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post 11 may self

Self-Employment Grant Update

So, based on current guidance, the portal will start to go live for some clients as of Wednesday but there are still several things unknown but we thought we would tell what we; and you, should expect:

  • Some people are now receiving text messages to set up their personal government gateway ID’s with HMRC.  We recommend you do this, but either register through your web browser or if already registered, then only log back in through your web browser to reduce the risk of fraud.
  • If you are unsure as to whether you have an account, just try registering just in case and if there is an error warning then contact our office and we may be able to assist or point you in the direction of where you go with HMRC.  Please try registering first though to avoid a deluge of calls to the office.
  • You personally must make the claim using this personal Government Gateway ID and we will not in any circumstances be able to make this claim on your behalf as these claims are meant to be made by the claimant and cannot be made through our firm portal based on the most recent guidance.
  • We are told that it is a ‘simple form’ and we expect/hope that HMRC use the information they already have access to calculate what you are due; this is our interpretation though, so we are not expecting to manually have to make any such calculations which should speed up the process and make it more efficient all round.

Naturally all of the above is subject to change but we will keep an eye on this and notify you of any changes as and when we receive them ourselves.

banks loan 3 may

Bounce Bank Loan Update: Webinars

Continuing on from our newsletter earlier this week we just wanted highlight a few things that have been picked up since:

  • There has been further guidance issued which can be found here
  • The record time between application and receipt of funds has been 7 hours so there is the opportunity to access this money very quickly
  • Although the application process is very straight-forward, unless you are 100% confident in the figure you need and why, then please do not apply without first speaking with us
  • If you have not yet applied, we strongly suggest you consider this as this is a great opportunity to use this funding if you have a justifiable reason for doing so, so please do not ignore this
  • We have heard on the grape vine; though this may be incorrect, that this loan will disappear before the CBILS loan, so don’t delay too long, though we don’t have any fixed timescales just yet
  • For those that have accessed the larger CBILS loan; thus taking more than the £50k limit, we are seeking guidance from the banks as to whether a repayment could be made by an imposed bank deadline to bring this debt to £50k or less then switch this across to the bounce bank loan scheme thus benefiting from the lower rate of interest.  We wouldn’t suggest you do anything reference this yet though so don’t start contacting your bank reference switching as we are still unsure as to what the future months hold.

In short, don’t ignore this and speak with us if you want some guidance and assistance.

With everything that has been going on; and if you are still unsure as to what support you can get access to, why not try this Government link that can be accessed here to self-assess what you might have missed and can get access to.

Self-assessment grant eligilibility

First of all, the portal is still not live and we have no further information regarding this other than are told that this should be live by the middle of this month.

There is an eligibility status check that you can use though that can be accessed here and you can set up your personal government gateways at the same time if you do not have one already.

Webinars (NOT TO BE MISSED)

As promised, we have lined up a fantastic range of speakers that perfectly dovetail the support that we have already provided to help you ‘Strike-back’ when this time passes and not just make a difference now but make an ever lasting impression and actually come back stronger.

For next week we have the following webinars for you to book onto:

Strike Back Strategy Session – Survive and Thrive with Steven Briginshaw
Tuesday 12 May, 11AM (book here)

Are you in the thick of this lock-down and have a number of things you want to do but not sure what to do, when by and what the impact of these decisions would be?  If so, this is the webinar for you.

In this session we will be focusing on how you take the necessary actions and are held accountable for this spare time you have to not just know your numbers, but improve your numbers, your business and ultimately you personally.

You should have already seen the information we have shared about the Clarity software but if you want to watch our webinar on this click here.

Your Marketing Bounce Back with Ford Henderson
Wednesday 13 May, 10.30AM (book here)

Are you struggling with marketing your business in the current climate and even uncertain as to whether it is ethical that you do market your business?

In this session we will be looking at how you can shake up your marketing and you know how I have already mentioned that you should take your business, turn it upside down and put it back together again, well this adds onto this how you then know what your marketing plan will look like to get the financial return for the changes you’ve made.

We’ve known Ford for some time and worked alongside him but if you want to know a little bit more information about him and his business, you can access his website here.

Leading Your Team To Strike Back with Alison Reynolds
Thursday 14 May, 11AM (book here)

If you have furloughed your team; have you considered how their morale will be when they return to work?  If you haven’t furloughed your team have you considered how they might be feeling right now; whether they are working remotely are not?

