On 17 March, the chancellor announced bold new measures intended to help any business that is seeing, or anticipating, financial disruption during the coronavirus pandemic. These were in addition to what had already been outlined in Rishi Sunak’s Budget, just one week earlier. As the situation continues to escalate, the government wants to reassure businesses and the UK workforce that it is committed to doing all it can to minimise the impact of COVID-19.
I’d like to highlight the following:
Changes to Statutory Sick Pay
Perhaps one of the most key measures for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), including dental practices, was the move to bring forward legislation to allow them to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus. With every business seeing their workforce deplete – the latest advice is, if you live with someone showing symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days – this could be important. Criteria for eligibility will apply and the government is going to work closely with businesses during the coming months as this represents a big departure from how the system of SSP works currently. For example, an employee will not even need to present a doctor’s note – bold moves for unprecedented times.
Is it time to use Time to Pay?
All businesses and self-employed people with outstanding tax liabilities and who are in financial distress may be eligible for support through Time To Pay, a service from HMRC. If you think you could benefit, HMRC will look at each case individually, taking circumstances and liabilities into account. There is a dedicated helpline, but speak to your specialist dental accountant for advice first.
Loans and overdrafts
Also announced was the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This will help businesses access loans and overdrafts, should they need to. To incentivise them to provide SMEs with finance, lenders will get a guarantee of 80% on each loan. Again, go through your options with a specialist accountant who will look at both the bigger picture and the minor details to advise if this could be a smart move for you.
Also announced was an additional £2.2 billion for local authorities who pay little or no Business Rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR). Any business that does get SBBR, or Rural Rate Relief will therefore get a £10,000 grant to help with costs.
In short, the government made many promises to reassure businesses that the health of the economy will be protected as far as possible, while we face the biggest threat to the UK’s public health that we have seen for generations.
For all your business concerns and queries, speak to a specialist dental accountant like the team at Lansdell & Rose. We will be able to apply our years of experience of working with the dental industry to these difficult circumstances we’re facing.
Working together we can find the best solutions to keep your practice working efficiently.
For more information please visit www.lansdellrose.co.uk
or call Lansdell & Rose on 020 7376 9333.