Covid-19 Islington Business Support Survey
Take our survey to tell us about how the coronavirus is affecting your business and the kind of support you think you will need.
We have summarised the latest guidance, information and support for businesses:
Grants for businesses
- 25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- 10,000 for businesses currently eligible for small business rate relief (SBRR)
Arts council fund
Arts Council England has set up a £160 million emergency support package to help the cultural sector deal with the coronavirus outbreak. This includes £20 million for creative practitioners and freelancers, with artists and workers in the cultural sector eligible for cash grants of up to £2,500. There is also £50 million for organisations that are not in Arts Council England's portfolio, with grants up to £35,000. A further £90 million will be available next month for organisations in Arts Council England's portfolio and current grants will be advanced by up to six months to help with cash flow.
Help for the self-employed
The Government has announced a package of support for self-employed people who will be paid a grant of up to 80% of their profits, up to £2,500 a month, to help them cope with the coronavirus crisis. This will be based on their reported income in their previous tax returns. The grants will be open to businesses with trading profits of up to £50,000 and who make the majority of their income through self-employment.
To minimise fraud, only those who have filed a tax return in 2019 will be eligible. Self-employed people can also access business interruption loans and Universal Credit. The Government expects the scheme to be up and running by June.
Business Rates holiday and rent protection
All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive 100% discount on business rates for the coming year through our Rate Relief Scheme. Businesses will receive their new bills from us by the end of March 2020.
There is also a business rates holiday for nurseries for the coming year.
The Government has announced extra protection for businesses with a ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme UK employers can apply to HMRC for an 80% reimbursement of salaries for employees that would otherwise have been laid off during the crisis. These costs are capped at £2,500 per month for each employee. HMRC is currently setting up a system to reimburse employers.
VAT and Income Tax deferrals
Businesses are able to defer Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months and the Income Tax payments due for the self-employed in July 2020, under the Self-Assessment system, will be deferred to January 2021. More information can be found on GOV.UK.
Businesses may be concerned about closing their premises for an indefinite period and so the Metropolitan Police has issued some crime prevention advice to reduce the likelihood of burglaries and other types of crime.
Support for employers
Businesses with less than 250 employees will be able to reclaim the cost of providing 14 days Statutory Sick Pay (per employee) for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The Federation of Small Businesses has set out some useful guidance on the rights of employees.
Time to Pay
Businesses that are having difficulties paying their tax bill can contact the Government’s Time to Pay service for support.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme
The Government has launched a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance. All major banks are offering this scheme and businesses are advised by the Government to talk to their banks or an accredited finance provider. The rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.
Food and takeaway services
There are new legal requirements for food businesses in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Islington Council is implementing Government instructions and legal requirements to help keep everyone safe.
The Government has announced that it has relaxed planning rules so that pubs and restaurants can operate as takeaways. The new rules will last until 23 March 2021 and will not include the sale of alcohol. If you currently operate a pub or restaurant and you want to start offering a food takeaway service please email: Andrew.Jarratt@islington.gov.uk
Businesses that have taken out insurance covering both pandemics and government order closure are able to make a claim. Standard business interruption insurance is not enough as it is dependent on damage to property and excludes pandemics. Please talk to you insurance company to make sure you have sufficient cover.