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Government pressures banks to support small independent businesses

3 Apr 2020

The Business Secretary has called on high street lenders to ease access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS) for small independent retailers during the crisis.
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National Living Wage Increases and Future Targets

2 Apr 2020

The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates increased yesterday, following recommendations made to the Government by the Low Pay Commission
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Local Bike Shop Day 2020 postponed following retailer vote

31 Mar 2020

As Local Bike Shop Day is a day encompassing the whole trade, the final judgement was given to the bike shops that had signup to take part. Out of all the respondents the overwhelming majority -... Read more…

IRC supports Government's challenge to business insurers

31 Mar 2020

The Treasury Select Committee led by Mel Stride MP, has challenged the Association of British Insurers (ABI) regarding the support offered to business via their members, with specific regard to... Read more…

Nearst enables you to stay in contact with your customers via Whatsapp

27 Mar 2020

ActSmart partner NearSt introduce the option to add WhatsApp chat functionality on your NearSt shop page!
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eBay Supports Small Businesses by Waiving Fees

27 Mar 2020

eBay has today pledged to support small business owners by offering a 30day payment holiday for existing sellers and is waiving fees for all new businesses registering to list or sell until... Read more…

Deferral of VAT payments as a result of COVID-19

27 Mar 2020

UK VAT registered business with VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 have the option to defer the payment until a later date or pay the VAT due as normal
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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance

27 Mar 2020

Check if you could be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
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Government Announces Three Month Extension for Businesses to File Accounts

26 Mar 2020

The deadline for filing all accounts will be extended by three months for businesses that have been affected by Covid-19
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Help with non-domestic rates in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19)

25 Mar 2020

To help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of COVID-19, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21.... Read more…

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How your independent shop will be affected by the budget

Posted on in Business News, Political News

The Chancellor presented his Budget to Parliament yesterday setting ouHouses of Parliament, budget 2020t the Government's fiscal measures and response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This briefing outlines the most relevant Budget policies for independent shops. The full Budget documents are available here


COVID-19 Business Support Package

"We will get through this together. The British people may be worried but they are not daunted"

The Chancellor set out a £12 billion package of ‘temporary, timely and targeted' measures in a three-point plan to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The support package for business includes:


Statutory Sick Pay

The Government confirmed that Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will now be available for people who are unable to work because they are self-isolating in line with government and medical advice.

The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers (with up to 250 employees) to reclaim up to 14 days of SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

People who are advised to self-isolate for COVID-19 will soon be able to obtain a fit note by contact NHS 111 rather than visiting a doctor. This can be used by employees where their employers require evidence. Further details will be confirmed shortly.

Business Rates

The Government will extend the Retail Rate Relief scheme giving business 100% rates relief if they have a rateable value under £51,000 for 2020-21. Businesses that received the retail discount in 2019-20 will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible. If businesses have any enquiries about their eligibility, they should contact their local authority.


Small Business Grant Funding

The Government will provide a one-off grant of £3,000 to small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR). This funding is to support small businesses help meet their ongoing business costs. This will provide £3,000 to around 700,000 business currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs. Businesses eligible for the newly expanded retail discount may need to apply to their local authority to receive the discount.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Government will launch a new, temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, 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 Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value.


HMRC Time to Pay

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC's Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. Businesses can contact HMRC's new dedicated COVID-19 helpline from 11 March 2020 for advice and support.

For more information about any of the measures the Government has announced to support public services, people affected by COVID-19 and businesses experiencing increases in costs of financial disruptions, click here.

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