The roadmap out of lockdown offers a glimmer of hope for 2021

 

The Government’s recent roadmap update has brought some positive news to many UK businesses this Spring. Provided Covid-19 cases continue to drop, and the vaccine proves to have an effect in the community, many businesses could be looking at re-opening on 12th April.

For many, this benchmark date is seen as the very earliest that they can resume business, and still some way off. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is currently available until 30th April, however a preview to the Spring Budget next week indicates that this may well be extended, with further support for businesses in the coming months.

If your business needs support you can still apply for the furlough scheme, and self employed can claim for a fourth grant available from late April 2021 until 31st May 2021. A fifth grant is due to be announced soon, that will cover May to September 2021.

For advice on the Self Employment Income Support, click to the Government’s website here.

For guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme see Gov.uk here.

Financial support is still available, with the Business Interruption Loan Scheme open until 31st March 2021. To be eligible, your business be based in the UK, have an annual turnover up to £45 million and be able to prove that your business was adversely affected by the pandemic. To apply visit www.gov.uk.

 

The roadmap timeline:

From 8th March – All schools opened with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed. Recreation in outdoor public spaces – such as a park – is allowed between two people, meaning they can sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic.

From 29th March – Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. This will include gatherings in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children’s sport, such as grassroots football, will also return.

From 12th April – Non-essential retail opens, hairdressers and some public buildings like libraries. Outdoor settings like alcohol takeaways, beer gardens, zoos and theme parks. Indoor leisure like swimming pools and gyms. Self-contained holiday accommodation, such as self-catering lets and camp sites.

From 17th May – Outdoors most social contact rules lifted with 6 people or 2 households able to meet indoors. Indoor hospitality and hotels may open.

From 21st June – All legal limits on social contact removed with remaining businesses able to reopen.

This is all subject to vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants being met at each stage.

What’s certain is that while the future looks a little brighter, there’s still choppy waters to navigate. It’s definitely worth looking into localised funding as many local authorities are providing financial support including Invest Plymouth who are due to allocate £1.8 million in grant funding. The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub have also been fantastic in offering advice and funding to local businesses.

Business associations such as local Chambers of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses continue to offer massive support, and networking groups that have moved virtually, have offered a small glimmer of hope and comradery in these dark times.

As we move towards a new financial year and a Spring Budget, we wish you all the very best for your business. As always, we are here to help businesses with their financial accounting and will continue to be your local accountant.

If you need any advice on any of the above schemes please contact us on 01752 665134 or email us at info@haroldduckworth.co.uk. Our expert team can provide a range of accountancy services including bookkeeping, payroll, tax returns and company audits.

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