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Government Support for Small Businesses

The government has introduced a series of new measures to support businesses during these difficult times. Detailed information on many of the measures has still to be issued, and we are currently reviewing matters on a daily basis and will provide updates when we have further news.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
This scheme allows businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million through a registered lender, and the government will cover up to 80% of any of the lenders’ losses. Under the scheme the first 12 months of the loan is interest free, as the government will cover your interest payments. This loan scheme is being managed through all the major banks, and you should contact your own bank about making an application. Most banks have created special portals on their websites for this.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you’re struggling to pay wages, rather than laying off employees you can instead ‘furlough’ them (put them on a leave of absence) and claim back 80% of their wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per worker per month. You can backdate to March 1st and the scheme will run for 3 months initially, although it will be extended if needed. It is open to all UK employers. Statutory sick pay refunds – If you have fewer than 250 employees, the government will pay the first 14 days of statutory sick pay.

Cash grants to small businesses
The UK’s smallest businesses will also be able to claim a £10,000 cash grant. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be contacted by their local authority. You do not need to apply.

Business rates holidays and cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure
The government is introducing a business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries. If your property has a rateable value of £15,000, you will also receive a cash grant of £10,000. If it’s between £15,000 and £51,000, you’re entitled to a cash grant of £25,000. Your local authority will let you know if you’re eligible for these grants, so there’s no need to apply.

VAT deferral
VAT payments are being deferred from 20th March 2020 until 30th June 2020, so you don’t need to make VAT payments during this period. This applies to all UK businesses. It’s an automatic offer and no application is required.  Income tax deferral for the self-employed – For Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on 31st July 2020 have now been deferred until 31st January 2021. This is an automatic offer for all self-employed individuals so you don’t need to apply. Dedicated helpline for tax affairs regarding coronavirus – A dedicated helpline (0800 0159 559) has been created to support self-employed individuals and businesses in financial distress or with outstanding tax liabilities. Businesses may be able to arrange a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement if they’re concerned about not being able to pay their tax on time due to coronavirus.

Here are a couple of useful links to Government websites outlining further support and advice.



We are awaiting a further announcement on assistance for the self-employment and will update our website when the details are available.

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