Coronavirus (COVID-19) - support for business
You can contact the Government's Business Support Helpline for free advice on 0300456 3565, or visit this page.
Information about protection from closure and aggressive rent collection is available here.
Given the new national restrictions to help prevent the spread of the virus, the Government have announced additional support to the most affected businesses, worth £4.6 billion across the UK.
Job Retention Scheme
The Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until the end of April, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ended on the 31st of October.
Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions.
Support for businesses forced to closed
Retail, hospitality and leisure business premises forced to close can claim a one-off grant up to £9,000. This one-off grant is in addition to the existing monthly closed grants of up to £3,000 per month that business premises continue to be eligible for. Businesses can receive multiple grants, as they are eligible on a per premise basis.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
A temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, supports businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts, providing loans of up to £5 million with interest-free repayments for an initial twelve month period. Information about the CBILS and the application process can be found on the British Business Bank Website here.
Please note that as of 5th January, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) will be extended until the end of March 2021.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme
The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.
The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
From the 5th of January, businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (less than 25% of their turnover) can top-up their existing loan. The scheme is open to applications until the end of March 2021.
More information is available here.
All eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, as well as nurseries, estate agents and bingo halls, will pay no business rates for 12 months from 1st April 2020.
To support around 700,000 businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief, local authorities in England are able to provide grants of up to £10,000 to small businesses.
To find out if you are eligible for this grant please contact your local council.
To help businesses with cash flow in the short run, VAT payments will be delayed until the end of the financial year. For self employed people, Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due in July 2020 will be deferred until January 2021. If you find yourself in financial distress, you can contact HMRC’s dedicated helpline to get practical help and advice on 0800 0159 559.
Further information about financial support for businesses can be found on the Government website here.
Further information about financial support for employers can be found here.