Supporting businesses affected by these restrictions is crucial, so the government is putting a package of economic support in place:
In March, the government introduced mortgage payment holidays to help those affected by COVID-19. These have been extended.
If you have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday, you can apply for a six month holiday. If you already have a mortgage payment holiday, this can be extended up to six months without being recorded in your credit file.
Job Retention Scheme
The Chancellor has just announced that the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of March 2021 to give residents certainty over the Winter months.
The details are as follows:
- Employees will continue to receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to £2,500 a month.
- Businesses will have flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full-time.
- There will be no employer contributions for hours not worked.
- Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions for hours not worked. For an average claim, this accounts for just 5% of total employment costs or £70 per employee per month.
- The extended CJRS will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll.
- An employer can claim for any employee who was employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020, regardless of whether they had been furloughed before.
- An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020
Further details on how to claim can be found here.
Business Support Grants
Businesses that are forced to close as a result of these new restrictions will receive grants based upon their rateable value.
This means that:
If you have a rateable value of £15,000 or under you will receive a monthly grant of £1,334, between £15,001 - £50,999 you will receive £2,000 and a rateable value of over £51,000 you will receive £3,000.
Northumberland County Council will administer these grants and this page will be updated once they have provided guidance for how businesses can apply for these grants.
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
The Chancellor has announced increased support for millions more workers through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The third grant covering November to January will now be calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500 – up from 55%.
Further information can be found here.
The Government has announced an extension to loan schemes – the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Future Fund – to the end of January. They will also adjust the Bounce Back Loan Scheme rules to allow those businesses who have taken out less than their maximum (i.e. less than 25 per cent of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan giving businesses greater flexibility and support. Businesses will be able to take up this option; they can make use of this option once.