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COVID-19 Update - 19 March

Thursday 19 March 2020

 
In light of the unprecedented situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus and following recent and ongoing government advice, we at Kingsley Maybrook have enacted our remote working policy and all of our staff are now working from home.
 
Fortunately, our team are all in good health currently and no-one has symptoms of the virus but we are taking these steps to try and minimise the risk not only to our teams and their families, but also to our clients, and local communities as well.
 
All of our internal systems, software and files are accessible by the team over virtual private networks and we will be working normally and will be available to assist you by telephone and email.
 
However, this is a rapidly changing situation, so we are monitoring this on an ongoing basis, and following any new advice issued by the government.
 
In the meantime, please communicate with us electronically, post is being monitored, but will be slower than emailing us.
 
Our contact details are

Khushal khushal@kingsleymaybrook.com 07894 200077
Ian ian@kingsleymaybrook.com 07930 354786
Anjana anj@kingsleymaybrook.com 07768 920188
Agata agata@kingsleymaybrook.com 07805 916064
Qunay qunay@kingsleymaybrook.com 07539 225943


You will be aware that the Government announced a series of measures to assist small businesses, and we are summarising them here, so that you are aware of what is on offer.
 
Statutory Sick Pay
 
With immediate effect SSP will be payable from the first day of sickness, or self-isolation of staff, It’s only £94.25 a week per employee, and as yet the Govt has not given us the repayment mechanism, we will advise any businesses with payroll how this works when we have more details. Plus, we are dependent on payroll software suppliers to amend the programs, but they are usually very quick with this.
 
There is a complex HR situation potentially with notice periods if you wish to lay off staff, with statutory lay off pay, as well as parental rights to unpaid leave for childcare in emergencies. We will try to assist where possible, but you may have to seek legal advice. An excellent source for both employers and employees is here
 
https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
 
 
Business Rates
 
If you are in the Hospitality, Leisure or Retail markets, then you will pay no business rates at all for 20-21. This will be administered by your local authority.
 
In addition, small businesses in this sector with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will get a £25,000 grant. Again, this will be administered by your local authority.
 
Lastly if you are NOT in the above sectors and your business is in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief, then you will get a £10,000 grant.
 
NOTE THIS IS NOT A GENERAL GRANT TO ALL SMALL BUSINESSES YOU HAVE TO BE PAYING RATES AND IN RECEIPT OF SBRR TO GET THIS GRANT.
 
Lastly, please this is with local authorities to administer, we suspect this will not be a quick process.
 
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
 

  • A Government scheme, whereby the government will guarantee up to 80% of loans
  • All banks will participate fully in this scheme but at the moment the Government is still working on the details.
  • Full details of the scheme are to be announced but it will replace the previous EFG scheme
  • More info available here: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/
  • The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan
  • The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
  • Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.

 
More details on this will be available from the banks and other lenders shortly, and we will keep you updated.
 
Paying Tax
 
The government has said that they will look kindly on time to pay schemes, given the recent history of HMRC with their unfriendly attitude towards time to pay, we shall believe it when we see it, but they have published a contact number of 0800 0159 559. If we can assist, please let us know.
 
Asset Re-Financing
 
If your business has assets in the balance sheet, it may be possible to look at some re-financing options, please do contact us if you would like us to assist with this.
 
Factoring/Invoice Discounting
 
This is also a potential alternative, but is complex and full of pitfalls, please do talk to us if you are considering this, it will only work if your clients are going to pay within usual 90 days and will bring forward money.
 
Insurance
 
Some businesses will have business interruption insurance, so check your policy carefully you may be able to make a claim through your insurers. Unfortunately, many policies exclude pandemics.
 
We will continue to monitor developments and will be emailing updates as they happen. The Kingsley Maybrook team is here and supporting you through what will undoubtably be a difficult time for many businesses.
 


Stay healthy, follow government advice please.
 
Kind regards,
 
Kingsley Maybrook