A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please find below a list of Government schemes that have been introduced and links for more information on how to claim for your business.
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020, will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will pay employers a grant worth 80% of an employee’s usual wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage.
This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st if applicable and is initially open for 4 months.
All UK-wide employers with a PAYE scheme that was created and started on or before 19 March 2020 will be eligible including: Businesses; Charities; Recruitment Agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE); Public Authorities.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for applications. Employers can now claim online for a grant for 80% of their furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee.
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
If you’re an employer who pays more than the current rate of SSP you can only claim the current rate amount.
The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:
The online service you’ll use to reclaim SSP is not available yet. HMRC will announce when the service is available and this guidance will be updated.
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
If you’ve missed, or are worried about missing, your next tax payment due to coronavirus, please contact HMRC. You can also call the HMRC helpline for advice on 0800 024 1222.
The Government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. UK Registered businesses will not need to make VAT payments normally due with VAT returns during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you may receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme. Local Authorities will write to all eligible businesses with information on how to claim this grant.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45 million, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years.
The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. This means smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to small and medium-sized businesses.
The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.
There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues; for assembly and leisure; or as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.
There is no action for you. Local authorities will apply the business rates holiday to your bills.
The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
Local Authorities will write to all eligible businesses with information on how to claim this grant.
The Bounce Back Loan scheme 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. The Bounce Back Loan scheme will launch on 4 May 2020.
The new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.
The scheme will be funded by central bank reserves – in line with other Bank of England market operations. 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 in the facility. More information on eligibility can be found on the Bank of England Website.
The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will support large businesses, with an annual turnover of over £45 million.
All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45 million per year will be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million will be able to apply for up to £50 million of finance.
The Scheme will be available through a series of accredited lenders, which will be listed on the British Business Bank website. The government will provide lenders with an 80% guarantee on individual loans. This will give banks the confidence to lend to many more businesses which are impacted by coronavirus. Facilities backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest.
This scheme allows lenders to support businesses that were viable before the coronavirus outbreak but now face significant cash flow difficulties that would otherwise make their business unviable in the short term.
The Scheme will be available through a series of accredited lenders, which will be listed on the British Business Bank website.
Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
There is no action for you. Local authorities will apply the business rates holiday to your bills.
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 but does not need to be repaid.
You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant. You should record the grant as part of your self-employment income, and it may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get. This will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.
If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.
If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.
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.
The Self- Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020 may now be deferred until 31 January 2021.
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment of your July 2020 payment on account until January 2021.
If you want to talk to someone about how these schemes apply to your business, in England you can contact the Government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice: 0300 456 3565 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
For latest Solihull Council information please see their Solihull For Success website here: https://www.solihullforsuccess.com/News/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Guidance-for-Businesses.
If you require any additional help or support or have any questions around discounted Business Rates, the Council's Business Rates Team will be able to help – their number is 0121 704 8175.
You can also find free support, advice and information on sources of finance through your local Growth Hub.
If your business is, or will be, affected by the current outbreak of Covid-19 (whether it's a supply chain issue, problems exporting goods or staffing concerns) please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 032 3488. Their advisers will discuss with you how their services may be able to help your business throughout this period.
We are pleased to share with you a comprehensive list of webinars you can access for free.
The wide-range of webinars cover a number of different topics from adapting your business during the COVID-19 crisis to furloughing and podcasting.
Thanks to our relationship with the Festival With Enterprise, we are pleased to share the link to the free webinars here: https://www.festivalofenterprise.co.uk/webinars/