Norwich  01603 766078  |  Aylsham  01263 735284 |  Lowestoft  01502 531100 |  London  020 374 01857

We're here to help you get through this coronavirus disruption

We know that times are hard, and you'll be concerned right now but we want to assure you that we are here to help. All staff are working from home and are on hand to help with any of your questions.

We are a small business ourselves and know the struggles and the uncertainly of this situation. We are here to support you and your business.

We encourage you to think beyond this day and this month, and how we will reach the other side. There are things that we can do to help you get through this, but we need communication from you to achieve that. In a situation like this please don't keep quiet and carry on, please use us as a sounding board, for advice and support.

We've put together some helpful information below and we will be updating it regularly so do check back soon.

Business Support

100% state-backed 'bounce back loan' for small businesses

Small businesses will be able to access loans worth 25% of their turnover, up to £50,000 and the government will pay the interest for the first 12 months. This means that the UK's smallest businesses will have guaranteed access to loans of up to £50,000 within 24 hours of applying.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The government has introduced a temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank. The government is providing lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan to boost lender confidence. There is no charge for this guarantee and the scheme supports loans of up to £5m.

See more information on our CBILS blog.

Accounts Extension

From 25 March 2020, businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts.

The government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

The government has announced that there will be a £10,000 cash grant (up from the original £3,000 advised) for small business eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Here is more information on the latest updates for business support.


On 26 March 2020 Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that self-employed workers will be able to apply for taxable grants worth up to 80% of their average monthly profits to combat the loss of income due to COVID-19. These grants will be capped at £2,500 per month and will be paid direct into bank accounts in June at the earliest.

For more information on the latest updates for self-employed.

Tax and HMRC

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Liabilities due from 20th March to 30th June are postponed. VAT refunds and reclaims will continue to be processed in the normal way. Taxpayers will be given until the end of 20/21 to settle liabilities in a deferral period. If you would still like to make your VAT payment on time and do not have references etc please reach out to the team.

If your VAT is collected via Direct Debit and you want to take advantage of the deferment, please ensure you cancel your DD.

Here is the latest updates for tax and HMRC.

Mortgage and Borrowing

Banks have agreed with the Chancellor that they will offer forbearance on mortgages. Banks can make a voluntary agreement for a three-month payment break. Banks are also offering missed payment waivers and reduced payments. Most banks have advised that mortgage holidays will increase future monthly payments rather than extend the term of the mortgage.

We recommend you call your mortgage provider to see what they can offer, for example, HSBC and First Direct said they would give customers the option to extend their mortgage terms or switch rate with HSBC adding it would let customers switch to an interest-only mortgage.

More information on the latest updates for mortgage and borrowing.

HR and Payroll

On the 20 March the Government announced all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salaries for those who would have otherwise been laid off during the coronavirus outbreak. On the 26 March further detailed information was published for employers regarding the eligibility criteria, and clarification on how the scheme would work.

The guidance specified support for directors of Limited companies would only extend to salary paid via PAYE, but specifically excluded support for dividend income. They made it clear that such individuals are not eligible for the self- employed scheme announced on the same day, even though many feel they are in a similar situation.

Additional support announced in the budget 2020 on the 13 March, small and medium-sized businesses (with less than 250 employees) will have the costs of SSP (£94.25 per week) for any employee off work because of COVID-19 for up to 14 days refunded by the Government in full.

For more information on the latest news regarding support for Directors, Employees and the relevant HR processes

Finance Support

Recently Justin Lavery joined the Farnell Clarke team to provide a corporate financing offering. Under the current climate, corporate finance could offer you a lifeline or at least make this wave a little easier to ride.

Here is more information on how Justin can help with finance support during this difficult time.

Cash Flow Forecasting

Now is the critical time for businesses to make a cash flow plan. You need to get clear on whether you will run out of cash in this crisis. We’re here to help you with that – we want you to be in control of your cash flow, not the other way around.

For more information on how we can help you with cash flow forecasting and software setup.

Call us today for more information

Norwich 01603 766078 | Lowestoft 01502 531100