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COVID-19 Advice for Wrexham County Businesses


To support businesses across the County Borough during this current pandemic, Wrexham County Borough Council's Business Support team have asked us to publish the following advice.

Support for businesses affected by COVID-19 – Update / Reminder

As a number of schemes have been announced to support businesses affected by COVID-19, we thought we'd provide a reminder of the support which has / will be made available to date:

If you have premises with a rateable value Status: Live

If you run your business from premises which have a rateable value, business grants (available to qualifying businesses that were registered for rates on their premises on 20 March 2020) and rates relief are currently available (however eligibility criteria does apply), please follow the link below for further information and to apply for a grant (if eligible):

https://beta.wrexham.gov.uk/service/covid-19-support-businesses

If you are unsure whether your premises have a rateable value, or what this is, one way to tell would be that you would receive an annual demand notice, even if no business rates are payable as a result of the Small Business Rates Relief scheme being applied for instance. Alternatively you should be able to check this via:

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/business-rates-find/search

When you complete the form you will need to have your business rates demand notice to hand as you will need your business rates reference number along with the rateable value of the premises, which can be found on this document.

Please note, with regards to the £10,000 grant, the multiple property restriction which applies to Small Business Rates Relief also applies to this grant. Therefore, the same ratepayer may only receive the grant for a maximum of two properties in each local authority area.

Childcare businesses with a rateable value up to £100,000 qualify for the £10,000 grant (rather than this being capped at a rateable value of £12,000 for this sector). Childcare businesses with a rateable value up to £100,000 are to complete the application form to apply for the £10,000 grant.

If you have a rateable value under £500,000 and are unsure whether your business falls within the retail, leisure or hospitality sector in order to qualify for the 100% rates relief, a list of the properties which will benefit from this relief can be found via:

https://bit.ly/345Jhlm

Existing business rates relief schemes will continue to be applied during the 2020/21 tax year. For further information on these please follow:

https://businesswales.gov.wales/business-rates-relief-in-wales

If you're self-employed (with or without premises) Status: In progress

If you are self-employed the Self-employment Income Support Scheme may be of interest. This provides a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 for three months, although this could be extended. To be eligible you will need to have submitted an income tax self-assessment tax return for 2018-19, traded in the 2019-20 tax year, are trading (or would have been if not for the COVID-19 outbreak) when you apply, intend to continue to trade in the 2020-21 tax year and have lost profits due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A maximum trading profit also applies and more than half of your income needs to be generated through self-employment to qualify. Further information can be found via:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Further information on Universal Credit for the self-employed, which may also be of interest, can be found via the following link:

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/new-to-universal-credit/self-employment/

Economic Resilience Fund: Status: In progress

Details of a new Economic Resilience Fund have been announced by the Welsh Government. Full eligibility criteria is yet to be published, however the fund will provide:

  • Grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to nine people. This includes sole traders employing staff. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April.

  • Grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April.

  • Support for larger Welsh companies, which are of critical social or economic importance to Wales. This element will be open to qualifying businesses within the next two weeks.

Information on full eligibility criteria together with details on how to apply will be added to the following page as they become available:

https://businesswales.gov.wales/financial-support-and-grants

If you employ people or are paid via PAYE Status: In progress

(this can include company directors):

Open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28th February 2020 the Job Retention scheme will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Please see the following pages for further information.

https://businesswales.gov.wales/financial-support-and-grants

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Support to businesses paying sick pay to employees:

Status: In progress

Small and medium-sized businesses and employers will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. For further information on the eligibility criteria please follow the links below:

https://businesswales.gov.wales/financial-support-and-grants

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Support for businesses paying tax:

Status: Live

If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19 help is available from HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme. For example; VAT payments due before 30th June 2020 and self-assessment payments on account due on 31st July can be deferred to 2021. No application is required but direct debit mandates need to be cancelled. For further information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

For further information please call: 0800 024 1222

Ban on evictions for commercial tenants: Status: Live

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction, the UK government has announced. These measures will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. Please visit the following website for further information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-protection-for-businesses-with-ban-on-evictions-for-commercial-tenants-who-miss-rent-payments

Organisations in the culture, creative or sports sector:

Status: In progress

A number of funding schemes are to be made available by the Welsh Government, the Arts Council for Wales and Sports Wales aimed at safeguarding businesses and jobs. The schemes will look to support artists, arts organisations, sports clubs, music venues, the TV and publishing sector, museums, collections, conservation services, archives, community and public libraries and heritage organisations etc. Limited information has been provided at present, which can be found via:

https://gov.wales/18m-support-culture-creative-and-sport-sector-wales

New loans launched to support businesses affected by COVID-19:

COVID 19 Wales Business Loan Scheme:

Status: Live

The loan is open to all SMEs based in Wales who have been trading 2 years or longer including sole traders and partnerships:

Key features:

  • Loans between £5,000 to £250,000, maximum loan levels apply

  • 12-month capital and interest repayment holiday

  • No arrangement or monitoring fees

  • 2% interest fixed for 6 years (includes the 12 month holiday)

  • Partially secured lending depending on the size of the loan, see below for details

For Further information and to apply:

https://developmentbank.wales/covid-19-wales-business-loan-scheme

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Status: Live

Delivered by the British Business Bank, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme looks to support small and medium sized businesses and provides access to a variety of different products such as loans, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims), no charge to businesses or banks will be applied for this guarantee. The first 12 months will be provided on an interest free basis, with the government covering these payments. For further information:

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/

Additional support:

It would be worthwhile speaking to anyone you have to pay money to i.e. rent, utilities, etc and see if they can help in any way via payment holidays etc.

We’ve provided below key contact details and information links which may also be helpful, information is changing and being updated on a regular basis. The links would therefore be worth checking fairly regularly for details of new support and guidance for businesses:

https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-support-businesses

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

Business Wales helpline

Get help with your business online, or by calling the Business Wales Helpline.

Telephone: 0300 060 3000

HMRC employees’ enquiry line

Textphone: 0300 200 3212

Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

ACAS

Telephone: 0300 123 1100

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