The chancellor has set out temporary measures to support services through this period of disruption.

The following measures are introduced to support businesses:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

All UK businesses will be eligible.

Under this scheme you will be able to “furlough” workers who are unable to perform their jobs because of Coronavirus.

HMRC will reimburse 80% of the furloughed workers wage costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month. This is to initially cover the period 1st March 2020 to 31st May 2020.

It seems this scheme will not provide support to anyone who continues working through the virus, only to those whose employment stops as a result of it.

Deferral of all VAT and Income Tax Payment

All VAT payments will be deferred for the next 3 months at least.  Any income tax payments due in July 2020 will be deferred to January 2021.

No application is required, this is automatic.

Business Support Grants

An update on information from one of our previous blogs on the rates relief.

In Northern Ireland, £10,000 grant is going to be paid to all small businesses who qualify for the Small Business Rate Relief (which have a property with a rateable value up to £15,000).

In England, the grant is payable only to businesses in the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors.  In Northern Ireland it has been announced all businesses will receive this.

£25,000 grant is payable only to the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 in both Northern Ireland and England

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Business interruption loans are available from this week.  Rather than applying directly to government, the government is giving an 80% guarantee to lenders on each loan to give them confidence.  The list of eligible lenders can be found here .  The government will also cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any banking fees.  At an initial glance it looks like most, but not all, banks are currently offering these loans.  The list of approved lenders can be found here