Advice for all businesses


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With the most recent Government developments regarding COVID-19 we wish to provide an update for businesses who are affected:

If you are having to close or scale back your business activities we would recommend the following be undertaken to help you reduce your short to medium term liabilties:

  • Provide your energy suppliers with up-to-date meter readings – this will ensure your ongoing invoices reflect the reduction in your energy use and stops over-estimated billing

  • Speak to your energy suppliers to see if they are prepared to allow you to either reduce your direct debit or provide a payment holiday

  • Where possible turn thermostats down

  • Ensure all PC equipment is turned off at the plug

  • If your contract is due for renewal consider a zero/low standing charge option but be wary of take or pay clauses within your terms and conditions


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying up to 80% of employees’ salaries with a cap of £2,500. All UK business are eligible, and you can apply via the HMRC website who are currently urgently working on a system for reimbursement.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5million and for up to 6 years. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

Deferring of VAT and Tax payments

A VAT deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

A business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Your Local Authority will be responsible for applying this.  For more information on funding to support your business visit web page COVID-19: support for businesses.


Bounce Back Loan Scheme

As of the 4th May 2020 Micro-businesses and SME's will be able to apply for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme which can offer up to £50,000 within 24 hours.  The criteria set is almost self-certifying with little checks being carried out by the banks and all loans are interest free for the first 12 months with the balance likely to be charged at a rate of 3% which is around half the rate set in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

In the main, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will work as follows:

  • Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form
  • Borrowers will fill in a two-page application form in which they will certify that they have a viable business, lifting obligations on lenders to carry out their own checks
  • Loan terms are up to six years
  • All firms trading as of March 1 will be able to get cash
  • Banks will no longer require forward financials or business plans
  • You can’t apply if you’ve already had a coronavirus business interruption loan but you can port your existing loan of up to £50,000 across
  • Loans are capped at 25% of turnover
  • Your business must not have been an “undertaking in difficulty” as of December 31 2019

If you have already applied for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan then you will not be able to apply for the Bounce Back Loan but if you have received the CBILS then this can be transferred to the new scheme which would allow you to benefit from a reduced interest rate.

Additional help and advice

In addition to the Government support measure, business networks may also be able to offer support, help and advice

Federation of Small Businesses

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The Federation of Small Businesses offer members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice heard in government.  Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, they have a free dedicated area offering advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed. With regular news updates, webinars and recommendations on how to manage during these difficult times.

British Chamber of Commerce

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Joining your local Chamber gives you access to a range of business services including cost savings and business advice.  There is a free hub on their website with advice on dealing with the effects that the Coronavirus may have on your business, funding support available to you and crisis management plans.  There is also a team on hand to answer any questions and queries you may have.

Business Support Helpline

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0300 456 3565

You can contact the government’s business support line for free advice on 0300 456 3565, Monday to Friday 9am-6pm

HMRC Helpline

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0800 0159 559

If you are concerned about paying your tax due to Coronavirus, please call HMRC's helpline for advice on 0800 0159 559.

Need to chat?

The Business Renewals team are working remotely and can help with any specific energy related questions or renewal offers that you may need.  Simply get in touch and one of our support team will be in contact