Weekly Chamber News & Events
8th March 2021
  • Furlough to be extended until the end of September
  • Government to continue paying 80% of employees' wages for hours they cannot work
  • Employers to be asked to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September
  • Support for the self-employed also to be extended until September
  • 600,000 more self-employed people will be eligible for help as access to grants is widened
  • £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit worth £1,000 a year to be extended for another six months
  • Working Tax Credit claimants will get £500 one-off payment
  • Minimum wage to increase to £8.91 an hour from April

Pubs, restaurants and other non-essential retail businesses have been given further help in the Budget.
Measures include extending the VAT cut for the hospitality sector, seen during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
Alcohol duty is to be frozen.
Gyms and other non-essential retail premises in England will also see the year-long business rates holiday extended for another three months.
Hospitality businesses including restaurants and pubs have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
Government exempted them from paying business rates last year, a tax holiday that was due to end this month.
The exemption is now extended until June, followed by a further six-month period where rates will be discounted to two-thirds of the normal charge, up to a maximum of £2m for closed businesses.
More help for the self-employed has been announced in the Budget, with grants available until the end of September.
These will be the first payments available to an estimated 600,000 people who missed out on earlier support because they couldn't demonstrate their self-employed status on their tax return.
Previous claimants will also be able to apply.

What will the new help be?
Two further payments will be available for self-employed people struggling to work because of coronavirus.
These represent the fourth and fifth grants paid out by the Coronavirus Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The fourth covers the three-month period from February until the end of April. As with previous SEISS grants, it is worth up to 80% of trading profits, averaged over three months, up to £7,500 in total.
The fifth grant covers May to the end of September, but the amount available depends on loss of income.
Workers whose turnover has fallen by at least 30% can still apply for a grant for up to 80% of profits, up to a value of £7,500 in total.
Those whose income has fallen by less than that can apply for up to 30% of trading profits capped at £2,850.
Claims can be made from next month for the fourth grant. Claims for the fifth grant will open in July.

Who is eligible for the new payments?
Nearly a fifth of self-employed people missed out on previous grants. That's because they had only recently started working for themselves, and so could not prove their income status on their tax return.
But those who completed tax returns for the 2019-2020 financial year will qualify for these new payments, provided they filed their return by midnight on 2 March 2021.
However, self-employed people who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are still not covered by the scheme. (Although they will have some of their salary covered by job retention schemes if they operate through PAYE).

Other measures include:
Not such good news to the business sector is the announcement that the headline rate of corporation tax will go up from 19% to 25% in 2023, with an exemption for smaller businesses.
The Chamber board will continue to monitor and review announcements in the coming weeks and will update members through the newsletters.


Richard Keel
Chamber President
Wednesday 10th March 09:45 to 11:00

Led by Cliff Spolander of Business Optics - Cliff turns thoughts to the exit strategy for businesses.
Cliff works with business owners to create well thought out exit strategies, get their businesses exit ready and create transferable value every buyer is looking for. This not only increases the chances of exiting a business successfully, but allows the owner to enjoy the rewards of increased profit and cash flow.

Link to register HERE.
At a recent online event, some members felt a worthwhile addition to facilitated Chamber services would be a range of Free Surgeries.

As discussed at the time the idea was for members to set aside a block of time perhaps weekly, during which they would be happy to offer a free 15 minute telephone surgery.

In addition, to avoid time spent dealing with telephone and email enquiries to book these the suggestion was to use one of the many free appointment booking apps where you specify the time available during which 15 minute slots can be booked.

Free surgeries will be advertised on a specific page on the Chamber website once we go live on this and if you would like to take part please email Jeremy Webb to make appropriate arrangements. Dependent on the number of offerings we would envisage the listing being along the lines: Business name | Contact name Headshot \ area of knowledge covered | Day & time slot for calls and a booking link to that person’ calendars
A new vacancy has been added to our situations vacant page for a part time support worker for informal recreation at The Grange Centre. Details of this can be found on our website HERE.

If you have any vacancies you would like us to share for you, this service is included within your membership. Please email any vacancies to marketing@molevalleychamber.co.uk where we will add them to our website, social media and newsletter.