Keep up-to-date with all of the necessary information and guidance for the self-employed to help your business through the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus and business

The UK Government has provided guidance for businesses in England on how to operate while protecting staff and customers. The guidance is separated into sectors providing the up-to-date advice for different circumstances:

Support for the self-employed

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

SEISS is designed to support self-employed individuals and members of partnerships whose income has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. This is calculated by using average profits from tax returns over the last three years (or 1-2 years if business not operating that long).

SEISS is not available to those who have not yet submitted a tax return or who have profits of £50,000 or more.

Payments are are made in the form of a quarterly grant. The next grant period covers from 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021. Applications can be made from late-April and must be made on or before 1 June 2021.

Full guidance from HMRC can be found here.

Deferral of Self-Assessment payment

The self-assessment payment normally due to be paid on 31st July may now be deferred until January 2021.

This is available to anyone due to make a payment a self-assessment on 31st July. It is an automatic offer with no need to apply for it; simply, no fees or charges will be applied for late payment if an indivdual defers until January 2021.

Full details of the scheme can be found here.

Further support

Restart Grants

The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in reopening safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Grants are available from 1 April 2021.

Eligible businesses in the non-essential retail sector may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 from their local council.

Eligible businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 from their local council.

Here are links to each local council’s information about Restart Grants:

VAT Deferral Payment Scheme

For those that deferred VAT payments accrued during 20th March and 30th June 2020 can join a payment scheme to arrange repayment. Join the scheme by 21 June 2021 or make payment in full by 30 June.  Further information and how to join the scheme can be found here.

Support for Paying Tax

Businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. Further information can be found here.

Support from your Chamber

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak the Chamber will be here to provide support and advice to our members.

Coronavirus Support Hotline

The Chamber has established a dedicated line for you to call with your coronavirus concerns.

We can help with advice on the support available, problems you’re having accessing funding, issues with supply chain to meet demand and anything else related to the outbreak.

Call 01772 653 000.

‘Get informed’ with Chamber online events

In these unprecedented times it is essential for businesses to know how best to deal with the situation. As we can’t meet face-to-face the Chamber has arranged a series of online events to give you the information you need. See what’s coming up here.

BCC Resources

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) have also produced some useful resources:

BCC Coronavirus Hub