Updates and FAQ
on the Coronavirus - COVID-19

Standing strong as a group versus COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken the world by storm and caused unpredictable and unfathomable consequences. As we all face the challenges posed by the virus, it is more important now than ever that we are prepared and united. Throughout Europe and the rest of the world, Coronavirus is wreaking economic havoc and we cannot predict how long or how intensely the effects will last. On this page, you will find answers to some Frequently Asked Questions as well as regular updates on the circumstances. 

Latest update on
the Coronavirus

28 May 2020

5 tips for leading your company out of a crisis

Getting out of a crisis is difficult and requires extraordinary measures and great efforts from a company and its people. Since we’re here to help, we’ve listed 5 tips for leading your company out of a crisis or turnaround situation. Read on and make smart use of these tips.

  1. Identify (and solve) the problem(s)

How do you know that your company is in trouble? Well, depending on the situation, there are more than 25 different signs of potential distress – as you can see below. Most of the time, troubled companies are dealing with multiple signs or problems at the same time, caused by internal and external factors (i.e. the current COVID-19 crisis) interacting together. Identifying these signs and solving the underlying problems is one of the things you should do first when you strive to lead a company out of a crisis.

Distress signals

  • Declining or negative cash flow;
  • Declining stock price;
  • Regulatory inquiries;
  • Large or unplanned workforce reductions;
  • Increase in outstanding accounts payable;
  • Resignations of key finance staff;
  • Management turnover;
  • Shrinking EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margin.

View the full list »

 
 
United Kingdom28 May 2020
Sustainability offers Coronavirus protection

Evidence is emerging that companies with strong environmental and social credentials are more likely to be resilient to the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to research from HSBC, shares of companies focused on climate change or environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have largely outperformed the market during the early weeks of the pandemic.

Share performance

Ashim Paun, co-head of ESG research at HSBC, said ESG factors were important in understanding how companies and sectors are exposed to the Coronavirus crisis.

Read more »

United Kingdom28 May 2020
Small businesses voice cashflow fears as UK economy prepares to open shop

Thousands of small businesses say they are firefighting immediate concerns such as cashflow pressures and resuming operations safely ahead of lockdown lift.

Small businesses are seeing their survival instincts kick-in amid fears over their ability to access cash required to operate post-lockdown.

The latest research from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and The Corporate Finance Network (CFN) highlights the growing number of SMEs seeking reassurance on how to manage their cashflow as the UK comes out of the Covid-19 lockdown.

ACCA and CFN’s Weekly SME Health Tracker surveyed accountancy practitioners advising 1,800 small businesses. They revealed clients’ three main fears were the ability to manage cashflow pressures, implementing the practicalities of social distancing guidelines at work, and the late payment of invoices.

Read more »

United Kingdom28 May 2020
Working and childcare during the Covid-19 pandemic

With schools closed to the majority of children during the Covid-19 pandemic, many parents now working from home are having to balance childcare and their jobs.

For many working parents, life has changed as we know it due to the current pandemic.

The Government announced on 10 May that a return to school is imminent for some children, with certain year groups to start back on 1 June. However, this did not cover all age groups and some local authorities have decided they will not be following the Government’s guidance in any event. Therefore, it is likely that many children will be at home for the foreseeable future.

One issue which therefore seems to be causing problems is that many parents / carers are being expected to carry out their jobs, with no consideration of the fact that they also need to look after their children due to nurseries and schools being closed. Not only dealing with homeschooling but everything that comes from the children being at home, such as feeding them, cleaning and keeping them entertained.

Read more »

United Kingdom28 May 2020
Timeline for retail to reopen in June

Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out a timeline for retail to reopen in June.

Thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres across England are set to reopen next month once they are COVID-19 secure and can show customers will be kept safe, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed.

Read more »

Ireland28 May 2020
June application deadline for bank repayment break

Bank customers who require a break from repaying their mortgages or loans because of the impact the Covid-19 crisis is having on their finances will have to apply for one by 30 June, the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland has said.

The BPFI said the deadline has been set by the European Banking Authority.

Read the article on RTE.ie->

United Kingdom26 May 2020
£50 million boost to support the recovery of our high streets

A new £50 million fund for councils to support their local high streets get safely back to business announced by High Streets Minister Simon Clarke (24 May 2020).

To prepare for the reopening of non-essential retail when the scientific advice allows, the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help councils in England introduce a range of safety measures in a move to kick-start local economies, get people back to work and customers back to the shops.

It will also support a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers. This will help get businesses get ready for when they can begin trading safely, not only in high streets and town and city centres, but also in other public spaces like beachfronts and promenades.

Read more »

United Kingdom26 May 2020
Financial support for when you are waiting to return to the UK during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Getting essential care whilst abroad

Where needed, British embassies and high commissions may be able to provide support to help British people who are unable to return to the UK get essential care.

Emergency repatriation loans

When it is safe and possible to return to the UK, you will need to pay for your return travel. If you cannot afford to, and have no other funding options, you may be able to apply for an emergency loan.

If there are commercial flights to return to the UK, our commercial partner CTM is authorised to offer loans. Contact CTM for an emergency loan for a commercial flight.

Read more »

United Kingdom26 May 2020
Financial support for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is working to ensure that VCSEs can effectively support HMG’s operational response to key challenges, such as helping the shielding population and the Non-shielding Vulnerable to access food, and other activities that are delivering charitable purposes.

The government has pledged £750 million to ensure VCSE can continue their vital work supporting the country during the coronavirus outbreak including £200 million for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, along with an additional £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts. The Office for Civil Society in DCMS is working with colleagues across government to direct funds to support the VCSE and the wide range of essential activities they undertake.

Funding announced

The funding is aimed at supporting those who need to continue providing their services as part of the national coronavirus response and is being allocated through the following ways:

Read more »

United Kingdom26 May 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for care homes

The government has announced a new care homes support package backed by a £600 million adult social care infection control fund. This has been introduced to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in care homes. This guidance provides information on the support package.

Documents

Coronavirus (COVID-19): care home support package

Support for care homes: letter from the Minister of State for Care

Template for local authorities care home support planning

Read more »

United Kingdom26 May 2020
Statistics on coronavirus funding for business

A collection of documents bringing together information on the amount of funding distributed to businesses and the number of claims that have been made.

Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) data – Bank of England

Documents

  1. Latest figures show millions benefitting from Treasury coronavirus support schemes
  2. HMRC coronavirus (COVID-19) statistics
  3. Coronavirus grant funding: local authority payments to small and medium businesses

Read more »

United Kingdom26 May 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers

Travel safely during the coronavirus outbreak

This guide will help you understand how to travel safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in England. It provides guidance for walking, cycling, using private vehicles (for example cars and vans), and travelling by taxis and public transport (for example trains, buses, coaches and ferries).

You should avoid using public transport where possible. Instead try to walk, cycle, or drive. If you do travel, thinking carefully about the times, routes and ways you travel will mean we will all have more space to stay safe.

Read more »

United Kingdom26 May 2020
Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to your employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

How to use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Before you start

You’ll need to:

Work out your claim period

You can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time.

To complete your claim you’ll need the start and end dates of the claim period which is the:

  • start date of the earliest pay period you’re claiming for - if the pay period started before 13 March you’ll need to use 13 March as the start date
  • end date of the most recent pay period you’re claiming for - this must be on or before the date you make your claim (because you can only claim for SSP paid in arrears)

Read more »

United Kingdom26 May 2020
New Covid-19 business recovery website – helping Stockport get back to work

As Stockport’s business community prepares for recovery post-coronavirus, a new website – http://www.skbusinessrecovery.co.uk is helping to support businesses through the phases of recovery.

The new website provides a portal to a wealth of information and support tools to help businesses quickly navigate their way through the complexities brought about as a result of the coronavirus. It has been designed to help businesses and the economy recover from the considerable impact of Covid-19, including a forum where users can seek advice,  share experiences and discuss ideas. 

The ‘SK Recovery’ website is also a platform to showcase innovation, where businesses have been inspired to revise their business models, to look for opportunities, to trial new ideas and to launch new products. 

Read more »

26 May 2020
Minding your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic

Infectious disease pandemics like coronavirus (COVID-19) can be worrying. This can affect your mental health. But there are many things you can do to mind your mental health during times like this.

How it might affect your mental health

The spread of coronavirus is a new and challenging event. Some people might find it more worrying than others. Medical, scientific and public health experts are working hard to contain the virus. Try to remember this when you feel worried.

Most people’s lives will change in some way over a period of days, weeks or months. But in time, it will pass.

You may notice some of the following:

  • increased anxiety
  • feeling stressed
  • finding yourself excessively checking for symptoms, in yourself, or others
  • becoming irritable more easily
  • feeling insecure or unsettled
  • fearing that normal aches and pains might be the virus
  • having trouble sleeping
  • feeling helpless or a lack of control
  • having irrational thoughts

Read more »

United Kingdom26 May 2020
Economic Indicators and updated government measures

Leading indicators including; financial markets, crude oil prices, transport numbers are all increasing, showing a slow move toward recovery. However, overall electricity consumption remains lower. 

Read more »

Ireland25 May 2020
COVID-19: Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme in numbers

Over one billion euro has been paid under the scheme, this includes €96 million in income tax refunds.  Over 55,500 employers are registered with the scheme and over 473,500 employees have already received at least one payment.  This is according to the latest statistics published by Revenue.  Wholesale and retail trade sector continue to have the largest share of employers, followed by construction and professional and technical services.   

Ireland25 May 2020
New measures to support Housebuilders

Home Building Finance Ireland has opened new channels to enable more small and large housebuilders access funding to resume developments. The measures will also make funding available for large apartment developments for the first time.

Read the article on Construction News->

Ireland26 May 2020
BordBia: Webinar on the Irish Foodservice Market

The purpose of this webinar is to present findings from a White Paper on the Irish Foodservice Market, currently being compiled by Bord Bia and Technomic market researchers. While acknowledging the clear and ongoing damage that Covid-19 is having on foodservice, it is important to begin thinking about how the industry will ultimately open up. The objective of this White Paper is to evaluate potential changes in the short, medium and longer term and to help foodservice operators, distributors and suppliers to begin developing strategies based on scenario building.

Register for this webinar here->

Ireland25 May 2020
Consumer spending analysis by EY

One-quarter of consumers have cut spending as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, while 42% think that the way they shop from now on will fundamentally change, according to research published by EY.

EY also found that more than one-third of consumers fall into its ‘save and stockpile’ segment, which EY interprets as pessimism about the future. Meanwhile, 11% of consumers are described by EY as the ‘hibernate and spend’ segment, and are spending more across the board.

Read the article on Bizplus->

Ireland25 May 2020
Number of people on Covid-19 unemployment payment falls

The number of people receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment has fallen to 579,400 - a drop of 5,200 over the last week. Of these, 33,400 are receiving their last payment as they are returning to work.  These figures are on top of the 214,700 people receiving Jobseekers' Benefit at the end of April. 

Read the full article on RTE->

Ireland25 May 2020
EU Export Controls for Personal Protection Equipment

The European Union export authorisation requirement for PPE products (Regulation 2020/568) will expire on 25 May 2020 and will not be renewed.

Shipments of goods, previously within the scope of the Regulation, exported from the European Union after midnight on Monday 25 May 2020 will no longer require an export authorisation.

Ireland25 May 2020
COVID-19 Restart Grant from your Local Authority

The new €250m Restart Grant provides direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.

Apply for your restart grant through your local authority->

21 May 2020
Strategic supply chain and furlough options

Survival is about being strategic. Company directors and investors that choose to simply stop paying suppliers may be hurting their own post-lockdown recovery, as well as their suppliers.

Our economy is made up of interconnected supply chains. Companies would be well advised to keep in mind corporate self-interests in the broader context of mutual interdependence across all stakeholders. In respect to managing suppliers, more than ever, a strategic approach is required to balance near-term self-interest and long-term mutual dependence. Companies should identify where existing supply chain capital repayment time horizons can be used to their advantage.

Read more »

United Kingdom21 May 2020
Are your business premises Covid-19 safe?

If you operate within the identified sectors and plan to bring your employees back on site then you must complete an online HSE assessment in order to achieve your H&S certificate and also be prepared for the possibility of a random spot check to ensure you are following the new Covid-19 secure guidelines.

Health and safety has always been an important factor within the workplace but under the current circumstances employers are going to need to make sure they are implementing new procedures to ensure they are complying to the new guidelines and even more importantly keeping their employees and themselves safe. HSE will be taking this very seriously and there will be serious implications if the guidelines are not being followed.

The government said the new Covid-19 secure guidance will work alongside current health and safety rules and a further 14m in funding will be provided to the HSE for extra call-centre workers, inspectors and equipment.

The HSE ‘Five Steps To Safer Working Together’ that you must show compliance with to obtain your certificate are:

  • Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment and share the results with the people who work there
  • Have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in place in line with guidance
  • Have taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home
  • Have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace
  • Where people cannot be 2m apart, have done everything practical to manage transmission risk
United Kingdom21 May 2020
£40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups

Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. Business Secretary Alok Sharma today (20 May 2020) announced the government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20 million.

The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups – helping to build the businesses of tomorrow and propel their future prosperity.

Among the successful projects to receive the funding to date, is a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers’ market platform.

Read more »

United Kingdom21 May 2020
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme extension

HM Treasury announced an extension to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

Including that:

  • maximum loan size available under the scheme will increase from £50m to £200m, up to 25% of turnover, so that some larger firms which do not qualify for the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility will be better able to access enough finance to meet their cashflow needs during the outbreak
  • alongside the increase, companies receiving help of over£50 million through CLBILS on terms of more than 12 months must agree certain restrictions, including not paying dividends and exercising restraint on senior management pay.

Further information will be provided on Tuesday 26 May.

Read more »

United Kingdom21 May 2020
Latest figures show millions benefitting from Treasury coronavirus support schemes

The new figures show that:

  • 8 million jobs have now been furloughed with £11.1 billion claimed so far through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • 2 million Self-employment Income Support (SEISS) claims have been submitted worth £6.1 billion
  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has seen 464,393 approved loans so far worth £14.18 billion
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has seen 40,564 loans worth £7.25 billion approved so far
  • the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) has seen 86 approved loans totalling 0.59 billion

Welcoming the statistics, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

“Our plan to support businesses and individuals is one of the most comprehensive in the world. As these figures show, we are currently supporting millions of workers and businesses through these tough times so we can recover as quickly as possible.”

Further information

Updated figures for the schemes will be published each week.

The latest CJRS and SEISS figures can be found here.

Read more »

United Kingdom21 May 2020
Apprenticeship programme response

Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Government sates this is a difficult time for apprentices, employers and providers of apprenticeship training, assessment and external assurance. The government is committed to supporting apprentices, and employers continue to build the skills capabilities the country needs now and in the future.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is responding by taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, despite any break they need to take as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), and to support providers during this challenging time.

Read more »

21 May 2020
Long read: “The winners of the low touch Economy” – by Board of Innovation

The Low Touch Economy is the new state of our society
and economy, permanently altered by Covid-19. It is
characterized by low-touch interactions, health and
safety measures, new human behaviours, and permanent
industry shifts.

In this strategy report BOI provides a checklist to determine if your business is ready for the next normal

Ireland21 May 2020
IFAC Launches Small Business Continuity Checklist

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) published a ‘Small Business Continuity Checklist – How to Survive and Thrive Post Covid-19’.

