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Accounting for COVID-19: more details become clear

 

In today’s blog, we take a look at the support available to companies in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors – as well as an update on furloughed staff. 

 

Furloughed workers

As the scheme for how businesses can retain the staff they’ll need in the future is being finalised, a couple of key details are becoming clear: furloughed members of staff must not work for the employer during the period of furlough; and while their employment rights are the same as before, at the end of the period they will either be reinstated or made redundant and will have to go through the due redundancy process. For more on funding support for your business, take a look at our earlier blog.

 

Business rates holidays

The government has announced that it will introduce business rates holidays for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Furthermore, any businesses that received the retail discount last year (2019 to 2020) will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

To qualify, your business will need to be based in England and, obviously, operating in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.

Properties that will benefit from the relief must be occupied ‘hereditaments’ (property that can be inherited) that are wholly or mainly being used for typical retail, hospitality or leisure businesses – we’d recommend that you take a look at the list on the government page for details. 

 

Your next steps

Happily, you don’t need to do anything to access this scheme as it will automatically apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

To calculate what the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year will be, check the government calculator

 

Cash grants 

In addition, the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. 

However, businesses which don’t pay business rates are not included in this scheme.

The grants are staged and so businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Businesses with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

 

Eligibility

You will be eligible for the grant if your business: 

  • is based in England
  • is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  • has a rateable value of under £51,000

 

Your next steps

Again, you do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant – and it’s recommended that you contact them directly if you have any queries (you can find your local authority here).

 

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

The government will introduce a business rates holiday for nurseries for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Again, these properties need to be hereditaments (properties that can and based in England. In addition, the properties need to be occupied by businesses on Ofsted’s Early Years Register, or wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

 

Your next steps

Happily, you don’t need to do anything to access this scheme as it will automatically apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

Please check back tomorrow for more information as we’ll be publishing a new brand blog with the very latest information about financial support for business owners.

Better still, you can access a whole host of resources for business owners including blogs, smart guides and infographics for free. Simply opt in here.

Business Control Limited
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Bath, Somerset,
BA2 2PP,
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