“Our plan to support businesses and individuals is one of the most comprehensive in the world." - The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Support for Businesses
To quickly and easily find out about what financial support you may be available for, use the Government's Coronavirus Business Support Finder, https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), and the Future Fund have been extended until the 31st of January 2021. Eligible businesses will also be able to ‘top up’ existing Bounce Back Loans should they need additional finance. Find further information via the British Business Bank website: www.british-business-bank.co.uk
Culture Recovery Fund: Grants Second Round: The Culture Recovery Fund Grants Second Round is open now for cultural organisations as they transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model during April-June 2021. The Arts Council has up to £250 million to distribute and you can apply for any amount between £25,000 and £3 million. Applications opened at 12pm (midday) on Wednesday, the 6th of January 2021 and will close at 12pm (midday), on Tuesday the 26th of January 2021. Find further information via the Arts Council website at https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/CRFgrants
- Businesses forced to close can claim grants of up to £3,000 per month (worth over £1 billion per month). Any business in England forced to close due to national or local restrictions can claim grants, via their local authority, of up to £3,000 per month, per business premises, depending on rateable value:
- Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above: £3,000 per month
- Businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: £2,000 per month
- Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below: £1,334 per month
- Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors not forced to close but severely impacted by restrictions, can claim grants of up to £2,100 per month. Hospitality, leisure, and accommodation businesses in England which are not forced to close, but are impacted by restrictions in Tiers 2, 3 and 4 and therefore face less demand, can claim grants, via their local authority, of up to £2,100 per month, per business, depending on rateable value. Exact grant amounts and eligibility is at local authorities’ discretion. Businesses in areas where household mixing was banned the between 1st of August and the 5th of November 2020 can also claim back-dated grants from their local authority. Additionally, the government has provided a 5 per cent top up discretionary funding which local authorities can choose how to use – such as for supply chains in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.
- Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above: £2,100 per month
- Businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: £1,400 per month
- Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below: £934 per month
- In addition, retail, hospitality and leisure businesses forced to close can claim a one-off grant of up to £9,000, worth an extra £4.6 billion. This is in addition to the monthly closed grant amounts above. The one-off additional grant each business premises will receive depends on their rateable value:
- Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above: £9,000
- Businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: £6,000
- Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below: £4,000
- Local authorities (in England) will also be given an additional £500 million discretionary funding to support their local businesses. This builds on the £1.1 billion discretionary funding (worth £20 per head of population) which local authorities in England have already received to support their local economies and help businesses impacted.
- Local authorities will directly contact businesses which are eligible for these grants. If businesses believe they are eligible and have not yet heard from their local authority, they should get in touch with them directly. Businesses can find their local authority at: https://www.gov.uk/contact-your-local-council-about-business-rates.
Business Rates Holiday:
- All eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will pay no business rates for 12 months, from 1 April 2020 – that’s worth an estimated £11 billion for businesses.
- There will be no rateable value threshold – meaning businesses of all sizes in these sectors will benefit.
- The Government also acted to include nurseries, estate agents and bingo halls in the 12 month holiday.
- An estimated 735,000 properties will pay no business rates in 2020-21 – half of all business properties.
- And on the 6th of May 2020, the Government announced it is postponing the planned business rates revaluation.
Bounce Back Loans
- The Chancellor has announced a new Bounce Back Loans Scheme to ensure that businesses get the financial support they need quickly, to help them survive this crisis.
- Loans will be from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of a firms’ turnover, initially with a maximum repayment term of 6 years, but extended now to 10 years through our Pay as You Grow scheme.
- The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan, with no repayments due during the first 12 months.
- The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments, and the government has agreed an interest rate of 2.5% for the remaining period of the loans.
- Businesses will be able to complete a short, simple, online application in just 15 minutes – or 7 questions.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Businesses with a turnover of up to £45 million are eligible, for loans of up to £5 million, up to 6 years.
- The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan, will not charge businesses for this guarantee, and will also cover the interest costs and fees for the first 12 months.