The Checklist is included on IFAC’s dedicated COVID-19 web page with many other useful resources. It covers key financial management and strategic management tasks, helping businesses to proactively identify and consider essential and timely information.

20 May 2020
Additional company guidance on reporting of exceptional items and APMs

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has today updated its guidance for companies on corporate reporting to explain how they should report exceptional items and alternative performance measures (APMs) in their reports and accounts, in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.

You can read the guidance on this webpage->

Ireland21 May 2020
Stability Fund for Community and Voluntary, Charity and Social Enterprises – deadline today!

If you are a community and voluntary organisation, social enterprise or charity and you are in urgent need of funding to help your organisation through COVID-19, please read the information below to find out more. 

The closing date to apply for this fund is today. For more details visit: gov.ie

Ireland21 May 2020
New Voucher to double the value of the Trading Online Voucher

The E-Commerce Association of Ireland (eCAI) today launched TurboVoucher, website packages and other offers which effectively double the value of the government’s Trading Online Voucher value from €2500 to €5000.

Companies “with or without” the Local Enterprise Office Trading Online Voucher grant can avail of TurboVoucher offers and seek the guidance of 200+ mentors who have volunteered to walk them through the process of creating an online business. eCommerce TaskForce is a co-operative initiative backed by ISME, Guaranteed Irish, the eCommerce Association of Ireland and Buymediahq and developer participants.

Read the full article on ISME->

20 May 2020
Touch-Free Buying With PayPal’s QR Code

PayPal has introduced a method of paying for goods using QR codes so that customers won’t need to use the point-of-sale terminal in a shop at all.

The payment method is being introduced to 28 territories around the world as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and aims to enhance safety for retailers and customers by eliminating the need to use a card terminal.

Read full article on Bizplus->

United Kingdom19 May 2020
£500m Future Fund clears crucial state aid hurdle

The government's new vehicle for backing fast-growing UK companies will launch next week after clearing a crucial state aid hurdle that will pave the way for investments by hundreds of venture capital funds.

The final terms of the £500m Future Fund - to which the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has pledged £250m of taxpayers' money - will be announced on Monday.

Technology company investors said that Enterprise Capital Funds, which include private investors and public money from the British Business Bank (BBB) had been deemed eligible for Future Fund investment following talks in recent days.

One senior tech figure said the Treasury had been seeking clarity over whether the inclusion of ECFs in the new programme would breach EU state aid rules.

Industry sources said they had been briefed on the development on Friday.

The scale of the ECF's existing investments, which comprise a significant proportion of the UK venture capital landscape, mean its eligibility will substantially expand the number of companies which can seek money from the new vehicle.

Under the Future Fund's terms, companies will be able to apply to it for match-funding of between £125,000 and £5m, with the loans ultimately converting into discounted equity if they are not repaid.

Read more »

United Kingdom19 May 2020
Guidance for employees, employers and businesses

The Government has updated its Guidance on support for businesses and the self-employed.

This guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff on:

  • coronavirus COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of COVID-19
  • what to do if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • eligibility for sick pay

View full list »

United Kingdom19 May 2020
Advice for the freight transport industry

Freight industry guidance on international travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, following government advice for British nationals.

International and domestic freight transport (including by air, ship, road, and rail, including roll-on/roll-off transports) is classified by UK government as an essential activity in the context of its travel advice. The advice against non-essential travel is not intended to apply to international and domestic freight transport.

FCO travel advice remains under constant review and is being updated regularly with the latest information on restrictions and other measures in place in each country/territory. Check the latest travel advice and sign up for email alerts for all countries where you are travelling.

See guidance

United Kingdom19 May 2020
Self-employed deferment of second payment on account

Option for self-employed to defer their second payment on account due 31 July 2020

Choose how and when you can delay making your second payment on account for the 2019 to 2020 tax year.

You have the option to defer your second payment on account if you are:

  • registered in the UK for Self-Assessment and
  • finding it difficult to make your second payment on account by 31 July 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus

You can still make the payment by 31 July 2020 as normal if you are able to do so.

HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount of the deferred payment on account, provided it is paid on or before 31 January 2021.

If you want to pay in full

You can pay your second payment on account bill in full any time between 31 July 2020 and 31 January 2021 using the online service.

Read more »

United Kingdom19 May 2020
Updated Guidance On Which Employees You Can Put On Furlough To Use The CJRS

Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

This is a summary of information on the Government website.

Employees you can claim for

You can only claim for furloughed employees that were employed on 19 March 2020 and who were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 19 March 2020. If you had employees that were employed on 28 February 2020 but not on 19 March 2020, please see the section below on employees who were made redundant or stopped working for you after 28 February 2020.

Read more »

Ireland18 May 2020
COVID-19: Further extension for payment of Local Property Tax

Revenue announced that, given the continuing situation regarding COVID-19, the deduction date for property owners who opted to pay their LPT for 2020 by Annual Debit Instruction (ADI) has been further extended to 21 July 2020.

Ireland18 May 2020
New guidance for charities on Charity reserves

This guidance is issued by the Charities Regulator pursuant to section 14(1) of the Charities Act 2009, to encourage and facilitate the better administration and management of charitable organisations (charities).

Download the PDF guidance->

Ireland18 May 2020
Guidance on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – V12

The guidance has been updated again on the 18th May 2020.

Download latest version->

Ireland15 May 2020
Consumers more likely to continue online shopping after COVID restrictions are lifted

Consumers are more likely to continue shopping online for clothes, toys and electronic goods after Covid restrictions have been lifted according to new national survey conducted by Banking & Payment Federation Ireland (BPFI). The survey, which looks at consumer’s current online shopping habits and how these might change post restrictions also found that Irish adults shopping for groceries, hardware and DIY products as well as newspapers and magazines are less likely to do so online once the restrictions are eased.

Read the survey results->

Ireland18 May 2020
CSO Publishes Data on Business Impact of COVID-19

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (18 May 2020) published the results of the second wave of its Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS). Wave Two of the BICS release differs from the results previously published on Friday, 1 May in that the online questionnaire included additional questions on how prices have changed, and what innovative business practices have been adopted in response to COVID-19.

Open the survey results->

Ireland15 May 2020
Economic Considerations for Reinstating Economic Activity

This paper developed by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in conjunction with the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, provides an assessment of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic focusing on those sectors of the economy that have been most heavily impacted. Drawing on this analysis, the paper identifies from an economic perspective some priority issues including in terms of the sequencing of re-opening of economic activity under the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

Download paper->

Ireland18 May 2020
Supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19 (update)

This guide details key supports and resources available and provides the relevant contact details for ease of access to these supports. It was updated on 18 May 2020.

Download PDF document->

Ireland15 May 2020
Government approves details of Restart Grant for small businesses

The Government today agreed details of the new €250m Restart Grant, which will give direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help them with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.

The Grant will be available to businesses with a turnover of less than €5m and employing 50 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25% reduction in turnover out to 30th June 2020. It is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers.

Read press release->

United Kingdom14 May 2020
Closing certain businesses and venues in England

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS. The strategy sets out a roadmap to easing existing measures in phases and as part of that, we are all advised to follow guidelines to stay alert and safe.

The government has also given clear guidance on self-isolation, and asked that schools only remain open for those children who absolutely need to attend.

All businesses and venues outlined in the table below must not open to the public: failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the individual responsible for the business being issued a prohibition notice, a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with guidance below. Online retail and click and collect services may continue.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite are advised to ensure that employees are able to follow the government’s guidelines on working safely.

View full list »

United Kingdom14 May 2020
Making businesses ‘COVID Secure’

On Sunday, Boris Johnson announced that the UK would take ‘baby steps’ to reduce lockdown and to get businesses up and running again. 

Although the message remains that anyone who can work from home should continue to do so, he announced that those that cannot do so should be actively encouraged to go to work. 

This means that businesses in construction, manufacturing, engineering and a number of other areas can start work again, but they must ensure that they are ‘COVID Secure’.

Read more »

United Kingdom14 May 2020
Managing risks and risk assessment at work

As an employer, you’re required by law to protect your employees, and others, from harm.

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the minimum you must do is:

  • identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards)
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk)
  • take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk

Assessing risk is just one part of the overall process used to control risks in your workplace.

For most small, low-risk businesses the steps you need to take are straightforward and are explained in these pages.

If you’re self-employed, check if health and safety law applies to you.

If your business is larger or higher-risk, you can find detailed guidance here.

United Kingdom14 May 2020
Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus

This guidance outlines how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic. It is designed to help employers understand their legal obligations, in terms of workers who:

This guidance should not be treated as legal advice. Employers and workers should always check individual contracts and if necessary seek independent legal advice.

View full list »

United Kingdom14 May 2020
Government to support businesses through Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

Trade Credit Insurance provides cover to hundreds of thousands of business to business transactions, particularly in non-service sectors, such as manufacturing and construction. It insures suppliers selling goods against the company they are selling to defaulting on payment, giving businesses the confidence to trade with one another. But due to Coronavirus and businesses struggling to pay bills, they risk having credit insurance withdrawn, or premiums increasing to unaffordable levels.

To prevent this from happening, the government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment.

Read more »

United Kingdom14 May 2020
Chancellor Extends Furlough Scheme Until October

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October,

The key points announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak are:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until end of October
  • furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500
  • new flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost economy

The Government stated as we reopen the economy, we need to support people to get back to work. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.

Read more »

United Kingdom14 May 2020
Who should wear a face mask or face covering?

For the first time, people in England are being advised to wear face coverings in some enclosed spaces.

The Scottish government already recommends people wear them when in shops and on public transport.

What is the new advice?

The government for England says:

  • People should aim to wear face coverings on public transport and in some shops
  • Also in other "enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet"
  • "Social distancing" means staying more than two metres away from someone
  • Face coverings should be worn and not surgical masks or respirators which should be left for healthcare staff and other workers who need them

Learn more »

Ireland13 May 2020
Virtual meetings, gone wrong – a guide for the bewildered

Want to improve the effectiveness of your online meeting than this article by Bob Semple is a must read.

Read the full article on Chartered Accountants Ireland

Ireland13 May 2020
Innovate Together Fund – applications are open

The ‘Innovate Together’ Fund starts as a €5 million Fund which will focus on supporting innovative responses to the Covid-19 crisis that will also be part of the “new normal”. 

‘Innovate Together’ is a collaboration between Government, philanthropists and social innovations. The Fund is supported by a commitment of €5 million from the Department of Rural and Community Development through the support of the Dormant Accounts Fund. Social Innovation Fund Ireland pledges to raise additional significant philanthropic funds for this initiative.

Find out how you can apply for this new fund.

Ireland13 May 2020
Guidance on the Operational phase of the COVID-19: Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – version 11

The FAQ on the Guidance on the Operational phase of the COVID-19: Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme has been updated again today.

Ireland13 May 2020
Revenue further extends date for payment of Local Property Tax (LPT) to 21 July

Today (13/5/2020), Revenue announced that, given the continuing situation regarding COVID-19, the deduction date for property owners who opted to pay their LPT for 2020 by Annual Debit Instruction (ADI) has been further extended to 21 July 2020.

Read the press release->

Ireland13 May 2020
COVID Response Group Formed For Mid-West

Public and private organisations in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary have launched a Covid-19 economic recovery programme, the first regional economic response to the fallout from the pandemic.

The initiative involves multinational and local employers, plus state and semi-state entities, that have come together to create a retraining programme for thousands affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Read the full article on Bizplus

Ireland12 May 2020
Ibec launches major new “Reboot and Reimagine” campaign

Ibec today launched a major new campaign that provides a framework for a sustainable future for Ireland in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes addressing the major structural challenges from both the present and past.

Read the IBEC press release

Ireland12 May 2020
1,500 retailers gear up to reopen next week

About 1,500 retailers will reopen their doors next Monday as the State moves to the first phase of its plan to reopen the economy, according to figures from a retail lobby group.

Read the full article on IrishTimes

Ireland13 May 2020
Supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19

This updated booklet details the key supports and resources available to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.

United Kingdom12 May 2020
Ecommerce trends during Covid-19

There is no doubt that Coronavirus has people concerned about the potential impact on the economy. But is it as catastrophic as we think?

Whilst it may seem like the economy right now is a muddy old field, there are green shoots fighting through for certain products that are in high demand.

If it is safe and possible for you to adjust your business model, then you can soar during this tough time.

Platform81 have gathered four of the biggest ecommerce trends to appear since lockdown began:

Cleaning Products

Mid to the end of March, we saw a huge increase in demand for cleaning products. From Mrs Hinch favourite Zoflora to packs of antibacterial wipes, sales went through the roof. One of our clients who is a wholesaler, saw a 500% month on month, and a 450% year on year increase in revenue and their top ten dominated by these cleaning products.

View more »

United Kingdom12 May 2020
What next for commercial landlords and tenants?

The Government’s moratorium on all forms of possession action and debt recovery for three months has had the effect (as did Brexit) of kicking the can down the road. Tenants have breathing space for now but what happens after June if the moratorium is not extended at that point?

Unless a landlord has agreed to waive the rent due for the March quarter then, come July, many tenants who have been unable to pay some or all of this quarter’s rent will owe up to six months’ rent as the next quarter falls due for many on 24 June.

Learn more »

United Kingdom12 May 2020
Furlough FAQs

In the last couple of weeks, and with the opening of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal, a number of questions have been asked and a few things have been changed as a result by HMRC. 

Can employees now take holidays during furlough?

The government has changed their guidance and holidays can now be taken during furlough leave.

If holiday leave is taken, employers must top up the pay to 100%, but they can still claim for the other 80% through the grant. This includes bank holidays.

The extension to the Working Time Directive, whereby annual leave can be carried forward for up to 2 years, still exists and can be utilised. However, this will mainly apply to employees who are prevented from taking annual leave due to an increase in workload (e.g. key workers).

Read more »

United Kingdom12 May 2020
Cash flow – Life after lockdown

The Firefight

Lockdown was announced on 23rd March and businesses began wondering how to manage. Certain businesses saw 100% of their income drop off overnight with a few having worrying signs prior to the lockdown.

Many businesses took action days before to make redundancies and then the government stepped in. New loan schemes were announced which were 80% government backed, a job retention scheme paying staff wages, grants available in tens of thousands for those worse hit and a new self-employed grant. With all the schemes in place, it seemed to at least help put those business’ that needed to, into a commercial coma.

Read more »

United Kingdom12 May 2020
Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

Learn more »

11 May 2020
Revenue Guidance for PAYE employees affected by COVID

Revenue published a Guidance document for PAYE Employees whose Employers have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and are availing of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

View the FAQ here->

Ireland11 May 2020
COVID-19: Temporary VAT measures (update)

Temporary zero-rating of supplies of personal protective
equipment, ventilators and other medical products.

Following a request from the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Revenue will allow the application of the zero rate of VAT to the supply to the HSE, hospitals and other health care settings of personal protection equipment and medical equipment for use in the treatment of patients with Covid-19. In addition, the tax treatment of the supply of emergency accommodation is clarified.

View document->

Ireland8 May 2020
CII welcomes government Stability Fund for the sector

Charities Institute Ireland has welcomed the announcement by the government today of a €35m Stability Fundto support the sector’s continued viability.  

