Providing a safety net and protection to jewellers, silversmiths and those working in the allied industries in the UK during the COVID-19 crises is our top priority. We have brought together information about government-relief, charity grants and resources for our industry, to help you to access the most useful support available during this time.
The Government's Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with the amount capped at 25% of turnover. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
Businesses and Small Businesses
If you are a business that cannot maintain your current workforce because your operations have been severely affected by COVID-19, you can furlough employees or apprentices and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions on that subsidised furlough pay.
Whereas apprentices can continue to train whilst furloughed, employees cannot undertake work for, or on behalf, of the organisation. This is a temporary scheme in place for 3 months starting from 1 March 2020, but it may be extended if necessary.
If you are running a small business and you are entitled to Small Business Rate Relief, which means your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000, you can apply for a Government Small Business Grant Fund of £10,000.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Small and medium-sized businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45 million, who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to a disruption of cash flow and can access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years.
Running for initially 6 months, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offers lenders a government-backed guarantee potentially enabling an uncertain credit decision from a lender to be approved.
If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer the payment until a later date or pay the VAT due as normal.
If your business employed less than 250 people on 28 February 2020, the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme may enable you to claim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for sickness due to COVID-19. The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because of either COVID-19 or because they are self-isolating at home. A GP fit note is not required for SSP after 13 March.
Sole traders and self-employed
This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. Relevant if:
• You intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
• have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
• Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment.
Statutory Sick Pay
If you are self-employed, you are not eligible for the Statutory Sick Pay. However, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or the new style Employment and Support Allowance. If you are eligible for new style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home.
Deferral of Self-Assessment Payment
The deadlines for paying your tax bill are usually 31 January for tax you owe for the previous tax year and your first payment on account; and 31 July for your second payment on account. Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can delay making your second payment on account. If you choose to delay, you’ll have until 31 January 2021 to pay it.
Whether you are currently in or out of work, if you are on a low income and affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, you will be able to access the full range of the welfare system, including Universal Credit. The Government has increased the standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit for one year. Both will increase by £20 per week on top of planned annual up-rating. This will apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants.
Other funding sources
Arts Council England
The Arts Council England has made £20 million of emergency funding available for individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers.
The Prince’s Trust and Natwest Enterprise Relief Fund
18 to 30-year olds, who are self-employed and/or running their own businesses, across the UK can now access The Prince’s Trust and Natwest Enterprise Relief Fund of £5 million. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.
Emergency Coronavirus Fund
People in financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic will receive immediate help in the form of a £500 cash grant, thanks to an emergency coronavirus fund from national poverty charity, Turn2us.
Charity Excellence Framework Funder List
The Charity Excellence Framework has compiled a funder list of over 50 funder for non-for-profits and individuals.
The IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, offers a Coronavirus Hub with lots of practical advice, webinars and latest updates for self-employed professionals.
The Jeweller Support Network
The Goldsmiths’ Company and the Goldsmiths’ Centre has joined a coalition of leading trade bodies and membership organisations, known as the Jeweller Support Network. The network’s goal is to minimise the damage and disruption caused by COVID-19 by directing small and large business owners to relevant resources, including Government financial advice, e-learning resources and trade-specific opportunities.
London Growth Hub
To support London-based businesses, the London Growth Hub has brought together essential resources to help your business manage and mitigate its exposure to the impact of coronavirus.
The Crafts Council is offering useful advice and resources from individual makers and small companies, to craft charities, commercial galleries and fair and market organisers during shutdown.
Culture at Risk
Creative businesses and self-employed can now get guidance and access to resources by registering through the GLA’s Culture at Risk Office.
Retail Jeweller: COVID-19: Impact, Opinion and Advice
Retail Jeweller’s FREE Covid-19 booklet contains the results of their recent Coronavirus survey for the trade, as well as interviews with key industry players about their response to the crisis and a series of advice-based articles aimed at helping you navigate the challenges presented by the current global pandemic.