- Through Pay as You Grow, we have extended the term of the guarantee on CBILS loans from 6 to 10 years. This enables lenders to give borrowers more time to repay loans if needed.
- In response to feedback, the Government also extended the scheme so that all viable businesses – not just those unable to secure regular commercial funding – will now be eligible.
- We have also removed the forward-looking viability test that required an assessment of whether the business can trade out of the crisis. The only test that remains is whether a business was viable before Covid-19, so businesses do not need to be asked for documentation like cashflow forecasts.
- Our Future Fund will unlock investment for innovative, start-up and high-growth firms affected by the crisis which are unable to access the CBILS and other schemes because they rely on equity investment and are typically either pre-revenue or pre-profit.
- We have committed a £1.25 billion package to protect high-growth firms driving innovation in the UK:
- A £500 million investment fund (Future Fund) for high-growth companies, made up of £250 million funding from government with equal match funding by the private sector;
- £750 million of grants and loans for SMEs focussing on research and development, available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.
- The Future Fund is delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank, and Innovate UK will administer the grants and loans.
- The Government will issue convertible loans of between £125,000 and £5 million, which will be matched by private investors and turned from debt into equity at the next round of funding. Firms must have raised a minimum of £250,000 in the last five years.
Time to Pay
- Time To Pay is an existing scheme to support businesses and self-employed individuals by allowing them to defer taxes they owe to the Government by a short period of time.
- HMRC have set up a new Covid-19 helpline to handle calls and have made an additional 2,000 experienced call handlers available to support firms where needed.
- They will also waive late payment penalties and interest where a business experiences difficulties making a payment due to Covid-19.
- So far over 68,000 new deferrals are in place related to Covid-19, accounting for £10.93 billion of tax liabilities.
- If a business has missed – or is worried about missing – their next tax payment due to coronavirus, they should contact HMRC on 0800 024 1222.
- Businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy). Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support.
- The Government is deferring VAT payments so businesses will not need to pay any VAT from 20 March through to the end of June – a deferral worth over £30 billion or 1.5% of GDP.
- The option to defer VAT is open to all 2.3 million UK VAT registered businesses, with the average benefit expected to be around £30,000 per business. Businesses will have until the end of the financial year to pay back any deferred VAT.
- For self-employed people, we have also deferred income tax self-assessment payments for July until the end of January 2021.
- And 68,000 new tax deferrals are in place through Time To Pay, accounting for £11 billion of tax liabilities.
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Businesses with a turnover of over £45 million will be eligible for loans of up to £200 million, subject to a limit of 25% of their turnover.
- To ensure that this support is used in the right way, companies borrowing over £50 million will be required to agree not to make dividend payments or share buybacks, and will face restrictions on executive pay.
- The Government will provide a guarantee of 80% on each loan, at commercial rates of interest.
- The Government will not cover any interest or fee income.
- It is delivered through over 50 commercial lenders, backed by the Government-owned British Business Bank.
- Businesses cannot also apply for a loan under the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility.
Covid-19 Corporate Finance Facility
- For larger firms with an investment-grade credit, the Government has guaranteed a funding scheme from the Bank of England to buy short-term debt from larger companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze.
- This is a scheme for firms with an investment-grade credit. It 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.
- To support businesses, the Government's live webinars on a variety of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) related topics, including the Job Retention Scheme, Self-employed Income Scheme (SEISS) and Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPR) have been updated. You can book a place or watch a recording on HMRC’s YouTube channel
- Further business support can be located via the Government's website, https://www.gov.uk/browse/business
- Call the Government's business support helpline for further business-specific support: 0800 998 1098
- Business Secretary Alok Sharma is creating 5 new business-focused groups to unleash Britain’s growth potential and create jobs, as part of the government’s plans to help the economy bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. The membership of the 5 working groups will be published in due course. There will also be an opportunity for other parties and individuals interested in this initiative to share written submissions with the Business Department.
Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting. People can forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599.
For the Government-backed loan schemes, visit https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk
Page Last Updated: 09/01/21.