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector’s ability to fundraise has been devastating with many cancelling their annual fundraising events and having to close their retail stores. Charities Institute Ireland has been in contact with the Government to highlight how this has threatened the very existence of many organisations and, for many, brings the ability to maintain existing supports and services into question. 

Read CII press release->

Ireland11 May 2020
Revenue warning: Latest email scam

This week the Revenue Commissioners have become aware of fraudulent emails and SMS (text messages) purporting to come from Revenue.  Some of these seek personal information (name, address, date of  birth) from taxpayers and/or seek credit card, debit card or bank account details in connection with a tax or wage subsidy refund.

Read the full update->

Ireland12 May 2020
COVID-19 Business Loan by Microfinance Ireland

The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland is a government initiative to support small businesses through the current period of uncertainty and protect job creation or sustainment in Ireland.

If your business is impacted or may be impacted by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in actual or projected turnover or profit, AND you are having difficulty in accessing  finance from commercial lending providers, the MFI COVID-19 Business Loan may be able to help your business.

More information ->

Ireland12 May 2020
Payment Breaks For 50,000 AIB Customers

Approximately 50,000 AIB customers have availed of payment breaks on loan principal and interest, according to AIB.

AIB says that at the end of the payment break, impacted customers will have an option to extend the term of the loan with associated repayments or maintain original repayment profile with increased repayments to reflect the accrued principal and interest.

Read the full article on Bizplus->

Ireland12 May 2020
Ibec launches major new “Reboot and Reimagine” campaign

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today launched a major new campaign that provides a framework for a sustainable future for Ireland in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes addressing the major structural challenges from both the present and past.

In the Ibec campaign, they outline a comprehensive range of thematic policy actions for a Reboot & Reimagine in three phases; 100 days, end of 2020, and the end of 2023. Among the key recommendations are a €15 billion reboot plan within the first 100 days of a new Government and an increase of €25 billion in the lifetime of the National Development Plan, through a combination of Exchequer, private and other finance.  

Download the Campaign document->

Ireland7 May 2020
COVID-19: Sustaining Enterprise Fund for Small Enterprises launched

As part of the Sustaining Enterprise Fund recently announced by the Government, Enterprise Ireland today announced that it will administer a specific Sustaining Enterprise Fund for Small Enterprises.

This fund will provide a €25k to €50k short term funding injection to eligible smaller companies to support business continuity and to strengthen their ability to return to growth. Eligible companies will have suffered, or be projected to suffer, a 15 percent or more reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit as a result of COVID-19 outbreak.

More information->

Ireland11 May 2020
Supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19

This booklet details the key supports and resources available to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Ireland9 May 2020
Minister Humphreys publishes National Return to Work Safely Protocol

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today Saturday, 9 May 2020 published the National “Return to Work Safely Protocol”. The Protocol clearly and comprehensively sets out the steps and processes that businesses must take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Read the full press release->

United Kingdom7 May 2020
Check if you can claim a grant through the self-employment income support scheme

HMRC updated their guidance 4 May to outline the process for applying for SEISS.

The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether.

You will get a taxable grant based on your average trading profit over the 3 tax years:

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

HMRC will work out your average trading profit by adding together your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, then they will divide by 3.

The grant will be 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. The online service will tell you how HMRC have worked the grant out.

Learn more »

7 May 2020
Managing through Covid-19 and the ‘new normal’

What are the strategies and options for businesses?

You are probably flat out dealing with grants, suppliers, customers, employees and doing the day job. We cannot think of a time where businesses had so many difficult choices to make.

We also have been incredibly busy making sure you are informed, prepared to survive the pandemic, and prosper in the future. We have also been helping our clients with Government supports and ensuring as many of our clients survive as possible.

As we enter week 6 of the crisis we have concluded that there are now 3 choices for businesses that are not already surviving and prospering online:

  • Pivot or repurpose
  • Cocoon
  • Liquidate

Read more »

United Kingdom7 May 2020
Stockport collaborates to launch Covid-19 business recovery website

As Stockport’s business community prepares for recovery post-coronavirus, a group of influential business leaders from the town have collaborated with Stockport Council to launch a new website – http://www.skbusinessrecovery.co.uk – to support businesses through the phases of recovery.

When the Government announced its lockdown measures in mid-March, Stockport Council convened the Stockport Economic Resilience Group to support businesses and the local economy in response to the impact of coronavirus.

Read more »

7 May 2020
Dining room chair or office chair?

Now that many of us are working from home we have had to adapt our working space to fit in with our home environment.

The largest number of comments we have received during lockdown are from people saying their backs ache. Logically why wouldn’t they? If a dining room chair was ergonomically sound for the office environment, why wouldn’t they be in everyone’s offices?

Unless we are having a gargantuan Henry V111 type feast, most of us would not sit on a dining room chair for more than 2-3 hours, whereas our office chairs are designed to allow us to sit for longer. An office chair is a feast of moveable ergonomic parts.

Read more »

United Kingdom7 May 2020
Business Bounce Back Loan FAQs

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is a new scheme introduced to help smaller businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). It aims to assist those businesses to borrow between £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover (the maximum amount available is £50,000).

Government will cover any interest payable in the first 12 months through a Business Interruption Payment to the lender, and lenders will benefit from a 100% government-backed guarantee.

The government has set the interest rate for this loan at 2.5% per annum and the repayment term is fixed at six years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. Businesses remain 100% liable to repay the full loan amount, as well as interest, after the first year.

The Scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

The British Business Bank has released a FAQs for Small Businesses: Bounce Back Loan Scheme covering 24 questions.

See: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/faqs-for-small-businesses/#f1

United Kingdom7 May 2020
UK condemns cyber actors seeking to benefit from global coronavirus pandemic

The Foreign Secretary has called for an end to cyber attacks by hostile actors who are using the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as an opportunity to carry out malicious cyber activity, including targeting medical facilities around the world.

This follows a joint advisory on the 5th May by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the US’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security agency (CISA) exposing malicious cyber campaigns targeting international healthcare and medical research organisations involved in the coronavirus response, and giving advice on how to stay safe online.

Attacks by state and non-state actors seeking to undermine the global response to this unprecedented global health crisis endanger lives. International law and the norms of responsible state behaviour must be respected and all states have an important role to play to help counter irresponsible activity being carried out by criminal groups in their countries. Our support for the most vulnerable extends to cyberspace.

Read more »

United Kingdom7 May 2020
New funding to support dairy farmers through coronavirus

England’s dairy farmers will be able to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The new funding will help support dairy farmers – who together continue to produce over 40 million litres of milk every day – who have seen decreased demand for their products as bars, restaurants and cafes have had to close.

Today’s announcement is the latest action from the government to support dairy farmers, building on the unprecedented levels of support already announced by the Chancellor and our recent action to temporarily relax some elements of UK competition law to allow suppliers, retailers and logistics providers in the dairy industry to work more closely together on some of the challenges they are facing.

Read more »

6 May 2020
Long weekend read: “Restart” by McKinsey & Co

Eight actions CEOs can take to ensure a safe and successful relaunch of economic activity. This article on the McKinsey website describes these eight actions:

  1. Creating a detailed relaunch map
  2. Providing customers with safety guarantees that restore trust
  3. Safeguarding the health of employees
  4. Reviving demand
  5. Rebooting operations and supply chain
  6. Shifting IT and technology to restart mode
  7. Steering the restart with care
  8. Sustaining value creation born from crisis and reinvesting in recovery
5 May 2020
COVID-19: Company car use during the restrictions

If an employee usually has the use of a company car but now during the COVID-19 restrictions the car is not in use, then the employee should consider giving the car back to their employer. This bulletin looks at the position in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.  

Read the fulll article on Chartered Accountants Ireland

Ireland5 May 2020
Update FAQ Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – V10

Another update has been published on the 5th of May. Changes are highlighted in grey.

Ireland6 May 2020
COVID-19 to hit farm incomes by €600m

An analysis carried out by UCD Professor of Agriculture and Food Economics Michael Wallace for the Irish Farmers Journal shows that income on farms could fall by €570m or €990m, depending on how prices move.

Read the full article on the Farmers Journal

Ireland6 May 2020
More challenging period ahead as mortgage market activity looks set to be impacted by Covid-19 crisis

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns Report for Q1 2020 and BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for March 2020.

For key figures and detailed analysis visit the BPFI website.

Ireland6 May 2020
Totting Up Hospitality Lockdown Hit

Just how bad is the financial crisis facing owners of businesses in the accommodation, bars and foodservice sector? The answer is very alarming, especially given the glacial unwinding of lockdown restrictions decided on by government last weekend.

Read the full article on Bizplus

Ireland3 May 2020
Hope in a time of crisis – Irish success at the EU vs Virus Hackathon

Two Ireland-based participants were amongst the winning teams at the recent EU vs Virus pan-European Hackathon

Participants were set a number of different challenges under six domains: Health and Life, Business Continuity, Remote Working and Education, Social & Political Cohesion, Digital Finance, along with an open category for other challenges. Within these domains were 37 Coronavirus-related challenges.

The Department is delighted to announce that Ireland-based participants were part of the winning teams for the challenges ‘Protecting Employees’ and ‘Stay Close to Your Customers’ for their projects ‘MyBubble’ and ‘My Slots’ respectively. There were a total of 117 winning solutions selected from a massive 2,160 entrants.

Read the full press release

United Kingdom5 May 2020
New Bounce Back Loans launched

Britain’s small businesses can now apply for quick and easy-to access loans of up to £50,000 – with the cash expected to land within days.

  • small businesses will be able to apply for quick and easy-to-access loans from Monday 4th May.
  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with the cash arriving within days
  • loans will be 100% government backed for lenders, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – will be eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

Read more »

United Kingdom5 May 2020
HMRC update their Guidance on the SEISS scheme

Learn more about who can claim and the circumstances affecting claims, how much you will receive and how to make a claim.

Who can claim?

You can claim if you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and:

  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self-Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021

Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus, for example if:

Read more »

United Kingdom5 May 2020
Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England yesterday to set out that up to £617 million would be made available.

This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF), so up to £617 million. We will confirm the exact amount for each local authority next week.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

Further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly.

As of 27 April, over £7.5 billion has been paid out to over 614,000 business properties via the SBGF and RHLGF schemes. This is over 61% of the grant funding allocated to local authorities.

Read more »

United Kingdom5 May 2020
£6.1 million funding boost to help high streets and town centres through pandemic


Business Improvement Districts will receive funding in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Business Improvement Districts set to receive £6.1 million in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
  • Hundreds of BIDs across England will receive support to help cover their day to day costs for the next 3 months
  • Today’s funding comes on top of the government’s comprehensive package of support for business and workers during the economic emergency

Hundreds of local business partnerships across England will share £6.1m of funding to spend on projects that will help their local economies through the uncertainty of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP confirmed (1 May 2020).

Read more »

United Kingdom5 May 2020
Funding Circle launches CBILS

Funding Circle have launched their Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) offering. They have onboarded their "Tier 1 introducers" and are limiting applications from each introducer to a certain number per day. They are only accepting limited companies for the moment and not accepting businesses less than 3 years old or loss-making businesses. Rates will be based on an assessment of risk from 4-7% (or APR <9%). Loans will be up to £250k and from 2-5 years with no early repayment penalty within the first 12 months. 

Further information is available at https://www.fundingcircle.com/uk/

United Kingdom5 May 2020
Tax credits customers will continue to receive payments even if working fewer hours due to COVID-19

The government has confirmed that people who can’t work their normal hours because of coronavirus (COVID-19) will still receive their usual tax credits payments.

Those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments affected if they are still employed or self-employed.

These customers do not need to contact HMRC about this change. We will treat customers as working their normal hours until the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme close, even if they are not using either scheme.

We’ll use the information we hold about the number of hours they normally work.

Customers can still report any other changes in income, childcare and hours in the normal way. However, they must tell us if they or their partner lose their job, are made redundant or cease trading.

Customers can continue to claim Working Tax Credit and be treated as though they are working their normal hours, but they should check GOV.UK to see if additional or alternative support is available based on their personal and financial circumstances.

For further details please visit https://www.gov.uk

2 May 2020
From surviving to thriving: reimagining the post-COVID-19 return

This article published by McKinsey and Company how companies can deal with crisis and 'counterattack' to come out stronger after the crisis. The focus is on:

  1. Rapidly recover revenue.
  2. Rebuilding operations.
  3. Rethinking the organization.
  4. Accelerate digital adoption to enable reimagination.

Read the full article->

1 May 2020
Coronavirus’ impact on auditing for 2019 year-ends and beyond

Analysis of guidance for European auditor published by Accountancy Europe.

This publication focuses on how this impacts businesses and the people that audit them. It aims to support European auditors in adapting their work to new circumstances in ongoing audits with 2019 year-ends and beyond. The factsheet highlights the following main matters for auditors to consider:

  • Obtaining audit evidence
  • Auditor’s assessment of going concern
  • Auditor’s reporting

For more updates see Accountancy Europe’s Coronavirus resources for European accountants. Most of the matters in this publication apply also to audits with closing dates after 2019 and there is an additional overview with main matters for consideration specifically for audits with 2020 closing dates in development.

Download the factsheet here

United Kingdom4 May 2020
COVID-19 – self-employed income support scheme payments to be made later this month

In an update received at the weekend, HMRC have advised that the coronavirus self-employed income support scheme is now aiming to make payments by 25 May and not June as previously announced. A new online eligibility checker tool is also being launched this week. The letter to Chartered Accountants from the Chancellor of the Exchequer can be viewed here.

Ireland1 May 2020
Update FAQ – Guidance on Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – V9

This document provides guidance on the Operational phase of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage
Subsidy Scheme, which commences on 4 May 2020.
On 15 April 2020, The Minister of Finance announced further changes to the scheme. These changes are now incorporated into the FAQ.

This update addresses specific points related to the Community and Voluntary Sector (point 2.11, page 13). Of particular note the update clarifies on charities who receive the majority of their income directly or indirectly, through State or Exchequer funding.

Download FAQ->

Ireland2 May 2020
Revenue confirms ‘warehousing’ of COVID-19 related tax debt for businesses

Earlier today, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, announced a further range of economic measures in response to COVID-19. These include legislating to permit Revenue to ‘warehouse’ VAT and Payroll tax debt that arose on foot of the COVID-19 related restrictions.

While the finer details of this ‘warehousing’ measure have still to be worked out, Revenue has confirmed the following:

  • COVID-19 related VAT and Payroll tax debts, due from 1 March 2020 to the date when sectoral restrictions are lifted, will be parked for a period of 12 months
  • no interest will accrue on the tax debts during the 12 month period
  • thereafter, the COVID-19 related tax debts will carry a reduced interest rate of 3% (down from 10%), until the debt is paid
  • the timeframe allowed to pay the ‘warehoused’ debt will be flexible and determined by the ability of the business to pay both COVID-19 related debts as well meeting its ongoing tax liabilities as they arise in the normal course
  • for the warehousing arrangement to apply, all returns must be filed in accordance with the Revenue guidance that has applied since the start of the current pandemic.

Read Press Release=>

Ireland2 May 2020
Government Signals Rates Relief For SMEs

The government has agreed on new measures to support businesses that have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown. Those measures are:

• Three month commercial rates waiver for impacted businesses.

• €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises.

