With the latest news from the government stating the closure of all bars, restaurants and cafes a sense of uncertainty has rippled throughout the hospitality sector. At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, staff shortages and supply issues were the main concerns for business owners. However, the new measures have left many vulnerable.

In such unprecedented times, business owners are wondering what the future holds and what help is available. Here, we explore just that…

How the government is providing support

Rishi Sunak has revealed a number of emergency measures to support all UK businesses during the current climate.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under this new scheme, all employers in the UK will have support to ensure that they are able to pay 80% of their employees’ (who would have been laid off) salaries. In order to access this, businesses need to designate affected employees and submit information to HMRC.

VAT and Income Tax

VAT payments have been deferred for three months. This deferral will apply from 20th March until 30th June. All businesses are eligible for this automatic offer. Taxpayers will also be given until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to pay any liabilities that are due during this period.

Sick pay for employees

The Chancellor also revealed that small- and medium-sized businesses (with less than 250 employees) would be able to claim up to two weeks’ Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for those employees who are off sick due to coronavirus. The government has revealed that they will be working with companies over the next few months to establish repayment processes.

Support for those paying little or no business rates

An additional Small Business Grant Scheme will provide funds to local authorities to support small businesses that already benefit from small business rate relief, rural rate relief and tapered relief. A one-off grant of £10,000 will be available to help businesses meet their ongoing business costs.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This temporary loan scheme has been brought in to support SMEs through loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to six years. There will also be a Business Interruption Payment for the first 12 months resulting in lower repayments and no upfront costs. In order to be eligible for this, your business must be UK-based with an annual turnover of no more than £45 million.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

The Bank of England will also buy short-term debt from larger non-financial companies. Applications are now open via the Bank of England and will allow businesses finance on short-term liabilities.

Time to Pay

All businesses with outstanding tax liabilities could be eligible for support with their tax payments through HMRC’s new service. Cases are determined individually.


It’s unlikely that your commercial insurance policy will cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases. To be able to claim, your business insurance policy should cover government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease. Insurers have now confirmed that the government’s closure of bars, restaurants and cafes is sufficient for businesses covered for COVD-19 to make a claim.

Specific support for hospitality businesses

Business rates holiday

A business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses has been introduced for the 2020/21 tax year. Any business that received the retail discount in the 2019/20 tax year will also be rebilled. This benefit will be automatically applied to your next council tax bill.

Cash grants

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme will provide businesses (with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000) in the sector with a cash grant of up to £25,000. If your business property has a rateable value of up to £15,000, you will receive a grant of £10,000. Local authorities are in the process of contacting eligible businesses.   

How we can help

During this challenging time, we want you to know that we’re always here to support you – whether you want to chat about your business worries or have a question about your finances.

Everyone’s health is by far the most important thing to consider. But, as business owners, we also need to think about the lives of our employees. We need to make responsible decisions now to ensure that our business can stand strong.

At Nabarro Poole, we’ve taken the decision to work entirely from home – but this will not have an effect on your service. We’re here to walk you through all of your options with advice on what you can do to support yourself and your staff for the foreseeable.

Simply give us a call on 0161 998 4276 or email us at info@nabarropoole.com.