Following Saturdays (31st October) speech by prime minister, Boris Johnson, as of the 5th November, businesses across the nation will be forced to close again until early December.

This is going to be difficult, but there are schemes and grants available. In Test Valley there is a community helpline (0330 400 4116) available and we would urge business owners to call this number if they would like to talk to someone about their choices.

According to Cllr Phil North – there will be grants available for businesses forced to close of up to £3000, there is also a discretionary fund which will be funded by local authorities to the tune of £2.5 million (Estimated discretionary fund value). More information will be expected to materialise over the next week or so.

The Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme is being extended. Often referred to as ‘The furlough scheme’ – it is being upped from 40% – back to 80% – allowing businesses to continue to pay their staff. This scheme is for those who are employed and for those that are company directors.

The self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) is also being extended for 6 months, from November 1st 2020 until April 2021.  The first grant will cover a 3 month period from 1/11/20 until 31/01/21. The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. This therefore increases the total level of the grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021.

So – to try and put this into English – November will be 80% of profits, December will be 40%, January will be 40% – so the average over 3 months has gone up from 40%-55%.

In order to claim for the SEISS – you will have to apply online from 14th December 2020 via the website.

For those that own a home – It has been confirmed this morning (2nd Nov 2020) that those are on mortgage holiday, that is due to end on the 31st October are allowed to extend this for a further 6 months, this should NOT affect your credit rating. It is worth noting, only do this if you actually cannot afford your mortgage. Whilst you have this ‘holiday’ interest will be added and of course, the capital will still need repaying too.

Additional note for those who are asked to work from home, from 6th April 2020– You can claim £6 week for additional costs, this can claimed either by your employer paying you this, tax free OR you can claim it back as a tax relief via website.

Whilst non-essential shops are being forced to close, it is important to remember that non-essential shops can remain ‘open’ so long as they offer a delivery service (similar to pubs/restaurants that allow for takeaways).

We will keep you up to date as things progress and as new information comes in. Meanwhile, if you are someone who needs additional help, please do not hesitate to contact me –

Have you been affected by the lockdown? Did you start a business this year? How are you finding the running of your home/business with less funds coming in? We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to email your story in!

By Adam Phillips

After years at the bank, Adam decided to leave and set up 'Its The Money Guy'. Inspired by Martin Lewis' love to help people, Adam has followed in his foot steps and helped hundreds of customers, helping them save or make money for their household or business.