As a Chamber, we are working hard through our regular updates and webinars to keep members up to date with the latest issues around the impact of COVID-19.
In this update, we have provided some important information about the process for deferring this quarter’s VAT return. It is important to remember that you must make the return even if you plan to defer your payment.
We have also published information on a possible hardship fund for businesses not covered by the grants currently available which may be announced this week.
On behalf of the Chamber, I will be speaking with NI Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, MLA, tomorrow and will be presenting to the NI Assembly’s Economy Committee on Wednesday 6th May 2020.
If there is anything you want me to raise, please contact me directly.
I hope you find these updates of value. If you have any queries which you can’t get answered, let us know. If I can, I will cover them in our next update.
You can contact me at:
Chief Executive Officer
Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES NOT COVERED BY GRANTS
We hope to hear further news this week on a Business Hardship Fund for those small businesses not eligible for the £10,000 grants.
Speaking to the BBC on Friday, Economy Minsiter, Diane Dodds, MLA said that a budget has been identified to help those firms falling through the cracks during the coronavirus crisis.
It is understood the fund will be targeted at smaller and micro businesses and people who have not managed to be part of the £10,000 grant scheme.
The Chamber will publish further information about this fund once details become available.
DEFERRAL OF VAT PAYMENTS DUE TO COVID-19
We have received some queries from members about the deferral of VAT payments.
You still have to submit your VAT returns on time even if you are deferring payment.
Here is the guidance from HMRC.
If you are a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between the 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020, you have the option to:
- Defer the payment until a later date; or
- Pay the VAT due as normal.
It does not cover payments for VAT MOSS or import VAT.
HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount deferred as a result of the Chancellor’s announcement.
You will still need to submit your VAT returns to HMRC on time.
HMRC will continue to process VAT reclaims and refunds as normal during this time.
If you choose to defer paying your VAT
If you choose to defer your VAT payment as a result of COVID-19, you must pay the VAT due on or before 31st March 2021.
You do not need to tell HMRC that you are deferring your VAT payment.
Payments made by Direct Debit
If you normally pay by Direct Debit, you should contact your bank to cancel your Direct Debit as soon as you can or you can cancel online, if you are registered for online banking.
After the VAT deferral ends
VAT payments due following the end of the deferral period will have to be paid as normal. Further information about how to repay the VAT you’ve deferred will be available soon.
If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, help is available from HMRC’s Time to Pay service.
FSB NI COVID-19 SURVEY
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) NI have launched a COVID-19 survey to find out how the pandemic has impacted your business.
The survey will take no more than 15 minutes to complete.
Don’t miss your chance to have your say, respond by clicking on link below.
YOU CAN COMPLETE THE SURVEY HERE.
BT WEBINAR – REMOTE WORKING
Join our Past President and Head of BT Business NI, Paul Convery who is part of the lineup of expert speakers for a:
BT Webinar in partnership with RingCentral on Remote Working.
DATE: Wednesday 29th April 2020
TIME: 10:00am – 11:30am
In this webinar, you will learn:
- Remote Working in Northern Ireland – Best Practices;
- How communications preferences are moving beyond voice to other channels;
- How to deliver positive outcomes for your organisation; and
- How to leverage the shift to cloud communications, to deliver ROI for your businesses in these trying times.
The webinar will conclude with a live Q&A with the panelists and other experts from BT and RingCentral.
REGISTER FOR THIS ONLINE WEBINAR HERE.
FREE WORKSHOPS – NMD BUSINESS GROWTH PROGRAMME
As the uncertainty of the Coronavirus situation continues to evolve at pace, the NMD Business Growth Programme has developed a series of FREE online programmes to help your businesses through the COVID-19 period with a host of business support advice across the following areas:
- COVID-19 Is Here – What Now For Small Businesses?
- Managing Self in a Rapidly Changing World.
- Preparing a 10-Day Cashflow Projection.
- Social Media Fundamentals.
- Managing Stress.
- Gearing Up To Sell a Service on YouTube.
- Getting Your Business Online For Beginners.
- SEO & Google Analytics – Optimising Online Performance.
This series of remote skills development workshops has been announced to give businesses the support and information they need.
The series will comprise of 8 workshops to be delivered remotely via Zoom, which will be open to all businesses in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Area, including past and present participants of the NMD Business Growth Programme.
The first workshop, COVID-19 Is Here – So What Now For Small Businesses will take place on Wednesday 29th April 2020 from 4pm – 6pm.
VIEW THE FULL LIST OF WORKSHOPS & REGISTER HERE.