Support for small business after lockdown.

What support will there be for small business after lockdown is over? Will there be any support? How will HMRC react to the enormous burden being carried by the public purse?

There’s a sense of things getting back to normal, or at least a light at the end of the tunnel, but for many small business’s life won’t ever be back to ‘normal’ and it’s likely that a lot of small businesses won’t survive past the end of this year.

Small Limited companies were hit hard during the lockdown and apart from the furlough scheme (which didn’t help millions of small business owners) the only support was a loan from the government to ‘bounce back.’

In reality, the bounce back loans were used to survive, not thrive, and millions of small business owners are now facing the reality of no income and loan repayments. Making end meet has become the main focus for the majority of small business owners over the past 12 months and they will be paying for the down time for several years to come.

So, what can you do to help your business survive and go on to thrive?

Firstly, ask for help. Many people don’t realise that the government has built in systems to allow you to delay payments to your bounce back loans giving you some breathing space. While many of the current government schemes are closed now, you can still claim to delay repayments to your loan.

Here’s a quick summary of key points affecting the Bounce Pack Loan Scheme:

  • New and existing loans can be repaid over ten years, this has increased from six years
  • you can take one payment holiday lasting six months
  • you can choose to make interest-only repayments, three times over the course of the loan, with each interest-only period lasting up to six months.
  • Any extensions to your loan, as well as payment holidays or interest-only payments, mean that you will end up paying more interest overall.
  • Bounce Back Loan borrowers will now have the option to tailor payments according to their individual circumstances under the Pay as you Grow Scheme.
  • The Treasury’s Pay as You Grow repayment flexibilities enable borrowers to tailor their repayment schedule, which will now be available to everyone from the first repayment, rather than after six repayments have been made.

 

In addition to helping with repayments, HMRC is open to arranging payment plans if you can’t pay back your tax right away, but the key is to stay in touch with them and keep the lines of communication open.

Some local authorities are also offering extended support for commercial rates.

If you need assistance, we can help you figure out a way forward and help you communicate with HMRC to make an arrangement that works for you both in the short and long term.