Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

 

During the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation, the British Exporters Association remains committed to supporting its members and the wider exporting community.   The BExA office continues to operate as normal via remote working and our Member Helpline will be available as usual so there should be no reduction in service.     

For the latest information and advice, we would encourage all members, UK employers and business owners to visit the official guidance for employers and businesses.  Businesses should check for daily updates and subscribe to receive email alerts to ensure they are acting on the most up to date information.

BUSINESS SUPPORT

The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. The Business Support website helps you find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on your business. This website will continue to be updated as information becomes available.

Schemes introduced to provide support for businesses and employees affected by COVID-19 include: 

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme  - HMRC have produced step by step guidance on how to make a claim and there is also a calculator to help you work out your claim.  
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for SMEs with fewer than 250 employees
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of up to £51,000
  • the Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses  who will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000  - loans will be interest free for the first 12 months
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme  will provide a UK government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £200 million 
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.  The COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility scheme is now available for applications.  More information is available from the Bank of England
  • the Coronavirus Future Fund will orovide UK Government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million 
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme 
  • relaxed rules to support businesses

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ABOVE SCHEMES, AND TO ACCESS ALL THE GOVERNMENT BUSINESS SUPPORT INFORMATION, PLEASE CLICK HERE . 

 

IN ADDITION, A NEW 'BUSINESS SUPPORT FINDER' TOOL HAS BEEN LAUNCHED TO HELP BUSINESSES AND SELF-EMPLOYED PEOPLE ACROSS THE UK TO QUICKLY AND EASILY DETERMINE WHAT FINANCIAL SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE TO THEM DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. 

 

Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is also available.

The government's Business Support Helpline is also available to answer business questions over the phone, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm.  The FREEPHONE number to call is 0800 998 1098.  (Devolved Administrations have their own equivalent services in place - the Business Support Scotland helpline is 0300 303 0660Business Wales helpline is 0330 060 300 and the Invest Northern Ireland helpline is 0800 181 4422). 

You can also find free support, advice and sources of finance through your local growth hub or speak to an advisor on webchat about support for your business.

 

Companies House have announced that businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.  Full guidance on applying for an extension can be found here.  In addition, changes announced on 16 April will help businesses avoid being struck off the Companies House register as they deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak -  find out more here.

 

HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS

To assist businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, HMRC have temporarily changed customs policy and authorisations.   Additional information on moving goods and clearing customs can be found here.  These changes are made on an exceptional basis, and guidance will be updated when this change ends.

REQUEST FOR BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE AND ASSISTANCE

Can your business offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support?

UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in the multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Business Intelligence: share the impact Coronavirus is having on your organisation

The Government has called for information from businesses on impacts across supply, demand and labour markets, actions to address these impacts, and any gaps in the Government response from your perspective.

Please send your intelligence to intel@beis.gov.uk.   (Any commercially sensitive information  will be treated accordingly. Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence only and does not provide business advice).

TRAVEL ADVICE

Guidance for British people travelling and living overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can be found here.

The  Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British people travelling abroad to return to the UK now, if commercial flights are still available. This advice was published on 23 March and takes effect immediately.

NHS ADVICE

Advice from the NHS on Covid-19, including how to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus and what to do if you or someone you live with has symptoms.  

 

Updated 19 May 2020