COVID-19 – Support and advice for businesses

Government support for businesses – summary

Small businesses

Statutory Sick Pay Relief

  • Reclaim SSP payments made to employees for Coronavirus related sickness
  • Available when COVID bill is passed
  • SMEs with less than 250 employees, two weeks per employee

Business Rates Holiday

  • 12 month Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Late March/Early April
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses

Emergency Business Grant

  • Up to £25,000 available where rateable value is £15-51k
  • Further guidance 20th March
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses operating from premise’s with a rateable value of £15-51k

Business Rate Relief

  • £10,000 grant for ongoing business costs
  • Early April 2020
  • Must be in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CIBLS)

  • Up to £5m funding for viable businesses with a six month interest holiday
  • Available week commencing 23rd March
  • UK Based with turnover less than £41m, operate within a eligible industry, insufficient security to meet lenders current criteria

HMRC Time to Pay

  • Support in meeting current tax liabilities through delayed payments
  • Available now
  • Case by case basis

Medium businesses

Statutory Sick Pay Relief

  • Reclaim SSP payments made to employees for Coronavirus related sickness
  • Available when COVID bill is passed
  • SMEs with less than 250 employees, two weeks per employee

Business Rates Holiday

  • 12 month Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Late March/Early April
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CIBLS)

  • Up to £5m funding for viable businesses with a six month interest holiday
  • Available week commencing 23rd March
  • UK Based with turnover less than £41m, operate within a eligible industry, insufficient security to meet lenders current criteria

HMRC Time to Pay

  • Support in meeting current tax liabilities through delayed payments
  • Available now
  • Case by case basis

Large businesses

Business Rates Holiday

  • 12 month Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Late March/Early April
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CIBLS)

  • Up to £5m funding for viable businesses with a six month interest holiday
  • Available week commencing 23rd March
  • UK Based with turnover less than £41m, operate within a eligible industry, insufficient security to meet lenders current criteria

HMRC Time to Pay

  • Support in meeting current tax liabilities through delayed payments
  • Available now
  • Case by case basis

Data sources:
Gov.uk
British Business Bank


Government schemes

The Government has introduced a £330bn package to support small and medium sized business during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government aims to aid businesses with a number of schemes:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The CJRS is a mechanism introduced by the government which enables all UK employers to access support to continue paying part of your employees’ salary to avoid redundancies where there is a downturn in work as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Read our blog – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Extended

Statutory Sick Pay Relief Package

Government Statement

Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.

Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week, some of those working in the gig economy, or self-employed people, is able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

Employees:

Following the government advice and staying at home will entitle the employee to £94.25 per week SSP regardless if they’re sick or not, providing they meet the average weekly earnings threshold of £118. 

Employers:

SME’s will be able to claim up to two weeks SSP expenditure per employee who has been absent from work because of COVID-19.  Employers qualify as an SME if they have fewer than 250 employees as of 28th February 2020 and should maintain records of staff absences.  Employees returning to work after COVID-19 do not need to produce a return to work fit note from their GP, lessening the strain on the NHS.

The eligible period for the refund scheme will come into force the day after the regulations are approved and Government will be working with businesses in the coming months to help set up repayment mechanisms.

Read our blog – When does Statutory Sick Pay apply?

Business Rates Holiday

The Government has proposed a 12-month Business Rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure business in England for the 2020 and 2021 tax years. Any business receiving this holiday will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible. Local authorities will be provided with further guidance by the 20th March.

Read our blog – Business Rates Retail Discount Scheme

Emergency Business Grant

A grant of up to £25,000 will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Small Business Grant

Support for small businesses that pay little or no business rates

Businesses that pay little or no business rates will receive a one-off grant of £10,000 to help with their ongoing business costs. To receive this businesses have to be eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief.

Businesses who qualify do not need apply for this, they will be contacted by their local authority

Funding for grants will be made available in early April.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

A temporary loan scheme will be delivered by the British Business Bank to lender providers in order to support businesses to access lending and overdrafts, the main support is as outlined:

  • Loans of up to £5m are available to SME’s
  • Support can be in the form of term loans, Invoice or Asset Finance or overdrafts
  • Security is 80% backed by the Government and will not be charged to lenders or businesses
  • A six-month initial interest rate holiday is offered.
  • The length of any facilities provided by the scheme will be limited by a maximum of six years for term loans and asset finance and up to three years for working capital facilities and invoice finance.

To be eligible for lending the business must:

  • Operate within an eligible industrial sector.
  • Be able to meet a lender’s normal lending requirements for a commercial loan or other facility if it were not for the current pandemic and impact on market activity.
    • Fishery, aquaculture and agriculture businesses may not qualify for the full interest and fee payment.
    • The following trades and organisations are not eligible to apply: Banks, Building Societies, Insurers and Reinsurers (but not insurance brokers); the public sector including state funded primary and secondary schools; employer, professional, religious or political membership organisation or trade unions.

View our summary guide – Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme

Read our blog post – New measures for CBILS aimed at helping small businesses

Read our blog post – How to access funding through CBILS

HMRC Time to Pay

The Government is highlighting it’s Time to Pay Scheme where by all businesses with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support in extending their payment terms.

Read our blog post – Time to Pay – providing breathing space for your business


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