Business Support Update

Please find below the latest business support update from Perth and Kinross Council:

We acknowledge that some of you reading this bulletin will not yet have received payment of the Business Support Grant within the 10 working-day period promised by the Chancellor.

We would like to address this directly and ask that you pass this information on to anyone who you feel would benefit from it.

  • PKC has now paid out £7.735 million in grant support to 670 businesses and will have increased this further again today
  • Over 2200 businesses have applied to PKC for the Business Support Grant.
  • These are being processed manually by the PKC rates team in accordance with Scottish government guidelines.
  • A large number of applications are being held pending because of errors or discrepancies in the information provided. This takes time to resolve.

We fully appreciate the serious financial impact that the lock down is having on small businesses and would like to assure you that as a local authority it is our utmost priority to pay everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible.

How Can You Help?

If you have already applied: We would ask for your patience on this matter. Phone calls and follow-up emails only serve to slow down the team at work on this, leading to further delays.

If you have received an automated email following your application then we have it in our system and we will be in touch with you to approve the grant or, in some instances, to ask for follow up information. Please do not contact the rates team directly at this time.  Please do check your spam folder for emails from PKC.

If your business is in serious financial difficulty and / or facing closure:  If you are experiencing extreme financial difficulty due to the coronavirus lockdown please contact the economic development team directly to discuss other possible support options. Email businessdevelopment@pkc.gov.uk and one of our team will be in touch.

If you have yet to apply:  Please do this as quickly as possible. A number of applications have been held up due to incorrect or conflicting information being given by businesses.  This, unfortunately, does have a knock on effect, slowing up the overall process for the team.

Therefore, we would like to stress the importance of the ensuring all information given is completed in full and relates entirely to your business. Please see below for common errors.

  • Name of Business: Many of you will have an official, registered business name, and a trading name. Please ensure that you use the Business Name registered with PKC for non-domestic rates purposes.  This is usually the name you have registered for tax purposes and business banking. If in doubt, please give both in the following manner: Registered Name T/A Trading Name.
  • Bank Account Details: Monies will be paid into the bank account you pay your non-domestic rates from, or a business bank account in your business name, including ‘trading as’ accounts.
  • Name of Business + Bank Account Details: The two points above should marry up when we cross reference your application. IE Your registered business name should appear on your business bank account.

If you feel you cannot complete the application due to an anomaly with any of these points, please contact localtaxes@pkc.gov.uk and one of the team will be in touch.

Moving forward, we will send these bulletins only when new measures or useful support facilities open up or when notable changes for business take place.  At the moment, we would expect this to be 2 to 3 times a week for the next two weeks.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and regularly review the support we can offer to ensure it remains useful and relevant. Any business who would welcome further advice or support should contact the team who will do their best to help you. businessdevelopment@pkc.gov.uk.

Local level: www.pkc.gov.uk/coronavirus/business
National level: findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice

Update From PKC’s Commercial Waste Team

With the current financial stresses being experienced by businesses large and small, the Council’s Commercial Waste Team has made the decision to temporarily postpone the start of year, annual-billing process which was due to be carried out this month.

There are currently no changes to service and collections will carry on as per your agreed schedule. However, if your business need has changed and you would like to reduce or postpone collections please contact the Commercial Waste Team on 01738 476476 or by emailing CommercialWasteTeam@pkc.gov.uk. You can also visit the online portal at my.pkc.gov.uk.

To clarify, uplifts that do take place will still be chargeable but will be backdated. The current intention is to invoice mid-July to early August for collections between 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

For the most up to date information on the Council’s Commercial Waste Service, visit www.pkc.gov.uk/tradewastenews.

Applying for Payment for Furloughed Staff

HMRC have announced that the online portal being built to process the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for payments of furloughed staff in the UK should be open from Monday 20 April.
Early indications are that payments will be processed within 4-6 working days of receiving the claim meaning that HMRC should be ready to start making payments by Thursday 30th April. The system will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, meaning that callers can queue to speak to an advisor.
In order to ensure your application goes smoothly there are things that you can do now to be ready when the system is up and running.

You’ll need to provide the following to make a claim:

  • The bank account number and sort code you’d like HMRC to use when they pay your claim.
  • The name and phone number of the person in your business for HMRC to call with any questions.
  • Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  • The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.
  • The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.
  • If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf, so please speak to them now.
  • However, if you use a file-only agent (files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you in other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim for you and you’ll need the information listed above from them to make the claim yourself.

For more detailed advice, and to find out if you are eligible for the Job Retention Scheme, please visit GOV.UK. This guidance is being regularly updated, so please review it frequently.

