Grants for businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief and shops, leisure and hospitality support.
A £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for small business rates relief (SBRR) in Wales with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. Please note that 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. A business rate holiday has been given to all firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors for 12 months.
Additional assistance to Shops, leisure and hospitality businesses sector;
- Business rates grant
A grant of £25,000 is being made available for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000.
This means businesses that occupy properties such as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, live music venues, hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.
- Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales will have a year-long business rates holiday.
Shops, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% business rates relief and pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill. This will be administered through the local authority and should be re-issued automatically.
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:
- as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
- for assembly and leisure
- for hospitality, as hotels, guest & boarding premises or self-catering accommodation
You can find the link to North Wales local authorities below
Economic resilience funds for Welsh businesses
The Welsh Government have pledged an emergency fund giving £10,000 to firms employing fewer than nine people, grants of £100,000 to business with 10 to 250 employees as well as support for larger companies that are significantly important to Wales and have their headquarters here.
Companies will have to apply for the support and meet certain criteria. These funds are aimed at businesses (including social enterprises) that are not able to benefit from the other Coronavirus grants. Details of the application process and eligibility are being finalised and should be published shortly. It is believed that qualifying firms will be able to apply from mid April.
VAT payment deferral
The deferral for VAT payments applies from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. All VAT registered traders are eligible. This will generally mean the deferral of one quarter’s VAT: the payment due on 7 April, 7 May or 7 June 2020 or the monthly payments due on each of these dates. This is an automatic offer and no application is required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Businesses should continue to file their VAT returns by the due date.
Businesses will need to cancel their direct debit mandate and will need to remember to set it up again in due course. Agents cannot set up direct debit mandates on behalf of taxpayers. Taxpayers have until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to pay any liabilities that accumulate during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19 more help is available from HMRC’s Time to pay scheme.
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The UK government announced a temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to be delivered by the British Business Bank. It will launch in a matter of weeks to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.
The scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value. This will be available to businesses in Wales via high street banks and the Development Bank of Wales.
It is intended to support the continued provision of finance to Welsh businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak. It will operate in much the same way as the current Enterprise Finance Guarantee but on more attractive terms for both businesses and lenders. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank. There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks. The Development Bank of Wales has loan and equity funding available immediately to Welsh businesses. The Welsh Government is working closely with the Development Bank of Wales to consider additional support to help businesses through the Covid-19 impact.
For further information please visit the Development Bank of Wales website or call 0800 587 4140.
For further support and business advice please contact Business Wales on 03000 6 03000.
The Welsh Government and the Development Bank of Wales have also announced the £100m Covid-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme to support businesses affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. The Scheme will be available from the Development Bank of Wales for a limited period. It is intended to provide support to businesses who are experiencing cashflow difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
The loan scheme will work alongside the UK wide Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, other Welsh Government and UK Government support offers, providing more vital options for Welsh businesses. Loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 are available to businesses who have been trading longer than 2 years and can demonstrate that they were able to service that level of debt before the outbreak.
• £100m fund
• 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)
Details of the fund, eligibility and application process can be found on the Development Bank of Wales’s website.
Off Payroll working (IR35)
The planned introduction of off-payroll working measures in the private sector is postponed for one year from 6 April 2020 to 6 April 2021
Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19.
However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy).
Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.
Protection from eviction for commercial tenants
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent. Commercial tenants are protected from eviction if they are unable to pay rent.
Relaxation of wrongful trading provisions
The Business Secretary has also announced he will make changes to enable UK companies undergoing a rescue or restructure process to continue trading, giving them breathing space that could help them avoid insolvency.
This will also include enabling companies to continue buying much-needed supplies, such as energy, raw materials or broadband, while attempting a rescue, and temporarily suspending wrongful trading provisions retrospectively from 1 March 2020 for three months for company directors so they can keep their businesses going without the threat of personal liability.
Companies House filing arrangements.
Companies will automatically and immediately be granted a three-month extension to the filing of their accounts following a fast-track online process. Existing laws for fraudulent trading and the threat of director disqualification will continue to act as an effective deterrent against director misconduct.
Home working allowance
HMRC have announced that the maximum ‘home working allowance’, which may be paid tax free to employees who are required to work from home to recognise the additional costs they incur, will be increased from £4 per week to £6 per week as from April 2020.
The information is based on our current understanding of information published so far. It should not be relied on for advice at this stage but is intended to give an indication of how the provision will work in practice.