Breaking News 22nd October 2020
FURTHER SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY COVID RESTRICTIONS
The Chancellor announced, on Thursday 22nd October 2020, further measures on to support businesses, particularly those which are not required to close but where their trade has been severely affected by the health restrictions.
In summary, there will be a new Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme for businesses impacted by Tier 2 (high) where they are not required to close. Councils will administer this grant with the Treasury making up front funds available, with a 5% top up element to award to businesses or sectors in their area. The Scheme will permit backdated applications from August 2020.
Click here for more details about the Grants Scheme.
The Job Support Scheme will be made "more generous for employers" and is aimed at businesses who can remain open - the amount is set at 70% of the support available to businesses in Tier 3 (very high) locations. The Short Time Work criteria will alter so that employees will need to work only 20% of their normal hours and the employer's contribution for those hours not worked is reduced to 5%. All sectors will be eligible and this will be UK-wide.
Finally, the government support for self-employed people will be doubled to 40% of people's income with a maximum £3,750 grant.
Several MP's asked about the events sector and the difficulties faced in getting financial support. The Chancellor said that the Valuation Office codes being used by Councils for eligibility to receive the new grant will include many in hospitality, accommodation and leisure where they have business premises.
Details of what was announced can be found here.
WALES - FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE FIREBREAK LOCKDOWN
The Government of Wales has published the draft Regulations giving effect to the restrictions taking effect from Friday 23rd October 2020 at 6pm.
The tool and equipment hire sector is covered by the "Building Supplies and Hardware Stores" category. Businesses are permitted to remain open (but these premises must adhere to health protection requirements). Our Covid update issued on Wednesday 21st October 2020 mentioned the likelihood of being able to operate and we are awaiting a formal response to the letter sent by HAE EHA to the First Minister, as well as guidance to accompany the Regulations.
A copy of the Regulations can be found here (Schedule 1, Part 3, page 38 is relevant to the outline above).