Business support package in England COVID-19 – Updated

What the Government has put in place:

Check to make sure you are claiming everything that you can by using the Coronavirus Support Finder:

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) 

The Small Business Grant Fund ends on 28 August. North Somerset Council will only process applications they receive up to 16 August, in order that they can be assessed and paid by the closing date. 

To make a claim go to: https://forms.n-somerset.gov.uk/ad/form/cvdsbgrant#/1

Liberata’s help desk: 01934 888143 should be contacted if businesses have any issues.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

There are two grants: 

  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. 
  • Eligible 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. 

You can request a grant at: https://forms.liberata.com/business-rates/covid19-grant-request/north-somerset

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough)

This support scheme has been extended until 31 October 2020 for existing furloughed staff.  From the beginning of August 2020, with the aim of getting employees back to work and boosting the economy the scheme will be changed and there will be “greater flexibility”, including allowing staff to return to work on a part-time basis but still benefit from the furlough scheme but with a greater employer contribution. .

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

To help firms keep on furloughed workers, UK employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Scheme to support self-employed individuals (inc. members of partnerships) who have lost income due to COVID-19.  The scheme is now closed to new claims for the first grant.

However, the scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

The scheme allows you to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

As with the first grant HMRC will contact you if you’re eligible.  They will work out your eligibility for the second grant in the same way as the first grant.

You can make a claim for the second grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

For more information go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Kickstart Scheme

A new £2 billion scheme will be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding will be available for each six-month job placement and will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up. 

Employment and support schemes

A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job.  

Creating jobs

The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects. In addition, £5.8 billion will be spent on shovel-ready construction projects to get Britain building. 

Business Rates Relief (BRR)

100% BRR for all retail, hospitality and leisure properties (inc. estate agents, letting agencies and bingo halls) and nurseries for a 12 month period from April 2020. Automatic, no action needed.

New 100% government Bounce Back Loans scheme for small business

  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and up too 25% of their turnover – the maximum loan available is £50,000
  • the government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.  After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
  • The scheme launched for applications from Monday 4th May

at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS and CLBILS)

  • Available through participating lenders to UK-based businesses that are viable but who have short-term cash flow issues
  • Loan will help them through the COVID-19 period with the Government providing lenders with guarantee of 80% on each loan
  • Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payment and any lender-levied fees, so no upfront costs and lower initial repayment benefits to businesses

Futures Fund

  • £500m investment fund for high-growth UK companies in innovative and research intensive business sector
  • Government loan ranging from £125k to £5m, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors
  • Eligibility: business must be an unlisted UK registered company that has previously raised £250k in equity investment from third party investors in the last 5 years
  • Launched in May 2020 and will run until end September 2020

Innovate UK Grant and loan commitments

  • £750m worth of grants and loans to small and medium-sized businesses focusing on research and development via Innovate UK. 
  • Focussed on SME’s, will accelerate up to £200m of grant and loan payments for its 2,500 existing Innovate UK customers on an opt-in basis.
  • An extra £550m will also be made available to increase support for existing customer
  • £175,000 of support will be offered to around 1,200 firms not currently in receipt of Innovate UK funding.
  • The scheme will open from mid-May.

Support with tax payments

  • Time to Pay – help with tax liabilities and HMRC will waive late payment penalties and interest if a business is struggling
  • VAT deferral – No business will pay VAT up until mid-June and will have until the end of the financial year (April 2021) to repay VAT bills. Have to cancel Direct Debit with bank though, otherwise payment will be taken.
  • Defer income tax payments due in July 2020 under self-assessment system until January 2021

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme

This scheme will repay employers with less than 250 employees, the current rate of SSP that they have paid to employees for period of sickness up to 2 weeks, starting on or after 28 February 2020.

Tax Relief for working from home

Employees working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown, can claim tax relief on £6 per week or employers can pay them £6 per week tax-free from 6th April. (Previously £4 per week)

Other forms of support

Eat Out to Help Out: To encourage people to safely return to eating out at restaurants the Government’s new discount scheme will provide a 50% reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020. 

VAT: The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will be cut from 20% to 5%.  

Stamp Duty: A temporary increase to the nil rate band of Stamp Duty from £125,000 to £500,000 has been introduced until 31 March 2021.

Other funding

There are many organisations offering funding during the COVID-19 period:

Useful links