UK lockdown grants: The latest changes and how to access support
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has unveiled a new cash injection for UK sectors that will be the most affected by the new national lockdown.
To help retail, leisure and hospitality businesses through to Spring, they will now be able to access grants of up to £9,000.
Sunak has recognised that these businesses need additional help: “This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.”
Here’s a closer look at this latest support package. Eligibility This one-off grant will be open to businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality that have been forced to close because of the lockdown. These are the firms that are legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely. The amount will be judged on the rateable value of the premises.
£4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
£6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
£9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
How do I apply? Grants are provided by local councils. Businesses will be able to apply to their local authorities. Find your local council website here.
Keeping on top of your finances With purse strings tightened, having a clear view of your cash flow has never been more important. These are the things to think about when it comes to staying on top of your finances.
Tracking cash flow: Reconciling bank transactions daily, creating a daily simple cash flow check-in habit and examining your profit and loss statements weekly will give you a better understanding of where your business stands. It will also help with loan applications. Many of the alternative lenders are integrated with Xero which helps. So keeping everything up to date will make this process easier.
Forecasting: Building a forecast will help you to predict how your business is going to perform over a period so you can work out if a loan is right for you. Overtime, you’ll be able to identify trends and evaluate performance so you can make the right decisions for the future. Your accountant can help with this.
You can find a full guide to managing cash flow here.
Additional support If you aren’t eligible for this new grant, Sunak has also rolled out a further £594m for local authorities and devolved administrations.
Sunak also announced that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended, although didn’t share any information on it, plus what those that don’t apply can do.
This recent cash injection is in addition to a number of existing grants worth up to £3,000, the business lending packages (CBILS and BBLS) and the extension of the furlough scheme until April. Hospitality businesses also have VAT relief measures until the end of March.
Accountants and bookkeepers have been the unsung heroes of small business survival, so if you haven’t already, give Purple Accounts a call to find out how we are able to help.
Some of this information has been taken directly from Gov.uk and is subject to change. Please look out for future updates from the Government.
Article from Xero