Schoolwear Association Mailer – 9 April 2020

In the second mailer designed to support Schoolwear Association members during these difficult times, we are sharing some updates and advice that we hope will be helpful.

Firstly, we would like to remind everyone of the various government schemes that are available to support your business right now, and recommend you access these as far as possible.

Many SA members may be eligible for the COVID-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which could help provide additional funds that may be needed when your business gets up and running again in due course.

There are also a number of other support measures in place, including:

  • Deferring VAT and self assessment payments
  • A 12 month business rates holiday
  • Grant funding of £10,000 – £25,000 for small businesses
  • HMRC time to pay scheme

More details can be found here or speak to your local authority who should be able to help.

Working with schools – some schools have recognised the impact the crisis will have on the businesses of their suppliers and retailers. It is always worth speaking to your schools and asking if they can support your business by including a link on their website for parents to order from.

Furloughed workers – although furloughed workers are not able to work, they can undertake training as long as it is not making money or providing services to your business.

If employees do complete training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the national living wage/national minimum wage for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised. 

Support for independent businesses – Independents’ Day UK, an annual, independent campaign each 4 July celebrating and promoting the UK’s independent retail businesses, is launching a free video advice series for independent retailers affected by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Independent retailers from all sectors are invited to join a series of calls via Zoom. Each session will include an expert guest to speak about a particular subject and answer any questions that retailers may have.

Subjects will include self-employment, tax, accessing finance such as government loans and also digital marketing advice to help independents keep in touch with their customer bases if their businesses aren’t physically open.

You can sign up here.

The Schoolwear Association Awards 2020– Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, The SA has made the decision to postpone the SA Awards 2020 launch.

Entries were originally set to open on 30 March. However, due to the unprecedented circumstances, the Association is now reviewing the situation and will issue a new launch date in due course.

And finally….

Wearing uniform during home schooling – SA co-chair, Matthew Easter, recently discussed the importance of wearing a uniform when home schooling and this has been supported by the UK’s ‘toughest head’, Katharine Birbalsingh, headteacher and founder of the Michaela Community School, who suggested that making kids wear a school uniform for home lessons might help them engage.

We are always looking for more stories about what SA members are doing during these difficult times. If you have any experiences or tips to share, please email [email protected]