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IMPORTANT UPDATED INFORMATION Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 21/3/2020
Following the Prime Minister and Chancellor’s announcement yesterday, I have summarised relevant ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ key points below. This is brand new information so details on the support are vague at this point. I will of course be updating you on and exactly what to do to access this funding as soon as I receive it.
 
  • All pubs, clubs, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres were ‘ordered’ to close to the public by midnight other than takeaway/delivery services only. All other businesses can stay open and operational if they choose to.  
  • Any employer in the country small or large, charitable or non-profit can apply for a grant from HMRC to cover 80% of their employees’ wages up to £2500 per month. This grant is available for employers who have staff that are not working but kept on the payroll rather than being laid off. Employers can top up employee salaries if they wish to. These grants can be backdated to 1st March 2020 and will be available for 3 months. The Chancellors also stated that these grants would be going out in weeks and completed by the end of April.
  • VAT payments for the next quarter will be deferred until the end of June and you will have until the end of the financial year (31st March 2021) to pay.
  • The cash grants mentioned in my previous emails are interest free and businesses will not have to pay them back.
  • Self-assessment income tax payments for July 2020 will be deferred for six months
  • Government backed loans will be available from Monday 23rd March. The interest free period has now risen from 6 months to 12 months.

As so much has been pledged over such a short space of time, I thought it would be helpful to summarise the offers of support based on your rateable value.
 
A small business with a Rateable Value of less than £15,000
 
  • A £10,000 grant payment coming from North Herts District Council – from 1st April 2020
  • 80% salary payments for staff no longer working but still on the payroll coming from HMRC – from 1st March 2020 paid by 30th April 2020 for 3 months
  • A Government backed ‘attractive’ loan interest free for 12 months available from your bank – from Monday 23rd March 2020
  • VAT payments for the next quarter will be deferred until the end of June and you will have until the end of the financial year (31st March 2021) to pay.

Medium sized businesses with a Rateable Value between £15,000 and £51,000
 
  • Business rates free from 1st April 2020
  • Up to £25,000 grant payment coming from North Herts District Council – from 1st April 2020
  • 80% salary payments for staff no longer working but still on the payroll coming from HMRC – By 30th April 2020 for 3 months
  • A Government backed ‘attractive’ loan interest free for 12 months available from your bank – from Monday 23rd March 2020
  • VAT payments for the next quarter will be deferred until the end of June and you will have until the end of the financial year (31st March 2021) to pay.

Larger businesses with a Rateable Value above £51,000
 
  • Business rates free for 12 months
  • 80% salary payments for staff no longer working but still on the payroll coming from HMRC – By 30th April 2020 for 3 months
  • A Government backed ‘attractive’ loan interest free for 12 months available from your bank – from Monday 23rd March 2020
  • VAT payments for the next quarter will be deferred until the end of June and you will have until the end of the financial year (31st March 2021) to pay.

Letters to Landlords
Lots of businesses have been asking questions around the commercial rent situation and where they stand. I am collating some of these questions into a letter to some of the landlords to relay the queries and concerns over the coming months. If you have not already done so, please email me the contact details of your landlord to tom.hardy@hitchinherts.com   

Local Business Deliveries
Following our post yesterday, we now have a list of local people willing to help Hitchin businesses deliver products and food to residents. If you are a Hitchin Town Centre businesses and need help promoting and delivering your products and food, please get in touch with marketing@hitchinherts.com 
 
If you are already set up for deliveries, please email marketing@hitchinherts.com with the following information to go on our dedicated ‘Deliveries’ section on the www.hitchinherts.com website.  
 
  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Type of food or product
  • Logistics of delivery

Local Business Vouchers
To try and ease cashflow challenges over the coming weeks, we are encouraging businesses to create and offer vouchers for residents to buy now and redeem later in the year. We have set up a voucher page on the www.hitchinherts.com website which we will promote on various social media platforms.
 
Please send us the following information to marketing@hitchinherts.com      
 
  • What the voucher includes
  • Which business it is for
  • An image or company logo to accompany the listing
  • Contact details (website, phone number) for customers to call or purchase voucher.

If you don’t already have vouchers, we are also offering all businesses FREE voucher printing in the Information Office. Please email a PDF of your voucher and how many you want printed to tom.hardy@hitchinherts.com