Summer Statement: the changes which could help small businesses

Summer Statement

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the economy with many businesses going under and others struggling to survive.

Last week, in his Summer Statement, the Chancellor announced a series of measures which aim to help the economy get back onto its feet. While you might want to take advantage of ‘Eat Out to Help Out Scheme’ ,  or are happy that stamp duty has been cut  if you run your own business, there are a number of changes which could have a positive impact on your business.

The furlough scheme job retention bonus

As you will be aware the furlough scheme is coming to an end on 31 October 2020.  To help employers keep on staff, the government has announced a £1,000 job retention bonus. This means that for each employee they bring back from furlough, the employer will receive £1,000. However, there are a number of conditions for claiming this bonus.

Each furloughed worker must: 

  • remain employed until the end of January 2021
  • be employed in meaningful work
  • earn more than £520 per month on average over the period.

Bonus payments will be made from February 2021 with further details of the scheme to be announced at the end of this month.

If you want more information about the furlough scheme, please take a look at our post, which includes a list of key dates and changes.

Making it easier to hire young people

Part of the impact of coronavirus is the threat of long-term unemployment, especially for younger people. For this reason, the Chancellor used his Summer Statement to announce a number of measures which will not only help young people find employment, but also enable businesses to take on more employees in a cost-effective way.

The first of these is the Kickstart Scheme, which will cover the cost of 25 hours work a week at National Minimum wage for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24.  Employers will be able to top up the wages if they wish.

Covering England, Scotland and Wales, the scheme will open for applications in August, with the first jobs expected to start in the autumn, and run until December 2021.

And if you’re looking to hire a new apprentice under the age of 25, your business will receive an additional £2,000. This is in addition to the £1,000 payment the government already provides for new apprentices.  The government will also pay £1,500 for every new apprentice hired over the age of  25.

Both of these options could be worth considering, if you are thinking about taking on more people.

Boost to hospitality sector with VAT cut

The VAT rate applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will be cut from 20% to 5% from 15 July to 12 January 2021. The cut applies to food, non-alcoholic drinks, accommodation, concerts, festivals and admission to tourist attractions across the UK.

Further guidance on the tax cut will be published by HMRC in the next few days, as currently businesses don’t have to pass on these savings.

Green investment good for tradespeople

As part of the Green Homes Grant scheme, homeowners and landlords in England will be able to apply for vouchers worth up to £5,000 to help pay for energy-saving improvements like insulation, lighting and double-glazing.

Obviously, tradespeople will need to be on hand to help make these improvements, which is great for the sector.

Want to know more about the Summer Statement?

If you do have any questions about how any of these changes impact on your business, please get in touch.

We’re here to provide advice and guidance on how to do the best thing for your business during these difficult times.

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