It’s not just furlough: Here’s what help is available to York businesses

There is support out there for York businesses. Photograph: Jamie Wheeler / Unsplash
11 Nov 2020 @ 6.14 pm
| Business

With the second lockdown starting to bite, many York businesses are faced with renewed challenges.

But before they make any critical decisions, business owners should check out all the support that’s available to them, a financial expert said today.

Stephen Smith, who runs TaxAssist Accountants York, says there are a raft of measures now available, including the reinstated furlough scheme.

And he urged businesses to apply for every bit of help they can get to ensure their long-term viability.

Stephen said: “The new measures are significantly more generous than those previously announced.

“Talking to York businesses, many have welcomed the ability to furlough staff again during the national lockdown and into next year, as it helps to give them some breathing space.

“But it won’t cover all outgoings; businesses will still need to fund pension and national insurance contributions, and may have other costs including rent and utilities.

“That is why it is best to look at the additional help on offer, administered via City of York Council.

“The key thing is to consider all the options available before making any business-critical decisions.”

The support available

Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Photograph: Screengrab

The unexpected but welcome announcement from the Government on the 31st October has meant additional financial support for York businesses.

JSS delayed and furlough reinstated

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) which was due to start from 1 November is delayed.

Instead the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended to 31 March 2021.

For claim periods running to 31 January it will result in employees receiving 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Employers are asked to cover national insurance and employer pension contributions. The government will review the policy in January to decide if they will ask employers to contribute more to the scheme in February and March.

The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021. An alternative retention incentive will be put in place at the appropriate time, ministers have promised.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

As before, this offers support for self-employed people whose income has been hit by the pandemic.

There will be two further grants, each available for three-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

The grant covering November 2020 – January 2021 will now be 80% of three months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total.

The online service for the next grant will be available from 30 November.

Covid-19 Business Grants

Many York businesses will be able to access grants under three new government schemes, covering:

  • the brief period whilst York was under Tier 2 local restrictions
  • the period of national lockdown from 5th November to 2nd December
  • the new grant for some sectors which have received no previous government support

Applications and details of the grants are shown on the City of York Council website here.

Stephen Smith is YorkMix’s financial expert. You can read his advice here