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

On 23rd March the government introduced new measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. These included the closure of many businesses in a several sectors. To see which sectors are included and what the exceptions are click here.

For those businesses still permitted to operate the following advice was given:

  • employees should work from home where possible;
  • where working from home is not possible travel to work is still permissable;
  • when working the social distancing rules still apply – ensure people maintain a 2m (6ft) gap;
  • for full guidance on going to work click here.

Support for the self-employed

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This temporary scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.

The government will provide payments to the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender -levied fees.

Sole traders and freelancers can access the scheme as long business activity operates through a buisness account. Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply here.

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 unlikely to be made until the start of June 2020.

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

Small Business Grant Funding

Small businesses in all sectors have access to a grant of £10,000 which will be issued by their Local Authority. To qualify the business needs to be in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief on their property. Further information can be found here.

VAT Deferral

VAT payments accrued during 20th March and 30th June will be deferred until the end of the 2020/21 tax year. Further information 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.

For further information about the range of government support available click here.

For the answers to frequently asked questions on these support measures click here.

For more information on what to do about costs associated with your commercial property click 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 and choose option 0.

‘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.

2nd April, 11:00-12:00 – ‘Get Informed’ with Covid-19: Assitance for Employers with Caroline Rayner, Employment Partner at Baines Wilson LLP.

3rd April, 11:00-12:00 – ‘Get Informed’ with Covid-19: Health & Wellbeing Whilst Working from Home with Emma Last, Managing Director of Progressive Minds.

Webinar Recording: British Chambers of Commerce Director General, Adam Marshall answers questions from Chambers and Chamber members

Tell us how we can support you

In order to lobby on your behalf to ensure that the support available works for your business we are gathering information on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting businesses.

Help us help you by completing this short survey COVID-19_Business_Survey.

BCC Resources

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

Frequently Asked Questions – Businesses

BCC Coronavirus Hub