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Business News from Melksham Town Council

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Furlough Scheme – Extended Until October 2020

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October.

The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and new flexibility will be introduced from August, aimed at getting employees back to work and boosting the economy.

From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.  Employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.  More specific information will be made available by the end of May.

The government wants to avoid a cliff-edge end to the current scheme and get people back to work in a measured way.

Detail here:

Support for Self-employed Workers

If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) this Support for Self Employed Workers scheme could allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single installment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.

The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

Full details of the scheme can be found here:


You must make the claim yourself. Whilst it is wise to get advice on this matter, your tax agent or adviser must not claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, and you will have to contact HMRC.  We’re advised that this will cause a significant delay to you receiving your payment.

There is other support available if you’re not eligible for this grant. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#other

Financial Support for Businesses and Self Employed – Check What’s Available?

Businesses can check the financial support they are eligible for during the COVID-19 pandemic through the government’s business support finder tool.

Businesses can find out if they’re eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants by filling out a simple questionnaire.  The business support finder tool will signpost business owners and the self-employed to relevant government financial support, including the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan.   https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder/

Video Conferencing Securely

As so many of us are now working from home, often for the first time, it’s more important than ever to consider how to stay safe online. The National Cyber Security Centre has published a handy guide to video conferencing safely and securely.   https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/video-conferencing-services-using-them-securely/

Breaking News – for those who use Microsoft Teams, on Microsoft 365, for video conferencing, a software update this week now allows up to 9 video feeds (i.e. people) to be seen on screen at once.   If this doesn’t happen for you, make sure you install the update.

Time to Refresh Your Business Photography?

Great premises and product photography can increase your sales. The more appealing your premises and products look, on a website, in print, or on your social media channels, the more customers are likely to be attracted to your business.

Your editor visited a gift shop website and Facebook page a few months ago (not local to Melksham, I hasten to add).  The lead photo showed the premises from the outside.  The window was dark (no internal lights on) and the door was closed.  Switching, the lights on, opening the door and dressing the window imaginatively, made a massive difference.  Is it time to critically review your business photography, and maybe get an independent opinion too?

There’s lots and lots of guidance available online, but this is one blog which caught the editor’s eye:


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One Response to Business News from Melksham Town Council

  1. Invisalign Kitchener

    May 21, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you for this great ideas and for sharing it to your readers.

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