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As the coronavirus outbreak spreads, so has uncertainty for businesses, the self-employed and about our personal finances. Here is our Coronavirus update for Monday 23 March.

The government is introducing new measures almost daily. To help you stay on top of them, we have compiled a summary of updates for businesses and the self-employed. We will soon be creating a similar guide for your personal finances.

We will also be using this blog to alert you to any important news or changes. Please subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you get alerts as soon as possible. Just pop in your name and email address in the form on our blog home page.

So what has happened since Friday?

COVID-19 developments since Friday 20 March

On Friday afternoon, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of measures designed to help businesses. The key takeaways for businesses and the self-employed are as follows:

  • A new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. All UK employers are eligible. It will pay 80% of wages for all workers who are ‘furloughed’. This will last for at least 3 months and first payments should be made by HMRC by the end of April. (Check our blog for an update on furloughed workers, which will be published today).
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will now be interest-free for 12 months, instead of six. Loans are available from
  • The next VAT quarter payment has been deferred. No business needs pay VAT from now until June. You have until the end of the financial year to repay VAT bills.
  • The self-employed can now access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay.
  • Upcoming Self-Assessment tax payments are deferred until January 2021.

In addition:

  • The Universal Credit standard allowance for the next 12 months will increase by £1,000. The Working Tax Credit basic element is also increasing by £1,000.
  • Local Housing Allowance will now cover 30% of the market rent in your local area.

For the latest government information for businesses, please go here.

Other coronavirus advice

On Sunday, the Prime Minister pointed out that a minority of people are ignoring social distancing advice. Please, please – if you do go out and exercise, please stay two metres from others. Unless we all make a concerted effort to stop the spread of the disease by social distancing, we are very likely to face an Italy-style lockdown.

For advice on social distancing, please visit this page. For NHS advice, please read this page.

At THP we are keeping our team members safe, principally by home working. We are available, however, to answer any questions you may have by phone or by email. So if we can help you, please do get in touch.

Avatar for Ben Locker
About Ben Locker

Ben Locker is a copywriter who specialises in business-to-business marketing, writing about everything from software and accountancy to construction and power tools. He co-founded the Professional Copywriters’ Network, the UK’s association for commercial writers, and is named in Direct Marketing Association research as ‘one of the copywriters who copywriters rate’.

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