• €2 billion Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from three months to six years, which will be below market interest rates.

• ‘Warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of 12 months after recommencement of trading, during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue.

Read the full article on BizPlus->

Ireland2 May 2020
Government outlines further measures to support businesses impacted by Covid-19

The Government has today agreed, at a special Cabinet meeting, a suite of measures to further support small, medium and larger business that are negatively impacted by Covid-19.

It follows the publication yesterday evening of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business, which sets out a five-stage plan to ease the Covid-19 restrictions and reopen Ireland’s economy and society. The Covid-19 emergency has had an unprecedented impact on our economy, as well as our society. As we begin the phased reopening of our economy, the Government recognises that businesses require significant additional supports. Today’s package of measures aims to help our businesses to restart, reconnect and rehire staff who have been laid off or furloughed. 

Read press release->

United Kingdom1 May 2020
PPE Equipment – Temporary VAT Relief Announced

Today it was announced to introduce a temporary VAT Zero rate reflect on certain items classified as Personal Protective Equipment. The Zero rating treatment will apply to supplies made (in the context of VAT tax point regulations) in the period between 1 May and the 31 July 2020.

Products that are covered:

The products covered by this temporary measure include

  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable plastic aprons
  • Disposable fluid resistant coveralls or gowns
  • Surgical masks – including fluid resistant type IIR surgical masks
  • Filtering face piece respirators
  • Eye and face protection – including single or reusable full face visors or goggles

Clearly what is not included in this list are hand sanitizer products which is an area where a lot of corporates as well as universities and colleges have also engaged in production and sale.

Read more »

United Kingdom1 May 2020
VAT zero rating for E-publications fast tracked – comes into force 1 May

Plans to remove VAT from e-publications from 1 December 2020 were announced in the March Budget (see our Education Update (17 March 2020) and our Budget VAT Commentary (11 March 2010) news items). But today, 30 April 2020, the Chancellor announced that the zero rate will apply to all e-publications from tomorrow, seven months earlier than previously announced, as further support for people in lockdown due to the Coronavirus.

From tomorrow, zero-rating will apply to sales of e-books and e-newspapers, reducing the price of a £12 e-book by £2 according to HM Treasury (on the basis that sellers will pass on the relief in full).

Read more »

1 May 2020
6 Ways to maintain positive cash flow during and after the Corona crisis

One of the most important ways to keep your business healthy is to ensure positive cash flow. Under normal circumstances, this is not a problem, but due to the Corona crisis, it has become harder for businesses to maintain positive cash flow. For this reason, we have listed 6 ways to make sure there’s more cash coming in than going out.

Read more »

United Kingdom1 May 2020
Treasury cut taxes to reduce PPE costs

From 1 May 2020, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.

Read more »

United Kingdom1 May 2020
Purpose and Connectedness

Gratitude gives us the solid ground, and purpose gives us the strength to jump high and far. Like the bright beam of a lighthouse, purpose gives us a direction and tells us where we need to put our next step, even in the darkest night and the roughest sea.

Read more »

United Kingdom1 May 2020
Watch Out – Invoice and Payment Fraud on the Rise!

Over 80% of businesses report being targets of attempted or actual payment fraud in 2019. The survey conducted by J.P Morgan discovered that Business Email Compromise (BEC) was the largest reported source of attempted or actual payment fraud attacks last year.

Read more »

1 May 2020
Weekend Read: How European businesses can position themselves for recovery

Article by McKinsey.

For European business, the priority is to keep their employees and customers safe, even as their companies face serious and unprecedented cash-flow, supply, and operational issues. It is also important, however, to look beyond the immediate crisis and begin to imagine paths to the next normal.

In this article, we present a number of indicators that could help European businesses anticipate the shape of recovery and help them in reformulating their strategic posture.

Ireland1 May 2020
Focus for Charity Trustees during Crisis Governance

Arthur Cox have released a Focus for Charity Trustees during Crisis Governance which outlines the key areas for consideration for charity Trustees during the current crisis.

Open the document->

Ireland1 May 2020
Retail Excellence Webinar – Online Retail Scheme – today at 11 AM

Today at 11am!

Retail Excellence will be hosting the first in a series of eCommerce webinars this coming Friday, 1st May @ 11am. We now know that there will be a permanent acceleration in online activity around the globe. There is €2m+ in funding available now for Irish retailers selling online. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply. Join the webinar on Friday to learn from:

  • Stephen Hughes, Enterprise Ireland – New Covid-19 Online Online Funding Supports –
  • Stephen Fitzgerald, Golden Discs – Designing a successful application to Enterprise Ireland –
  • Padraic McElwee, Local Enterprise Offices – LEO Online Supports –
  • eCommerce Expert panel Q&A

Register here->

Ireland1 May 2020
Farmer updates

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

Recent topics:

  • 2020 World Ploughing Contest Postponed Until Next Year
  • Fendt Re-Opens Assembly Lines To Resume Production
  • Update: Processor Applications For Private Storage Aid
  • FF Leader Raises Concerns Over Covid-19 Cases In Meat Plants
Ireland1 May 2020
BPFI members confirm Payment Break extension from three months to six months

Over 65,000 mortgage payment breaks and over 22,000 SME payment breaks granted over past six weeks.

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) members including the five main retail banks, together with non-bank lenders and specialist lenders, and credit servicing firms, have today confirmed that a further three-month extension to the current payment break will be made available to customers that continue to be directly impacted by the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of the prolonged and deepening crisis, the extension will allow impacted personal and business customers a payment break of up to six months in total. The same extension arrangement will also be available to Covid-19 impacted customers who may yet apply for a payment break.

Read the full press release->

Ireland1 May 2020
Manufacturing takes nosedive as lockdown halts production

Latest AIB purchasing managers' index points to record falls in output and new orders.

Manufacturing in the Republic fell at a near record rate in April, with output, new orders, exports and purchasing all registering sharp declines from lockdowns imposed here and elsewhere.

The headline index plummeted to 36 in April, from 45.1 in March, the lowest recorded since March 2009. Scores below 50 signify contraction.

Read the full article on IrishTimes

Ireland1 May 2020
Take-up of DBEI COVID-19 Business Supports

This document details on the take-up of the DBEI supports available to COVID-19 impacted businesses as of 30 April 2020.

More than 427,000 workers now on Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Ireland1 May 2020
Minister Humphreys opens applications for new €2 million COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD has announced that applications are now open for the new Enterprise Ireland €2 million Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme to support retail companies to enhance their digital capability. The new fund, which builds on two previous successful calls of the pilot Online Retail Scheme, will be open to indigenous retailers with a physical store and employing 10 or more people to develop a more competitive online offer in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Read press release->

30 April 2020
Irish and UK Business Groups urge Government cooperation to address COVID-19 crisis

In a joint letter to the Taoiseach and Northern Ireland’s First and Deputy First Minister, Ibec and the CBI have urged co-operation and co-ordination across the UK and Ireland to provide the best chance of protecting public health and restoring people’s prosperity.

Read the letter here->

Ireland30 April 2020
BPFI publishes ‘Economic Recovery Plan’

New state-backed loan scheme essential for survival of businesses.

Launching details of the Banking & Payments Federation (BPFI)’s Economic Recovery Plan for Irish SMEs, BPFI Chief Economist Ali Ugur, said: “Irish SMEs will require a range of state supports, the most significant of which must be a new state-guaranteed COVID Business Support Fund if they are to stand a chance of survival and recovery in the months ahead. A new state-guaranteed scheme would enable government guarantees of emergency loans to Irish SMEs, temporarily distressed as a result of Covid-19, but who are otherwise creditworthy borrowers.”

Read the full announcement->

Ireland30 April 2020
Government announces 26 new COVID-19 research and innovation projects to complement existing third-level research activity

The Government today announced details of the first 26 projects that will receive €5 million funding under the newly-established national, coordinated research and innovation response to the COVID-19 pandemic, complementing the ongoing research work already underway in higher education institutions.

Read the full announcement->

United Kingdom30 April 2020
Financial Support For Education, Early Years And Children’s Social Care

This Government guidance sets out the financial support that is available for different types of education, early years and children’s social care providers in England. If you are not an education, early years and children’s social care provider in England, you should be able to get more information about the types of financial support available to you from other relevant government departments or devolved administrations.

Read more »

United Kingdom30 April 2020
Changed your business for Covid-19? Make sure you are covered!

Stockport based C&C Insurance Brokers have seen many of their clients within the life science industry finding new ways to use their expertise and facilities in order to help with the current Covid-19 crisis; including producing hand sanitiser or PPE.

As we are experiencing such uncertain and worrying times it is so great to see many businesses stepping up and finding ways in which they can help. However, changing what a business is doing, even if only temporarily, can affect the validity of a business’ insurance.

Rob Black, Development Director at C&C Insurance Brokers, explains;

Read more »

30 April 2020
Manchester’s Piing aims to gamify video calls

Manchester-based start-up, Piing, has released a multiplayer game that people can play via video conferences.

The company, which has been spun out of Rhythm Digital is currently in the process of raising stage one funding to expand its offering.

“Our goal at Piing is always about bringing the crowd together to create a wonderful, fun experience,” said Gareth Langley, CEO.

Read more »

30 April 2020
Antidotes to Fear: Gratitude and Purpose

While it may sound redundant, fear is a scary hurdle. When we need to jump over it, we need a solid base under our feet and a powerful leap.

So, here are three actions we can take to face and then overcome our fear:

  1. Acknowledge your fear and allow it to travel through you.
  2. Ignite and experience gratitude for all that is around you.
  3. Live by a purpose that is greater than yourself.

Read more »

United Kingdom29 April 2020
Five firms booming despite the lockdown

For many businesses, coronavirus is the toughest problem they've ever had to face.

With their customers under lockdown, shops shuttered, cashflow drying up and their staff on furlough, they wonder how they're going to survive.

But amid all these threats, some companies are finding ways to forge ahead.

Big and small, the following firms are all taking advantage of new commercial opportunities.

Read more »

United Kingdom29 April 2020
Fraud and cyber crime

The Government has issued advice and guidance on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cybercrime.

Read more »

United Kingdom29 April 2020
AIB joins list of Business Interruption Loan approved lenders

Allied Irish Bank (AIB) has announced it has now been approved for accreditation by the British Business Bank as a lender for the government backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The bank has already been able to support over 600 business customers with extra support prior to its accreditation, with 99.5% of applications receiving approval. Support delivered includes payment holidays on loans, overdraft extensions, working capital facilities, relaxed covenant terms, loans and overdrafts.

Read more »

Ireland29 April 2020
COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has proposed this Scheme in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the urgent need for retail companies to achieve a step change in online capability.

This is a Competitive Fund which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of DBEI with a total fund size of €2m.

Open date: 29th April and closing date: 27th May 2020

More information on this scheme can be found on the Enterprise Ireland website.

Ireland29 April 2020
Farmer updates

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

Recent topics:

  • McDonald’s To Conduct ‘Operational Tests’ To ‘Explore’ Reopening
  • FSAI To Host Free Online Info Event For Small Food Businesses
  • US Meat Giant On Covid-19: ‘The Food Supply Chain Is Breaking’
  • Over 500,000 Egg-Producing Hens Culled In Monaghan
Ireland29 April 2020
National Workplace Wellbeing Day May 1st 2020

Ibec is calling all employers to sign up for it's 6th National Workplace Wellbeing Day. Never has it been so important for employers to send a public message to all their staff that their wellbeing is paramount. Sign up and browse the site to see what other companies are planning. Tweet us using #WorkWell20 and #TogetherApart

Interested to participate, visit this website.

Ireland29 April 2020
SMEs reluctant to take up Government’s working-capital loans

The Government’s €200 million Covid-19 working capital fund for small businesses has seen a muted level of drawdowns amid concerns that the programme is not fit for purpose.

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) scheme, unveiled on March 10th, has so far resulted in €17 million of loans being granted to 100 borrowers, according to figures provided to The Irish Times from the organisation.

Read full article on IrishTimes

United Kingdom28 April 2020
Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak

Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations about changes to apprenticeships due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is a difficult time for apprentices, employers and providers of apprenticeship training, assessment and external assurance. The government is committed to supporting apprentices, and employers continue to build the skills capabilities the country needs now and in the future.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is responding by taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, despite any break they need to take as a result of COVID-19, and to support providers during this challenging time. Here is an overview and links to additional guidance:

Read more »

United Kingdom28 April 2020
New mental health telephone support service launches in Stockport

Open Door, a new mental health crisis centre, has launched a telephone support service due to the Covid-19 crisis. The service was commissioned by Stockport CCG to provide a safe haven for people having a mental health crisis and will offer telephone support until a centre in central Stockport can open.

The 24/7 Open Door helpline will be operated by Mental Health Matters, and provide rapid access to telephone based ongoing support. The service on 0800 138 7276 currently has no waiting list. It is open to any resident of Stockport aged 18+.

Follow up appointments, with level 3 trained counsellors, will be offered via telephone, Whatsapp video call or Facebook Messenger video call. They will be available from 10am-8pm seven days a week, provided by health and social care charity, Making Spa

Read more »

United Kingdom28 April 2020
Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Read more »

United Kingdom28 April 2020
Personal Affairs Guide

This is a guide for families and individuals on how to financially survive or manage through the Pandemic. It is a tough time for many of us and the idea of this guide is to help people who may have reduced employment income and increased uncertainty about their future. The aim of this guide is to highlight the main areas which can make a difference and may remind you about something you have not yet done.

Read more »

United Kingdom28 April 2020
Greater Manchester businesses urged to urgently access £629m coronavirus grant support funding

Businesses that are the main rate payer of business rates can be eligible for grant support of between £10,000 and £25,000 and may miss out on vital financial support if they do not apply by the end of April.

Read more »

Ireland28 April 2020
COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – preliminary statistics

The COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) is available to employers who keep employees on payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on data to date (23 April) Revenue reported the following numbers:

  • There are over 48,100 employers registered with Revenue for the TWSS.
  • Over 35,200 employers have already received subsidy payments under TWSS.
  • Over 337,400 employees have already received at least one payment under TWSS

Read the full document->

Ireland28 April 2020
Farmer updates

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

Recent topics:

  • Donegal Food-Packaging Plant Turns Its Hand To PPE Production
  • 2020 Balmoral Show Cancelled
  • Factories ‘Must Immediately Act’ On EU Beef Storage Aids
  • US ‘Dangerously Close’ To Meat Shortages As Plants Close
Ireland28 April 2020
Revenue warning: Latest email scam

This week the Revenue Commissioners have become aware of fraudulent emails and SMS (text messages) purporting to come from Revenue.  Some of these seek personal information (name, address, date of  birth) from taxpayers and/or seek credit card, debit card or bank account details in connection with a tax or wage subsidy refund.

Read more ->

Ireland28 April 2020
Supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19

This booklet details the key supports and resources available to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 and has been updated on the 27 April.

28 April 2020
EU Export Controls for Personal Protection Equipment

The European Commission has introduced new emergency export controls on certain types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) specifically, protective spectacles and visors; mouth-nose protection equipment; and protective garments. This measure is intended to assist EU health authorities in responding to the Covid-19 outbreak by protecting the supplies of PPE within the EU. These controls came into force on 26 April 2020 and will apply for a period of 30 days.

Full details of the controls are set out in the Commission Implementing Regulation.

