We’ll use this page to share COVID-19 support and advice for small businesses, adding updates as new announcements are made.

These unprecedented times caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic present huge challenges to small businesses. The Crunchers Edinburgh team are all working remotely, and are here to support you and your business through this difficult and distressing time.

If you need to know more about anything here or you have any questions, please get in touch with us – call 0131 502 0543 or email Hamish: Hamish.Sheppard@crunchers-edinburgh.co.uk. Please also keep an eye on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages for updates, and join our weekly small business forum.

You can also find the full Government online guidance at:

26 March 2020

Support for self-employed workers

The UK government has announced that self-employed workers will be able to apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month to help them cope with the financial impact of COVID-19.

The money will be paid in a single lump sum, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest.

See Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement on the BBC website.

We’ll update with further links once these are available.


25 March 2020

Weekly COVID-19 small business forum

We will be hosting a free weekly online forum covering:

  • COVID-19 support currently available
  • Business development – helping your business through these uncertain times
  • Question and Answer sessions

We’ll share links to each online forum on our social platforms.

City of Edinburgh Council – non-domestic rates and cash grants

The City of Edinburgh Council’s webpage includes links to guidance and support for businesses, links to forms to apply for funding, and the latest update on COVID-19 and the council’s services.

If you need to know anything about eligibility for funding, please get in touch.

East Lothian Council – non-domestic rates and cash grants

East Lothian Council’s webpage includes links to support for businesses, non-domestic rates relief, business interuption loans and an application form for one-off grants.

Deferring VAT payments

All UK businesses are eligible to defer VAT payments from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Gov.uk says: This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.

Deferring income tax payments

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021.

Gov.uk says: You are eligible if you are due to pay your second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July. You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferment.

The deferment is optional. If you are still able to pay your second payment on account on 31 July you should do so.

How to access the scheme
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment until January 2021.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of COVID-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

18th March 2020

Video: How to help prepare your small business for Covid-19

Hamish Sheppard gives an overview of how you can prepare your small business for Covid-19 and help to mitigate the challenges of the coming months.

Watch it here.

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