Friday, 3 July 2020

Weekly Update 3rd July 2020


Below I have summarised all the main tax related updates we have seen this week.

Discretionary Business Grant Scheme Round 2 North Somerset Council Open
More Firms Can Now Benefit From The Future Fund
How to apply for breathing space to consider a rescue plan for your company
Summary of UK Business Rules Relaxed During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Contacted by Coronavirus Test and Trace - Eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Best wishes to all our clients who are re-opening their businesses this weekend! 
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Kind regards,

Steve

Steven Hillman ACA
Chartered Accountant
Tel: 01934 444100

Discretionary Business Grant Scheme Round 2 North Somerset Council Open
Somerset Council have reopened the application process for its next wave of discretionary business grants worth up to £5,000 from the 29th June 2020.

This grant scheme is designed to provide additional support to businesses that are outside the scope of the mandatory business grant funds scheme. Businesses are only entitled to this grant where they have not received the original business support grant or other grants awarded in support of dealing with COVID-19.

The maximum grant is £5,000, and eligible small businesses include those in shared offices, regular market or street traders, bed and breakfasts (excluding Airbnb) and charity properties receiving charitable business rates.

Applications are open from the 29th June for two weeks (which closes on the 13th July). North Somerset Council anticipate paying eligible grants on the 27th July 2020.  The revised scheme will now consider new applications from a wider range of business than the previous scheme. NSC have expanded the criteria to include those that operate in the following sectors:

-Education and Child Care
-Tourism
-Retail
-Leisure and Entertainment
-Wholesalers, including business to business activities

Businesses eligible under the previous round of the discretionary scheme remain eligible. 

Businesses can apply here: https://forms.n-somerset.gov.uk/ad/form/cvdsbgrant from 29th June 2020 until the 13th July 2020.

More Firms Can Now Benefit from The Future Fund
More start-ups and innovative firms will be able to apply for investment from the government’s Future Fund from 30 June:

companies which have participated in accelerator programmes now eligible for the popular scheme
more than 320 early-stage, high-growth firms have so far benefitted from £320 million of support through the Fund
this surpasses the £250 million initial funding made available by the government

Changes to the scheme’s eligibility criteria will mean that UK companies who have participated in highly selective accelerator programmes and were required, as part of that programme, to have parent companies outside of the UK will now be able to apply for investment.

To date, more than 320 companies have benefitted from £320 million of Future Fund support. Under the scheme, early-stage, high-growth businesses from a diverse range of sectors can apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million to help them through the Coronavirus outbreak.


How to apply for breathing space to consider a rescue plan for your company
If your business has or is really struggling, you can get “formal” breathing space to consider a rescue plan for your company.

A moratorium gives struggling businesses formal breathing space in which to explore rescue and restructuring options, free from creditor action.


Summary of UK Business Rules Relaxed During the Coronavirus Pandemic
We thought it would be useful to publish a summary of the rules that have been temporarily relaxed by the Government to make it easier for businesses to continue working through the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).


Contacted by Coronavirus Test and Trace - Eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Under the test and trace system that launched on 28 May, a person who has been notified that they have had contact with a person with coronavirus is requested to self-isolate for 14 days. The rules relating to SSP have been amended to include employees who are self-isolating in these circumstances.

If you have been working from home and are not furloughed, you may be able to continue working and should receive full pay, as normal. If this does not apply and your employer does not have a company sick pay scheme, then under new laws from 28th May 2020, you may be entitled to receive SSP for every day you are in isolation - from the first day - as long as you meet the eligibility conditions. This is the case whether or not you go on to develop symptoms.

If you were already on furlough when you were contacted by the test and trace service, you should discuss with your employer whether it is best for you to be kept on furlough or moved over to SSP - although there seems to be some flexibility, you cannot receive both at the same time. One consideration is that employers are required to pay SSP themselves, although may qualify for a rebate for up to two weeks of SSP. If employers keep a 'sick' furloughed employee on furlough, they remain eligible to claim at least a proportion for these costs through the furlough scheme.

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