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Making sense of a complex situation

Businesses are having to cope with a huge variety of problems at the moment, including a wide range of financial arrangements. This month, the Vice President of Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce, Underwood Lamb Accountant Rod Podger, provides a guide to help you see the wood for the trees. All the information is correct at the time of writing, but events are changing by the day !

The Job Retention Scheme comes to an end on October 31st. Employers who have used the scheme will be eligible for something called a Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 per relevant employee if they are still employed in January.

From November through to next April there will be a support scheme which will offer help after the furlough scheme ends to help stave off redundancies. Employees will need to work at least 20% of their usual contracted hours with the employer paying for those hours. The Government will then contribute a further 61.67% pay for hours not worked up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month with the employer contributing 5% for the hours not worked. So, the employee will receive full pay for hours worked and two-thirds pay for hours not worked (subject to the cap) under the latest version of the scheme.

Similar help will be available for the self-employed through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme which will run through to next April.

Two taxable grants will be available, each covering a three-month period. The first runs from November until January 2021, based on 40% of average monthly trading profits capped at £3,750. The details of the second grant, which will cover February to April 2021 are yet to be announced but it seems any self-employed grants will only be available if the business can show that it remains adversely affected by coronavirus.

Businesses which deferred VAT payments earlier this year will now be able to opt in to an arrangement to pay the deferred amount in eleven interest free instalments starting in March 2021 rather than needing to clear the full amount by that date. People who deferred their personal income tax from last July to next January will also be able to opt in to an arrangement to pay over a twelve month period, though this will be subject to some interest.

The temporary VAT rate reduction to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors was due to end in January but that has now been extended to March 31st.

There are a range of Funding streams for businesses.

  • Bounce-back loan scheme loan repayments may be extended from six to ten years.

  • Bounce-back loans may move temporarily to interest-only payments for periods of up to six months (up to three times), or repayments paused entirely for up to six months (once and only after having made six payments) without it affecting credit ratings.

  • The terms of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans will be changed extending the government guarantee to ten years.

  • All business loan schemes are to remain open for new applications until the end of November.

  • A new loan scheme is being planned for January 2021.

If you’d like to join us in Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce please email the President, Sandy Bell, at or have a look at the website –


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