Coronavirus: Financial Support

Business Support Finder

The government has launched a new ‘support finder’ tool to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine the financial support available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The simple online questionnaire takes minutes to complete and signposts you to relevant government financial support – including loans, grants or other schemes – for which you may be eligible.

The support finder tool can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

What help is available?

There’s a lot of information including on available financial support and how to keep employees safe/how to clean workplaces safely at the following links:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
www.gov.scot/news/gbp-320-million-package-of-support-for-businesses/
www.businesswales.gov.wales

1.  The Restart Grant (English based businesses are eligible) – Local councils will administer a one-off cash grant worth up to £18,000 to help reopen hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses. Businesses classed as non-essential retail will get up to £6,000 per premise. The value of the grant will be dependent on the business’ rateable value.

This grant will be available at the end of March 2021 and will replace the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open).

2.  UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme – Businesses of any size will be able to take out loans between £25,001 and £10 million as of April 2021. This scheme will be made available at the end of March 2021 and will replace the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loans.

3. Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum) (English based businesses are eligible) – Businesses that were open as usual but were then required to close between 5 November and 2 December 2020 may be eligible for cash grants worth up to £3,800 for each subsequent 28-day period they’re closed due to national restrictions. Also, businesses based in England that have had to close due to the national restrictions imposed by the government on 5 January 2021 may be eligible for a one-off grant of up to £9,000. Click the link below to find out more.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-business-is-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-grant-due-to-national-restrictions-for-closed-businesses 

 

4.  Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) (English based businesses are eligible) – Local councils can decide the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, it’s expected that this will be used to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are severely impacted by the restrictions. Click the link below to find out more.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant

 

5. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Strategic Framework Business Fund (Scottish based businesses are eligible) – If your business has been required to close by law or to significantly change its operations due to COVID-19 restrictions from 2 November 2020, you may be eligible to apply for grant funding. Businesses that have been required to close by law may be eligible to grants worth up to £3,000 and businesses affected by restrictions up to £2,100, dependant on your rateable value. Click the link below to find out more.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-strategic-framework-business-fund/pages/overview/

 

6. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Localised Support Schemes (Northern Ireland based businesses are eligible) – Financial support is available for Northern Ireland businesses that have been required to close or have had business activities at their premises directly curtailed by current health protection regulations. Click the link below to find out more.

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-support-businesses

 

7. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (all UK employers are eligible) – The CJRS has been extended and will remain open until 30 September 2021. You can get support to continue paying 80% of an employee’s salary (capped at £2500 a month) if that employee would otherwise have been laid off, for claim periods running to 14th January 2021. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. Further updates on claim periods will be published from May 2021.

 

8. Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (all UK employers are eligible) –Currently, the Job Support Scheme, which was due to restart on 1st November 2020, has been postponed until December as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended.

Under the Job Support Scheme rules employers’ contributions will be reduced to 5% of employees unworked hours, and the minimum hours requirements will be reduced to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible. For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual salary.

Employers using the scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) for each employee that meets the eligibility criteria of the JRB, which is worth £1,000 per employee.

9.  Deferring VAT and income tax payments (all UK businesses are eligible):

Businesses that deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller amounts over a longer period. Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.

You will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022. Those that can pay their deferred VAT can still do so by 31 March 2021.

If you’re a UK VAT-registered business that deferred VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you now need to:

a. Set-up cancelled Direct Debits in enough time for HMRC to take payment

b. Continue to submit VAT returns as normal, and on time

c. Pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June 2020

10. Reclaiming statutory sick pay (UK based businesses are eligible) – The government will allow SME’s and employers to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus – up to 2 weeks per eligible employees for employers with less than 250 employees.

11.  Business Rates – Nursery businesses in England that pay business rates do not have to pay business rates until 30 June 2021.

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates until 30 June 2021.

After this period, business rates will then be discounted to one third of the normal charge for a further nine-month period.

12. Business Grants (England) –  Businesses in hospitality, accommodation and leisure who are adversely affected can apply for cash grants of up to £2,100 per month – even if you are not legally required to close.

a. businesses with a rateable value of  £15,000 or less will receive a grant of £934 a month

b. businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £1,400 a month

c. businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more will receive a grant of £2,100 a month

Local Authorities (LAs) will get a 5% top up on the grant amount to cover businesses that do not neatly fit into these categories.

 

13. Additional business grants (English based businesses are eligible) – Businesses in the nightclub, dance hall or adult entertainment sector may be eligible for a grant worth up to £1,500 for each 14-day period they are closed. The grant will be based on the rateable value of the property on 1 November 2020. Click the link below to find out more.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-nightclub-dance-hall-or-adult-entertainment-business-is-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-grant-due-to-national-restrictions

 

14. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (UK based businesses are eligible) – This supports SMEs with access to loans and other kinds of finance, up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. The scheme is open until 31 March 2021.

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  1. Is based in the UK
  2. Has an annual turnover of up to £45 million
  3. Would be viable were it not for the pandemic
  4. Has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus

If you want to borrow £30,000 or more, you also need to confirm that your business wasn’t classed as a business in difficulty on 31 December 2019.

15. Bounce Back Loan Scheme – This 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. The scheme is open to applications until 31 March 2021.

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  1. Is based in the UK
  2. Was established before 1 March 2020
  3. Has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus

If your business was classed as a business in difficulty on 31st December 2019, you’ll need to confirm that you’re complying with additional state aid restrictions.

16. Future Fund – The Future Fund provides government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be an option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.

The scheme is open for applications until 31 January 2021.

Your business is eligible if:

  1. It is UK-incorporated – if your business is part of a corporate group, only the parent company is eligible
  2. It has raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third-party investors in the last 5 years
  3. None of its shares are traded on a regulated market, multilateral trading facility or other listing venue
  4. It was incorporated on or before 31 December 2019

At least one of the following also will need to apply:

  • half or more employees are UK-based
  • half or more revenues are from UK sales

17. YouLend cash advance – Our chosen partners, YouLend, can offer you a cash advance from your future card payment transactions to help your business through the next few weeks/months. Cash is available within 1-7 days. Visit shop.switchingon.com to find out more.

Support for the self-employed

1. Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) 

This scheme is available to people who are self-employed or a member of a partnership and who have lost income due to coronavirus.

Applications for the third grant are now closed, however, the scheme has been extended and applications for a fourth grant will be open from late April 2021 until 31 May 2021.

The fourth taxable grant is worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

Support for charities

The government has pledged £750 million to support frontline charities to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of this UK-wide package of support, £360 million has been allocated to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during this crisis.