09 September, 2021 in Industry News

CavanaghKelly Update 9 September 2021

In this CavanaghKelly update, we remind you of the upcoming deadline for the Covid-19 Energy Efficiency Capital Grant scheme, provide an update for commercial tenants, outline VAT increases for hospitality businesses and provide a summary of recent articles uploaded to the CavanaghKelly website.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us


VAT Increase for Hospitality Businesses from 1 October 2021

As announced at the 2021 Budget by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, the Government has legislated to increase the rate of VAT on food, accommodation and entry fees to attractions from 5% to the new rate of 12.5% from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. 

In July 2020 the rate was reduced to 5% as part of the UK Government’s measures to support businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2021 Finance Act outlines the increase of VAT to 12.5% on food, accommodation and entry frees from 1 October 2021, before its return to the standard rate of 20% from 1 April 2022.

For further information, click here.

Energy Efficiency Capital Grant (EECG)

This Invest Northern Ireland Scheme has opened for applications, aiming to help businesses recover from COVID-19 and build resilience through green efficiency. This grant scheme provides financial support for businesses to help with the installation of energy efficiency equipment, offering greater efficiency in the use of energy, providing cost and carbon savings.

Through the scheme, businesses can access up to a maximum grant of £80,000 to support 20% of eligible costs, to purchase new energy efficiency equipment.

EECG is open to existing Invest NI customers and businesses eligible to become Invest NI customers.
The closing date for applications has been extended until 5pm on Tuesday 12 October 2021, however CavanaghKelly would encourage interested clients to apply early as the scheme may close earlier, when all funding has been allocated.

For further information, click here.

Extension of Notice to Quit for Landlords

The Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Act requires landlords to give tenants a 12 week notice to quit period ahead of seeking a court order to begin eviction proceedings. This Bill was passed by the Assembly in April 2020 and was introduced as emergency legislation, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The legislation was due to expire on 30 September 2021, but this has now been extended to 4 May 2022.

For further information, click here

Extension of Protection for Business Tenants

The Department of Finance Minister Conor Murphy has announced the extension of emergency protection for businesses struggling to pay rent on commercial leases until March 2022. This means that businesses have been protected by the Coronavirus Act 2020 for a total of 24 months, providing much stability and certainty to businesses across Northern Ireland.

To find out more about the extension, click here.

EU Exit

Date for Using New Animal Health Regulation (AHR) Export Health Certificates (EHCs) Pushed Back

The European Union has voted to delay the use of the new AHR EHCs until 15 January 2022, for goods moved to Northern Ireland or exported to the EU from GB. 

You should continue to use the EHCs for these products until the new certificates are made available again, ahead of 15 January 2022.

If you have already filled out a new AHR EHC you do not need to do anything as it will still remain valid for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland. 

For further information, click here.

Trader Support Service – Application Programming Interface (API) 

The Trader Support Service (TSS) has provided support and advice to businesses adapting to the changes on the way goods move in and out of Northern Ireland since the Northern Ireland Protocol was introduced on 1 January 2021.  It is free to use and offers education, training and advice and can complete customs and safety and security declarations on your behalf, where these are required for movements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

TSS has developed functionality to automate the upload of information required to create these customs declarations. This automated process is available for all declaration types. The TSS uses industry standard Application Programming Interface (API) protocols enabling experienced IT departments to develop and build automated upload procedures. There are test environments available for developers to build and test their API processes before using them to submit real declarations. Organisations interested in using this API can register for access via their Company Profile on the TSS portal.

Please note that the API facility may not be suitable for all businesses.

For further information, click here to read the API: Functional Guide

Innovate UK Smart Grants

Innovate UK has announced a new round of Smart Grants for game-changing and disruptive R&D projects. Businesses can apply for grants to deliver ambitious R&D projects with significant potential for boosting the UK economy. 

Projects can come from any area of technology and can be applied to any part of the economy, such as (but not limited to):

  • The arts, design and media
  • Creative industries
  • Science or engineering

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible projects must:

  • Include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner
  • Start by 1 April 2022 and end by 31 March 2025
  • For projects with a duration of 6-18 months, it must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000 and it can be single or collaborative.
  • For projects with a duration of 19 to 36 months, they must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2m and must be collaborative.

 The competition closes at 11.00am on Wednesday 6 October 2021.

For further information on Innovate UK Smart Grants, click here.

CavanaghKelly Updates

We have recently added a number of informative articles to our website. These articles cover FAQs on Bounce Back Loans for the insolvency profession, an update on current Tax issues and current Research and Development (R&D) Support Funds that are available.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us

Whilst every effort has been made by CavanaghKelly to ensure the accuracy of the information here, it cannot be guaranteed and neither CavanaghKelly nor any related entity shall have liability to any person who relies on the information herein. Information given here is for guidance only. Detailed professional advice should be taken before acting on any information contained herein. If having read the guidance here, you would like to discuss further; a member of our team would be pleased to help you.