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Mel's COVID-19 Update: 15th March 2021

Mel's COVID-19 Update: 15th March 2021
15 Mar 2021
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Mel's COVID-19 Update: 15th March 2021

During COVID-19 I want to ensure that everyone is as up to date as possible with regards to Government changes and support that impacts businesses. Please note that this update is correct as of date of publishing (15th March 2021).

1. The Reopening of Outdoor Hospitality – Government Support

  • The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has sent a letter to local authorities on government measures to support hospitality businesses to reopen safely, including the intention to extend pavement licences for a further 12 months, making it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to continue to make al fresco dining a reality with outside seating, tables and street stalls to serve food and drinks

Click here to read more. 

2. VAT Deferred Due to Coronavirus – Annual Accounting and Payment on Account Schemes Update

  • Businesses can pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020 now or they can join the VAT deferral new payment scheme

  • HMRC updated their guidance for VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Schemes

  • The guidance was updated on 4 March 2021

  • If you are on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme, you can join the scheme from 10 March 2021

Click here to read more.

3. Further Support for Commercial and Residential Tenants

  • The Ban on commercial evictions extended to 30 June and bailiff enforced eviction ban extended to 31 May to protect residential tenants

  • Many business owners have had to cease trading entirely during lockdown and they are being given extra support after the government extended the ban on commercial evictions for a further 3 months

  • The decision will help those worst affected by the pandemic, such as bars and restaurants, get back to business in May when doors fully reopen for hospitality no earlier than 17 May

  • Residential tenants will also be supported as the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions in all but the most serious circumstances – such as incidents of fraud or domestic abuse – and the requirement for landlords to provide 6-month notice periods to tenants before they evict will also be extended until at least 31 May

  • This will ensure residents in both the private and social sector can stay in their homes and have enough time to find alternative accommodation or support as we move through the roadmap

  • With around 49% of hospitality workers and 36% of retail workers currently renting, the new measures will hopefully help protect jobs as businesses reopen and many more renters can return to work

Click here to read more.

4. Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment - England

  • The Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national lockdown that began 5 January 2021

  • Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council

  • Local councils will pay the same businesses that are eligible to receive the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum for the national lockdown period that began on 5 January

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • is based in England

  • occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)

  • has been required to close because of the national lockdown from 5 January 2021 onwards

  • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

  • This could include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities, tourism and hospitality businesses. It could also include businesses that operate primarily as an in-person venue, but which have been forced to close those services and provide a takeaway-only service instead

  • Eligible businesses can get one grant for each non-domestic property

The deadline to apply for the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment is 31 March 2021.

Click here to find out more.

5. Local Restrictions Support Grant (For Closed Businesses) – England

  • The Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Closed) and LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4) support businesses that have been required to close due to temporary local restrictions.

You can apply for a grant if your business is either:

  • in an area of local Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions and has been required to close because of local restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September

  • in an area of local Tier 4 restrictions and has been required to close because of local restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 19 December

You will need to show that your business:

  • is based in England

  • occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)

  • has been required to close for at least 14 days because of the restrictions

  • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

  • For example, this could include pubs and restaurants that operate primarily as an in-person venue, but which have been forced to close those services and provide a takeaway-only service instead

  • Eligible businesses can get one grant for each non-domestic property within the restriction area

Application deadlines

The deadlines to apply for the national lockdown LRSG (Closed) Addendum schemes are:

Scheme

End date

 National lockdown, 5 November 2020

 31 March 2021

 National lockdown, 5 January 2021: first payment cycle, 5 January to 15 February

 31 March 2021

 National lockdown, 5 January 2021: second payment cycle, 16 February to 31 March

 31 May 2021

 Click here to find out more.

6. Local Restrictions Support Grant (For Open Businesses) – England

  • The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Open)) supports businesses that have been severely impacted due to temporary local restrictions

  • Businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions may be eligible for LRSG (Open)

  • Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period under local restrictions

  • Local councils have the discretion to provide grant funding for businesses under this scheme. They will use their discretion in identifying the right businesses to receive this funding, based on their application process

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • is based in England

  • is in an area subject to Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions since 1 August 2020 and has been severely impacted because of the local restrictions

  • was established before the introduction of Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions

  • has not had to close but has been impacted by local restrictions

Local councils have the freedom to determine the precise eligibility criteria for these grants. However, we expect the funding to be targeted at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.

The deadline to apply for the LRSG (Open) scheme is 31 March 2021.

Click here to find out more.

7. Additional Restrictions Grant – England

  • The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed

  • The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted

  • In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through LRSG (Closed)

  • Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG. Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants

  • However, government expects the funding to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions

Find your local council here.

This could include:

  • businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
  • businesses in the tourism and events sectors
  • business required to close but which do not pay business rates

Businesses excluded from the fund

You cannot get funding if:

  • your business is in administration, insolvent or has been struck off the Companies House register
  • you have exceeded the permitted subsidy limit

Click here to find out more.

If you have any questions on the above, please don't hesitate to get in contact.

Warm regards,

Mel Signature Red

 

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