Capital on Tap’s response to COVID-19 outbreak
We know this is a difficult time for small businesses across the UK. Our highest priority is working with you to ensure that we can help your business.
Please be patient with us, as our own Customer Operations teams around the world have been heavily impacted by the global shutdown and will be extra busy over the next few weeks helping customers like you. We’re getting everyone up and running from home, and hiring and training new team members at our hub in Cardiff as fast as we can!
We’re working closely with the British Business Bank and the Bank of England so that any programs that they make available for small businesses we inform you about quickly, including about any government funding that may become available.
Below you will find information about how we, the government and other institutions might be able to help you at this time.
Support from Capital on Tap
We want to stand side by side with our customers through this period of uncertainty. Our firm belief is that we can emerge stronger on the other end if we work together.
To that end, we have a range of options to help.
What is it? If your account is on time and your direct debit mandate is active, we might be able to offer a temporary reduction to your minimum repayments.
How to access: Head to the Repayments tab of your Online Portal.
Payments in Arrears
What is it? If you’re already behind on your repayments, we may be able to reduce the amount you need to pay to bring yourself back on time with us and get back to using your account.
How to access: You’ll need to give us a call on 0208 962 7401 and talk through what you’re able to afford, and for how long.
Missing or cancelled purchases
What is it? If you’ve purchased goods which either haven’t been received, have been cancelled, or have turned up faulty, and you’re not able to secure a resolution with the merchant directly, we might be able to help by disputing the transaction on your behalf.
How to access: Check out our FAQs section on disputing a transaction because of coronavirus.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please refer to the FAQs in the first instance, this blog, and the information contained in your online portal before calling us, so that we can keep the phone lines open to customers who need us most urgently.
The latest support from the Government and other institutions
This is correct as of 24th March 2020. We will update this as regularly as possible.
Job Retention Scheme
What is it? Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
How to access: Directly from HMRC by submitting an application in their new online portal (currently being developed).
Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
What is it? Deferred VAT and Tax payments for businesses and self-employed people.
- Businesses will have VAT payments deferred for 3 months, from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
- If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.
- For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.
How to access: These are all applied automatically.
Paying sick pay to employees
What is it? Small-and medium-sized businesses of fewer than 250 employees will be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence of up to two weeks due to COVID-19.
How to access: Further details from the Government pending.
Mortgage payment holidays
What is it? Mortgage lenders have agreed they will support customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19, including through payment holidays of up to 3 months.
How to access: By contacting your lender directly.
Business Rates Holidays and
What is it? The retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, as well as nurseries, will benefit from a one-year holiday from Business Rates.
How to access: Businesses that received the retail discount in 2019-20 will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible. Businesses eligible for the newly expanded retail discount and/or the new pubs discount may need to apply to their local authority to receive the discount.
Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) Grants
What is it? If your business already pays little to no Business Rates due to Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief, you will be eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000.
How to access: If your business is eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, you will be contacted by your local authority – you do not need to apply. Further details to follow in early April.
Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
What is it? The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
- Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 and under will receive a grant of £10,000.
- Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
How to access: Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
What is it? The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years, alongside a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
The scheme is administered through the British Business Bank, and there are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.
In addition to the above, a further £25,000 grant is available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.
How to access: To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan.
We are also working with the British Business Bank and the government in the hope of securing accreditation.
Business insurance claims related to Pandemics
Confirmation has been given that Government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres is sufficient for businesses to claim on their insurance where appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics is in place.
Time To Pay arrangements
What is it? All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
The Time To Pay service lets Companies that have defaulted on their payments for Corporation Tax, VAT, or PAYE ask HMRC for extra time to pay. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
How to access: To set up a Time To Pay arrangement, businesses can contact HMRC’s dedicated COVID-19 helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Delay of IR-35
What is it? The introduction of the new off-payroll working rules, relevant to contractors in the private sector, will be delayed until 6th April 2021.
Government Advice Links:
- COVID-19 guidance for businesses in England
- COVID-19 guidance for businesses in Wales
- COVID-19 guidance for businesses in Scotland
- COVID-19 guidance for businesses in Northern Ireland
Other useful links:
Protect yourself from fraud
Be aware that some criminals are exploiting Coronavirus to trick people into sharing personal or financial information via phishing emails. Be vigilant and always double check any contact using trusted sources.
Thank you for being a Capital on Tap customer