The precise categories of PPE items subject to control are listed in Annex I of the Regulation. Prior authorisation will be required in order to export items on the list to countries outside the EU.

Read more ->

Ireland28 April 2020
New online food programme set to grow Irish producers

An innovative new online food programme, from the Local Enterprise Offices, is set to boost the number of Irish food start-ups. The Digital School of Food is the first of its kind in Europe and gives food entrepreneurs expert advice and guidance, from their home, office or kitchen.

Read more ->

Ireland27 April 2020
Five things you need to know about tax by Charted Accountants Ireland

This week, in Irish stories, read about the changes to the Wage Subsidy Scheme which includes a new Phase 2 and an extension of the scheme to certain employees.

In UK stories, the UK’s job retention scheme is open for claims.

While in International news, read the latest OECD report on the global tax and fiscal policy response to COVID-19.

Read the full article.

Ireland27 April 2020
Covid-19 wage subsidy relief for companies that missed the deadline

Companies that missed a Revenue deadline to qualify for the Covid-19 temporary wage subsidy have been given a lifeline by the Revenue Commissioners.

The Revenue Commissioners announced on Friday that it will now permit those employers to avail of the scheme as long as the employees in question were on the company payroll at the end of February and those details were submitted to Revenue by April 1st. The original deadline had been March 15th.

Source: IrishTimes

United Kingdom27 April 2020
Pivoting and repurposing a business

Covid-19 has had a big impact on many SMEs in the UK. A recent study by the Office for National Statistics showed that nearly 40% of businesses in the UK had a substantially lower turnover. With the current level of disruption likely to remain for some time, many businesses are adapting their practices to continue trading in some form.

Read more »

Ireland27 April 2020
Update FAQ Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – 26 April (V8)

The Frequently Asked Questions document on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme has been updated.

27 April 2020
Does the Supply Chain Look the Same After COVID-19 as Before?

In recent years, it has become a bit of a mantra in business that supply chains are complex and time sensitive – frequently ever longer, leaner and often global, just-in-time supply. But few people have really understood just how complex they have become, how fragile some of the interdependencies are, and the systemic risks potentially contained within them.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) erupted into this complexity like a bunker-busting bomb, leaving trailing elements, broken links and dead ends. Recessions usually come about progressively, and businesses adjust as the environment around them changes. No one has ever before experienced governments of large parts of the world simply shutting down great swathes of economic activity, more or less overnight. The effect has been dramatic.

Read more »

27 April 2020
Warning: Cybercriminals target those working from home with fake software

Currently, around 30% of the UK are working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic which has created an abundance of opportunities for cybercriminals.

Security researchers have recently discovered brand new Spyware and Surveillanceware within fake programs purporting to be legitimate meetings and message programs such as Skype and other applications.

These programs have primarily been distributed via phishing emails, with links to malicious websites where users are able to download the malware.

Learn more »

Ireland27 April 2020
Revenue announces access to TWSS for certain employers who missed 15 March payroll deadline

Today (24/04/2020) Revenue announced that it will allow certain employers who hadn’t fulfilled their PAYE reporting obligations for February 2020 by 15 March 2020, to access the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

Revenue has considered representations from and on behalf of employers who have not met the reporting conditions and are therefore unable to access the Scheme.

Source: Revenue.ie

Ireland27 April 2020
Virtual Pub Defies The Lockdown

No social distancing issues in ThePub.ie

A group of publicans has raised the shutters on the ThePub.ie, billed as Ireland’s first online pub. The virtual bar is designed to offer visitors a pub experience from the comfort of their own home.

Read the full article on Bizplus.ie

27 April 2020
Six actions for finance professionals on cash flow

This guide, created by the ICAEW Business and Management Faculty, shares six practical actions finance professionals may wish to consider. Some options may be appropriate for your circumstances, but this may not always be the case. Because every business is different, this is general guidance and you should take appropriate professional advice on the circumstances of the business. 

Actions:

  1. manage cash outflows
  2. take professional advice
  3. manage cash inflows
  4. access government-backed support
  5. contact your bank and/or finance providers
  6. update your cashflow forecast

View all actions »

Ireland27 April 2020
Building slump and online retail surge may spark warehouse shortage

One of the country’s top property agencies has warned that the pause in building activity due to Covid-19 will lead to a shortage of warehouses, just as demand cranks up to cope with an expected structural shift towards online shopping.

The warning from Savills comes as news emerged over the weekend that Amazon has leased its first ecommerce warehouse in Dublin and is finalising plans to rent more space in the capital to allow for further expansion.

Read the full article on IrishTimes

United Kingdom27 April 2020
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). The online service you’ll use to reclaim SSP is not available yet. HMRC will announce when the service is available and this guidance will be updated.

Read more about who can use the scheme and the records you will need to keep.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

If you’re an employer who pays more than the current rate of SSP you can only claim the current rate amount.

Read more »

Ireland27 April 2020
Restaurants Association of Ireland Launch COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Plan

Today the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the official trade body for the sector, has launched its 9-point plan to help save and recover the restaurant industry with over 90% of Restaurants currently closed and 120,000 Jobs at permanent risk in the next two months.

Read the 9-point plan here.

United Kingdom27 April 2020
Can I get a holiday refund and what are my travel rights?

People have been advised against making any non-essential international travel, by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Only a fraction of regular flights are still running - and those who do travel risk being stranded abroad.

So what does this mean for any holidays planned for this year? Learn more about your travel rights and refunds.

Read more »

27 April 2020
A visual guide to the economic impact

The coronavirus has infected people in 185 countries and has left businesses around the world counting the costs. These maps and charts show the economic impact of the virus so far on:

  • global shares
  • unemployment
  • oil prices
  • risk of recession
  • technology
  • travel sector

Learn more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51706225

United Kingdom24 April 2020
Head Teachers’ Leader says 1 June is earliest realistic school opening

The earliest "realistic" point at which schools in England could start re-opening would be 1 June, head teachers' leader Geoff Barton has said.

"We cannot see any realistic way that schools could be re-opened to more pupils before the second half of the summer term," said the ASCL leader.

And "planning would need to begin very soon" in order to meet a 1 June target, with staged returns for social distancing.

Read more »

24 April 2020
Learning: Digital strategy in a time of crisis – by McKinsey Digital

If the pace of the pre-coronavirus world was already fast, the luxury of time now seems to have disappeared completely. Businesses that once mapped digital strategy in one- to three-year phases must now scale their initiatives in a matter of days or weeks.

One of the important findings in this paper:

Organizations that make minor changes to the edges of their business model nearly always fall short of their goals.

Download the full paper to learn more.

United Kingdom24 April 2020
Financial Conduct Authority extends submission deadlines

The Financial Conduct Authority in the UK has extended the submission deadlines for certain regulatory returns. The extension applies for submissions that are due up to and including 30 June 2020.

You are still expected to submit your return as soon as possible and should you miss a deadline (in the period up to 30 June), the FCA will send a reminder letter to you.

Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland

Ireland24 April 2020
Farmer updates

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

Recent topics:

  • Date set for gradual reopening of NI marts
  • Beef Bearing Brunt Of COVID-19 Blow – MII
  • Factories ‘Must Immediately Act’ On EU Beef Storage Aids
  • Department: 78 Marts Currently Approved To Operate
Ireland24 April 2020
Late Submission of Corporation Tax Returns – Restriction of Reliefs

Tax and Duty Manual Part 47-06-04 has been updated to confirm that where a Corporation Tax return in respect of an accounting period ending June 2019 onwards, and due from 23 March 2020 onwards, is filed late due to COVID-19 circumstances, certain restrictions of reliefs will not apply.

United Kingdom24 April 2020
COVID-19: savers – stay calm and don’t rush financial decisions

Regulators are urging savers to keep calm and not rush to make any decisions about their pension in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), supported by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), say fears over the impact of the pandemic on markets and personal finances may make savers more vulnerable to scams or making a decision that could damage their long-term interests.

Read more »

United Kingdom24 April 2020
Coronavirus grant funding: local authority payments to small and medium businesses

This spreadsheet shows the total amount of money that each local authority in England has:

  • received from central government
  • distributed to SMEs to date

This covers 2 coronavirus grant schemes:

  • Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) scheme
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund (RHLGF)

Find out if your business is eligible to receive this or other funding

You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants. Use the business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

United Kingdom24 April 2020
How HMRC works out total income and trading profits for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

HMRC will assess your eligibility for the grant based on your total income and trading profits. This guide details how we do this.

You can use this guide to find out if you’re eligible and how much you may get.

Read more »

Ireland24 April 2020
SMEs could require up to €5.7bn in liquidity supports

Small and medium sized firms here could need up to €5.7bn in liquidity supports over the coming months as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

According to a new paper from the Central Bank, the policies to contain the spread of the virus have placed a temporary block between the consumption demands of households and the supply capacity of firms in many sectors.

Full article on: RTE

23 April 2020
Cocooning a business

The purpose of this guidance is to give an overview of what, why and how a business might be cocooned (or mothballed) in response to the change in trading environment arising from Covid-19.

Read more »

United Kingdom23 April 2020
Economic Indicators

IBISWorld has further downgraded Real GDP growth for FY2020. Although it is expected that GDP will make a strong recovery across the year, GDP is falling faster rate than the financial crisis.

The business rates holiday will result in £14bn reduction in tax receipts. This will result in increases in government borrowing and an increase to long-term public sector net debt.

Although there is no government data yet for unemployment in March/April 2020, IBISWorld predicts that unemployment rates could rise to as high as 10% in a worst-case scenario. Recovery however is expected to be fast barring any exogeneous shocks.

Read more »

United Kingdom23 April 2020
Pension contributions and salary sacrifice

The existence of the grant available under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme does not change an employer’s usual pension contribution payment obligations or processes.

When calculating the pension contribution due for a furloughed worker who has agreed a salary sacrifice arrangement for pension contributions, any contractual obligations you have entered into and the obligation in the pension scheme rules continue to apply as normal.

Read more »

Ireland23 April 2020
UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – update on National Insurance Numbers

HMRC have this evening, 22 April, sent the below update in respect of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and National Insurance numbers. Agents and employers are also reminded that if an employer wishes for a claim to be paid by 30 April, they must claim before the end of today 22 April at the latest.

Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland

23 April 2020
NCSC Launch Cyber Aware Campaign after COVID-19 scams rise

Reports in cybercrime have exponentially increased in recent months as criminals have sought to exploit the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic. Cyber criminals have been trying new ways to trick people across the globe as they attempt to profit during these times of particular difficulty.

Reports in cybercrime have risen so much that the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) have launched a new Cyber Aware campaign, after surveys reported that 42% of people believed they had been targeted by scams during the pandemic. The NCSC have also urged the public to report all COVID-19 related emails scams as part of their Cyber Aware campaign.

Full article: Cyberwise

Ireland23 April 2020
Farmer updates

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

Recent topics:

  • ‘Ploughing’ 2020: Ploughing Contest Could Go Ahead Without Exhibitors
  • €45 Million For Beef And Lamb Private Storage Aid
  • Supermac’s Outlets To Reopen On ‘Phased Basis’

Ireland23 April 2020
Jobs at risk as employers are shut out of COVID-19 wage subsidy

Businesses face closure because they have been locked out of the Government’s temporary wage subsidy, advisers say. The move will mean job losses for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of staff that the scheme was designed to keep on company payrolls.

The employers missed a tax filing deadline that fell 10 days before the emergency support was ever announced by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. That meant there was no opportunity to ensure they were in compliance with the rules of the scheme.

Source: IrishTimes

23 April 2020
Zoombombing’ targeted with new version of app

Zoom has said it will release an improved version of its hugely popular video conferencing app this week. It comes after issues with the company's data security and privacy measures have come under intense scrutiny.

Read more »

United Kingdom23 April 2020
Lenders kick-start mortgage deals

Some big lenders have begun reopening their doors to British borrowers, making it easier to get a home loan.

At the start of the coronavirus lockdown, several scrapped deals or only offered loans to those with large deposits.

But this week Nationwide, Halifax, Virgin and Santander all made it easier for people to qualify for a loan.

Read more »

United Kingdom22 April 2020
Find coronavirus financial support for your business

Online finder tool with a simple questionnaire to help businesses access the relevant government financial support they are eligible for during the coronavirus pandemic. The support finder covers SMEs and large companies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants.

Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

Learn more: https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

22 April 2020
Coronavirus: supporting yourself and your team

We know that many of us are worrying about the current situation around coronavirus and how it might affect our lives. It's likely that we'll be working from home for longer periods of time to help keep us all safe during the coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, it’s important we recognise how it may affect our mental health and ensure we are taking care of ourselves and our colleagues.

Maintain a positive work/life balance and encourage your team to do the same 

It’s easy to work longer hours and take fewer breaks when working from home. Why not put a reminder in your diary when you plan to finish working? You can also make sure you take at least a 30-minute lunch break. If you can, try to get some fresh air and go for a short walk. It’s important you look after your own wellbeing so you can also be there to support your team.

View the full list »

United Kingdom22 April 2020
General issues to consider with coronavirus aid and funding

Individuals who have previously stopped claiming child benefit due to income being over £50k may wish to consider reinstating a claim. Whilst they may have to pay this back through self-assessment, the immediate extra cash may just help.

Directors of their own companies on small salaries/dividend remuneration strategies need to be careful about claiming SSP for themselves during the current pandemic as it could have auto-enrolment pension implications. With one-man band companies operating as above they will likely have been classed as “non-employers” for autoenrolment purposes thus avoiding the obligation. A claim for SSP runs the risk of creating an implied contract of employment which could leave you in breach of auto-enrolment obligations.

Read more »

United Kingdom22 April 2020
Apply for the coronavirus Future Fund

This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This scheme is not available yet. It will launch in May 2020.

The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Read more »

Ireland22 April 2020
Construction: CIF publishes operating procedures to get the construction sector back to work

The CIF Safety and Health sub-Committee, mindful of the best available guidance, nationally and internationally, has developed the Construction Sector C-19 Standard Operating Procedures document to serve as a guide for the management of COVID-19 on a construction site for the duration of the pandemic.

Ireland22 April 2020
Farmer updates

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

Recent topics:

  • ICOS In Talks With Department Over Possible Resumption Of Mart Auctions 
  • Number Of BPS Applications Approaches 70,000
  • Major Report Seeks Market Supports To Stem ‘Devastating’ Milk Price Cuts
Ireland22 April 2020
Pandemic Payment Claimants Top 580,000

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection says 584,000 people will receive the €350 Pandemic Unemployment Payment this week, 50,000 more than a week ago.

These payments are in addition to the 212,000 people on the Live Register who claim weekly dole payments and 281,000 workers being paid via the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

Source: BizPlus

Ireland22 April 2020
Central Bank relaxes reporting requirements for banks amid COVID-19 crisis

The Central Bank has granted banks, fund managers and insurers brief respite in meeting deadlines for a series of regular regulatory reports, as supervisors and financial firms focus on more immediate challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full article on IrishTimes->

Ireland22 April 2020
Supports for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 (update)

This guide published by DBEI details key supports and resources available and provides the relevant contact details for ease of access to these supports. I hope you find it useful.

Ireland21 April 2020
COVID-19 – Regulated Firms Updates – The Central Bank of Ireland

The Central Bank of Ireland has intensified its engagement across the financial services system to ensure that firms are taking the necessary actions to be able to continue to serve their customers through the unprecedented challenges COVID-19 is causing and will continue to review its approach to regulatory flexibility throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and may provide further updates as required.

