The coronavirus crisis is causing concern for business owners across the country, particularly those who have to stop trading or can’t afford to cover employees’ sick pay.
If you’re in this position, the government has announced a series of measures to help keep your business running.
Government coronavirus grants to cover wages and earnings
The UK is creating two new grants to help cover the earnings of business owners and the wages of employees.
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
Designed to help small business owners earn a living and keep their businesses open, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme pays 80% of the income, based on up to three years’ previous tax returns and up to a maximum of of £50,000 in earnings.
Unfortunately, if you pay yourself through dividends, you’ll not be eligible as this is not considered to be income.
The scheme will start in June, and cover earnings of up to £2,500 a month for at least three months.
The advice for any business owners struggling to make ends meet in the meantime – June is a long time to wait for payments – is to apply for Universal Credit and housing allowance as soon as possible, and ask lenders about taking a mortgage holiday.
The government has assured business owners that payments will be made within days of claims being filed. You should also look in the other finance options available, such business interruption loans.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Designed to help small business owners keep staff on while work has been halted, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme pays 80% of employees’ wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
These grants will be available at the end of April, and will be backdated to the start of March.
To qualify, staff must be registered as furloughed workers with HMRC, which means they stay on the payroll but can’t do any work or perform any of their normal duties as employees.
How to apply for government coronavirus grants
There’s still no information available on how to apply for these grants, but we will update this section as soon as more information becomes available.
How a conference call can help with coronavirus planning
If you have staff working from home, then conference calling is the simplest way to stay in touch.
Go to conferencecall.co.uk to find out how simply you can set up a low-cost call for up to 100 participants.