fbpx
post 21 sept grant

Government Support – Recovery SME Grant

You may have already seen our posts regarding this but if not the Government has made £20m of funding available to boost small businesses recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

How much is the Recovery Grant?

It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The eligible SMEs can access grants of between £1,000 – £3,000 (up to £5,000 in exceptional circumstances) for specialist advice.

There is no obligation for businesses to contribute financially as the grant is fully funded.

First come, first served

Given the current state of the economy, the scheme is guaranteed to be very popular. Therefore, funding is extremely limited.

Expressions of interest (EoI) should be made as soon as possible after the scheme opens.

There is no waiting list so decisions will be made on a first come, first served basis.

The gateway diagnostic will close when the expression of interest (Eol) limit has been reached.

Each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area has different guidance, start and closure dates. You can find your local LEP details here.

If successful, how long will the business have to wait to receive the grant?

Grant payments will not be made until up to 10 weeks after the purchase of the item or service the business has paid and claimed for.

The business will be paid upon production of an invoice for the service.

The details

Who is eligible for this grant?

Though this might vary from one hub to another many state that to be eligible for this grant you:

  • Must be an SME (including third sector organisations, social enterprises and trading charities) based in Berkshire.
  • Needs to have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • Must have the ability to survive following the impact of COVID-19.
  • Staff headcount must be below 250 FTE. Businesses with more than 250 employees will not be eligible.
  • Must have a balance sheet of below €43million.
  • Must have a turnover of below €50million.
  • If the business has received state aid in the last 3 years the total should not be in excess of €200,000. Businesses exceeding this level of state aid funding will not be eligible.

What expenditure is eligible?

The grant is available to help SMEs access one-to-one specialist advice to address their immediate needs. The grant must cover 100% of the cost of the service or product and cannot be used to part-fund expenditure.

Examples of eligible expenditure that you could potentially provide them yourselves:

  • Review of the business strategy, including strategic and business plans (using Clarity)
  • Coaching and mentoring in leadership and management development / Change management
  • The introduction of new technology – apps to help with forecasting, cashflow and budgeting, for example
  • Developing or revising marketing/digital strategies to reach new markets
  • Rebuilding a viable business model
  • Skills analysis and development plans
  • Employee engagement, welfare and wellbeing

Please note these are examples only and not an exhaustive list.

What will they need for their expression of interest (EoI)?

Each LEP has their own guidance, start and close date so please follow the link above for specific details and contact your local hub directly if you have any queries. We know that some hubs are opening on 15 September so we suggest you act fast if this of interest. 

How will businesses be assessed?

Key eligibility checks will also take the following into account:

  • Their potential to respond/adapt/strengthen from the impact of COVID-19
  • The ability to identify opportunities to rebuild following the impact of COVID-19
  • The ability to deliver within the timescales available (one month)

Due to the high volume of EoIs expected, it may take up to 10 working days for full application forms to be sent. LEP or Growth Hub staff will not be able to provide an update on the status of your application.

website photos improve

Business Update.

Making sure our support continues to be fit for purpose

We continue to seek ways in which we can exceed all client’s expectations as we look for ways in which we can improve the service we deliver to you and even more so in the current climate.

Improved Payroll Service Offering

The first thing that we have recently finalised is a strategic partnership that we have setup with a specialist payroll provider here in the UK that will mean that for those with a payroll subscription the current service will not only remain but you will also receive additional services on top of those received now including a personalised portal to access payslips and input timesheets among other things.

There is no additional cost for this service and if you have any further queries around this then please contact your client account manager.

The changes with regards to payroll will be staggered over the next three months as we gradually introduce this.

Postponed price freeze until 31 March 2021

At the start of the current pandemic we postponed any planned price increases and haven’t implemented any since then.

We now propose extending this price freeze until 31 March 2021 to all clients and in light of the current pandemic propose the following if you are in agreement:

  • For those that currently pay for us to submit their confirmation statements, we propose withdrawing this service as it is a simple task that takes no longer than 15 minutes but do instead propose putting a short video on our website to walk you through how you can do this yourself.
  • As many of you already know, we have for some time now been working towards going paperless and we’ve never demonstrated better than during lockdown.  We now propose to roll this out entirely so even paperwork associated with the sign off of your accounts will be provided to you in advance by way of a blank template and because they only need be kept by yourself we will again just provide a walk through video that can talk you through what needs to be put where.  The same will apply with dividends-and dividend counterfoils but these can be accessed through Xero for those that use this.

