Govt Support for Businesses (update)

Following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), here’s a summary of the government financial support available to businesses (up to date as at 4 March 2021):

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme all UK businesses are eligible, you need to be registered for PAYE online and can access the Scheme through the HMRC online portal.  The Scheme will now run until 30 September 2021.
  • VAT Deferral New Payment Schemethis scheme is open from 23 February 2021 up to and including 21 June 2021.
  • Reduced VAT for Hospitality and Tourism – the 5% reduced rate of VAT is extended to 30 September 2021, following which there will be an interim rate of 12.5% for another six months, returning to the standard rate in April 2022.
  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Schemethis scheme repays employers the SSP paid to current or former employees.
  • Rates Relief due to Coronavirus and Business Rates Holiday – businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and nurseries in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.   100% business rates holiday will continue to the end of June 2021.  For the remaining nine months of the year, business rates will be discounted by two thirds, up to a value of £2m for closed businesses, with a lower cap for those who have been able to remain open.  You do not need to take any action – your local council will apply discounts automatically.
  • Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG)your business may be eligible for a cash grant from your local council if you were open as usual, but then required to close due to the national lockdowns (could include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities, tourism and hospitality businesses).
  • Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP)if your businesses has been required to close from 5 January 2021 you could be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from your local council. 
  • Coronavirus Additional Restrictions Grant – supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed.  Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants, but it’s expected the funding will help businesses which, while not legally forced to close, are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions.
  • Restart Grantstarting in April this grant is to help businesses reopen and get going again.  Non-essential retail will open first so will receive grants up to £6,000 per premises.  Hospitality and leisure businesses, including personal care and gyms, will open later, or be more impacted by restrictions when they do, so they will have grants of up to £18,000.  Your local council is administering the grants – for details see link below.
  • Bounce Back Loan (SMEs) of between £2,000 and £50,000eligible if your business is based in the UK; was established before 1 March 2020; and, has been negatively affected by coronavirus.
  • Recovery Loan Schemeas the Bounce Back Loan and CBIL programmes come to an end, this scheme will take their place.  Businesses of any size can apply for loans from £25,000 up to £10m, through to the end of 2021 (the government will provide a guarantee of 80% to lenders).
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bankeligible if your business is UK based, with a turnover of no more than £45m pa; your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria – talk to your bank or one of the other 117 accredited finance providers asap to discuss your business plan. All major banks are offering this scheme.  If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Schemethis scheme helps medium and large sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200m.  Open to application until 31 March 2021.
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans (Covid Corporate Financing Facility)open to companies – and their finance subsidiaries – that make a material contribution to the UK economy
  • The HMRC Time To Pay Arrangement – eligible if your business pays tax to the UK government; has outstanding tax liabilities.  If you have missed a tax payment or might miss your next payment due to COVID-19 please call the HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (Fourth & Fifth Grant)eligible if you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.  The fourth grant will be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £7,500.  It will take into account 2019 to 2020 tax returns and will be open to those who became self-employed in tax year 2019 to 2020.

Full details of the government’s financial support can be found in one place by using the business coronavirus support finder tool :