For the last few weeks Hitchin BID has been focusing on supporting businesses, promoting products and services, advertising vouchers and delivery services and offer you all up to date information on how to access grants and loans to help get you through these challenging times. Many of you would have received your BID levy bills, these are statutory payments based on your Rateable Value and are not affected by the Government’s recent changes to business rate payments. We do however, understand that these are very challenging times for businesses, and hope the new Government packages with additional support, will help businesses with fixed costs such as these.
Although many of the activities we deliver are temporarily put on hold, we are working on a town centre recovery strategy to help businesses get back to normal and encourage visitors to use and support the town once the restrictions start to be lifted. Part of the BID levy will be used to fund these projects which will directly benefit many businesses in the town centre.
As always, if you have any questions or need advice on the support available to you, I am here to take calls and emails at any time of the day on 07597380818 or email@example.com
Claiming for furlough – Now Open!
This morning, HMRC opened the portal for businesses to claim refund for furloughed staff.
You can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying us of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020
employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to us on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.
How to claim
As you prepare to make a claim, please note:
the only way to make a claim is online – the service should be simple to use and any support you need available on GOV.UK; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim
you can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent
claims will be paid within 6 working days; you should not contact HMRC unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or the HMRC webchat service
HMRC cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with you, as their employer, directly.
Information you will need before you make a claim:
You will need to have the following information before applying:
National Insurance number.
Claim period and claim amount.
PAYE/employee number (optional).
if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee
if you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; we will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.
If you want an agent to act for you
agents authorised to act for you on PAYE matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password
you will need to tell your agent which UK bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.
You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims.
Please follow this link for the most up to date information on furlough claiming https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Andrew Pearce from Bradshaw Johnson Chartered Accountants on Bancroft has kindly agreed to offer free impartial financial business advice on this process. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Government Grants – You Must Apply!
North Herts District Council have made a large number of grant payments and continue to process many others this week. You must apply for the grant to receive payment. Businesses who do not apply and are eligible may not receive payment. Please follow this link to read the eligibility criteria and apply for the grant https://www.north-herts.gov.uk/home/emergency-planning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-help-businesses If you are unsure if you are eligible, please complete the application form and the Council will be in touch.
If you have any questions please contact email@example.com
Free IT support
Mark at Idea Anvil on Bancroft have kindly offer local small businesses free IT support to help them through this challenging time. If there are any businesses or organisations in Hitchin that do not have any IT resource to support them during this disruption then within reason they are happy to provide that free of charge during these extraordinary times and until businesses get moving again on a more normal footing.
For example if businesses need help with;