An overview of the business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.
A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. Click here to find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG)
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.
The application is now live - if your business has been forced to close as a result of local Tier 3 restrictions, you may be eligible for a grant.
Community Covid-19 Response Fund
The Community COVID-19 Response Fund is now open. This short-term funding is designed to support the Voluntary and Community Sector in their work around preventing the spread of COVID-19, testing and outbreak management and supporting people to isolate.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
This scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable small and medium sized businesses to apply for a loan from £1,000 to up to £5m, with the government providing a guarantee of 80% on each loan and with no interest due for the first twelve months. CBILS supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities. Click Here for more information and how to apply.
The Government has extended the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time. The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals. The government will continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees.
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
Government to provide a guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans to firms with turnover of between £45 million and £250 million of up to £25 million and loans of up to £50 million for firms with turnover of more than £250 million. Facilities will be available from 3 months up to 3 years. CLBILS will be available through a range of British Business Bank accredited lenders. CLBILS is now open for applications. Click here for more information and to apply.
From 26 May, the lending limit for CLBILS will be extended from £50m to £200m. Companies borrowing more than £50 million through CLBILS will be subject to restrictions on dividend payments, senior pay and share buy-backs during the period of the loan, including a ban on dividend payments and cash bonuses, except where they were previously agreed.
Bounce Back Loans Scheme
Aimed at the UK’s smallest firms, the Bounce Back Loans scheme will offer loans of between £2,000 and £50,000. Businesses can borrow up to the value of 25% of their turnover up to a maximum of £50,000. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. There will be a short, standardised online application to apply for a loan. There is no forward-looking test of business viability or ‘complex’ eligibility criteria. Finance should reach businesses ‘within 24 hours’ of approval. Apply and access the scheme here.
A new Future Fund to support the UK’s innovative businesses currently affected by Covid-19. These businesses have been unable to access other government business support programmes, such as CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment. The scheme will deliver an initial commitment of £250m of new government funding which will be unlocked by private investment on a match funded basis. The scheme will be open for applications in May, will initially be open until the end of September 2020.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month. The scheme, open to any employer in the country, will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March. This scheme is now open for claim submissions and will remain open until the end of October although the rules will begin to change from 1 July.
From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time. This is a month earlier than previously announced to help support people back to work.
From August 2020, the level of UK government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work.
On 9 June, HM Treasury announced that people on paternity and maternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be eligible for the furlough scheme even after 10 June cut-off date
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will close on 31 October 2020.
See more information on the CRJS on the BCC's FAQs on UK government support measures section.
Job Support Scheme
The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. The scheme will open on 1 November 2020 and run for 6 months.
New - The Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions. The government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries to protect jobs over the coming months and cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns will be increased to up to £3,000 per month.
Job Retention Bonus
Further information has been published on how businesses can claim the UK government’s Job Retention Bonus. The Job Retention Bonus, worth up to £9 billion is set to support millions of employers who have kept on furloughed workers.
The bonus will work alongside newly announced Job Support Scheme and could be worth more than 60% of average wages of workers who have been furloughed – and are kept on until the start of February 2021.
Businesses can claim from 15 February until 31 March 2021. Find out if you’re eligible and what you need to do to claim.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
SSP will be temporarily available to those who are advised to self-isolate and people caring for those within the same household who display Coronavirus symptoms and have been told to self-isolate. A new style Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit will be available to those that are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.
From 26 May, employers across the UK with fewer than 250 employees can claim for Coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Tax agents are also able to make claims on their behalf. The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP. See more information on eligibility and how to make a claim here.
VAT payments will be deferred for 3 months (until 30 June 2020). This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. For the self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. Self-employed will get full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay. For more information Click Here.
Time to Pay upscaled – a dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. Click Here for more information.
NEW An additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Applications are now open. Check if you are eligible for the scheme here.
Three-month ban on eviction for commercial tenants
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction.This will mean that no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. Commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent after this period.
The government has announced new measures to protect companies from debt recovery actions during the pandemic. This includes the voiding of statutory demands and winding up petitions issued to commercial tenants along with changes to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (preventing its use unless landlords are owed 90 days of unpaid rent). Click Here to read more.
Relaxation of rules and regulations
The UK government has published a list of the rules that have been temporarily relaxed to make it easier for businesses to continue working through the disruption caused by Coronavirus. Click here for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs on UK Government Support Measures
The BCC policy team has produced FAQs on the various UK government support measures announced for business. This information will be updated as and when more guidance becomes available on how to access UK government support. Click Here to read more.
Coronavirus General FAQs
Please note that these will be updated as and when more guidance becomes available. Click Here to read more.