The NACS has taken the following advice from the Federation of Small Businesses.
With the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, information and advice from the Government can change quickly. For all the latest Government information on COVID-19 and the measures the Government are taking, please visit the UK Government website the Scottish Government website the Welsh Government website or the Northern Irish Government website respectively.
As a responsible Trade Association, we advise that all Members observe the Government’s advice on the coronavirus (COVID-19). Please take into consideration your elderly customers when sweeping chimneys that are more vulnerable.
The NACS office has received calls from concerned consumers asking if Chimney Sweeps wear their respirators all the time whilst they are in their home sweeping the chimney.
Obviously, there are safety issues if chimneys are not cleaned and it will depend on the frequency of cleaning and what has been burnt. Some Members have also reported that their bookings have dropped because of the coronavirus.
NACS Merchandise Orders may be affected due to courier services running at a minimum, please therefore order your certificates and other merchandise well in advance.
HMRC is going to be key in this crisis. They have now set up a dedicated phoneline for Coronavirus related challenges, to help small businesses unable to pay their taxes on time (Corporation tax, income tax, PAYE, VAT) with options to defer or delay payment.
Known as ‘Time To Pay’, this is a vital service. Around 2,000 staff work on their helpline, and we have already had small businesses report that they have waited for less than 2 minutes before speaking to someone. The helpline number is 0800 015 9559 and lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and on Saturday, 8am to 4pm.
HMRC will also waive late payment penalties and interest, but you should make every effort to contact HMRC immediately.
Each Government has set up business support helplines, some dedicated to coronavirus.
These are unprecedented times that we face. COVID-19 has meant we are all dealing with issues that we never thought we would face. We urge all Members to recognise the symptoms of COVID-19 and follow the guidance on the Government and NHS websites to keep themselves and others safe and well https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
The NACS Board of Directors and Office Team sends our best wishes to all its Members during this period of uncertainty. We all face this challenge together, but we will get through it.