Lockdown 2 Government Support Summary (Along With Some Inside Info)

This email takes you through the announcements and what it means for your business.

On the one hand it is great to see the government making available this help. But this probably means we will see fairly strict lockdown conditions between now and March 2021. We hope we are wrong about this, but in your contingency/scenario planning, particularly in regard to cash, please extend this 4-week lockdown until the end of March. If you need help with your business planning, please get in touch.

Here are the full details from the Government’s announcement.

The Self-Employed Income Scheme
On 30th November you will be able to claim a grant for up to 80% of your profits, to cover you for Nov – Jan 2021. This is capped at £7,500. They also declared there will be one more grant which will cover the period Feb – Apr 2021. Details are yet unknown of when this will be paid or for how much.

To receive these grants, you need to have received the previous grants and it is currently anticipated that this portal will open towards the end of this month.

The ‘Furlough scheme’
This has now been extended to the end of March. Which in effect means that we are unlikely to see the Job Support Scheme operational… You can Furlough any member of staff, as long as they were on the payroll before Oct 30th 2020. And the government will pay up to 80% of their wages, capped at £2,500 per month.

As a result of extending the Furlough scheme the planned Jan 2021 ‘Job retention bonus’ of £1,000 for any employee you Furloughed who you still employed has been deferred. Until when? Who knows?

Help with cash flow
If you haven’t taken a Bounce Back Loan or didn’t take the maximum amount available to you, you can now top this up. And you will be able to take out a CBIL or Bounce Back Loan now until the end of Jan 2021.

Mortgage payment holidays for those who haven’t taken a payment holiday will be available for 6 months, without this being noted on their credit files.

As with everything these days the above is all subject to change but this looks like what we will be working with for the weeks ahead as a minimum.

Additional grants???

There are meant to be more local authority grants coming but more details are yet to be released and these may be discretionary rather than automatic but watch out for updates from respective local authorities over the coming weeks and hopefully within the next 10 days or so.

We have also got a fantastic link below to what grants you could perhaps access but which are not so widely known which can be accessed here so please feel free to follow this link here to see what you could access.

Some inside information perhaps?

We have heard on the grapevine; though not confirmed, the following:

  1. The Government are allegedly working on a new support package which is currently going through the EFG and may mirror the current CBILs scheme but be more easily accessible but please note whilst we have heard this on good authority this is not guaranteed.
  2. Following on from the above the second BBL opportunity for some; it is widely known that the first bounce back loan was never intended to cover the lengthy period of uncertainty that we now face.  There are also now rumours of a second bounce back loan opportunity exceeding the original 25% of turnover/£50k limited to reflect the increased term that the original loan was never designed to cover.

Watch this space but we thought we would share these with you as they came from a source well connected within the Bank of England.

Job Support Scheme Update

This may have crept under the radar for some last week but there was a subtle very positive tweak by Rishi Sunek in an announcement last week that we wanted to highlight.

The Job Support Scheme; as you all know, comes in from 1 November to replace the current furlough scheme and will run for six months.

The change is that the minimum hours required for employees to work has dropped from 33% to 20% and the employer contribution for non-worked hours has dropped from 1/3 to 5%.

The full and updated summarised factsheet can be found here along with the eligibility criteria and we have attached the more detailed guidance here also.

Surviving Another Lockdown (Partial Or Full)

A further lockdown

As we enter another state of lockdown in some shape of form; depending on what part and in which country you currently operate out of, we must stick together and that is the theme of our final newsletter for September.

We are going to focus on the positive support out there that we suggest you take advantage of so that we keep fighting, take the positives from the challenges faced and those that lie ahead whilst also recognising the strain it puts on us all so reach out for help where necessary.

We do however also appreciate that everybody is probably in a state of feeling overwhelmed to some extent hence we have focused on a handful of key areas this month to help you overcome this.

Cash flow support

Whilst we are uncertain as to what additional support there may or may not be from the Government we can realistically expect greater difficulty when it comes to collecting debt.

We have subsequently established a creditors services alongside an independent third party offering to support businesses in need that will not only do some digging around amounts you are concerned about receiving but will also chase these for you.

This initial exercise is absolutely free and from the cases we have seen so far; as this is handled externally to ourselves, a client recently received over £3,000 that they have previously written off and it cost them little more than £200 that was only taken upon successful collection of the debt.

