Coronavirus Business Support Hub
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the coronavirus business support hub provides Support, Guidance and Resources for Small Business and the Self-employed
Keeping you Informed
The information on the business support hub is reviewed and is updated continuously, as a guide for employers and businesses. We are constantly coming up with new resources and information to support you and add value to your business growth during current National Lockdown started from 5 January 2021.
[Updated on 27 January 2021]
Are you concerned about your business finances amidst the crisis?
With our expert team in place, Clear House Accountants will help you resume operations
Clear House has partnered with Alternative Business Funding to provide you with a funding platform to provide support to you and your Business through COVID-19
Resources to help you grow and expand your business.
Utilise the key financial ratios compiled by our experts to boost your operational efficiency and profitability during any disruption in service.
Use the Strengths and Weaknesses (S-W) analysis template to strategically position yourself in the market and lead the industry.
Use a Cash flow forecast template to forecast your cash for the next few months to estimate if you require cash flow funding etc.
It is important to analyze and mitigate your risks as much as you can during the next three months. You can use a Risk Assessment Matrix to keep your business up and ready to tackle any challenge in the future effectively.
If you are looking to terminate an employee during this tough time, do it professionally. Use our Notice to Terminate template, you might also want to look at furloughing an employee. See more on our support article.
Use a Furlough Letter to Employees template to customise the changing terms and conditions according to your business needs and get the maximum benefit from the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Information & Advice
Guidance on Statutory Sick Pay
With the surge in the number of COVID-19, the ‘General’ Regulations of Statutory Sick Pay (1982) has stated that employees can avail paid leaves given that the employee submits a written request or notice that is considered legal under the law. Explore More About This Topic.
How to stay ahead in competition amidst the coronavirus crisis?
Apart from bracing themselves for the hard times ahead and cutting down operation costs, SMEs can adopt strategic investment as well as smart management to help change their current predicament. Explore More About This Topic.
What might be hindering your business growth?
The management of a growing business can be very challenging. It is therefore recommended to keep a list of key things that are critical to your businesses growth. Explore more about this topic to learn about the factors that might cause your business to suffer.
How to avoid late payment problems?
Timely collection of payments is one of the most common issues that businesses may encounter during the pandemic. Explore this topic to find out what should enable small businesses to improve their payments collections process to tackle late payments.
What business insurance do you need for your business?
A business insurance plan provides financial protection to a company.Explore more about this topic to find out about the different types of business insurances that you would need for your business.
How can outsourcing your Bookkeeping help you Grow your Business?
Startups are now seeking to outsource their bookkeeping obligations to accountants or bookkeeping specialists because of multiple advantages associated with it.Explore this topic to learn more about the advantages associated with outsourced bookkeeping.
What do you need to know about Government Grants?
Government grants refer to an award of a financial nature given to an eligible grantee or grantees by the government. Explore more about this topic to find out who can apply for a government grant and what are the rules around it.
How to develop an exit strategy for your business?
When setting up a limited company, it’s likely that the last thing on your mind is thinking about leaving or selling your business. However, having an exit strategy in place for your business is a crucial component of any business plan to help ensure long-term growth, increase the potential exit valuation and help to attract investors. Explore More About This Topic .
How to double your savings through “Help to Save”?
Help to Save is a new scheme which is backed by the Government to help working people who are on a low income so that they can build up their savings.Explore More About This Topic.
I am self-employed, but am I eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme?
You can qualify for the scheme if you meet the following criteria set by HMRC:
- You must be self-employed or must be a member of a partnership.
- You have either suffered or are suffering from trade/partnership losses due to the coronavirus situation.
- You have completed and submitted your tax return for the 2018/19 tax year as a self-employed individual or as a member of the partnership. However, those who have not filed their returns for 2018/19 tax year will be given an additional 4 weeks commencing from 27th March 2020 to submit their return.
- You have been doing business in the 2019/20 tax year, are currently doing business or would have been doing business but were unable to due to the situation and plan to do business in the 2020/21 tax year.
- Your annual business profits are less than £50,000, and you are earning more than half of your total income through self-employment. This can be in line with at least one of the fulfilled conditions mentioned below:
- Your business profits and total earnings in the 2018/19 tax years.
- Your average business profits and total earnings in three years between 2016/17,2017/18 and 2018/19.
As an employer, what do I need to know about Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?
Any individual employee diagnosed with COVID-19 or seeking self-isolation on government advice can avail SSP. This is an effort made by the UK government to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim SSP for employees absent from work due to coronavirus illness or self-isolation as a preventive measure. The support programme will help sponsor the SSP of every qualifying employee for up to two weeks to relieve the financial burden on small and medium-sized business during the crisis.
