Covid-19 Business Support Update - 10th June 2021

Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) – Deadline Extended

Applications for the above fund will now close at 5pm on the 14th June instead of Monday 7th June as previously planned. Below is a reminder of the details.

Welsh businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors still affected by coronavirus restrictions are able to claim cash grants through the Economic Resilience Fund.

Businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations still affected by ongoing restrictions and forced to remain closed between 1st May 2021 and 30th June 2021 can apply.

Businesses that are eligible for the funding include:

  • Nightclubs and late entertainment venues
  • Events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF)
  • Hospitality and leisure businesses, including restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • Wedding venues or events space accommodating less than 30 people
  • Supply chain businesses, that generate 60% or more of its sales revenue from businesses in the above categories.

The fund is open to sole traders, partnerships and limited companies with an annual turnover exceeding £85K who employ at least one full time person through PAYE. The business must also have a minimum of 60% reduction in turnover compared to the same period in 2019 or similar period in 2020 for a new business established in the last 12 months.

Please note - those businesses with an annual turnover below £85K may still be eligible for funding and need to apply via their local authority.

For full details on eligibility criteria and to apply by 5pm on the 14th June 2021 please visit the Business Wales website .

VAT Deferral Payment Scheme Closes on 21st June

Businesses that have not yet opted in to the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme and wish to do so only have until the 21 June 2021.

The online VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme enables businesses to pay VAT in smaller monthly instalments. To qualify businesses will need to have deferred VAT payments between March and June 2020 under the VAT Payment Deferral Scheme. Businesses had the option to pay their deferred VAT in monthly instalments from March 2021.

If you have not yet opted in to the VAT deferral scheme, to avoid being charged interest or a penalty you must : 

  • Join the VAT deferral new payment scheme –open now until 21 June 2021
  • Contact HMRC by 30 June 2021 and agree how to pay

There are two options for paying your VAT under the new scheme. You can either pay your deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free or choose the number of instalments from 2 to 8 if joining the deferral scheme now.

For full details and to join the VAT deferral payment scheme please click here

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims for May Due Now

If you are a business claiming wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims for furlough days in May must be made by 14th June 2021.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021 but with some important changes. In particular, from 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible for the grant the employer must continue to pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they spend on furlough.

Find out more about how the scheme is changing.

Fifth SEISS grant will be open to claims from late July

The fifth Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant covering May 2021 to September 2021 will open to claims from late July, HMRC has confirmed.

To be eligible for the grant, an individual must be self-employed or a member of a partnership. They must have traded in the tax year 2019/2020 and submitted their tax return on or before 2 March 2021, and also have traded in the tax year 2020/21.

The amount of the fifth grant will be determined by how much an individual's turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.

HMRC will provide more information and support by the end of June 2021 to help individuals work out how their turnover was affected.

The online claims service for the fifth SEISS grant will be open from late July 2021. In mid-July HMRC will contact individuals who are eligible based on their tax returns to give them a date from which they can make their claim.

Bounce Back Loan Repayments Due for Many Small Businesses

Many small businesses will soon be required to begin repaying loans taken out under the government's Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS).

The BBLS helped to support businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and permitted firms to apply for a minimum of £2,000, up to a maximum of £50,000, or 25% of business turnover, with the government paying the interest for the first 12 months.

The BBLS was available from May 2020 and closed to new applications on 31 March 2021.

Many businesses have asked banks for more time to repay their BBLS loans. Some of these businesses have opted to extend the loan term from six years to ten years. However, for those firms who have stuck to the original terms, they are required to begin repaying after the 12-month payment holiday.

Businesses can choose to use the government's Pay as You Grow initiative, which gives firms the option to extend the length of their loan from six to ten years; make interest-only payments for six months; or pause repayments entirely for up to six months.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged banks to contact their customers 'in order to make them aware of Pay as You Grow' and how to make best use of it.

Grants of up to £3,000 Available to Rural Pub Owners

A new Scheme called Pub in the Hub Community Services Fund has been launched offering grants of up to £3,000 to enable rural pub owners, licensees, and local communities to help support and sustain local services.

Pub is the Hub’s Community Services Fund aims to enable pub owners to offer a space on their premises for a new service or replace a service that has already been lost in a community, such as a local shop, library, post office or community centre.

Funding will support projects where no other local funding for services currently exists. The fund is now open for applications for further information please visit the Pub is the Hub website.

For help or advice on the support available for businesses please contact your usual BPU Adviser or contact:

Huw Palin Director
BPU Chartered Accountants
Email: huwp@bpuaccountants.co.uk
Call: 029 20734100

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