retail Discount Expanded:

Guidance on the operation of expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021 has been updated so that certain properties previously excluded from the relief, but that have been the forced to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions, will now be eligible for the relief. Many high street businesses that have closed due to Covid-19 restrictions will now be exempt from business rates including retail, leisure, and hospitality properties, estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls.


VAT, Income Tax and Business Rates

• Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

o VAT payments for three months

o Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system may be deferred until January 2021.

• Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

o additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The government and British Business Bank have issued further guidelines regarding the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, making further clarification on the subject of personal guarantees.

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

>> Click here for information on British Business Bank

The latest information and updates can be found on the Government website >> click here to find out more