Best helplines, webinars and resources during the coronavirus crisis

Top view of first-aid kit representing the aid and support available to struggling businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak rmometer and elastic bandage

The government has announced an unprecedented package of measures to support the self-employed, small businesses and families through the coronavirus pandemic. Organisations both large and small have also come out to offer support. But with all the 'noise' about the impact of coronavirus, it can be difficult to know where to start

We have collated some of the best resources out there so that you can find what you want with minimal effort.

UK government business support information

The government has a range of measures in place including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. We have pulled together the main sources of coronavirus government advice and the key telephone support lines into one place.

Coronavirus business loan and financing schemes

A range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses. Eligibility for the different schemes will depend on the size of your business and in some cases the sector you are in.

VAT and tax deferral schemes

All businesses and self-employed people with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support through HMRC’s Time To Pay service if they are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • VAT registered UK businesses with a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 can opt to defer the VAT payment to a later date.
  • Delay your second payment on account due (31 July 2020) until 31 January 2021 if you are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus.
  • HMRC tax support helpline for businesses and self-employed individuals struggling to pay their tax (COVID-19): 0800 0159 559 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm).
  • Use the HMRC webchat service if you have missed or are likely to miss a tax payment (Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm).

Support for the self employed and small limited companies

Business rate reliefs

In addition to the usual business rates reliefs - for example, rural rate relief for some rural businesses, the government has announced temporary relief for certain businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors as well as nurseries. Eligible businesses will have the discount applied automatically by their local authority.

Advice on furloughed employees

The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme allows employers to place workers who would otherwise be made redundant or laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis on 'furlough'. This concept is new to many employers, so several organisations have made advice and resources available on for businesses who are considering furloughing workers.

Statutory sick pay during the COVID-19 outbreak

Workers who 'self-isolate' will receive statutory sick pay from day one (normally sick pay is not payable until the fourth day of sickness). The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will allow employers to reclaim up to 14-days' SSP paid to workers who are unable to work because they have coronavirus or because they must self-isolate.

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