Coronavirus is having a devastating impact on people and businesses in the UK and abroad.

Over the last few days the government has announced a number of measures to help and support UK business and I set out below a summary of the main measures you need to be aware of.
 
Job Retention Scheme
An employee may be furloughed (laid-off) and remain on the payroll, with the government paying 80% of the employee’s salary up to a cap of £2,500 a month for 3 months. Both the employee and employer must agree the furloughed status. Under the arrangement employees would be paid as normal with tax and national insurance deductions, and the employer will make a separate claim to HMRC for reimbursement. During the furlough period the employee should not carry out work duties.

Statutory Sick Pay
Where an employee is off work due to Coronavirus, they can be paid Statutory Sick Pay for up to 2 weeks and which the employer can reclaim from HMRC.
 
Small Business Rates
If your business qualifies for small business rates relief, then you can apply for a £10,000 grant from your local council.
 
Retail. Hospitality and Leisure Businesses
Are exempt from business rates for the 2020-21 tax year, and are eligible for a cash grant of up to £25,000 depending on the rateable value of their business property.

 VAT Payments
All VAT payments due between 20 March 2020  and 30 June 2020 are postponed until the end of the current tax year in March 2021. The postponement is automatic and no claim is required.
 
PAYE and Pension Payments
Are due to be paid as normal.
 
Income Tax Payments
The 31 July 2020 self assessment tax payment has been postponed to 31 January 2021.
 
Business Loan Guarantee Scheme
If you borrow money from a bank, the government will pay the first 12 months  interest on the loan together with any arrangement fees, and guarantee 80% of the debt to the bank in the event of default.

Tax Payments
If you have any outstanding tax liabilities you can agree time to pay with HMRC by telephoning 0800 0159 559.
 
If you require further detailed information on the above measures then please do not hesitate to contact the Chamber, by email to Nicola@KCCCLondon.org, or refer to the government advice at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
 
The Kensington & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce has been supporting businesses for over 50 years and will continue for many years to come.
 
Please stay safe and healthy.
 
Best wishes
Michael Stone, Chairman