Keeping your business going through COVID-19
29 Apr 2020

PayPal has served UK businesses and consumers for almost 20 years. In that time, we’ve spoken to and worked with thousands of business owners of all sizes to understand their priorities and concerns. Now, we want to reassure business owners everywhere that, during what is one of the greatest challenges our economy and society have faced in recent years, PayPal is still committed to supporting you, and helping you succeed.

We’re always looking for ways to help you navigate this situation, including sharing all information that you might find useful. Below are some quick and simple resources from the UK Government and other sources to help navigate this challenging environment and make running your business easier.

Access to cash

Cash flow will be front of mind for most business owners right now, so as the British Business Bank has partnered with more than 50 accredited UK lenders on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), offering loans of up to £5 million, with 12 months' interest-free payments and 80% guaranteed by the Government.

The Chancellor has also announced a bounce back’ micro loan scheme, 100% backed by the UK Treasury, where eligible businesses will be able to borrow up to 25% of their turnover (capped at £50,000). These will be available from Monday 4th May, and funds should arrive within 24 hours of approval.

  Managing costs and tax

HMRC has confirmed that VAT payments will be deferred for the coming quarter, so no business will owe VAT until mid-June 2020. For businesses and the self-employed with concerns about paying tax due to COVID-19, help is also available through HMRC's Time to Pay scheme. Contact their helpline to discuss options for payment with the Government's advisers. Arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances. Businesses can now also apply for a three-month extension for filing accounts with Companies House.

For those in the retail, hospitality and leisure spaces, business rates have been abolished for this year. A cash grant of up to £25,000 is also available to certain businesses operating in small premises, through Business Support schemes run by the governments of England, Scotland and Wales.

In other sectors, businesses that already pay little or no business rates can access a one-off grant of £10,000 as normal through the small business rate relief and rural rate relief schemes. Similar schemes are also available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. On top of this, there are provisions in place to help commercial tenants who are unable to pay their rent because of coronavirus .

For sector-specific advice on dealing with the impact of COVID-19, the Government has compiled a list of Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations which you can refer to.

Helping your people

If you’re a key business remaining physically open during the pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a definitive guide to preparing employees and the workplace for COVID-19. The Government’s summary of rules that have been relaxed to make it easier for businesses also includes tips on things like annual leave, off-payroll working and right-to-work checks.

In the unfortunate event that an employee falls ill, British businesses can reclaim up to two weeks' Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) per eligible employee through the Government. If you're concerned about asking employees to come to work, ACAS provides guidance on your obligations during the pandemic.

For businesses not remaining open, who are concerned about the impact of coronavirus on staff retention, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can offer grants worth 80% of your employees’ usual wage costs (to £2,500 per month plus National Insurance contributions). The scheme is due to open by the end of April 2020 for an initial three-month period, and cost of wages can be backdated to 1st March 2020.

Similarly, the self-employed will soon be able to access grants equivalent to 80% of their average monthly profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month for three months. The UK Government estimates this money will be available from June 2020 (backdated to March) and paid as a lump sum. In the meantime Universal Credit is available at an equivalent rate to Statutory Sick Pay, and income tax payments due in July can also be deferred until January 2021.

During this time of personal and economic uncertainty, PayPal is continuing to work on new ways to support you as a business owner and customer. Many call centre employees are working remotely, and at this extremely busy time you may see an impact on waiting times for customer support. For any immediate questions during this time, you can also access the PayPal Help Centre.

This article does not constitute financial, business or tax advice. Always do your own research when making decisions regarding your business or personal financial matters.

All links and information are accurate at the time of update (29 April 2020).

 

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