The last few days have, yet again, seen significant turmoil for businesses with the onset of another national lockdown forcing many businesses to close entirely for another month and many businesses having to adapt, again, to running their business remotely.
While it is unlikely the weather will be as sunny as we had during the first lockdown, the one glimmer of hope for businesses is that the level of financial support on offer for the next month has changed. The main changes that have been announced within the last two days are:
Help for employers – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The planned ending of the CJRS on 31 October and introduction of the Job Support Scheme (JSS) from 1 November has been delayed. The CJRS will continue for at least a further month and the level of support has been increased. In summary the changes are;
The JSS will not be introduced until the CJRS has come to an end.
Help for the self-employed – Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
The amount of support under the third round of the SEISS will be enhanced from that previously announced and claims can be made earlier. Effectively the amount of support that can be claimed is being increased to 80% for November, in line with the extension of the CJRS. The impact of the changes are;
As originally announced to make a claim it is still necessary to meet the following criteria;
• You must have been eligible for the first two rounds of SEISS, but you do not have to have made a claim;
• Be able to declare you intend to continue trade and either;
Other support measures
In addition the previous loan schemes that were in place, either Bounce Back Loans or Coronavirus Business Loan Scheme have both had their application deadlines extended from 30 November 2020 to 31 January 2021. This also applies to a number of other more specific loan schemes.
Local authorities are also being provided with additional funding to provide grants to businesses that have been forced to close.
If you need more information on any of the above or to see how we can help, please contact your usual Thomas Westcott contact.
By Mark Tibbert, Partner