Author Archives: Peggy Nightingale

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Winter Business Support Guide

Further to the Government announcements, we now have pleasure in presenting our Winter Business Support Guide, which contains further commentary and analysis .

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information on any of the support measures available following the latest announcements.

We do not now expect there to be any further assistance for businesses to be announced until the budget at the beginning of March, but there have been so many U-turns and updates already that who knows?


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£4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor has announced.

• Chancellor announces one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring

• £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses

• comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme

This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement last night that these business will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus, and, together with the wide range of existing support, provides them with certainty through the Spring period.

The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

“The new strain of the virus presents us all with a huge challenge – and whilst the vaccine is being rolled out, we have needed to tighten restrictions further.”

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we’re announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until the Spring.”

“This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.”

A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.

The new one-off grants come in addition to billions of existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.

The government has also provided 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, £1.1 billion existing discretionary funding for Local Authorities, the furlough scheme now extended to April and 100% government backed loans, extended until March.

Further information:

• the one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

• £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under

• £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

• £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

• any business which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant

• business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner:

• the Scottish Government will receive £375 million

• the Welsh Government will receive £227 million

• the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million

• this will contribute to the funding which has already been guaranteed by the UK Government, to continue to provide the devolved administrations the certainty they need to plan for their COVID-19 response in the months ahead

• small businesses in the devolved administrations should also be able to benefit from other UK-wide measures in the government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including the various business lending schemes (where the repayment terms were made easier as part of the Winter Economy Plan), and the extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme


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Chancellor extends furlough and loan schemes until the end of April 2021

We are sure that you will be aware that the Government has announced a one-month extension to the furlough scheme and given further time to apply for Government bank loans. Unfortunately, in the Chancellor’s announcements yesterday, there was nothing about extended help to the business community, either by extending the self-employed support scheme or bringing in something new to help those companies who now are in real difficulty.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-and-loan-schemes


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Farewell to the EC Sales List

We have recently received, and you may also have received a similar communication, a letter from H M Revenue & Customs confirming that following the end of the transition period for the UK leaving the EU on 31 December 2020, that EC Sales Lists will no longer be required except in very restricted circumstances.

The last EC Sales List that you will normally be required to complete will be for the quarter ended 31 December 2020.

These documents will only be required after that date when supplies are made to EU member states under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

This will apply to very few of our clients – if any.


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Preparing for 2021 and Brexit

Many SMEs are unaware that there are some key things they need to do before the end of the year to ensure they can continue to trade from 1st January 2021.

The UK left the EU on Friday 31 January 2020. There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. From 1st January 2021 there are some significant implications for SMEs.

There are many guides, tools and checklists available to help you. The online government tool Check how to get ready for new rules in 2021 will guide you through a series of questions and provide you with a list of results to support you getting ready for the new rules.

To help SMEs prepare for Brexit, we have produced some useful materials including:

  • Preparing for Brexit: A Guide for SMEs (including helpful links to tools and further resources); and
  • A 15-point Action Plan.

If you would like a copy of the guide or the 15-point Action Plan, please get in touch.


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Brexit impact on your workforce

Brexit will impact on your workforce in a number of ways, including:

  • From January 2021 there will be a new immigration regime
  • EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who wish to live and work in the UK
  • Recognition of qualifications
  • Travel (visa requirements, passport rules)

Existing employees of UK companies who are EU nationals will need to apply for settled status.

It is important to plan for cut-off dates and any differential status that might apply to new arrivals to the UK.

Do you employ UK nationals living in the EU/EEA/Switzerland? If so, check out this government guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-europe

Do you have staff that travel to the EU for work, if so, check out the guidance for travel and visa requirements for the EU here: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021

For employees who are EU citizen but who will be coming to the UK for work, you can find more information here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/employing-eu-citizens-in-the-uk

To help SMEs prepare for Brexit, we have produced some useful materials including:

  • Preparing for Brexit: A Guide for SMEs (including helpful links to tools and further resources); and
  • A 15-point Action Plan.

If you would like a copy of the guide or the 15-point Action Plan, please get in touch.


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Brexit and Contracts

Some of the terms in existing contracts may no longer be relevant post-Brexit or may raise legal or practical questions in the future.

If your contracts – e.g. terms of business, sale of goods, employment contracts – make reference to the UK being a member state of the EU or rely on EU regulation, then they may need revising.

Contact your legal adviser and conduct a review of all your contracts and terms.

To help SMEs prepare for Brexit, we have produced some useful materials including:

  • Preparing for Brexit: A Guide for SMEs (including helpful links to tools and further resources); and
  • A 15-point Action Plan.

If you would like a copy of the guide or the 15-point Action Plan, please get in touch.


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Brexit and IP – How can you protect your intellectual property?

You insure your property and have contracts with suppliers and customers for the sale and purchase of goods but what are you doing to protect your ideas, services and products?

Assets that cannot be seen – including design rights, patents, trademarks and copyrights – have immense value to businesses and can be protected.

They are known as ‘intellectual property’ and there are steps you can take to ensure that you have exclusive control to utilise and exploit these assets for your benefit.

At the current time it is unclear whether trademarks registered in the EU would be applicable to the UK in the future.

If you own any intellectual property rights, check with your solicitor or IP adviser to ensure you will be protected from 1st January 2021.

To help SMEs prepare for Brexit, we have produced some useful materials including:

  • reparing for Brexit: A Guide for SMEs (including helpful links to tools and further resources); and
  • A 15-point Action Plan.

If you would like a copy of the guide or the 15-point Action Plan, please get in touch.


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Data Protection and GDPR in a post Brexit World

After the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020, the EU GDPR will no longer be law in the UK. However, as the UK government intends to write the GDPR into UK law, from all practical perspectives, GDPR will continue to apply.

This means UK organisations and individuals that process or transfer the personal data of EU-27 citizens from the EU to the UK may need to take action to continue the free flow of data from the EU to the UK and guarantee the protection of EU data subjects. The action required will vary according to whether there is a deal (as set out in any withdrawal agreement) or no deal.


After transition, the UK will be a “third country” until the EU makes an adequacy decision regarding the UK. Until then, the transfer of personal data from the EEA to the UK will only be allowed if ‘appropriate safeguards’ are in place. Such safeguards include Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs). SCCs must be inserted into contracts (whether controller to controller or controller to processor) before Brexit, and their wording must follow that approved by the European Commission.

Transfers of personal data to the EU/ EEA from the UK will not be affected and transfers to and from countries outside of the EU/EEA will be subject to the same rules as now. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a checklist of six steps that businesses can take now to start preparing for data protection compliance in the event of no-deal.


View this checklist here:

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-at-the-end-of-the-transitionperiod/

The government has also produced guidance on using personal data after Brexit, this is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-personal-data-after-brexit

To help SMEs prepare for Brexit, we have produced some useful materials including:

Preparing for Brexit: A Guide for SMEs (including helpful links to tools and further resources);

A 15-point Action Plan.


If you would like a copy of the guide or the 15-point Action Plan, please get in touch.


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Updated Coronavirus Support Business Guide

Following the most recent changes announced by the Government, we have pleasure in presenting a further revision to the support available to businesses.


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