This webinar provides guidance on the Job Retention Scheme which will help support businesses and employers dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19 – including furloughed workers, scheme eligibility, how to calculate a claim and more.

00:50 – Aims of the scheme
01:37 – What is a furloughed worker?
02:23 – Is your employee a furloughed worker?
05:21 – What to do if your employee is a furloughed worker?
06:10 – Other individuals eligible for furlough?
08:34 – Who can apply for the scheme?
10:00 – Following the rules of the scheme
11:00 – How much can you claim?
14:10 – How to claim
15:26 – What you’ll need to make a claim
16:07 – What happens after I’ve claimed?
17:20 – Case studies
20:19 – Need more help?

Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Online Events

Perthshire Chamber of Commerce is currently working closely with their Scottish and British Chamber network and other partners to ensure business concerns are heard and addressed.

In response to business demand, the team at PCC has scheduled business sessions which are being delivered online via Microsoft Teams or Zoom.  These follow successful sessions with Thorntons and Johnston Carmichael last week, slides from which can be downloaded here.

This week’s events are:

Book online at perthshirechamber.co.uk >>>

Contact Perthshire Chamber of Commerce on info@perthshirechamber.co.uk or call 01738 448325.

Quick Links For Financial Support Measures

Business Support: General advice and links to all measures can be found on the FindBusinessSupport.Gov.Scot website >>>

Business Support Fund: Businesses of all sizes in Perth and Kinross can access the Coronavirus: Business Support Fund (see bullet points below). We urge you complete this as soon as possible and to ensure you have completed all sections in full, including the uploading of additional information.

  • £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief for rates
  • £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000
  • The above links now provide access for self-catering accommodation

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders and can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

Funding for Furlouged Employees: Claim 80% of Wages for Furloughed workers through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Under this scheme, your employees will be classified as furloughed workers. This means that they are kept on your payroll, rather than being laid off.

Support for Employees With Sick or Isolating Note: The Scottish Government has brought forward legislation to allow small and medium sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. See more on the Gov.uk website.

Defer VAT and Income Tax:  If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer the payment until a later date – you must submit your VAT return as normal. More Info.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

Self Employed:  The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships). This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Useful Contacts

Business Gateway:  01738 448310www.bgateway.com/resources/coronavirus-support
Growbiz: 01828 627790connect@growbiz.co.uk / www.growbiz.co.uk
Federation of Small Business: www.fsb.org.uk
Perthshire Chamber of Commerce: 01738 448325www.perthshirechamber.co.uk
Scottish Tourism Alliance: 01786 459235scottishtourismalliance.co.uk/coronavirus-advice-for-businesses-covid-19/
Scottish Food & Drink: Business support measures PDF download >>>

Change to HMRC helpline number
HMRC have experienced some strain in their network provider as more people across the UK are staying at home, so they have now changed their number.

More information on the Tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here.

Previous Bulletins:

Thursday April 9th: Important notice on applying for Business Support Grant, HMRC Job Retention Webinar link, Keyworker childcare updates, Bulletin 12 >>>

Monday April 6th: Business Support Fund update, £20M Innovation Grant, Business Gateway Webinar Dates. Bulletin 11 >>>

Thursday April 2nd : Updates from partners, online webinars for business, expert advice via Zoom and financial measures round-up. Bulletin 10 >>> 

Tuesday March 31st: Links to the Business Support Fund for self-catering accommodation providers, updates from Skills Development Scotland. Bulletin 9 >>>

Monday March 30th: Creative Industries link, round up of financial measures in place, self catering announcement. Bulletin 8 >>>

Friday March 27th: Self Employed links to apply, Bank of England measures, third sector resilience scheme. Bulletin 7 >>>

Thursday March 26th: Self Employed benefits headline, Tourism business survey from Visit Scotland, Stagecoach’s response to travel for key workers. Bulletin 6 >>>

Wednesday March 25th: Overview of essential workers, deferring VAT and Income Tax, Support for business water bills. Bulletin 5 >>>

Tuesday March 24th : Business Support Grants link to apply, how to process new SSP, Growbiz update, extract from the First Minister’s speech. Bulletin 4 >>>

Monday March 23rd : Business Interruption Loan, Universal Service Obligation (USO) for Broadband update, Business Gateway Support, access to schools rules. Bulletin 3 >>> 

Friday March 20th : £2.2bn for business – the breakdown, employers’ recruitment incentive, non-domestic rates assistance, Scottish Enterprise grants. Bulletin 2 >>>

Thursday March 19th : Links to partner organisations from across Perth and the wider region including Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, Grow Biz and more. Bulletin 1 >>>

Please do feel free to pass this bulletin onto your own network. Businesses can sign up for their own daily bulletin on the Invest in Perth website here.