5 Ways You Can Help Coronavirus Hit Businesses
The Chancellor yesterday announced a number of measures to help stimulate the economy, as the country prepares for the long-term impacts of the Coronavirus lockdown and the continuing threat of further local restrictions. £30bn has been allocated to help businesses and to save jobs across the UK, however many jobs will rest simply on continued custom and support from members of the public. Here are 5 ways that you can help firms that have been hit by the Coronavirus across the UK:
- Eat out, Help Out: Restaurants have been hit hard by the lockdown. While many have adapted by offering outside dining, takeaway, or delivery services this often will not make up the shortfall of their usual expected turn over. To rectify this, the government has announced that during August, diners will be given 50% off their restaurant bills. The specific terms of this state that discounts will be offered only Monday to Wednesday, and the saving can only equate to a maximum of £10 per head, per meal. The scheme does cover soft drinks but does not include alcoholic drinks. The discount will only be applicable to restaurants and pubs which have opted-in to the scheme via the government’s website. So, for those looking to help out local businesses and have a gastronomic experience at the same time, August is looking to be a tasty month!
- Take a staycation: As well as discounts on meals, VAT has been slashed from 20% to 5% across the hospitality sector from the 15th of July 2020 to January 12th, 2021. This covers hotels, B&Bs, home rentals, camping sites, and caravan rental as well as attractions such as zoos, cinemas, theatres, amusement parks, and concerts. Over the course of a one-week staycation, combined with the reduced rate of dining out, it is estimated Brits on a family holiday could save up to £300 on a holiday costing £2400. The treasury forecasts that households will save an estimated £160 a year on average. With many workers having a glut of holiday time to spend, and international travel still uncertain, a late summer August holiday could be the ideal way to relax and help businesses at the same time. If you’re in need of ideas of where to go, check out our latest list of destinations!
- Improve your home: Alongside measures to help restaurants and hotels, homeowners are also being encouraged to partake in a voucher scheme which offers up to a £5000 discount on home insulation. While perhaps not as immediately exciting as holidays or eating out, with winter coming sooner than you think, insulation is important. This is part of a larger green push to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency, so this could be a great opportunity to help the environment, make winter more tolerable, and support British business all at the same time. The scheme will begin in September and homeowners must apply online; the proposed website will show accredited local suppliers in the area. Once a quote is provided, the government will provide a voucher for two-thirds of the work, up to a value of £5000.
- Get on the property ladder: While not a decision to take as lightly as a meal or a staycation, unfreezing the property market is essential to ensuring the economy functions as normal. To address this, the stamp duty threshold in England and Northern Ireland has been raised to £500,000 from the previous £125,000 meaning buyers below the new £500,000 threshold will not incur the usual additional fees. Additionally, buyers purchasing a property above £500,000 in value will only pay stamp duty on the value above the £500,000 amount. Those buying a property above £500,000 may save as much as £15,000 as a result of this measure. It is estimated 9 out of 10 people will pay no stamp duty at all this year, and the measure will remain in place until 31 March 2021.
- Shop local, tip well, and buy gift cards: As well as measures from government, helping Corona hit businesses takes the form of simply finding ways to support them, whether that means tipping more than you usually would, making sure you shop locally from independent retailers, or purchasing gift cards so others can contribute to the turn over of these businesses.
This has been a difficult time for businesses across the country, and it is a time to be community minded. There are a number of schemes to encourage people to start spending again but remember to adhere to the latest guidelines regarding social distancing while doing so. If your business has been impacted by Corona and you are looking to make savings, don’t overpay for your card transactions. Take a look at our eCommerce packages or browse our latest terminals to ensure you are getting the best rates!