Read the full article on Chartered Accountants Ireland website.

Ireland21 April 2020
ISME Skillnet free webinar series

ISME and Skillnet are delighted to be able to offer small business owners, managers and staff across Ireland access to our Free Webinar Series.

Webinars cover topics such as effective communication, sales skills development, Excel training and many more. A list of webinars can be found here.

Ireland21 April 2020
Employer eligibility and supporting proofs for TWSS

This guidance sets out the Revenue approach to confirming employer eligibility and examination of supporting proofs.

Ireland21 April 2020
Update Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme FAQ – V7

The TWSS FAQ document has been updated this morning. All changes are highlighted in grey.

United Kingdom21 April 2020
Adult education, skills and employment programmes approved during coronavirus

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has confirmed the funding for adult education, skills and employment programmes during the coronavirus outbreak.

The £200 million funding for the city-region’s local authorities, colleges, training providers and employment support organisations, covering almost 100 contracts and agreements. Those organisations can now continue to deliver vital skills and employment programmes to residents, supporting community resilience across Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs.

Read more »

21 April 2020
Focus on your personal wealth in addition to your business

You need to not only be looking at your business during the pandemic but also at your personal finances. This is the time where, if you haven't already done so, you should look at what spending you need to curb as a family. We have a simple spreadsheet for you to use. It does still make you think about planning for future needs (we're guessing there are going to be lots of street parties and holidays when this is all over!). It focuses on the following key areas: Property / Household, Lifestyle, Education, Growth, Savings and Contributions.

If you would like a copy of the personal wealth planner spreadsheet, please contact us on +44 203 086 8677 or email support@xeinadin-group.com.

21 April 2020
Safeguarding Europe’s livelihoods: Mitigating the employment impact of COVID-19 by McKinsey

The COVID-19 pandemic has put tens of millions of jobs at risk.
Examining the industries, occupations, and demographics most in
peril can help decision-makers shape targeted and rapid responses.

McKinsey's analysis, based on occupation-level data, estimates that the COVID-19 crisis could leave up to 59 million jobs at risk1 in Europe—a staggering 26 percent of total employment in the 27 member countries of the European Union (EU-27), plus the United Kingdom (EU-28).

Download the report here.

United Kingdom21 April 2020
Billion-pound support package for innovative firms hit by coronavirus

UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package, the Chancellor announced.

Rishi Sunak said the targeted and tailored help would ensure firms in some of the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy – ranging from tech to life sciences – are protected through the crisis so they can continue to develop innovative new products and help power UK growth.

Read more »

Ireland21 April 2020
Take-up of COVID-19 Business Supports

This overview gives the details of the DBEI supports available to COVID-19.

20 April 2020
Northern Ireland: Guidance published on workplace safety and priority sectors

The UK Department for the Economy has published guidance on making workplaces safer and a list of priority sectors during the current coronavirus crisis.

Practical Guide To Making Workplaces Safer sets out principles and practical steps for employers and employees to keep themselves and their workplaces safe. The guidance has sections on public health guidelines, safer work practices, mental health and wellbeing, and further help and information. It also highlights the steps to be followed if employers and employees are concerned about safety. (Note: the guide is intended to be universal and does not replace existing legislation or industry-specific guidance.)

Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland

Ireland20 April 2020
Mortgage approved given more time to find a home due to restrictions

Intending house purchasers who are already mortgage approved, but now need more time to find a home because of COVID-19 restrictions, are being advised that they can seek an extension to the period of mortgage approval, once their personal circumstances have not changed.

Read the full article on RTE->

United Kingdom20 April 2020
Financial support for education, early years and children’s social care

The government has put in place a number of funding and financial measures to support organisations – both public and private – during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. These are intended to be temporary, timely and targeted, to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption. This guidance sets out the financial support that is available for different types of education, early years and children’s social care providers in England. If you are not an education, early years and children’s social care provider in England, you should be able to get more information about the types of financial support available to you from other relevant government departments or devolved administrations.

Read more »

United Kingdom20 April 2020
Government unveils £1.3bn scheme to help start-ups

The government has announced a £1.25bn package to support innovative new companies that are not eligible for existing coronavirus rescue schemes.

It will match up to £250m of private investment and add £550m to an existing loan and grant scheme for smaller firms that focus on research and development.

Adding it up, that totals £800m of new money to support fledgling firms.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said start-ups would help power the UK's growth after the coronavirus crisis.

Read more »

United Kingdom20 April 2020
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers

This step by step guide explains the information that employers need to provide to HMRC to make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). It also describes the processes involved.

Access the step by step guide

United Kingdom20 April 2020
Businesses urged to urgently access coronavirus funding before deadline

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham led calls for businesses to urgently apply for a share of the £629m coronavirus grant funding available from local authorities in the region.

Businesses that are the main rate payer of business rates can be eligible for grant support of between £10,000 and £25,000 and may miss out on vital financial support if they do not apply by the end of April.

It is vital that eligible businesses contact their local authority to apply for a grant.

Read more »

United Kingdom20 April 2020
Ethical lender asks Stockport business leaders to invest in local community

In an open letter to the people of Stockport, the chief executive of Stockport Credit Union has appealed to anyone with financial security to help others who are struggling to make ends meet or may be facing financial challenges during the coronavirus crisis.

In the letter, titled ‘Stockport Needs You’, Jonathan Moore, said: “In these difficult times we all want to help each other out and the current crisis is creating some fantastic examples of neighbourly and community spirit.

Read more »

Ireland20 April 2020
Will the current crisis make or break the business world’s adoption of sustainability?

COVID-19 has sent shock waves through the business community with most companies reeling from the immediate impacts. In the short-term, these companies will need to focus on survival – trying to stay afloat, minimise staff layoffs and keep supply chains going. This may mean temporarily diverting attention away from sustainability efforts which, until now, had been gaining traction as the business world realised its potential to lead the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future.

Read more->

20 April 2020
Bord Bia Webinar 21 April – UK market

Bord Bia organises a webinar on "UK Market - Managing the supply chain and customer relationships during COVID-19".

The webinar is planned for 21 April between 2-3 pm and you can register here.

Ireland20 April 2020
Farmer updates

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

Recent topics:

  • Taoiseach Calls For Urgent Review Of Travel Restrictions, Following Fruit Picker Controversy 
  • Minister Creed ‘Leads Pan-European Push For Commission Response’ 
Ireland20 April 2020
Revenue confirm zero rate of VAT will apply to domestic supply and intra-EU acquisition of PPE during COVID crisis

Revenue confirmed that the zero rate of VAT may be applied, on a concessional basis, to the supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) and medical equipment to the HSE, hospitals and other health care settings for use in the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

Read more->

Ireland20 April 2020
IBEC Webinar 21 April: Looking after employee health and wellbeing

Ibec’s KeepWell Mark Programme Manager Sophie Moran and Ibec’s Head of Social Policy, Dr. Kara McGann will be coming together to discuss and answer questions on some challenges faced by organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they reflect on what corporate wellbeing looks like in these unprecedented times.

Register here.

Ireland17 April 2020
Recroot Helps Indie Eateries With Vouchers

A positive news story that presents another example of how businesses pivot to other business models to keep going and at the same time help other businesses in the process.

Source: BizPlus

Ireland17 April 2020
COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme: A New Phase 2 and updated guidance from Revenue

This week the Minister for Finance announced changes to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. These changes are intended to deal with some anomalies in the scheme.  A second phase ‘Phase 2’ of the scheme will be effective from 4 May 2020, for payroll submissions on or after that date. 

Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland

Ireland17 April 2020
CRO issue update on services available

The Companies Registration Office issued an update on services provided.

United Kingdom17 April 2020
Chancellor expands loan scheme for large businesses

A government-backed loan scheme for large businesses affected by coronavirus has been expanded to cover all viable firms, the Chancellor announced today.

Outlining further details of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CLBILS) ahead of its launch on Monday, Rishi Sunak said all firms with a turnover of more than £45 million will now be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance, and up to £50 million for firms with a turnover of more than £250 million.

Business with turnovers of more than £500 million were originally not eligible for the scheme, which is being set up to help firms who do not qualify for the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – for small and medium sized businesses - and the Bank of England Covid Corporate Financing Facility – for investment grade companies. The move, which comes after extensive consultation with businesses, will ensure even more firms are able to benefit from government support.

Read more »

United Kingdom17 April 2020
Business Insurance

The spread of Coronavirus is unprecedented in modern times and we understand this is an incredibly difficult time for families and businesses. No insurance market provides widespread insurance coverage for pandemics and the UK is no exception. For such cover to be available at affordable prices for businesses would require a very significant subsidy from the government, given the scale of business disruption we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, standard commercial insurance policies – the type the vast majority of businesses purchase – provide cover against a wide range of day to day risks including damage caused by fire, flood, theft and accidents involving employees. Insurers action claims of £22m each day to firms through these policies, supporting millions of businesses across the UK each year.

Read more »

17 April 2020
6 tips for cash flow management during the coronavirus crisis

As many small businesses shut up shop or adopt new ways of working during the coronavirus pandemic, many are struggling to grasp the package of support measures that had been made available by chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

At the same time as coming to terms with the support being made available to them, many small businesses could be forced to make difficult decisions in the coming weeks. Depending on their financial position, some small businesses could start to experience cash flow difficulties very quickly and they could be forced to lay off some or all of their workforce as a result.

Before taking such decisions, business owners should seek advice, if only to ensure that they have done everything they can to improve their cash position and to ensure they take the right decisions at the right time.

View the full list here »

Ireland17 April 2020
Farmer updates

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

The most recent topics:

  • Why COVID-19 doesn't infect animals
  • Advance payments increase - EU
  • Some Full-Time Farmers ‘Entitled’ To Weekly Pandemic Payment
United Kingdom17 April 2020
Councils given greater financial relief against cash flow pressures

New measures to help ease immediate financial pressures faced by councils in England due to the coronavirus outbreak have been announced by the government today (16 April 2020).

Councils will be allowed to defer £2.6 billion in business rates payments to central government, and £850 million in social care grants will be paid up front this month in a move aimed at helping to ease immediate pressures on local authority cash flows.

Councils are doing crucial work to vulnerable people and the wider communities get through this crisis. This includes delivering essential supplies to the vulnerable, paying out financial relief to local businesses and get rough sleepers into accommodation. The government wants to ensure that they have the support they need at this unprecedented time.

Read more »

Ireland17 April 2020
Minister to meet insurers amid standoff over business interruption payouts

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will hold a virtual meeting with executives from Insurance Ireland on Friday afternoon amid concerns that the industry is relying on fine print and technicalities to avoid business interruption payouts while much of the economy is in COVID-19 lockdown.

Source: Irish Times

United Kingdom16 April 2020
Lender Support for those affected by Coronavirus

This list is for current borrowers looking to discuss their current circumstances - please only use the phone numbers for these purposes to allow support to be given to those who require it most.

Click here to view the full list »

United Kingdom16 April 2020
Full list of COVID Loan / CBILS Providers and their criteria

This comprehensive list of all CBILS Lenders includes answers to the following questions:

  • What their lending criteria are 
  • What guarantees they are requesting
  • How individual businesses can apply
  • Their expected timescales and credit processes
  • How they are prioritising lending (eg. focusing on current business borrowers or willing to talk to new borrowers)

Read more »

United Kingdom16 April 2020
10 tips to help if you and your team are worried about coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that life is changing for all of us for a while. It may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, lonely or frustrated.

It's important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. Remember, this situation is temporary and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.

There are some simple things you can do to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing during times of uncertainty. Doing so will help you think clearly, and make sure you are able to look after yourself and those you care about.

Read more »

Ireland16 April 2020
Community foundation: COVID-19 Response Fund

The Community Foundation for Ireland’s COVID-19 Community Fund is aimed at the immediate needs of organisations impacted by COVID-19.

Any organisations affected by COVID-19 and working with the groups of people listed above can apply for grants between €1,000 and €10,000. The Community Foundation for Ireland anticipates that organisations that are providing small scale emergency support will require funding of around €1,000 to €2,500.  Those who are significantly enhancing their services at this time may require grants of up to €10,000.

To apply go to the Community Foundation website.

Ireland16 April 2020
FAQ Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme is updated

This document describes the operation of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. The latest update is 16 April 2020

Ireland16 April 2020
Farmer updates

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

The more recent topics:

  • On-Farm construction during COVID-19. What is permitted?
  • Calls for Farm Assist Payments to be increased
Ireland16 April 2020
Bord Bia webinar today – “How to drive traffic to your website”

Today's Bord Bia's webinar is about "How to drive traffic and sales to your website". To register for this webinar or view the presentations go to this webpage.

16 April 2020
Digital map to help businesses fight COVID-19

A new interactive online map aims to help businesses involved in healthcare find opportunities to collaborate in Ireland to tackle with COVID-19 pandemic.

The digital resource is being spearheaded by InterTradeIreland and TechIreland, and is a work in progress, with plans to significantly expand it over the coming weeks.

The cross-border interactive map allows businesses to see quickly, in and beyond their region, who they can work with to combat supply chain and manufacturing challenges generated by the pandemic.

See the map here.

Ireland16 April 2020
COVID-19 wage subsidy increased to 85% of wages for lower paid

The Government is increasing the amount it will pay under the coronavirus wage subsidy scheme in a bid to keep more part-time workers on the payroll.

The subsidy, introduced as an emergency measure last month, will be increased from 70 per cent to 85 per cent for employees who earn less than €24,400 per year.

Read more->

Ireland16 April 2020
Consumer sentiment suffers largest ever monthly drop

Consumer sentiment suffered its largest monthly drop on record in April, a survey showed today, demonstrating the scale and speed of the economic collapse unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Source: RTE website

United Kingdom16 April 2020
Furlough start date extended to 19 March

The government has extended the start date for eligibility for furlough to 19 March from original 28 February meaning 200,000 more people can benefit.

Thousands more employees will able to receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) as a result. The government also confirmed that the scheme is expected to be fully operational next week with the online portal due to go live on 20 April to allow businesses to start filing their returns before the crucial PAYE payroll runs.

Under the scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 23 March, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month. BUT the employee MUST have also been on an RTI submitted to HMRC by 19th March

Read all about it here »

Ireland16 April 2020
Retail Excellence launch Retail Recovery Plan

There is a distinct and very real risk that without the implementation of the 5 suggested measures in the Retail Excellence Ireland Recovery Plan, up to 110,000 jobs could be lost permanently in the Irish retail industry. 

Retail Excellence Ireland, on behalf of our 2,100 member companies is urgently calling on Government to implement 5 key measures. Read about these measures on the Retail Excellence Website.

16 April 2020
McKinsey: Global health and crisis response

It is worthwhile taking some time out to read this detailed report by McKinsey & Company that describes the impact of COVID-19 globally as it is at the moment, but more importantly, it outlines the more likely scenarios for the coming months and years.

United Kingdom16 April 2020
Should a manufacturer stay open?

