The new BEAT 5.0 measures are targeted at those businesses that have been closed down, and further providing increased support to other firms for the month of January.
All of these new measures are in addition to the existing support that businesses have been receiving which cover the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021, as announced by the Chief Minister’s Statement to Parliament on the 10 December 2020:
The existing measures are as follows;
1. A payment of 30% of the original BEAT grant scheme;
2. A 100% waiver of payment of rates for the wholesale, retail, hotel, bar & restaurant sectors;
3. For all other sectors an additional 25% early rates payment discount (except for supermarkets and pharmacies);
4. A discount of 50% on all Government rent and licence fees, and 25% for private landlords;
5. A restriction on all rental and licence fee increases;
6. A waiver of tables and chairs licences fees on Government owned premises and a 50% reduction on private sector premises;
7. Continued import duty waiver scheme for businesses;
8. Waiver of work permit and registration and administrative fees;
9. Moratorium on Insolvency claims;
10. Bank Guarantee Scheme to enable lending to Covid related distressed businesses.
The above measures were designed and intended to assist businesses that were open and whose customers were not locked down. These measures were designed and intended to provide support as businesses were beginning to start to ramp up their activity towards the levels experienced prior to the pandemic. The tighter restrictions announced on 27 December regrettably directed a significant additional number of businesses to close down.
As a consequence of that direct intervention, Government has put together a package of further measures that is being made available to those affected businesses and more generally to increase support to others also affected by the latest lockdown. This new package of measures generally compliments and adds to the existing measures listed above and will have the effect of meeting a very significant part of the costs of these businesses during this time.
BEAT 5.0 – INCREASED BEAT PAYMENTS
The January BEAT payment for businesses that were closed by Government order on the 28th December 2020 will be increased from 30% to 100% for the month of January only.
For those businesses not required to close and who remain able to operate, the January BEAT payment will be automatically increased from 30% to 40%.
Government hopes and expects that businesses will reopen by the 31st January, at which time all BEAT payments will revert to the 30% previously being paid and these payments will continue until 31st March 2021.
MAKING A CLAIM
All businesses that were required to close down, and others currently in receipt of BEAT support payments, will receive an email from Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar inviting them to claim for these measures by completing the appropriate form that will be attached to that email. Catering and restaurant businesses are also able to apply. The deadline for receipt of these applications is 15 January 2021.
The scheme is also open to self-employed people who are working within any of the sectors that the Government have closed down.
New businesses (including newly registered, self-employed persons) from these sectors that have not previously received BEAT are also invited to apply by requesting the claim form from email@example.com.
To facilitate the process businesses are encouraged to complete and submit the form in Excel format.
IT MUST BE NOTED BY CLAIMANTS THAT HMGOG REQUIRES THAT BUSINESSES IN RECEIPT OF THE 100% BEAT PAYMENT HONOUR THE CONTRACTED SALARY PAYMENTS THAT THEY ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE TO THEIR EMPLOYEES BASED ON THEIR TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT OR THE PAYMENTS PROVIDED FOR UNDER BEAT 1.0 FOR THOSE ON ZERO HOUR OR AGENCY CONTRACTS, UP TO A MAXIMUM OF £1,155.
Participating businesses may, however, retain any surplus solely and exclusively for meeting their ongoing business expenses.
Businesses will be required to confirm that they are up to date with their tax and social insurance obligations but PAYE (on earnings up to £1,155) and social insurance will be waived for the month of January only. This will follow the same mechanism that was adopted for BEAT 1.0.
As with previous BEAT payments, HMGoG will aim to make payments on or before the end of the month.
RENTAL DISCOUNT SCHEME
For the month of January only, the rental discount scheme will be increased from 25% to 50% for private tenancies matching the discounts being provided to Government owned premises for those businesses that have been required to close. Government sincerely appreciates the continued support of our private landlords in providing this discount. This is expected to be a temporary increase to the rental discount scheme for the month of January only.
LOAN & MORTGAGE REPAYMENTS
The Government will also be asking all lenders to work positively with any borrower who might need a one month repayment holiday in respect of business loans, mortgages or other borrowings.
WAIVER OF RATES FOR VOID PROPERTIES
Following representations made by the Gibraltar Landlord’s Association at the latest CELAC meeting, Government will be introducing a rates waiver for any business premises that are vacant and unoccupied from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. Applications to claim this relief should be made to the Valuation Officer at LPS’s Rates Department.
The above was taken from the BEAT 5.0: GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES INCREASED BUSINESS SUPPORT MEASURES FOR JANUARY 2021 – 25/2021