If this is a concern for you, have any queries and/or just wish to discuss this further register your interest by e-mailing us at funding@gtaccountants.com

Group Event (Virtual I’m afraid)

Whilst we did initially hope some time soon we could commence face to face meetings and have this event as being a physical one we have had to think again but we won’t let it hold us back entirely.

In addition to the online community platform that we have established with Futrli Peer and for which you can access for no charge through this link here to chat with other business owners and get some tips, we are also doing more.

We as a firm will be the lead for Enterprise Nation where we bring business owners together through Zoom but this will be a great opportunity to just let off some steam and take away some great content and advice.

There is no charge for attending and the first virtual event is on 1 October from midday for an hour so if this of interest then why not book through the link here.

Going forward we are hoping to make this a monthly event and get some guest speakers along with hopefully some special offers from partners.  We will also keep those who attend aware of funding pots as these are shared with us in addition to sharing these with you by way of our newsletters.

External Virtual Client Events

In addition to our event being held on the 1 October we are delighted to share and invite you all to two further events that are detailed below:

Friday 9 October at 2pm
Is your business your pension?
To book click here

Thursday 8 October at 3pm
Why financial planning is important
To book click here

These are events are kindly being ran by our partners at St James’s Place so please feel free to book on directly or if you have any queries regarding either of these events then please just let us know again using the funding@gtaccountants.com e-mail address.

The challenges we can expect next

The Easy Part Has Now Passed. Whilst we won’t deny the fact that the past few weeks and months have been challenging; as we fast approach a further announcement regarding the potential easing of lock down, more troubled times await us in the business world.

I have said on a number of occasions already that the business curve is most definitely behind the health curve and will be very different to it also.

We don’t say this to make people feel uneasy as we want to remain calm, but we don’t want people to grow complacent over the coming weeks and months.  To maintain this calm, we must retain control to the best of our ability and that means not letting up as we strike back against the current challenges that we have faced and those that still await us.

Let’s first start with some fairly obvious issues that lie ahead:

  1. These Government-backed loans will need repaying and whether they are 80% backed or 100% backed, if they are not repaid, it will impact your credit rating as a minimum.
  2. Aside from the loans, the Government has provided significant financial support such as local authority grants, furlough payments, self-employed grants etc.  These will all need to repaid but indirectly; in some shape or form, and we expect this to be via any or all of the following:
    1. Increase in personal tax rates
    2. Increase in company tax rates
    3. Increase in national insurance
    4. Increase in VAT

Some of these may come subtly through the reduction of some allowances and some may just be in terms of a hike in rates such as a jump in company tax from 19% to 30% would not be beyond the realms of possibility.  Whilst it would unreasonable and probably unlikely that these hikes will come immediately; we would be shocked if they don’t come at all, and whilst some industries might benefit from some respite such as hospitality, they may also not benefit at all nor may anybody be given any degree of leniency.

  1. Whether you have accessed any of the financial support or not, we cannot realistically see any way in which you will not be part of the repaying of it!

There are then the operational challenges that may await such as:

  • Suppliers reducing or revoking credit terms
  • Delivery timescales for materials being longer
  • Staff not wanting to return to work
  • Customers delaying orders, cancelling them or wanting extended credit
  • All of the above and more!

You might even think a lot of the above might not apply to you but it will impact you in some way or another as prices just in day to day life with regards to shopping are likely to rise!

Our key message and support

The support you have benefited from to date must continue in some shape or form to help you through the times we have ahead.  We encourage you to engage with us over the coming days and weeks to discuss this support in greater detail as we grow our team and other resources to be able to deliver this on an ongoing basis for you.

We know concerns will remain and cost will be a barrier for some if not many, but we have worked hard to find solutions to this that we can discuss at the same time.

Remember these two messages

  1. With the government support to date and the announcements made and pending, they may have whetted our appetite with regards to more positive times ahead, but it will not go far enough to quench our thirst.
  2. Finally, never forget – calm is the word but not complacency.

Webinars (NOT TO BE MISSED)

With us coming back of the bank holiday we have focused on just the one webinar this week that is ran alongside our software partner that assists with cash flow management.

Cash flow planning beyond COVID-19
Friday 29 May, Midday (book here)

Would you like to have the answers to all of the questions I have raised in the section above?

Join us for this webinar to hear how we as a business have adapted, how other businesses have adapted and how you too could to not just survive but really strike-back!

Get in touch to find out how we can help you build your business legacy

If you are looking to shape your businesses future through a strategic approach to accountancy we’d love to hear from you.