On April 8, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma clarified in his letter to the industry that there is no restriction on manufacturing continuing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, manufacturers should take the below into consideration:

  1. If your business has customer demand for product (the factory is not manufacturing for stock), then it should remain open.
  2. If there is no demand, production should stop
  3. If there is limited demand, manufacturers can consider bringing forward the annual maintenance shutdown periods to ensure manufacturing at full capacity once the outbreak is over

Guidance for manufacturers who remain operational »

United Kingdom15 April 2020
Job Retention Scheme OPEN next week

HMRC has been working at pace to deliver the service that will allow you to make a claim for the employees you have furloughed under the governments Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. 

When will the service be open?

The service will be open from Monday 20th April 2020.

How do I make the claim?

The service will be an online portal system. No claims will be accepted over the phone. The portal will be open 24/7.

Read all about it here »

United Kingdom15 April 2020
Delaying import duty/VAT payments as a result of Covid-19

Many businesses that import goods into the UK from outside the EU operate deferment accounts, which allow payment of import VAT and duty to be delayed for 15 days after the month in which the goods are brought into the country.

See Gov.uk - How to set up a deferment account: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/setting-up-an-account-to-defer-duty-payments-when-you-import-goods

Read more »

15 April 2020
Advice to support mental health during coronavirus outbreak

People struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be offered additional online support and practical guidance to help them cope.

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges which the outbreak and extended periods of self-isolation can pose, Public Health England has published new online guidance setting out principles to follow to help people to manage their mental health during this difficult time, such as:

  • maintaining contact with friends and family via telephone and video calls, or social media
  • keeping a regular routine and sleeping pattern
  • focusing on a hobby or learning something new

Read more »

Ireland15 April 2020
Financial accounting implications of the COVID-19 outbreak

While the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is primarily a public health issue the outbreak will have implications for both financial reporting and the work of the auditor. The information below seeks to set out the main financial reporting matters that preparers of financial statements should consider as a result of the coronavirus1

Read the entire document on the CPA Ireland website.

Ireland15 April 2020
Charities Institute Ireland: Impact survey

CII sent a survey to the CEO's of all charity members in order to gain insight into the current and projected effects of the COVID-19 crisis on their organisations. The survey results can be downloaded here.

Ireland15 April 2020
Updates for farmers

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

These are the more recent topics:

  • Farm machinery allowed to operate as essential service
  • Updates on COVID-19 payment for farmers
  • COVID-19 restrictions: farmer questions answered
Ireland15 April 2020
Revenue warning: latest email scam

This week the Revenue Commissioners have become aware of fraudulent emails and SMS (text messages) purporting to come from Revenue.  Some of these seek personal information (name, address, date of  birth) from taxpayers and/or seek credit card, debit card or bank account details in connection with a tax or wage subsidy refund.

Read more->

Ireland15 April 2020
Summary: Government supports for businesses

With so many schemes and supports that were kicked off, it is sometimes hard to see the trees through the forest. The following webpage by the DBEI does give a good updated overview of all the available supports.

Ireland15 April 2020
IBEC COVID-19 Economic update

This presentation by IBEC maps the early indicators of the economic impact of COVID-19 and its potential impact.

An interesting study that brings together a wide range of indicators such as restaurant bookings, employment breakdown, exchequer returns, traffic volumes, vehicle registrations etc.

United Kingdom14 April 2020
Job Retention Scheme Portal Update

Senior representatives from HMRC have appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee on the 8th April to answer questions around the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – the scheme making provision for the furloughing of employees. The full recording of the meeting can be accessed online at parliamenttv.com.

Read more »

Ireland14 April 2020
Daft.ie – Housing Heroes

Daft is helping to connect doctors and nurses working on the frontline in Irish hospitals with free places to stay during the COVID-19 crisis.

If you have a property that you would like to offer for free to frontline healthcare professionals please send a message via this website.

United Kingdom14 April 2020
UK Industries Benefiting from Social Distancing: Part One

The spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has had a profound impact on the UK economy and consumer habits. Since 16 March 2020, the UK government has gradually imposed stricter social distancing and lockdown measures, ordering the closure of schoolspubs, barsrestaurants, and gyms. It extended the mandate to all non-essential stores on 23 March 2020 and asked UK consumers to stay indoors. While some industries have inevitably endured declining sales as patrons stay at home, others have thrived in this time of crisis. In this first instalment of a two-part series, IBISWorld looks at the industries that have and are expected to continue to perform well amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Read more »

Ireland14 April 2020
Bord Bia COVID Response Webinar Series

A series of webinars has been designed, focusing on immediate, short and medium term supports for the Food industry.

Today's webinar is on Supply Chain & Logistics.

Ireland14 April 2020
Bord Bia COVID Response Marketing Support Package

Bord Bia is widening its marketing grants schemes in response to difficulties companies are facing as a result of the COVID 19 crisis with the introduction of its COVID Response Marketing Support Package.

The marketing grants scheme is open to food, drink and horticulture (edible and amenity) producers, who are client companies of Bord Bia, with a turnover greater than €100,000 in 2019 and less than €25 million in 2019. The turnover of linked (by common shareholders) and partner enterprises in a group will also be taken into account to determine eligibility for the grant.

Please note: The closing date for receipt of applications is Thursday 16th of April 2020. More information can be found on the Bord Bia website.

United Kingdom14 April 2020
Economic Insights – Part Two

Since the last webinar, IBISWorld have further downgraded consumer confidence. 2020-21 average is expected to be approximately 76.4 index points. This comes as the strain hits businesses and more workers put onto furlough. A further fall is possible depending on longevity of COVID-19.

Read all about it here »

Ireland14 April 2020
Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)- Preliminary statistics

Based on data to 9 April:

  • There are over 41,000 employers registered with Revenue for the TWSS.
  • Over 26,200 employers have already received a refund under TWSS.
  • Over 219,400 employees have already received at least one payment under TWSS, of which approximately 80% have also received a top-up payment from their employer.

On 9 April, Revenue has generated further refunds under the scheme worth €34m. These payments will be in the bank accounts of the majority of the respective employers by the next banking day. The cumulative value of payments made under the scheme is €155m. This includes €14.8m in Income Tax paid that has been refunded over the same time.

The full report can be viewed here.

United Kingdom14 April 2020
How organisations can support the testing programme

The government wants help from organisations with laboratory capability to increase the testing programme in the UK as part of its strategy to protect the NHS and save lives.

This guidance is for laboratories or other organisations who are interested in supporting the NHS deliver testing for coronavirus (COVID-19), such as:

  • laboratories, usually without ISO 17025 or ISO 15189 accreditation
  • universities
  • research institutions
  • organisations in other relevant industries and sectors

This guidance provides:

  • details of what criteria a laboratory needs to meet in order to form a partnership with a local NHS trust
  • exemplar case studies setting out how laboratories are currently partnering with local NHS trusts to expand their testing capacity

There is further information on how laboratories can help the government increase COVID-19 testing capacity.

You can also read more about the COVID-19 testing strategy.

See other ways your business or organisation can help with the response to coronavirus.

Learn more: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-organisations-can-support-the-testing-programme

United Kingdom14 April 2020
Help for director/shareholders of limited companies

The Self Employment Support Scheme does not include directors of limited companies. If the company is not trading and has been ‘mothballed’ during lockdown, directors are able to furlough themselves under the Job Retention Scheme, for the PAYE element of their earnings only, if they only carry out activities which would ‘reasonably be judged necessary’ for the purpose of fulfilling statutory duties.

However, this would not fully assist owner/directors of limited companies who may also receive their income by way of dividends.

Read more »

United Kingdom14 April 2020
How to approach financial institutions including your bank

Most banks are maintaining that it is business as usual, as far as possible, and that they are here to support their customers throughout these unprecedented times. Several of the major British banks have set-up dedicated Covid-19 helplines for their customers to call for guidance and information. Business owners should look to take advantage of all the support available to them and take the opportunity to speak to their lenders about concerns they have.

Read more »

United Kingdom14 April 2020
UK leads global fight to prevent second wave of coronavirus

UK aid will protect the British public and help prevent a second wave of coronavirus coming to the UK by slowing its spread in the most vulnerable countries, International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced today.

A package of £200 million will back UK charities and international organisations to help reduce mass infections in developing countries which often lack the healthcare systems to track and halt the virus. Thursday’s announcement brings the total amount of UK aid committed to the global fight against coronavirus to £744 million, making the UK one of the biggest donors to the international response.

Read more »

Ireland9 April 2020
Latest coronavirus updates for farmers

Agriland provides a realtime coronavirus updates blog on their website. Get the latest information as it happens.

Recent topics:

  • Minister appears to rule out changes to BEAM scheme
  • Creed: Grants of up to €8000 available for farmers in BEEP-S
  • Farmer Customers with COVID-19 to get €500 FRS Vouchers
  • Teagasc opens new phone helpline for farmers
Ireland9 April 2020
Deliveroo branches into grocery deliveries in Ireland

Food delivery company Deliveroo is branching out in light of Covid-19, signing deals with several convenience store brands to offer a grocery delivery service to customers.

Source: The Irish Times

Ireland9 April 2020
Relief from the payment of import duties and VAT for goods imported to combat COVID-19

Yesterday (8 April 2020), Revenue confirmed that it has implemented an EU Commission decision that allows goods to combat COVID-19 to be imported, from outside the EU, free of import duties and VAT.

The objective of the measure is to ensure that goods to combat COVID-19 being imported by approved organisations do not incur import duties or VAT.

Read more ->

Ireland9 April 2020
Chambers Ireland survey results highlight the severity of economic impact.

Chambers Ireland has today (9 April 2020) published the results of a survey of its members, which seeks to quantify and highlight the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses in towns, cities and regions right across the country.

Headline results are:

  • 84% of businesses expect revenue to decline by in excess of 25% in the next three months
  • 42% of businesses have closed entirely, and 30% of businesses having closed the public-facing offices and are now working from home
  • 47% of businesses have laid off staff, with over half of those laying off in excess of 30% of staff

The full survey results can be found on the Chambers Ireland website.

United Kingdom9 April 2020
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ready to launch 20th April

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chancellor announced a series of measures to support businesses and their employees. One of those measures is the CJRS, that allows employers to claim 80% of the wages of staff (up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee) that they have furloughed (been put on temporary leave).

Read more »

Ireland9 April 2020
Enterprise Ireland Business Response Programme

Enterprise Ireland is responding to the current global crisis by working with Irish exporters to help them avail of business response supports recently unveiled by the Government.

An overview of the latest EI support programs available can be viewed here.

The Business Response Plan provides best practice guidelines around People Management, Businesses Processes, Supply Chain Management and Communications.

United Kingdom9 April 2020
Why a Commercial Lasting Power of Attorney is Important for Your Business

Running a business involves planning for the future and setting goals. Unfortunately, illness or incapacity is not something we can predict. A Commercial Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can help to ensure your business continues to run smoothly should you lose capacity or be unable to run your business due to ill health.

Read more »

United Kingdom9 April 2020
Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker: Businesses not yet successfully accessing government loan and grant schemes

Results from the second British Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker reveal that most businesses have not yet successfully accessed the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the grants for small businesses.

  • Just 1 percent of firms had successfully accessed CBILS and 7 per cent are receiving grants
  • 57 percent of firms have three months cash in reserve or less, 6 per cent of respondents have already run out of cash
  • 37 percent of respondents said they were planning to furlough between 75 to 100 per cent of their workforce over the next week

Read more »

United Kingdom9 April 2020
Chancellor announces aid for charities

Rishi Sunak unveils a £750m package to keep charities afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

The move follows concern that some charities are facing collapse, with income shrinking because of enforced shop closures. Bigger charities such as Oxfam and Age UK have furloughed two-thirds of staff.

The measures involve cash grants direct to charities providing key services during the crisis. As part of the scheme, £360m will be directly allocated by government departments to those charities.

Read more »

Ireland9 April 2020
Minister Humphreys announces major expansion of business supports for SMEs

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, announced yesterday a major expansion of supports for all businesses impacted by COVID-19. The package is now worth €1 billion in liquidity measures including a new €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund for firms in the manufacturing and international services sectors. Free mentoring and online training are also available for all SMEs.

An overview of the grants and supports available is presented in this article.

Ireland8 April 2020
Guidance for Implications of COVID-19 on Charity Financial Reporting

On 23rd March, the SORP-making body for the Charities SORP issued a timely and useful advisory document to assist preparers and auditors of charity accounts with the implications of COVID-19. Given the extraordinary circumstances, we find ourselves in, this guidance document was expedited and approved to support charities during the crisis.

Source: Charities Institute Ireland

Ireland8 April 2020
Supports for landlords and tenants

With effect from Friday, 27 March 2020, new emergency measures were introduced into law to protect tenants during the COVID-19 emergency period. 

This guidance document sets out the emergency measures along with the related income and other supports being provided to support tenants and landlords during the emergency period.

This FAQ document for landlords and tenants covers the key changes for the rental sector under the emergency laws.

Ireland8 April 2020
Hundreds of businesses move online as COVID-19 shutters ‘bricks and mortar’ stores

As businesses remain shuttered owing to COVID-19 restrictions, hundreds of producers and store owners have moved their offerings online, many for the first time.

Help is available to make the switch, which can be a daunting move. This article by Brian Finn, highlights some businesses that made the move online in the last couple of weeks.

Source: RTE News

8 April 2020
Xero Webinar – Manage your cash flow

With the challenges being faced by the small business community, keeping a close eye on your cash flow is important now more than ever. In this webinar, we'll explore budgeting, how to get paid faster and forecasting your future cash flow.

Register for this webinar on this page.

Ireland8 April 2020
COVID-19: Key issues for contractors operating under public works contracts to consider

John FFF O’Brien of John Farage O’Brien Dispute Resolution Consultants, sets out some critical contract matters for Construction contractors need to consider in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

No one knows what the full impact of COVID-19 will be on the economy or wider society in Ireland. However, what we do know is that its impacts will be wide-ranging for every industry, including construction.

Read more »

Ireland8 April 2020
COVID-19: Ibec publishes proposed solutions to a liquidity crisis

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, is calling for significant new emergency cashflow and liquidity measures from Government in order to support vulnerable businesses.

The package outlined in a new report (see below), if fully utilised, would increase the total Irish Government crisis response support to the economy to about 10% of GDP, bringing Ireland into line with other countries.  

(opens in a new tab)">Read more->
 

Ireland8 April 2020
New Government webpage available to receive offers of COVID-19 assistance

The Office of Government Procurement recently launched a webpage to facilitate offers of assistance from businesses and other organisations that are seeking to provide supplies or services in support of the national response to COVID-19. The webpage is available at: gov.ie/covidsupplies

Since COVID-19 arrived in Ireland, businesses and other organisations have been contacting the Government and the HSE to offer their assistance with goods and services. A webpage has now been created to capture these offers in one central database so that the Government can ensure they are available to the right parts of the public service. 

United Kingdom8 April 2020
Individuals: Actions you should consider in these challenging times

Complete and submit your 2020 tax return: 

If there is a chance of a tax repayment resulting from the 2019/20 tax return, then it is worth having this completed and submitted to HMRC as soon as possible to reclaim this tax.

Read more »

United Kingdom8 April 2020
Self-employed individuals: Actions you should consider in these challenging times

Apply for grant under self-employed support scheme:

When available a grant of 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those individuals with the majority of their income from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. Further details and how to claim can be found online.

