Coronavirus (COVID-19): Support and Help for Small Businesses

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Support and help for small businesses

The global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been a challenging time for small to medium sized businesses. So we thought we’d help you out by compiling some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received over the last few weeks around the help for small businesses that the government has to offer.

We strongly recommend speaking to a business advisor before deciding what is right for you and your business.

Important: The information below is up to date as at the time of this post. As this is a fast-changing situation please keep looking out for updates during the daily government briefings.

Questions:
I’m the director of a limited company. Can I put myself on furlough?
Can I work while on furlough?
What are my options if I’m not eligible for the scheme?
Can I get any other help?
COVID-19 has me seriously considering the future of my company. What are my options?

I’m the director of a limited company. Can I put myself on furlough?

Salaried company directors who are on PAYE payroll are eligible to be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme according to the updated guidance from the government on 6 April. However, once you go on furlough, it means you will no longer be able to work for that company except to perform your statutory duties. We can help you with those duties including your annual account filings and filing Confirmation Statements.

Can I work while on furlough?

According to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can work for a different company. You just can’t work for the company that has put you on furlough. The Ask Martin Lewis podcast on BBC Radio from 6 April, discusses the potential options that you could explore including considering setting up another company to take on work.

Furloughed employees are permitted to take on voluntary work.

What are my options if I’m not eligible for the scheme?

If you fall outside of this eligibility criteria you may be able to apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan and get access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years. The Business Interruption Loan is now open for applications, and is available from over 40 accredited lenders.

The government has also stepped in to offer deferrals for self-assessment payments and VAT to ease the financial hardship self-employed might be facing. This is great news as it means if you were due to make a self-assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020, you now have until 31 January 2021 to pay without incurring any late payment penalties or interest charges.

A full list of government resources can also be found on the official Coronavirus Business Support website.

Can I get any other help?

During this time of decreased income, if you are struggling with living costs, you may be eligible for further assistance from the government.

The FCA has also introduced measures for targeted and temporary financial relief.

COVID-19 has me seriously considering the future of my company. What are my options?

If you have not started trading or not traded since your last filing you can give yourself some breathing space and file Dormant Company Accounts.

If you have made the tough decision to stop trading or are thinking about closing down a limited company, you may find our dissolution services helpful, but we strongly recommend speaking to a business advisor before deciding what is right for you and your business.

A full list of government support and help for small businesses can be found here. We’ve also highlighted some of the schemes and services that might be useful to you right now*.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Small Business Grant Funding
Deferral for Self-Assessment Payment
Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus

*You must have a UK-based business to be eligible for government funding.

If you have any questions or you’re just not sure what to do next, contact us now or visit the support page.

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