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19 May 2020

Coronavirus Government Support Schemes - summary

Coronavirus Government Support Schemes - summary

A current summary of the main and relevant Government coronavirus support schemes - including those specific to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A pdf download of this content is available at the foot of this article.

UK

Find out what financial support you can get for your business.

Click here for further information.

!!! NEW 13 May 2020 !!!

Trade Credit Insurance Guarantee
Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen has announced.

Trade Credit Insurance provides cover to hundreds of thousands of business to business transactions, particularly in non-service sectors, such as manufacturing and construction. It insures suppliers selling goods against the company they are selling to defaulting on payment, giving businesses the confidence to trade with one another. But due to Coronavirus and businesses struggling to pay bills, they risk having credit insurance withdrawn, or premiums increasing to unaffordable levels.

To prevent this from happening, the government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment.

Click here for further information.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you are an employer with a PAYE scheme, you should be able to access support to continue paying part of your employees' salary instead of laying them off.

This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working because of coronavirus, but are being kept on the payroll. They are known as ‘furloughed workers'. HMRC will pay 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month.

Click here for further information.


Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan
The Bounce Back Loan scheme, scheduled to launch on Monday 4 May, will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won't be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty' on 31 December 2019

You cannot apply if you're already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). However, if you've already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.

This is intended to be a simple application with money becoming available within 24 hrs. It is available to self-employed people.

Click here for further information.

 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
If you are a small to medium-sized business (SME) you may be able to apply for a temporary loan, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million, for up to 6 years.

You may also be eligible for Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender fees. The government will give lenders 80% guarantee on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims).

You may be eligible for this scheme if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • your business is UK-based, with a turnover of no more than £45 million per year you have a borrowing proposal which would be considered viable by the lender, if not for the current pandemic
  • you can self-certify that coronavirus (COVID-19) has adversely impacted your business.

Click here for further information.

 

!!! UPDATED 19 May 2020 !!!

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provides a government guarantee of 80% on each loan, to give banks further confidence in financing businesses impacted by coronavirus.

It allows banks to make loans of:

  • up to £25 million to businesses with an annual turnover of £45 million to £250 million
  • up to £50 million to businesses with an annual turnover of over £250 million.

You can apply for this loan if your business:

  • is UK based
  • has an annual turnover of at least £45 million
  • meets the other British Business Bank eligibility requirements.

The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, supported by the Government-backed British Business Bank. Facilities backed by a guarantee under CLBILS are offered at commercial rates of interest.

Click here for further information.

Government extends maximum loan size from £50 million to £200 million.

Click here for further information.

 

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
Under the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from large companies.

This scheme will support your company if it's been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Bank of England.

It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.

Companies - and their finance subsidiaries - that make a material contribution to the UK economy are able to participate.

Click here for further information.

 

!!! UPDATED 18 May 2020 !!!

Coronavirus Future Fund
The Future Fund will provide 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 a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.

The Future Fund was developed by the government and is being delivered by the British Business Bank.

Your business is eligible if:

  • it is UK-incorporated. If your business is part of a corporate group, only the parent company is eligible
  • it has raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third-party investors in the last 5 years
  • none of its shares are traded on a regulated market, multilateral trading facility or other listing venue
  • it was incorporated on or before 31 December 2019
  • at least one of the following is true:
    • half or more revenues are from UK sales.

This scheme will be open to applications on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

Click here for further information.

 

!!! UPDATED 19 May 2020 !!!

Statutory Sick Pay rebate

Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26 May.

A significant proportion of the UK workforce have been taking sick leave over the past weeks which focused attention on statutory sick pay (SSP). The current SSP scheme was so inadequate that emergency changes were made.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.

Claims can be made for periods of sickness starting on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 - if the employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or was self-isolating because someone they live with had symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 - if the employee was shielding because of coronavirus.

The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85. Claims can only be made up to the weekly rate paid.