Read more »

United Kingdom8 April 2020
Companies: Actions you should consider in these challenging times

Deferring VAT:
Temporarily cancel HMRC direct debit until further notice. At the moment the VAT can be deferred to April 2021, but this deadline may change. You will need to cancel the direct debit otherwise HMRC will take the VAT due. VAT Returns still need to be submitted.

Read more »

United Kingdom8 April 2020
Employee wellbeing

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. It is normal to feel stressed or lonely when self-isolating, but there are some things you can do to feel better.

Read more »

Ireland7 April 2020
Update FAQ Wage Subsidy Scheme

Revenue updated the FAQ on the Wage Subsidy Scheme. Changes and additions are highlighted in grey.

Ireland7 April 2020
Multi-Unit developments, apartment living and COVID-19

With the collaboration of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and the Law Society of Ireland, The Housing Agency hosted a free webinar for stakeholders in the multi-unit developments and apartment sector.

View the webinar here.

Ireland7 April 2020
Record month for grocery sales

Supermarkets enjoyed their best trading month ever through March 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Grocery market data from Kantar shows sales in the four weeks to March 22 advanced 27% year-on-year.

Grocery sales reached €2.8 billion in the past 12 weeks, topping last year by €250 million and exceeding the previous peak seen at Christmas 2019.

Read more->

Ireland7 April 2020
COVID-19’s Impact On Construction Contracts

Law firm Dillon Eustace has issued a briefing note on the impact of emergency COVID-19 legislation on the construction industry, including RIAI contracts.

Read more->

Ireland7 April 2020
More than 700,000 receiving income supports

The number of people dependent on income supports has soared to over 700,000, according to the latest figures from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. 

Last Friday, payments were issued to 507,000 recipients of the €350 per week COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Support payment, which is up from 283,000 a week ago. 

Read more->

United Kingdom7 April 2020
Almost £400 million to keep England’s buses running

England’s buses will continue to serve those who rely on them thanks to a funding boost totalling £397 million for vital bus operators, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

The package, agreed jointly with the bus industry, will keep key routes running to provide a lifeline for those who cannot work from home, including those travelling to jobs on the frontline of the UK’s fight against COVID-19, such as NHS staff.

Read more »

United Kingdom7 April 2020
UKEF expands protection against non-payment for UK exporters

UK Export Finance to offer export insurance in all major markets in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

UK Export Finance has today announced it is expanding the scope of its Export Insurance Policy (EXIP) to cover transactions with the EU, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the USA with immediate effect. Exports from the UK to these markets totalled £499 billion last year, accounting for 74% of all international sales from the UK.

Read more »

United Kingdom7 April 2020
Support for large businesses through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.

This will give banks the confidence to lend to many more businesses which are impacted by coronavirus. Facilities backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest.

Read more »

United Kingdom7 April 2020
Cheshire East Council – update on Covid-19 business grant funding

Cheshire East Council has received its funding allowance from government, which means the process of distributing grants to businesses has now started. 

Eligible businesses, who have registered their bank account details with the council, should begin to receive their grant funding – via BACS transfer – automatically from 6 April onwards. 

Read more »

7 April 2020
Leadership in Times of Crisis

Now, more than ever, leaders are being called upon to guide their teams through uncertainty. From small emergencies to natural disasters, there have always been challenges to leading people through turbulent times.

Poor leadership can cause considerable damage at a time when people need guidance and direction to regain a sense of calm and confidence that things will get better.

Read more »

United Kingdom6 April 2020
Chancellor unveils new measures to SME loan scheme

The chancellor is extending the coronavirus loan scheme for small and medium businesses who have been affected by the disease.

The government's Covid Business Interruption Loan, a funding package, was originally created for firms who were unable to secure regular commercial financing during the economic downturn of the virus.

But now Rishi Sunak has extended CBILS to all viable small and medium business who have faced financial difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals.

Read more »

United Kingdom6 April 2020
£20 million for ambitious technologies to build UK resilience following coronavirus outbreak

Businesses to help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of coronavirus and similar future situations as a result of £20 million government funding.

  • Technology and R&D businesses to develop innovations that encourage new ways of working and ensure continued productivity across key UK industries
  • government boost to build resilience in the UK economy, helping to protect against long-term impacts of the coronavirus outbreak and future incidents
  • new innovations will support sectors ranging from delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport

Read more »

United Kingdom6 April 2020
Watch out for bogus COVID-19 ‘home-testing’ scams

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is warning the UK public to not open their doors to illegitimate healthcare workers claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for the Coronavirus.

A number of households across the UK have reported suspicious callers knocking on doors claiming to be health officials doing a door-to-door COVID-19 testing. According to the reports the cold callers have mainly be targeting elderly and vulnerable residents.

The CTSI have advised the public to be extra cautious when opening their doors and have reminded everyone to continue to avoid social contact as part of the measures to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

This is yet another scam to have been reported as more and more criminals use the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to make profit and benefit during a time when thousands across the country are vulnerable, worried and confused.

Make sure to inform your family, friends and anyone else you know who could be vulnerable to this type of scam to ensure the public are safe and protected.

United Kingdom6 April 2020
Can your business produce testing kits and services?

The government is asking businesses to support the manufacture and supply of:

  • testing consumables and equipment
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) for laboratories
  • new or existing types of coronavirus tests for antigens or antibodies

This is to ensure we can increase coronavirus tests in the UK.

Learn more on gov.uk (opens in new tab)

If you can supply materials and equipment, use the first form (‘Supply materials and equipment’).

If you can supply complete testing methods, use the second form (‘Supply complete testing methods’).

United Kingdom6 April 2020
Cashflow – Consider reclaiming child benefit

Individuals who have made an election to stop receiving child benefit due to the high income child benefit charge (HICBC) may wish to consider revoking the election in order to restart their claim.

 The child benefit may need to be ultimately paid back via the self assessment tax return, but it can help a little towards easing immediate cash flow concerns. The election can be revoked by completing a form online via the GOV.UK website (a Government Gateway account is necessary) or by contacting the Child Benefit Office by telephone on 0300 200 3100. The election must be revoked by the person who originally made it, which is the person who is to receive the child benefit. Child benefit will start to be paid again from the Monday following the call or receipt of the form. However, if neither partners’ adjusted net income is expected to exceed £60,000, the revocation can be backdated to the start of the tax year.

See the High income child benefit tax charge ― advising the taxpayer guidance note for more details.

United Kingdom6 April 2020
Off payroll working (IR35) in the private sector

As part of a broad package of measures to protect the economy from the coronavirus outbreak, the planned introduction of off payroll working in the private sector is postponed for one year from 6 April 2020 to 6 April 2021. It was stressed that this is simply a deferral and not a cancellation of the regime, but this pause will bring welcome relief to many during these uncertain times.

Learn more »

Ireland6 April 2020
Over 500,000 People Claim Unemployment Payments

The last week of March saw a massive surge in the numbers out of work. The CSO estimates c.510,000 people are now claiming unemployment benefit.

The seasonally adjusted Live Register figure of 207,200 was up 24,400 on February. Central Statistics Office data counts separately 283,000 people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and 25,100 people benefiting from the government’s Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Source Bizplu (opens in a new tab)">s>

Ireland6 April 2020
NSAI publish COVID-19 Guide for the retail sector

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) has today published a 'Retail Protection and Improvement Guide' to help retailers manage business continuity during the COVID-19 emergency.

It specifies requirements to implement, maintain and improve a retailer’s ability to protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from COVID-19 related disruptions when they arise.

View the Guide here: Retail Protection and Improvement Guide

Ireland6 April 2020
COVID-19: Standards for medical supplies made freely available

In response to the coronavirus emergency, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), have all agreed to make freely available a series of European, American and International Standards for use  in response to COVID-19.

Read more (opens in new tab)

Ireland6 April 2020
Further updates to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Revenue Commissioners have updated the FAQ on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. Changes are highlighted in grey.

Ireland6 April 2020
Revenue responses to Irish Tax Institute (ITI) queries

The Revenue responded in great detail to questions raised by the ITI in this document.

The ITI also sent out this extensive newsletter with commentary on the different COVID-19 schemes.

United Kingdom3 April 2020
Overhaul to SME loan scheme


Changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be announced as soon as this week.

The chancellor is preparing to unveil an overhaul of his emergency aid scheme for small businesses (SMEs) amid warnings about a deluge of insolvencies as companies struggle to access funds from a banking system creaking under the COVID-19 crisis.

Sky News has learnt that Rishi Sunak will announce in the coming days that a key feature of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - the requirement for banks to first assess whether SMEs are eligible for their other lending options - will be removed.

Read more »

3 April 2020
How is COVID-19 affecting the Cyber Security Industry?

As we delve deeper into the Coronavirus Pandemic, Cyber Security firms are seeing a massive increase in COVID-19 themed spoofed websites and phishing attacks.

COVID-19 has opened many doors of opportunity for cybercriminals. With the majority of the world in isolation, millions of people want to keep as up to date as possible while they’re locked away. Criminals are taking advantage of this pandemic by creating COVID-19 malicious content, and Cyber Security firms are battling to keep up.

What to look out for…

Read more »

United Kingdom3 April 2020
The effect of coronavirus on UK investment

With every player in the market trying to anticipate and prepare for the road ahead, flows of equity investment into private UK business have taken a hit over the past few weeks. Of course, it’s still early days and we’ll have to wait some time for the whole picture to come into focus. Unannounced fundraisings are still taking place, but there’s a delay in the availability of this data, as we wait for the filings to arrive at Companies House.

In this post, we’ve looked at the initial figures for Q1 2020, and more specifically at the last two weeks, to see what’s happening now and what may come next.

Read more »

Ireland3 April 2020
Revenue update advice to SMEs experiencing cashflow difficulties arising from COVID-19

On 13 March 2020, Revenue outlined some key advice and actions it had taken to assist small and medium enterprise businesses (SMEs) experiencing cashflow and trading difficulties arising from the impacts of COVID-19.

Today (02/04/2020) Revenue has updated this advice as follows on the following page.

Ireland3 April 2020
COVID-19 triggered ‘severe’ economic shock – Central bank

The Irish Central Bank has said COVID-19 has "triggered an extremely severe economic shock", which is fundamentally different from anything the economy has been through before.

In its Quarterly Bulletin, the bank said the economy could shrink by 8.3% of GDP this year and the unemployment rate could peak at 25% in the coming months.

Over the next three months, it believes the economy here could collapse by 25%.

Read the full article on RTE.IE

Ireland3 April 2020
COVID-19 Income Supports

The following Employer and Employee Guidance gives answers to frequently asked questions.

Issued by Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

2 April 2020
GDPR and Covid-19: ICO publishes guidance

Whilst the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is probably the last thing on the mind of business leaders during these extraordinary times of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, it should not be completely forgotten given the seismic shift to homeworking.

Read more »

2 April 2020
Looking after your mental health and of the people around you!

Very likely that you have come across this information already, but it is good to remind each other again to look at these 12 tips by NHS and the equivalent page by HSE and act on it!

Stay well!

United Kingdom2 April 2020
Carry over of annual leave

The government have introduced a temporary new law to deal with coronavirus disruption. A temporary amend to the Working Time Regulations was made.

What is the amendment to the law?

All employers are subject to the Working Time Regulations 1998, and thus will be subject to the changes in the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

This means that any employees and workers can carry over up to 4 weeks’ paid holiday over a 2-year period, if they cannot take holiday due to coronavirus.

Read more »

United Kingdom2 April 2020
Construction Sector: Site Operating Procedures – Protecting Your Workforce

Construction sites operating during the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic need to ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of spread of infection.

This guidance is intended to introduce consistent measures on sites of all sizes in line with the Government’s recommendations on social distancing.

These are exceptional circumstances and the industry must comply with the latest Government advice on Coronavirus at all times.

Read more »

Ireland2 April 2020
Claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment

To expedite unemployment payments to individuals not being paid by their employers, a new Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment has been introduced.

Details and application form can be downloaded here.

The payment has a one-page application form and will be paid for a period of six weeks at a flat rate payment of €350 per week. Individuals applying for the payment will be required to apply for the normal Jobseeker’s payments within this six week period.

United Kingdom2 April 2020
Grant Funding Schemes update Small Business Grant Fund/Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund guidance for business

In response to the Coronavirus, Covid-19, the Government announced there would be support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

The schemes will be delivered by Local Authorities – if you are eligible, your Local Authority will be in touch with you to arrange payment.

Businesses seeking information should refer to the Government’s business support website.

Read more »

United Kingdom2 April 2020
Economic Insights

BISWorld expects Real GDP Growth to slow to 0.7% during 2019-20 previously 1.4%. Slowest rate of growth since the financial crisis.

Coronavirus is expected to compound the uncertainty regarding the terms of Brexit. Exports are expected to be impacted significantly and could outweigh the government’s increase in export finance.

IBISWorld has downgraded expectation for exports, household consumption and business investment.

UK Government budget spending increased for FY20 with at least £32 billion in spending and £330 billion in government backed lending related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Consumer confidence is expected to decline during 2019-20 to 90.6 index points in response to COVID-19 and could fall further in 2020-21 depending on longevity of on-going disruption.

Read more »

Ireland2 April 2020
Fáilte Ireland’s provides online support hub

Fáilte Ireland has created a new online support hub for tourism businesses to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hub includes practical webinars and advice guides on topics such as business liquidity, HR and temporary closures, as well as information on how to access government supports and funding.

The tourism development agency said that the hub was developed following consultations with hundreds of tourism businesses regarding the supports and advice they urgently needed.

The short videos are also accessible through Fáilte Ireland’s YouTube channel, via the playlist ‘COVID-19 – Managing Tourism Businesses in Unprecedented Times’.

For more information on other supports available, see http://www.failteireland.ie

2 April 2020
Facebook starts SME Webinar series

Facebook has launched a series of free online training webinars for Irish SMEs that are moving to work from home as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the company, the webinars will cover essential online business training such as how to host a virtual event; pushing creative boundaries online in partnership with VidMob; how to market your product effectively on mobile; having a presence on Instagram; how to use different channels to communicate with different customers; and more.

The first webinar is in partnership with Shopify will show how to build a website.  People can register here.

Ireland2 April 2020
Revenue urges employers registered for Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to update bank details

Many employers will have an existing Payment Bank Account set up in ROS, however, to receive payments from Revenue, including under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, employers also need to set up a nominated Refund Bank Account.

More information on this topic can be found on this page.

United Kingdom1 April 2020
Video: Improving your cashflow – Liz Maher
 

* Further changes have arisen since recording; stated below:

We are aware that HMRC are to announce a delay to the implementation of the internal digital links roll out as a part of Making VAT Digital. Organisations were to have ensured that the relevant VAT processes that lead to the completion of the VAT return were delivered through appropriate Digital Links and to have these in place for either the 1st April or the 1st October 2020.

This deadline has now been moved back to the 1st April 2021 for all organisations we understand.A further announcement has been made which will benefit certain types of state and public bodies to be able to import Personal Protective Equipment free of Import VAT in particular circumstance
You can get relief on imported goods for free circulation that are:

  • for distribution free of charge to those affected by, at risk from or involved in combating the coronavirus (COVID- 19)
  • to be made available free of charge to those affected by, at risk from or involved in combating the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, while remaining the property of the organisations importing them

The relief will apply to imports of protective equipment, other relevant medical devices or equipment for the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The relief will apply under the 31 July 2020 and the relevant HMRC guidance note is here