News

Lockdown – be ready for the unexpected
11/08/2020 - More...
One of the more insidious effects of the coronavirus outbreak is its unpredictability. Businesses need to plan. To achieve this there needs to be an underlying, stable economic platform. Lockdown – whether locally or nationally applied – removes the certainty required to achieve planned results. For example, the recent attempts to relax distancing rules and allow...

Want to start your own business?
11/08/2020 - More...
One of the consequences of recession, such as the present downturn in activity caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, is the likelihood that many will face redundancy as employers try to manage the process. In the past, this shake out process seems to reawaken dreams of not placing all your income eggs in one basket and instead, dusting-off those long-desired plans to run your...

Job Retention Bonus policy paper published
05/08/2020 - More...
The government has published further guidance on how the forthcoming Job Retention Bonus Scheme will operate. The scheme will enable eligible employers to claim £1,000 for each eligible employee in respect of whom they have previously made a valid claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and who remains in continuous employment until at least 31 January...

£50m extra funding for Customs Intermediary Grant Scheme
04/08/2020 - More...
Over the past few months, HMRC has unveiled a package of measures to accelerate the growth of the UK's customs intermediary sector. These announcements included £50 million of new funding to support businesses with recruitment, training and supplying IT equipment to handle customs declarations as the transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020. The...

£20m in new grants for small businesses
04/08/2020 - More...
£20 million worth of new government grants have been released to help small and medium sized businesses across England recover from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. These grants will provide businesses between £1,000 and £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice. Commenting...

Advice for early years sector
04/08/2020 - More...
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a COVID-19 taskforce back in March 2020 to identify any commercial practices that adversely affect consumers and to consider appropriate responses to help businesses comply with the law and protect consumers' rights. One of the areas where the CMA received reports of unfair practices concerned the early years sector...

Renewing your MOT
04/08/2020 - More...
Vehicle owners with a MOT expiry date between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 were given a 6 month extension. This measure was designed to help motorists as the Coronavirus pandemic began to take hold. Mandatory MOT tests for car, motorcycle and van owners in England, Scotland and Wales were reintroduced from 1 August 2020. This means that any driver whose vehicle is due for an...

Government u-turn on lockdown changes
04/08/2020 - More...
Lockdown changes - in England - that were due to come into effect on 1 August 2020, have been delayed until at least 15 August. The last-minute announcement by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, followed worries of a rise in COVID cases and means that casinos, bowling alleys and ice skating rinks will remain closed in England for the time being. The government has also paused...

State Aid rules relaxed for CBILS loans
04/08/2020 - More...
The government has announced that more small businesses will benefit from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Under the scheme, borrowers can apply for up to £5 million in finance in the form of loans, overdrafts, invoice finance, and/or asset finance. The government will guarantee lenders 80% of the loan value, as well as covering the first 12...

Intellectual Property Office service update
04/08/2020 - More...
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has ended its 'interrupted days' provisions and is now working to its usual deadlines. The IPO introduced extended deadlines, known as interrupted days, on 24 March 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. An 'interrupted day' is defined as a day in which the normal course of business at the IPO is not possible. This...

More support for film and other creative industries
04/08/2020 - More...
A new £500 million scheme to kickstart film and television production struggling to secure insurance for COVID-related costs has been launched. This scheme will help TV and film productions that have been halted or delayed by a lack of insurance to get back up and running. The funding will be available to all productions made by companies where at least half of the...

Breaking even
04/08/2020 - More...
There are businesses that have benefitted from the current COVID disruption. Particularly, those that can deliver goods and services online. There are far more that have not benefitted. Before COVID-19 reared its disruptive head businesses were exhorted to make profits. This was the way most firms created surplus cash-flow and value in their businesses. Since the initial,...

Beyond furlough
02/08/2020 - More...
Unless the Chancellor comes up with replacement funding for the furlough scheme, and there is no sign that this will happen, those businesses that have maintained their workforce by furloughing staff will face difficult choices when the present Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes down at the end of October. Do we keep staff on in the hope that business will improve? Or is...

New redundancy protections for furloughed employees
29/07/2020 - More...
The government has unveiled an important new law that will protect furloughed workers who are made redundant. This will ensure that any employee who was furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will receive their full basic statutory redundancy entitlement. This amount will be based on their normal wages, rather than the reduced furlough rate. The...

Changes to tax treatment of termination payments
29/07/2020 - More...
The government has published draft clauses for insertion into a new Finance Bill 2020-21, to be introduced into Parliament in the Autumn. These include changes which will affect employers who make termination payments. The part of a termination payment which is treated as being a payment in respect of the employee’s notice period and subject to income tax and NICs is...

How elastic is demand for your products?
28/07/2020 - More...
Many will remember the empty shelves in supermarkets when lock-down commenced March 2020. In particular, the absence of toilet rolls… Compare this with supplies of TVs and other luxury goods where there was no noticeable absence of supply. These examples point to a basic economic theory; that a product with few substitutes (toilet rolls) and where demand is constant,...

£50 bike repair voucher scheme launched
28/07/2020 - More...
The government has launched a new scheme - open to anyone in England - with a bike in need of repair. The Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme is a new initiative that has been championed by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to help fix old bikes by offering a £50 bike repair voucher towards the total cost of repairs needed. The scheme hopes to provide an alternative to using...

Business rates review
27/07/2020 - More...
The government has confirmed that the next business rates revaluation in England will be postponed until April 2023. The government has previously announced that the revaluation that was due in 2021 would be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic but no date had been announced. The revaluation in April 2023 will be based on property values on 1 April 2021. The new revaluation...

Beware £5,000 company fine
27/07/2020 - More...
As well as filing accounts with Companies House, there is an important requirement to check that the information Companies House has about your company is correct every year. This is facilitated by the filing of an annual company confirmation statement. The confirmation statement was introduced in June 2016 and replaced the annual return. You could be subject to a fine of up to...

Customs declarations for exporters of goods from 1 January 2021
27/07/2020 - More...
The Brexit transition period is due to end 31 December 2020. The UK and EU have agreed there will not be any further extensions, although with the COVID-19 outbreak nothing appears certain. As things currently stand, no formal trade deal has been reached with the EU. Consequently, it seems likely that the process for exporting goods to the EU will change from 1 January...

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