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COVID-19 Support

On this page we will aim to keep you up-to-date with the financial help that is available to your business, whether you are a small business, in the retail hospitality or leisure sector or if you have employees and need advice on furloughing.

East Suffolk Council

East Suffolk Council supporting Stay Local, Choose Woodbridge campaign

East Suffolk Council are financially supporting Choose Woodbridge through the Stay Local, Choose Woodbridge campaign, following an application to the East Suffolk Business Association Development Fund. The purpose of the grant awarded is to support business groups to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in mobilising support for the business community. This has enabled Choose Woodbridge to work together with local businesses to offer the support and resources required to assist businesses in adapting to different ways of still providing the same service to their local communities.

Track and Trace

From the 18th September, businesses have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. It is mandatory for certain businesses to have a system in place to collect NHS Test and Trace data and keep this for 21 days. For more information on how to make your business COVID-secure, go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Support for workers

A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced by the government from the 1st November 2020 to protect jobs. Under the scheme, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer hours than normal due to decreased demand. The Job Support Scheme will be open to businesses across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme. For more information on the scheme go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/job-support-scheme.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Applications for the second Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant are open until the 19th October 2020. For further information and to find out if you are eligible for the grant go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

The SEISS grant has also been extended for self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19. For further details on the SEISS Grant Extension go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-seiss-grant-extension.

Tax cuts and deferrals

The government announced it will extend the temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors to the end of March next year.

In addition, up to half a million business who deferred their VAT bills will be given more breathing space through the New Payment Scheme, which gives them the option to pay back in 11 smaller instalments, rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end March next year.

Around 11 million self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

For more information on the government announcement on the 24th September 2020, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-outlines-winter-economy-plan.

East Suffolk Council grants

East Suffolk Council has closed applications for the discretionary business grants for local businesses provided by the Government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

If your business has applied for a grant and you have any questions, please visit: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/covid-19-business-grant-funding/covid-19-business-grant-funding-enquiries/.

Coronavirus financial support for your business

Coronavirus (COVID‑19) support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed.

Use the gov.uk business support finder to see what support might be available for you and your business: https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

East Suffolk Means Business

If your business needs support during the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19, East Suffolk Council has support information available. This includes government support, general support and support for reopening your business. Visit the East Suffolk Means Business website for further information: https://eastsuffolkmeansbusiness.co.uk/business-support/resources/covid-19/.

Street trading regulations

The council have agreed to relax street trading regulations which means that community events in market towns such as ours will be permitted – with very little red tape.

If you wish to organise such an event – a market stall or fair for example – all you need to do is complete a simple applications form for the Single Event Trading Licence (which can be used on multiple days) which can be found on the council website.

Additionally, you need to provide food safety information on each stall and have Public Liability insurance for the event itself.

The council does not need to consult third parties and will not charge you a fee. They are also committed to turning round applications within 24 hours.

As many of you know, there is already measures in place to waive Pavement Licence fees for premises to put out stalls, tables and chairs on the highway adjacent to their premises. You also do not need a minor variation of Premises Licences which indicates the land has been designated for the consumption of off-sales.

New measures to protect the high street from aggressive rent collection and closure

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic. Click on this link for government information about this.

Helpful information from Ensors Chartered Accountants

Ensors Chartered Accountants are continuing to update their online Support for Businesses information as new directives are still coming out.

You can find their information here.