More than ever you are going to need your team around you; pulling in the right direction, when lock down is lifted and Alison will go through not just what should be done now but what should be done moving forward also.

For a little bit more information about Alison and her business; aside from the fact she is amazing and has worked with our team, you can access her website here.

There are more amazing webinars to follow over the remainder of this month so keep an eye on these newsletters.

 

Blog- Stricke back 1

Your Business Curve versus The Health Curve

According to the press, we are now past the peak of COVID-19. We’ve flattened the curve! Give it a few more weeks and it’ll be business as usual, right?

Wrong.

Nobody knows what the new ‘normal’ will look like. Because of this, your ability as a business owner to pivot and adapt has never been more important.

We’re at a crucial point in the timeline of the health of UK residents and their businesses. As the health curve shows evidence of decline; day by day, we’re at risk of getting complacent and this curve is very different to the one that businesses are following and the impact they have felt and are yet to feel.

Stay inside. Save lives. Protect the NHS.

Health is the most important thing in life. It’s more important than business. You know that.

That’s why you’re listening to the government’s instructions. You’re a responsible adult with morals. It’s the ‘right thing to do’.

But it’s easy to follow instructions, so what do you do if you’re the one giving them? As a business owner, you need to take control and put measures in place to flatten another type of curve: your business’ health curve.

What do I mean by your business’ curve? Like the national health statistics, we can measure the negative effect the pandemic has on your business and map it on a graph. Although the peak in a curve is usually considered to be a good thing, we know in this case it’s the opposite.

You can forgive yourself for being momentarily shell-shocked. A bit caught in the headlights if you will. It’s unprecedented times, after all. But I’m telling you that as we enter another week of lockdown, the time for hesitation and bemusement is over.

Now is the time to act. If you haven’t started to rebuild, you’re prolonging the inevitable.

If you don’t suck it up, make a plan, and get on with saving your business now then you might not have a business to go back to.

I don’t want to be a doomsayer. I’m a realist and am writing this to give you the shake you might need.

Your Business’ Health Curve

Just like in the health curve, we can’t get ahead of ourselves.

What would happen now if we lifted restrictions and everything returned to normal? That’s right, the declining curve would make a sharp u-turn and start climbing again.

Our business health curve hasn’t hit its peak yet. Why? This is due to various reasons including the help the government has given us business owners, financial reserves bailing people out but overall we must recognise this assistance will soon run out.

As we enter May, this ‘peak’ is likely to become increasingly noticeable.

When the government lifts lockdown, the new ‘normal’ will be very different from what we considered everyday life beforehand.

And because of this, the true extent of this pandemic on the business world is scarily unknown but what we can say is the peaks of the ‘business curve’ may be slightly flatter but are most definitely going to be longer lasting and potentially more sporadic.

So, What Can You Do?

You focus on what you do know and what you can control.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask yourself the following:

  1. Using everything you’ve learned, if you could start your business again, how would it look?
  2. Are the problems you’re facing 100% down to COVID-19, or are they deeper rooted than that?
  3. How will you prepare for the very real threat of waves 2 and 3 of COVID-19?

Last time we had no warning. It came out of nowhere and turned our lives upside down. You might even say we buried our head in the sands about it, refusing to accept we’d be as affected as China and Italy.

But now we’re in this situation, if you could tip your business upside down, give it a good shake and put it back together again, how would it look?

The ‘new’ business world will be very different than the old, so the more you take action right now and pivot your business, the more agile your business will be and so the more prepared you’ll be for the future.

The ‘New Norm’ Myth Debunked

Don’t let yourself get carried away with messages out there in the press.

No, everybody is not going to suddenly start working from home; and no, all meetings will not now be virtual rather than face-to-face.

Things will change, but not to that extreme.

What this pandemic has done is highlight many inefficiencies within our businesses that we should’ve spotted before now. For example, why were you travelling for 2 hours to a catch-up meeting when you could do it online? Why have staff members taken days off when their kids are sick instead of working from home for the day? Could all those meetings have been an email?

The opportunity this pandemic has given us is time. And while we can’t be certain about when the business curve will hit its peak, we have the time now to prepare the best we can for it so strike back against COVID-19.

Revisit your processes. Streamline your services. Strip everything back and start again.

