Support for Small Businesses and Self-Employed during the COVID-19 outbreak

Support for Small Businesses and Self-Employed during the COVID-19 outbreak image

The UK government have announced unprecedented support packages for both businesses and the self-employed that are immediately impacted by the Coronavis COVID-19 pandemic.

We have listed some of the ways the government is helping to support your business financially through these challenging times. For the latest up-to-date information, please visit the official Government website.

Updated: 30 September 2021

Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) was launched on 6 April 2021 and replaced the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). These loans are designed to help the business grow and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

If your business has been affected by COVID-19, you can apply for the RLS scheme. Businesses who have already borrowed through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) or the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) can still apply, but the amount you may receive may be limited.

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) is due to end on 31 December 2021, but this may be extended.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ended on 30 September 2021.

The coronavirus job retention scheme was available to employers with a PAYE scheme. This scheme covers up to 80% of your employees' salary, up to £2,500 per month. This allowed employers to retain their staff that would otherwise be laid off. The scheme was initially in place for 3 months starting from 1 March 2020 but was extended.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme ended on 31 March 2021. It was replaced by the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).

Backed by the government-owned British Business Bank, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) allowed businesses to get the financial support they needed through these challenging times. The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on the outstanding balance, but the borrower will be liable for 100% of the loan.

  • Small and medium sized businesses (including the self employed) with a turnover of less than £45 million will be able to access finance up to £5 million with zero interest and fees for the first 12 months.
  • Larger businesses with a turnover from £45 million up to £250 million will be able to access up to £25 million through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) scheme. Businesses with a turnover of over £250 million can get up to £50 million.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) ended on 31 March 2021. It was replaced by the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) was launched in May 2020. It was a scheme that helped sole traders, micro-businesses and SME's get access to fast-track loans between £2,000 and £50,000. The loans were 100% government-backed, meaning the Government would guarantee the total amount to the lender (not borrower). The borrower didn't pay any fees or interest for the first 12 months.

The Future Fund

The Future Fund programme has now closed.

Launched in May 2020, this scheme was designed to help UK businesses that rely on equity investment that was unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). These convertible loans ranged between £125,000 to £5 million and will be subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

Deferring VAT & Income Tax Payments

The VAT and income tax deferral payment scheme has now closed.

Under this scheme, businesses did not pay Valued Added Tax (VAT) from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. Payments were deferred for three months. You did not need to tell HMRC that you were deferring your VAT payment.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, a second payment that was due on 31 July 2020 deferred the payment until 31 January 2021.

Business Rates Relief

Businesses that operate in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will not pay any business rates for the 2020-2021 tax year. The 100% business rates relief scheme was extended up until 30 June 2021. After this, the rates will be discounted by two-thirds from 1 July 2021 until 31 March 2022.

On 25 March 2021, the Government announced an additional £1.5 billion business rates relief support for businesses that were affected by COVID-19 that were outside of the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

If your business property has a rateable value under £51,000, you may be eligible for a grant of up to £25,000.

Cash Grants for Businesses

Cash Grants for Business affected by COVID-19 was closed to new applications on 31 March 2021.

Businesses accessed grants of up to £25,000 per property. This Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme was available to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

  • £10,000 grant is available to businesses with a rateable value up to £15,000.
  • £25,000 grant is available to businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and less than £51,000.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebate scheme ended on 30 September 2021.

The Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) relief package was available for SMEs paying sick pay to employees on or after 13 March 2020 due to them not working by either having coronavirus or self-isolating. The Government will allow employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 2 weeks per eligible employee.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) ended on 30 September 2021.

Launched back in March 2020, the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) helped the self-employed who had lost income due to the coronavirus. They could claim a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits (up to £2,500 p/month).

Businesses in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Due to devolved UK governments, please visit the official government website where your business is based. We have listed them below.

Wales

If your business is based in Wales, you can view the latest coronavirus support for businesses in Wales.

Scotland

If your business is based in Scotland, you can view the latest coronavirus support for businesses in Scotland.

Northern Ireland

If your business is based in Northern Ireland, you can view the latest coronavirus support for businesses in Northern Ireland.


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