The above changes we see as a way in which we can protect the fee for you but not take any value away from the service bring provided.

We do however appreciate and respect that some clients may prefer for us to continue as we do and absorb any price increases and if this is the case then please let us know.

If we don’t hear back from you, we will be looking to introduce these changes as of 1 September 2020 but are more than happy to discuss any of the above with you also and again please contact your client account manager if you have any queries.

Again just to reiterate, by doing this it also allows us to offer the additional services below which we consider of significantly more value now and going forward.

Additional services (some new and some introduced as lockdown commenced)

  • Don’t forget that all clients on Xero do now all have access to:
  1. Cash flow software that will allow you to look three months ahead
  2. Credit management software

If you have any queries reference any of the above, please liaise with your client account manager or if you are not on Xero and wish to move across then please let us know.

  • We have recognised the changing needs of our clients and have the following dedicated e-mail addresses should you have any specific needs:

 

  • Creditors services offering – we understand and appreciate more than ever the fear of not being paid by a customer so have introduced a new service offering if you have any such concerns.  If you contact your client account manager with any such concerns, we can have a tailored report provided for you so that you can decide what action to take thereafter.

 

  • Finally, we know how important community is and we are now part of the Futrli Community where we are mentors and where there is a private group for our clients.  You can also get a significant amount of information across other areas including funding, marketing etc.

Hopefully from all of the above, you can see how we are adjusting our service offering internally to ensure that this is fit for purpose to help all clients with existing struggles and battles that they face and if we stick together we will be stronger for it.

WEBINAR 29.05

Webinars: finance, cash flow, Government support

Building on what might lie ahead, please do make a point of registering for as many of these webinars as possible; even if you just access the recording at a later date.

Protect and build a better business and life
Tuesday 2 June, 2pm (book here)

Covid-19 has forced us all to rethink.  Our teams have been working in different ways, our customers have wanted to interact with us differently, and our supply chains have been disrupted.

Join us for our “Protect and Build Better” webinar, where we’ll share a 5-step framework for delivering short-term actions while looking forward and (re)building a business based on purpose, values, and profitability.

We’re only at the start of the financial struggles, we have a long road ahead!
Wednesday 3 June, Midday (book here)

As uncertain times ahead loom, but a degree of optimism returns, we must be cautiously optimistic.

Join our webinar where we consider several ‘what-if’ scenarios around cash flow, Government support and how best to act to avoid losing your business.

Finance not just for today but for the future
Thursday 4 June, 11am (book here)

With the amount of financial support out there it is very easy to consider that once accessed that is it – job done!

We need to be looking at our finances on an ongoing basis and putting these to work and ensure the right sort of finance is accessed at the right time and utilised in the right way.

In this webinar we will cover some common mistakes currently being seen and look at how best you can structure financially for what lies ahead in these uncertain times.

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.

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.

COVID-19 Strike Back

How are you and your business approaching the current climate? We are helping clients ‘Strike-Back...

april 10

COVID-19 Strike Back.

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.

Following on from this, I am going to run two further 30 minute LIVE work-out webinars without the spandex next week:

  • Understanding and improving your cash flow in such troubled times (register here)
  • Pivoting your business to bounce back (register here)

Please note that neither of these sessions will be recorded.

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.

To summarise our four step approach from next week to strike back:

  1. Register for our deep-dive into improving your cash flow
  2. Register for pivot your business session
  3. Schedule a 30 minute on to one session in the diary

Please note that if steps 1 to 2 have not been followed we will not have the meetings as time is of the essence and we need to be best prepared to make the most from the 30 minutes that we have.

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

A friend or contact in need

Never has it been more important to stick together in such times and no more than ever we are here for you to support you however we can.

Can we kindly ask that you listen out across social media, in your circle of friends and contacts, for anybody who too would benefit from the same support that you too are receiving.

Even if they just registered for our newsletter; which they can do by just clicking onto our website here, or if they were to take advantage of our newly introduced and dedicated COVID-19 (click here) and Cash Flow SOS page (click here), you would be helping them out.

Together, we can get through this.

Further guidance

Following our previous e-mail 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 next week 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.