This scheme is only applicable to businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

Click here for further information.

 

Deferring VAT
If you're a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer payment until 31 March 2021.

Click here for further information.

 

Support for businesses paying tax: Time To Pay Service
If you cannot pay your tax bill on time because of coronavirus, you may be able to delay it without penalty using HMRC's Time to Pay service.

You may be eligible if you are a UK business that:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities.

Click here for further information.

 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
Use this scheme if you're self-employed or a member of a partnership in the UK and have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. It will be available for 3 months, but may be extended. The grant will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

The online service you'll use to claim is not available yet. HMRC will aim to contact you by mid May 2020, and will make payments by early June 2020.

Click here for further information.

 

England

Business Rates Relief
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

You're eligible if your property is a:

  • shop
  • restaurant, café, bar or pub
  • cinema or live music venue
  • assembly or leisure property - for example, a sports club, a gym or a spa
  • hospitality property - for example, a hotel, a guest house or self-catering accommodation.

You do not need to take any action. Your local council will apply the discount automatically.

You can estimate the business rate relief using the business rates calculator.

Contact your local council if you're not getting a relief you think you're entitled to.

The relief will apply to your business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Your local council may have to reissue your bill, but will do this as soon as possible.

Click here for further information.

 

Small Business Grant Fund

The Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) supports small and rural businesses in England with their business costs during coronavirus.

Small businesses in England which pay little or no business rates are entitled to a one-off cash grant of £10,000 from their local council.

You’re eligible if your business:

  • is based in England
  • occupies property
  • was eligible for small business rate relief (including tapered relief) or rural rate relief on 11 March 2020.

You do not need to take any action. If you’re an eligible business, your local council will contact you and provide details of how to claim.

Contact your local council if you think you’re eligible for a grant but have not yet received it.

Click here for further information.

 

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) supports businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with their business costs during coronavirus.

Businesses in England in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £25,000 from their local council.

If your business has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, you may be eligible for a grant of £10,000.

If your business has a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 but less than £51,000, you may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.

You’re eligible if your business:

  • is based in England
  • is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector
  • had a rateable value of under £51,000 on 11 March 2020.

You do not need to take any action. If you’re an eligible business, your local council will contact you and provide details of how to claim.

Contact your local council if you think you’re eligible for a grant but have not yet received it.

Click here for further information.

 


Scotland

Use this page to navigate the latest guidance for people in Scotland.

Click here for further information.

 

Business Rates Relief - Small Business Bonus Scheme
You can get non-domestic rates relief through the Small Business Bonus Scheme if:

  • the combined rateable value of all your business premises is £35,000 or less
  • and, the rateable value of individual premises is £18,000 or less.

From 1 April 2020 SBBS relief will only be available for properties that are actively occupied.

Click here for further information.

 

Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses can apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.

To apply, their rateable value needs to be between £18,001 and up to and including £51,000.

Click here for further information.


Small Business Support Grant
You can now apply for grants to help with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on your business via your Local Authority.

Your local council will process your grant application. If you want an update on its progress you should contact them.

You can apply if you are:

  • a small business in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme  
  • in receipt of Rural Relief
  • a hospitality, leisure or retail business
  • eligible for the small business bonus scheme but in receipt of Nursery Relief, Disabled Relief, Business Growth Accelerator Relief or Fresh Start.

 

From 5 May 2020, small business rate payers will be eligible for a 100% grant on their first property plus a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.

Councils will aim to make payment within 10 working days from receipt of a fully completed application.

You need to apply directly through your Local Authority:

Click here for further information.


Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund
The Scottish Government has announced a £100 million fund to support the self-employed and SMEs. It will be broken into three separate funds which will help a range of vulnerable SME businesses, those who are newly self-employed and creative, tourism and hospitality enterprises. (21 April 2020)

Vulnerable SME firms who are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland can apply to the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.

Grants will depend on the specific need of the SME firm.

