NI Micro-business Hardship Fund:
The NI Executive has launched a new NI Micro-business Hardship Fund to help Northern Ireland based micro-businesses and social enterprises unable to access other regional and national COVID-19 support measures.
Department for the Economy (DfE) will make up to £40 million available through a fund, which is being administered by Invest Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy. It will offer emergency funding to businesses facing immediate cash flow difficulties due to the impact of COVID-19.
The scheme will close to applications at 6 pm on Friday 12 June 2020.
For more information and to check eligibility –
Support for business during COVID-19 Pandemic
HMRC update Furloughed Wage Payments
The recent update from HMRC that furloughed wage payments should be able to be claimed through a portal from 20th April 2020, with payments being made by 30thApril 2020.
Over the last three weeks we have been regularly informing and lobbying government on your behalf and we want to ensure the flow of timely, accurate information continues to be fed through to the decision makers so that support can be directed to the areas that need it most. We want to get a clear picture of how you are managing currently and how the emergency support measures, introduced by government, are or maybe aren’t, helpful. This is an opportunity for your voice to be heard alongside thousands on other small businesses in similar situations.
Business Support Grant Schemes
A grant of £10,000 will be provided to all small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (ie all businesses with a NAV up to £15,000). This will benefit around 27,000 businesses.
A grant of £25,000 will be provided to companies in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. This should assist 4,000 business.
Link for further information
To apply for COVID-19 Small Business Grant Scheme visit: https://www.covid-19smallbusinessgrants.economy-ni.gov.uk/
Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme
Government will cover up to 80 per cent of small business staff wages, up to £2,500 per employee
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
Link to access this information https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-support-available-through-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Self Employed Income Support
This scheme allows the self-employed individuals or members of partnerships to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. Link to access further information https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-self-employed-income-support-scheme-seiss
Deferred VAT Payments
VAT payments for all UK businesses will be deferred for 3 months
The government will be automatically deferring business payments for Valued Added Tax (VAT).
The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
Link to access this information https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-deferred-vat-payments
Deferred Income Tax Payments
If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.
For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.
Link to access this information https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-deferred-income-tax-payments
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, aims to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to access bank lending and overdrafts.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80 per cent on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest- free, as the government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.
Link to access this information www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-small-businesses
Rates Support for Small Business
Delay in rate bills
Rate bills for 2020-21 were due to be issued in April 2020. To avoid placing financial pressure on ratepayers affected by COVID-19, rate bills will not be issued until June 2020.
When rate bills issue in June 2020, ratepayers can still choose to pay their bill in monthly installments between June 2020 and March 2021. Monthly Direct Debit payment plans will be updated to collect payments between June 2020 and March 2021.
Rates holiday for businesses
There will be a three month rates holiday for all business ratepayers, excluding the public sector and utilities. The effect of this is that no rates will be charged for April, May, and June 2020. This will be shown as a 25 percent discount on the annual rate bill for business ratepayers.
Small Business Rate Relief
The Small Business Rate Relief scheme will be continued in 2020-21. The rates of relief and thresholds for eligibility have not changed.
Link to access further information https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-rates-support-businesses
Additional support for self-employed is to be announced in the coming days