What kind of support is the UK government offering for commercial tenants who are unable to make rental payments due to COVID-19?
Commercial tenants facing difficulties in making rental payments due to COVID-19 should be aware that the government has issued new measures to deal with this problem in the emergency Coronavirus Bill.
In light of the business support measures, the commercial landlords will not be allowed to evict their tenants if they are unable to pay their commercial rent within the next 3 months.
You also need to keep in mind that you will be expected to pay your commercial rents, which may include your due rents, soon after the end of the 3-month period.
Keep yourself updated through our business support hub.
My business is not insured for a pandemic, what kind of support can I expect?
Business insurance is one of the major issues faced by British companies who are suffering from financial losses due to the Coronavirus pandemic and are not covered by their insurance policies.
Generally, there are very few insurance companies that offer protection during government-ordered closures due to a pandemic or outbreak of an ‘unspecified notifiable disease’. You need to reassess your insurance policy terms and conditions in terms of government closures. If there is no clause pertaining to the government closure, then you must stay tuned and stay updated on daily notifications issued by the government on the current situation (Covid-19 pandemic)
In a situation of adversity, the following business are eligible to can seek insurance protection:
- Businesses covered for COVID-19 (pandemics or infectious disease) may file a claim.
- Businesses under event cancellation policies during the spread of an unspecified notifiable disease. These businesses can claim for insurance protection due to unavoidable and necessary cancellation, curtailment, delay and disruption of the event for reasons beyond the control of the organizers.
Our coronavirus business support hub is to provide guidance and support to businesses and employers during this time of crisis.
What kind of measures are the UK authorities taking to curb the spread of COVID-19?
The British public should be applauded for their collaboration with the authorities by responding to their call to isolate and implementing social distancing. The government’s primary aim is to protect the vulnerable and to protect the NHS, which they plan to do by encouraging strict social distancing to decrease the number of growing infections and reduce the pressure on the health system.
To ensure complete social distancing, the authorities have ordered all entertainment and hospitality premises, which includes bars, cinemas, restaurants, across the country to remain closed until further notification.
What should I be expected to do if I am unable to pay my business taxes?
The parliament has proposed measures to provide assistance for all businesses and self-employed individuals facing financial difficulties while paying their taxes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Such businesses or self-employed individuals may qualify to receive support for their tax-related issues via HMRC’s ‘Time To Pay’ service.
For instance, if you have any VAT payments due between 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020, you can defer these payments until 31st March 2021. However, you will be required to make your tax payments soon after the deferral period ends.
To qualify for this break, you must ensure that your business has a regular record of paying taxes previously and has outstanding tax liabilities.
However, you must ensure that you inform HMRC as soon as possible after missing your tax payment to avoid further penalties. You will be liable to pay interest for late payments. If you are requested for tax payment or have received a threat letter for legal action, you have to immediately call the HMRC office that sent you the letter.
How can I keep my business up and running amidst a lockdown?
During the business disruption, either due to natural disaster, pandemic or financial crisis, business owners have to fight their way out to keep their businesses afloat. For this reason, many entrepreneurs design a business continuity plan early on.
A business continuity plan is a detailed document highlighting all the information regarding measures to be taken and how the business will resume its operation amidst any unanticipated disruption in business services.
You must ensure that you have a business continuity plan to follow, or if you have not created one, you must speak to an expert to help you devise an effective business continuity plan. This is to ensure that you suffer from less financial losses and can at least cover your upfront business costs.
Is there any relief on business rates for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses being offered? If yes, then how do I qualify?
Yes, the emergency coronavirus bill has offered relief on business rates for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020/21 tax year. To qualify for the relief, you must ensure that:
- Your business is England-based
- Your business operates in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.
Consult our coronavirus business support hub to know more about business rates relief.
How do I know if my business is considered an essential service and which businesses and premises will remain open amidst the lockdown?
The government is actively taking measures to prevent and control coronavirus spread to ease the pressure on the NHS and save more lives. To check whether your business must remain closed until further notification, you may check the list of businesses and venues considered non-essential on the guidance.
According to the guidance, take away and delivery services are allowed to continue their operations encouraging people to use online retail services and has also allowed postal and other delivery services to function as normal.
Am I eligible for Bounce Back Loan Scheme?
The BBL scheme helps SMEs to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their total turnover. The maximum loan available for these SMEs is £50,000. You’re eligible if your business is based in the UK, established before 1 March 2020, and has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.