COVID-19: Budget Announcement Summarised

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Yesterday afternoon the Chancellor announced measures to support the visitor economy as businesses prepare to reopen.

Visit Herts have summarised all of the key points for the sector below. Over the following weeks, as further details on how to access the support outlined are made available, they will update their website and continue to disseminate important information to the industry.

Reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

The reduced 5% VAT rate has been extended for another six months until the end of September 2021, followed by a 12.5% rate for a further six months until the end of March 2022.

Business Rates

  • 100% businesses rates holiday until June, followed by a two-thirds discount for the rest of the year.
  • The discount is being capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.
  • The government will legislate to ensure that the business rates relief repayments that have been made by certain businesses are deductible for corporation tax and income tax purposes.

Restart Grants

  • Non-essential retail businesses will receive grants of up to £6,000 per premises.
  • Hospitality and leisure businesses will get grants of up to £18,000.

Additional Restrictions Grants

  • An additional £425 million of discretionary business grant funding, on top of the £1.6 billion already allocated.
  • This will be allocated on a discretionary basis by local authorities.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • To be extended until the end of September at the 80% rate until July.
  • From July, the government will introduce an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme

  • Those whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive an 80% grant, while those whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will therefore have less need of taxpayer support and will receive a 30% grant.
  • The 4th grant will cover February to April, worth 80% of average trading profits up to £7,500.
  • A 5th grant will be available from July.

Recovery Loan Scheme

  • From 6 April 2021 the Recovery Loan Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million.
  • The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those who have already received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes.

Extend Zoo Animals Fund

The government will extend the Zoo Animals Fund for a further three months until 30 June 2021.

Culture Recovery Fund

The government will provide a further £300 million to extend the Culture Recovery Fund.

National Museums and Cultural Bodies

The government will provide £90 million for continued support for government-sponsored National Museums and cultural bodies in England.

Read more on the government website.