We hope you are well and coping with the current government social distancing policies.

These are unprecedented times and if you need to discuss any issues then please contact either your client manager or myself and we will help where we can.

Along with the SSP support I emailed yesterday on there is support over various announcements from the Government, which has been changing daily.  What we understand about the support is as follows:

• A three-month mortgage pause for homeowners if they are suffering difficulties due to the outbreak so they will not have to pay anything “while they get back on their feet”.

What does this mean:  UK banks and building societies are allowing a three month mortgage holiday for homeowners in certain circumstances, the unpaid interest is expected to be recovered at some later time and credit ratings should not be affected.  This support does not extend to buy to let mortgages

How do I apply:  Contact your bank or building society and apply

• Cash grants of up to £25,000 to be available to smaller businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

What does this mean:  If you are in the above industries operating from a smaller business premises, which is defined as a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 then the non repayable grant may be available up to £25,000

How do I apply:  Details have not come through yet and should be available in the coming week

• The business rates holiday for smaller businesses announced in last week’s Budget will be extended to all businesses in those sectors irrespective of their rateable value.

• The new business interruption loan scheme announced at the Budget is being extended to small and medium-sized businesses, providing loans of up to £5 million with no interest due for the first six months, up from £1.2 million.

What does this mean:  This is a replacement of the EFG loan scheme and the government will guarantee 80% of the loan, which is intended to reduce the risks of the loan for companies that do not have sufficient security, the government is also not charging the 2% interest it has done previously in the EFG scheme for this guarantee.  The entire loan will still require to be guaranteed by the company

How do you apply:  This will come through the normal banks over the coming weeks and apply as you would any other loan

• Cash grants of £10,000 for smaller businesses

What does this mean:  If you are a smaller business paying little or no businesses rates due to the business rent relief or rural rate relief then a non refundable cash grant of £10,000 may be available

How do I apply:  The local authorities are being updated by the government and they will contact you over the coming weeks, there should be no need to apply