COVID-19 Guidance for Our Customers
Currently, our locations remain open and operational, but with many colleagues in isolation and schools now closed, our on the ground presence is decreasing. As such, it’s becoming likely we’ll need to reduce services in some places and focus on the basics of keeping our buildings safe and secure.
Our customer operations managers are in continual conversation with our customers to share information relating to this and any confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the building. If a case is reported we’ll liaise with Public Health England to follow its guidance. We’ll also contact all other customers in that building directly to let them know if a case has been reported. If we’re asked to close a building, then we will.
We recognise that this is a difficult time for many businesses and will continue to offer support to our community where we can, including the continuation of our Business Support programme with a series of virtual events. You can find out more about these events on twitter.
While businesses continue to be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, we will share news of any financial support available from the government and other sources. Please find the latest updates below:
Business Support: Government
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
All UK businesses are eligible for reimbursement from HMRC of 80% of furloughed workers wage costs up to £2.5K p/m. Employers need to designate affected employees as furloughed workers and submit information to HMRC through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).
There will be a VAT deferral from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. This is automatic so businesses do not need to take any action.
For the self-employed, Self Assessment payments due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021. This is automatic and no action needs to be taken.
Statutory Sick Pay Relief
Employers with less than 250 staff can receive up to 2 weeks' SSP per eligible employee. The repayment mechanism for employers will be set up as soon as possible.
Business Rates Holiday
All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will be granted a 12-month business rates holiday. This is automatic and will apply to the next council tax bill in April 2020.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure £10K &25K Grants
All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England with rateable value <£15K can apply for grant funding of £10,000. All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England with property with a rateable value £15K - £51K can apply for grant funding of £25,000. The local authority will write to the business if they are eligible for this grant. Any enquiries should be directed to the relevant local authority.
Small business £10K Grant
Qualifying Businesses in England occupying property and already receiving SB Rates Relief and/or Rural Rates Relief are eligible for grant funding of £10,000. The local authority will write to the business if they are eligible for this grant. Any enquiries should be directed to the relevant local authority.
HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
Self-employed and businesses with outstanding tax liabilities can receive support with their tax settlement agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. Call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL)
Any UK businesses with a turnover <£45M can apply for a loan up to £5 million, 12 months interest free. 80% of the loan is government backed. Available from 23 March via 40 banks. See British Business Bank for details.
Corporate Financing Facility
The Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. The scheme will be available early in the week beginning 23 March 2020. More information on how to access the scheme will be available shortly from the Bank of England.
All of the above measures are covered in detail and updated here
Business support: Growth Hub
There is a number of organisations on hand to offer support to businesses at this time. Discover the latest help available from the GBSLEP here.
With the exception of key workers, the UK Government is currently advising against non-essential use of public transport and for people to vary travel times to avoid rush hour.
Innovation Birmingham Events
We are working with our partners to offer business advice clinics virtually. While many in our community will be unable to physically interact with each other due to current circumstances, we know it’s important that everyone is able to stay connected so we’re exploring the best options available for keeping the conversations and collaboration going. Stay up to date with latest events via our twitter page.
If you have something to contribute or ideas for talks, topics, webinars or requests you'd like us to consider, please do get in touch.
Page updated: 21st April 2020