How coronavirus is affecting small businesses?

David Hough, a Partner at Blick Rothenberg, the leading tax and advisory firm said: ‘The move to refund statutory sick pay to small businesses whose staff self-isolate is helpful, but we will also see low-paid people on hourly wages, who are fit to work, lose their hours as demand decreases. Temporary income protection would help ensure those people get through the upcoming decline in productivity.’

Fiona Fernie, Partner at Blick Rothenberg said: ‘It’s good news that Time to Pay (TTP) is being scaled-up during the coronavirus and also that there should be easy access via a dedicated helpline. However, traditionally, HMRC is not particularly helpful regarding TTP, so it will be interesting to see just how flexible they are prepared to be.’

Simon Rothenberg, a Senior Manager at Blick Rothenberg said: “Guaranteed loans will be welcomed by small businesses – but detail is key. Businesses need to know what the terms will be and when repayments will have to be made.”

Simon added: ‘Sick pay from day-one is a good move, but how will the Government reimburse business? This will not help cash-flow issues given the fall in economic activity expected.’

He said: ‘Abolition of business rates for one year is welcomed. It will help small retail businesses and the leisure industry. This is huge support, as is the long-term review of rates. Cash grants to 700,000 small businesses of £3,000 will help with the cash-flow issues small businesses are likely to experience.’

Andrew Sandford, a Partner at Blick Rothenberg said: ‘The hospitality sector benefits from savings on rates, but will have large increases in wages through the minimum level wage.’

Suzanne Briggs, partner at Blick Rothenebrg said: ‘The additional support by scaling up Time To Pay (TTP) helplines is great news. However, taxpayers still need to discuss their income and expenditure with HMRC when they phone in.’

Coronavirus and international employees

Lee Mcintyre-Hamilton, a Partner at Blick Rothenberg said: ‘The substantial Coronavirus spending will be welcome. However, given the global nature of this disease, I had hoped to see some measures to relax the complex UK income tax, PAYE and National Insurance rules for those who are being repatriated to the UK to work from home on a temporary basis.

‘Also, the existing tax reliefs for the additional costs of working from home, where the employer directs this, should have been extended to those cases where individuals self-isolate.’


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