Coronavirus / COVID-19 Advisory

We are living in extraordinary times and coronavirus is having a serious impact on businesses everywhere. We are contacted daily by companies large and small, who are finding trading extremely challenging as we all try to adjust to the new restrictions and guidelines. It’s tough out there, but we know it will change and government and businesses are beginning to think about, and prepare for, a time when we can all return to some semblance of normality.

For years Thomsonlocal has been proud to play a part in the success of thousands of businesses as they grew and flourished. In these difficult times we want to continue to help and support our customers and, when this is over, be there to work with them to regenerate business.

Contacting Us

Like everyone, Thomsonlocal has had to change its working practices; to ensure we play our part and adhere to the Government guidelines, we have closed our Head Office in Farnborough and our staff are working from home. We remain fully operational and to ensure that we can continue to give timely and appropriate support to our customers, we have increased the number of staff in our Customer Service team.

Customer Services can be contacted by email, info@thomsonlocal.com or by phone on 03330 145 045.

Help For Your Business Now

Our team can help you manage and purchase any of our products and services. In addition, we have compiled a list of measures and schemes available to businesses which outlines practical help including grant funding, business rate relief and Government supported loans.

There are details on how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes are open and how to apply.

1. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (UK Wide)

  • A loan scheme for SMEs:
    • UK based in business activity
    • Annual turnover of no more than £45m
    • Have a borrowing proposal which will enable business to trade out of difficulty
  • Managed by the British Business Bank
  • Delivered by their accredited lenders (List of lenders)
  • Support loans of up to £5m, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees
  • Government will cover the payment of the interest (not the capital) for the first twelve months

This scheme is not a 'pot of money' from which lending can be drawn; instead, it's a guarantee of up to 80% of each loan, for which businesses and banks will not be charged.

2. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (UK Wide)

  • Managed by HMRC - The online system to claim under the scheme is currently being developed
  • All UK businesses are eligible
  • Businesses to 'furlough' staff. Staff temporarily ‘laid off’ for minimum of three weeks
  • Government will pay 80% of salary for furloughed employees, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee per month
  • Payments by beginning of May, can be backdated to March
  • Scheme runs for three months, from March, although may be extended

3. Self-employment Income Support (UK Wide)

  • For registered self-employed / members of a partnership
  • To be eligible you must:
    • have submitted a self-assessment tax return to HMRC for the 2018-19 tax year
    • have been trading in tax year 2019-20
    • intend to keep trading in tax year 2020-21
    • have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
    • get more than half your income from self-employment
    • have lost trading profits due to COVID-19
  • Payment will be based on average trading profits over past three years of completed tax returns, covering the tax years:
    • 2016 to 2017
    • 2017 to 2018
    • 2018 to 2019
  • Payments up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, for three months
  • Payments expected by June, paid directly into your bank account as a lump sum
  • You cannot apply for this directly. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible. You'll then be invited to apply online

4. Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (England)

  • Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will receive a business rate holiday for the tax year 2020-21
  • The scope is broad and includes businesses like estate agents
  • You do not need to apply for this, local authorities will apply the business rates holiday to your bills

5. Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries (England)

  • Nurseries in England will receive a business rate holiday for the tax year 2020-21
  • For nurseries that are part of Ofsted’s Early Years Register and provide for the Early Years Foundation Stage

6. Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (England)

  • One-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses
  • Government scheme administered by local authorities
  • Aimed at small businesses paying little or no business rates (SBRR and RRR)
  • UK business that occupies property
  • Eligible businesses will be contacted by their local authority, though some local authorities have decided to operate an applications process

7. Statutory Sick Pay Rebate (UK Wide)

  • SMEs able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus
  • For businesses employing less than 250 people at the end of February
  • HMRC currently developing the system
  • Application process guidelines here

8. Support For Businesses Paying Tax (UK Wide)

  • Missed, or worried about missing your next tax payment due to coronavirus, contact HMRC, you may be eligible for HMRC’s Time To Pay service. You can also call the HMRC helpline for advice on 0800 024 1222
  • Income Tax payments from the self-employed due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021
  • Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments can be deferred by all UK businesses for 3 months, applying from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020

9. Protection From Eviction (England, Wales & Northern Ireland)

  • Under measures to be included in the Coronavirus Bill, no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the period to 30 June. Tenants will still be liable for the rent after this period.

10. Regional Help (Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland)

The regional assemblies have issued their own advice to businesses.

11. Support For Large Businesses

There are a number of schemes specifically aimed at large businesses and corporates and their details can be found on the Government website.

12. Further Help With These Government Schemes

  • A. FSB
    The Federation of Small Businesses, the FSB, have run a number of webinars explaining the details around many of these schemes and addressing some of the issues with them. These are well worth looking at and are available here
  • Accounts Department Online, a Leeds based Accounting packages business has put together a useful tool for determining what schemes you may be eligible for. Go to “what support is my business eligible for” on their website and follow the instructions.
  • C. For The Self Employed
    There’s a similar tool available to the self-employed, put together and hosted by London based company, Counting Up. Their Coronavirus Calculator ‘.. helps you understand the government grant that may be available if you are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus’.

Preparing For The End Of The Current Restrictions

We don’t know when and how the current restrictions will be lifted and there’s a lot you can be doing for your business now, both government and businesses are starting to think about, and plan for, the end of the immediate restrictions.

Come and talk to us about how through effective advertising, you can move forward and grow your business again.

Contact the team here at Thomsonlocal on 03330 145 045.

Updates To This Advisory

We will continue to review the situation on a regular basis and update this advisory as appropriate.

Thank you for your support.

Last updated Thursday 16th April, 2020.

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