Now is not the time for doing nothing

If you’re feeling deflated, or you’ve been enjoying some time off expecting this to all blow over and make back the time and money lost on the other side, this has only delayed your peak and may even worryingly lengthen how long your peak lasts.

Face it head on

By acting now, you’ll see the peak and, like the UK’s health curve, you’ll get past it. You’ll flatten it and you’ll have a better chance of beating it and come out of this stronger than before. Plus, you’ll be in a better position to avoid peaks 2 and 3 if they do indeed come.

Unsure about how to get started? Get in touch today and let us help you model your business curve and get you ahead while you still can.

loan 2 may

Government Loan And New Grant Announcement

So the bounce back loans are now live and can be accessed via most banks websites as we have been tracking them this morning.

I know we covered most of this last week but the key known facts that we are aware of so far:

  • They cover borrowing from £2,000 to £50,000 with some banks adding that the amount borrowed must not exceed 25% of turnover as well as a guideline.
  • The Government guarantees 100% of the loan and there will be no repayments within the first 12 months.
  • You cannot claim if you are already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).  If you have already received a loan of up to £50,000 through the CBILS you can transfer this to the Bounce Back Loan scheme but this must be arranged with your lender by not later than 4 November 2020.
  • After the first year, interest is fixed at 2.5%.
  • There are no early repayment fees.

We’re told that the application process should be relatively quick and simple but naturally nobody has been through this and we would initially recommend you contact your bank if this is of interest then liaise with us if you require any assistance.

New premises grant

This one almost slipped under the radar but we spotted it and there is a new discretionary fund that has been made available to local authorities that is aimed at small businesses with on-going fixed property-related costs.

Now there is no mention of working from home costs so as yet we are not aware of any additional allowance for this but there are HMRC allowances for businesses and employees working from home and more information regarding this can be found here.

In terms of this new grant, local authorities are being asked to prioritise businesses in share spaces, regular market traders etc and more guidance can be found here.

To qualify, businesses must be deemed to be small as in have less than 50 employees and be able to demonstrate a significant drop in income due to COVID-19.

There are three levels of grants:

  1. Grants of £10,000
  2. Grants of up to £25,000
  3. Grants of less than £10,000 which will be at the discretion of local authorities

Further guidance for local authorities is set to be forthcoming so contact them directly if you have any further queries.

What is planned for May?

Whilst we must get back on track ourselves as firm in May, our ‘Strike-Back’ strategy continues and we have an exciting line-up of speakers planned for clients that will further help you reinforce and re-engineer your business so that you come back with a bang as you are most likely sick of us by now!

We have our first four speakers lined up so will announce more information later this week.

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27.04 loan

Strike Back. Government Loan

Major funding announcement by the Government
The Government have literally; within the last hour, announced a new corona virus crisis aid scheme that will offer businesses support for those who were perhaps struggling to access the current CBILS Scheme in place.

The scheme aims to support small businesses in accessing loans of up to £50,000 and will guarantee 100% of these.

The scheme is due to be in place as of next Monday with applications allegedly being via a ‘simple form’ through your bank.

Naturally hold off contacting your bank just yet as with previous announcements the Government does not always share these initiatives any quicker with them than they do with you.

This will provide another option out there for businesses that are in desperate need of financial support and who have exhausted other channels.

Hopefully it will also be accessible much more quickly than the current CBILS scheme due to the additional security being provided and following the lessons learnt by the Government when the guidance given to banks previously was lacking.

What is planned for May?

Whilst we must get back on track ourselves as firm in May, our ‘Strike-Back’ strategy continues and we have an exciting line-up of speakers planned for clients that will further help you reinforce and re-engineer your business so that you come back with a bang as you are most likely sick of us by now!

april 23

Business support. Help might be closer than what you think.

As business owners, we have all seen the impact of customers no longer trading; be it temporarily or permanently and the money troubles that they have had.  You may too have seen this with suppliers.  Both of which you may even know personally.

If you could help them through this, they could ultimately keep working with so in turn you too will then be supported operationally and/or financially as appropriate.

I therefore ask you this – are you doing all that you can for others around you because if you do a little bit more; the theme of this newsletter, what positive impact might that have?

I’m going to give you one tip straight away – the content and knowledge shared with you by us, why don’t you share it with them?  If they want to discuss what and how you are striking back, then share this with them.  Pick up the phone and call them and see how they are. If they want a discussion we are opening our doors to non-clients for some brief informal advice also for no charge as now is the time to give back as ultimately this will in turn help you and the wider society out.

