COVID-19: Support for businesses

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy COVID-19 guidance for businesses

Detailed support for businesses: businesssupport.gov.uk

Detailed gov't guidance for businesses: here

Business support finder: here

Detailed gov't guidance on how to work safely: here

***Please find below a summary of the key points from government guidance. However, be aware this information was last updated on Tuesday 19th May. While it will be updated as and when there is new information, please bear in mind that it may be out of date by the time of reading and you should always check the government's live guidance.***

HM Government announced £30bn of initial support in the Budget in March and has since this ramped up to £330bn, with £20bn of tax cuts and grants.

The government will support businesses - big and small -  and the Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This includes:

 

SMEs

  • a Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (CSSPRS) will repay employers up to two weeks of SSP paid to current or former employees
  • a Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief. As of 27th April, over £7.5 billion has been paid out to over 614,000 business properties via the SBGF and RHLGF schemes. For the smallest businesses, who get business rates relief already, HM Treasury have increased grants available from £3,000 to £10,000.
  • a £617 million discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank. This has been extended from £1.2m to £5m.
  • the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly, borrowing between £2,000 and £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.
  • the Future Fund will provide convertible government loans to innovative UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to provide grants of up to 80% of employee’s wages, up to £2,500 a month, plus any employer NI and pension contributions. This has been extended to the end of October 2020

 

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses

  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all RHL businesses in England. 100 per cent rate relief in 2020/21, irrespective of their rateable value
  • a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) of £25,000 for businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to provide grants of up to 80% of employee’s wages, up to £2,500 a month, plus any employer NI and pension contributions. This has been extended to the end of October 2020

 

Larger Businesses

  • the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) helps large businesses to access loans of up to £25 million through a series of accredited lenders
  • under the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from large companies
  • the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to provide grants of up to 80% of employee’s wages, up to £2,500 a month, plus any employer NI and pension contributions. This has been extended to the end of October 2020

 

Self-Employed

  • the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), providing a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of profits up to £2,500 per month
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) so the grant of up to 80% of wges can be claimed for any of the following groups, if they are paid via PAYE: office holders (including company directors), salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), agency workers (including those employed by umbrella companies), and limb (b) workers

 

HMRC is ready to help all businesses, and self-employed individuals, in financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Any business affected by the outbreak can find detailed guidance on GOV.UK. If you are concerned about not being able to pay an overdue tax bill or a bill due in the near future due to COVID-19, you can contact their new dedicated helpline on:

HMRC dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559

HMRC's telephone lines are operating on reduced hours of 8am until 4pm Monday to Friday, while they have fewer advisers available due the measures put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus. If you are worried about missing your next tax payment, please call now. If it’s about a future payment, please call HMRC nearer the time.

 

Page last updated 19th May 2020.