It will be managed by the Enterprise Agencies who will also offer wraparound business advice and support.

Click here for further information.



Wales

Use this page to navigate the latest guidance for people in Wales.

Click here for further information.

 

The Welsh Government has introduced two separate grant schemes, the Non Domestic Rates grant and the Economic Resilience Fund.

Welsh Government Business Grants
The Welsh Government is working in partnership with local authorities to deliver the grants to qualifying businesses. This grant is for Business Rate paying premises only and is split into two parts:

Grant 1: A grant of £25,000 is being made available for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000. This means businesses that occupy properties such as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, live music venues, hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

Grant 2: A £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for small business rates relief (SBRR) in Wales with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. Please note that the multiple property restriction which applies to Small Business Rates Relief also applies to this grant. Therefore, the same ratepayer may only receive the grant for a maximum of two properties in each local authority area.

Click here for further information.

 

The Economic Resilience Fund
This has been paused.

In its first week the second phase of the Economic Resilience Fund received almost 9,000 requests for support. Due to the scale of demand, Welsh Government increased the amount of funding for this phase to £300 million. The Fund is now paused following the very large number of applications to give Welsh Government an opportunity to consider what further support businesses, charities and social enterprises need.

Click here for further information.

 

Northern Ireland

Use this page to navigate the latest guidance for people in Northern Ireland.

Click here for further information.

 

!!! NEW 15 May 2020 !!!

Micro-business Hardship Fund

The NI Executive has launched a new NI Micro-business Hardship Fund to help Northern Ireland based micro-businesses and social enterprises unable to access other regional and national COVID-19 support measures.

Department for the Economy (DfE) will make up to £40 million available through a fund, which is being administered by Invest Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy. It will offer emergency funding to businesses facing immediate cash flow difficulties due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Minister for the Economy announced on 15 May 2020 that the scheme would open for online applications within the next seven days. An online eligibility checker will be available week commencing 18 May 2020.

Only one grant will be paid to each eligible business, irrespective of how many properties the business occupies.

Businesses should ensure they meet the following criteria before applying to the fund:

  • The business must be based in Northern Ireland.
  • At 29 February 2020, the business must have employed between one and nine employees paid via PAYE except where the sole employee is the business owner or company director. The number of employees will be based on headcount.
  • Since 1 March 2020, the business must have experienced a reduction in turnover in excess of 40% as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic or associated Government restrictions.

Click here for further information.

 

Business Rates Holiday
Three-month rates holiday for Northern Ireland non-domestic ratepayers (excluding public sector and utilities).

All Northern Ireland business ratepayers excluding public sector and utilities.

Rate bills for 2020-21 were due to be issued in April 2020. This means that no rates will be charged for April, May and June 2020.

The next business rate bill will not be issued until June 2020.

Ratepayers do not need to request to have their rate bill deferred until June 2020. This will happen automatically.

This reduces the 2020-21 annual rate bill for business ratepayers by 25 per cent. This amount does not need to be paid back.

When rate bills are issued in June 2020, ratepayers can still choose to pay their bill in monthly instalments between June 2020 and March 2021.

Current monthly Direct Debit payment plans will be automatically updated to collect payments between June 2020 and March 2021.

Click here for further information.

 

Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Sector Ratepayers Grant Scheme
The NI Executive is providing a one-off grant of £25,000 to eligible businesses that have a Total Net Annual Value (NAV) of between £15,001 and £51,000 within the retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors, subject to some exclusions.

Registration is now open for businesses to apply.

Click here for further information.

 

Small Business Support Grant Scheme
The NI Executive is providing a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses that are currently in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR). Businesses with a Net Annual Value of £15,000 and below, who currently benefit from Industrial Derating, are also eligible for the £10,000 grant.

The deadline to register for this grant scheme is Wednesday 20 May 2020.

Click here for further information.

 

This article is available to download in pdf format below.


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Kyle Jardine
Kyle Jardine
0289 002 0135