All of these small steps could just mean that they; and you, end up with money back in your pocket sooner than you otherwise would have done.

Giving Back to Society

As we have said on more than one occasion; we are going over and beyond current letters of engagement to support clients in their time of need.

This has included:

  • regular updates via newsletters
  • one to one phone calls and zoom meetings
  • free access to additional software
  • assistance with funding applications
  • and more

We did this out of choice but also consider that we should be giving back to society as a whole so we ask if you could put a value on the additional support given to you by us, would you kindly mind making an anonymous donation to NHS Charities Together (a donation can be made here).

If you have already donated or do not wish to we totally understand hence asking you to do this without our knowledge and it being at your own discretion and it is just be a further way that together we can be making a difference to the wider society in these unprecedented times.

What is planned for May?

Whilst we must get back on track ourselves as firm in May, our ‘Strike-Back’ strategy continues and we have an exciting line-up of speakers planned for clients that will further help you reinforce and re-engineer your business so that you come back with a bang as you are most likely sick of us by now!

Watch this space for further information.

HR and Health and Safety Challenges

Covid-19 is presenting businesses large and small with unprecedented HR and Health & Safety challenges, and Mentor recognise that many business owners are feeling confused and anxious.

Natwest have kindly invited you all to a short webinar where a panel of experts will discuss the latest developments on the hot topics. This week the expert panel will focus on areas of employment law including:

·         The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – the latest updates and the situation during week 1 of claims

·         Workforce planning – considerations and steps to take for the future return to work

To book onto this please click here.

 

15.04

Furlough and Help for Self-Employed Update

The timing of our two webinars; links towards the foot of this newsletter, couldn’t have been timed better.  We’ve just outlined the headlines below together with the links to the full HMRC articles and will go through all of this in more detail this coming Friday.

Furlough Update
Thousands more employees will now be able to receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after the eligibility date was extended to 19 March 2020, the government announced today (full article can be found here).
Employers can claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.
This change makes the scheme more generous while keeping the substantial fraud risks under control and is expected to benefit over 200,000 employees.
HMRC are aiming to have the scheme fully operational next week but anticipate issues and the system crashing when it first goes live.

Update for the Self-Employed
How the figures will be calculated has now been outlined in detail and the breakdown of which can be found here.It will be based on those figures declared on your tax returns covering the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 tax years as appropriate.

Any more queries around either of the above, please come along to our webinar on Friday where we will look to answer as many as we can.

COVID 19 Strike Back – Lets hit back and lets hit back hard!

Now that the dust has settled and we should have digested the support there and how we access this; though some finer details are still yet to be clarified, let’s hit back with all of this rather than feel sorry for ourselves and our business.  If you don’t, you more than likely won’t have a business to return to.

To start with we are ecstatic that we can now share our co-branded document that has been produced alongside one of our software providers that has a walk-through of how best you can do this.  This can be found here.

There is still time to jump onto our second 30 minute LIVE work-out webinar without the spandex this week where we will look at pivoting your business to bounce back (register here).

Following on from this I am opening up the diary for the team for the week commencing 20 April 2020 for you to have a 30 minute one-to-one free session to discuss anything we cover next week in more detail.

Just to stress, now is not the time to stand still, it is the time to strike back!

Further guidance

Following our previous newsletter and as referred to above, people have been asking for further guidance around:
  • Help for the self-employed (to book on click here)
  • Furloughing of staff (to book on click here)

As a result of this we will be doing two separate 30 minute live webinars this Friday covering the above two areas and will add access to finance to each of them also.

To book on, click either of the respective links above.

 

Finally – Client Exchange (APRIL ONLY)

Don’t worry we are not exchanging any clients.

During such unprecedented times we are going to support one another and we won’t always be able to do this for free.

We can however help one another out in exchange for goods/services to the value.

In light of this; and only for the remainder of this month as a trial, if you need some assistance but are struggling financially, can you email what you need to enquiries@gtaccountants.com and we will try to see if we can match you up with another customer.

Please note this is not a free advertising tool but instead to help those clients in need so that we can be specific.

If you are looking to advertise, let me know and I will do a separate client-led newsletter with content provided by you so you can advertise your services but by way of a newsletter rather than direct e-mail as I don’t think any of us would appreciate being sold to in the current climate unless we were looking to buy.