The Guidance was recently updated to reflect the constant changes that are being introduced by the government. In this post we explore the various points of guidance the government have provided to business to try an minimise as much disruption as is possible given the current climate. Pupil barrister, Shaylla Shabbir, reviews the guidance and provides helpful links.
DEPARTMENT OF TRADE (DIT) SUPPORT FOR UK BUSINESSES TRADING INTERNATIONALLY
The DIT support will support businesses by providing assistance with custom authorities abroad to enable transactions to be smooth and advice will also be provided on particular intellectual property issues to maintain business continuity.
Supply chains affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
Impact on supply chains is inevitable. The DIT have there been tasked with providing support to business that have been impacted in this way by providing them with help to provide different suppliers.
International support for overseas projects
Businesses operating projects in other countries, must follow local guidance and speak to their nearest UK embassy or consulate.
The general advice on Overseas Business Risk in the relevant country is also very useful.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES TRADING INTERNATIONALLY
An array of government-backed and guaranteed loans were announced by the chancellor offering financial assistance to business which is equivalent to 15% GDP. Businesses may be able to receive some support through:
- the business interruption loan scheme from the British Business Bank as part of the Enable Finance Guarantee
- changes to Statutory Sick Pay
- the UK-wide Time to Pay – scheme for tax payment relief for businesses and self-employed people
- an increase in the Business Rates Retail Discount in England to 100% for a year, now expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors
- cash support to all business in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief(SBRR) and funding for Local Authorities in England to support businesses that pay little or no business rates because of SBRR or Rural Rates Relief
- the temporary lowering of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for Universal Credit for those who have COVID-19 or are self-isolating following government advice
- cash grants of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000
Financial support for Exporters
The UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the operating name of the Export Credits Guarantee Department, the United Kingdom’s export credit agency. It is able to protect UK exporters who are facing delayed payment or restriction on transit:
- UKEF can help ease cash flow constraints by guaranteeing bank loans through its Export Working Capital Scheme
- UKEF offers an export insurance policy that can help you recover the costs of fulfilling an order that is terminated by events outside your control
- UKEF can also support finance for overseas buyers through the Direct Lending Facility scheme to maintain continuity between businesses
Travelling abroad for the purposes of business
Many countries have imposed restrictions or outright bans on travel. It is therefore advisable to consult the latest advice about travelling abroad.
DIT Covid-19 business support
DIT offices can be found in many countries and regions. If businesses are looking for specific information in regard to a specific place of business, it has been advised to also make contact with the local embassy in question.
GOVERNMENT CORONAVIRUS ADVICE AND SUPPORT
The government have recognised that particular business have certain needs, and as such the Guidance for UK employers and businesses from the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy offers information on healthcare advice for employers and support for UK businesses.
Public Health England and the Department for Health and Social Care have up-to-date information on the virus for health professionals and other organisations.