Government updates on business support schemes

We have gathered the latest information about the government strategies that will support UK businesses in the face of Covid-19. This page is designed to keep our clients up to date as things continue to evolve.

For now, you could be assessing your current finances. See our guide to cashflow management in a market downturn.

Our plan of action

At CBHC the health of our Staff and clients is our priority.

In line with Government Guidelines, we have set up to work remotely. Our staff remain contactable and are working on our client’s affairs as usual. We will respond to queries as soon as possible and hope that in the meantime you find the information below of use.

There is now better clarity surrounding measures to help support UK businesses where Covid-19 is causing serious financial concern. However, if you cannot find what you need below, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team and we will do our best to find the right solutions for you.

A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or ‘Furlough’

Employers can still enjoy furlough support – receiving 80% of their current salary – until the end of April, 2021.

There are currently no expected employers contributions to this wage payments under the furlough.

Employers are only asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

This scheme sees the self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) receive grants for 3 months at a time. SEISS has been extended to provide grant until April 2021.

Those eligible will receive grants for a 3 month period worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This should be paid directly into their bank account in one instalment.

To be eligible, self-employed people must:

  •  have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant.
  • Declare that they will continue to trade
  • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • or were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

A Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Until 31 March 2021, both self-employed people and SME’s can still apply for this scheme and secure funding up to £5 million.

Remember you annual turnover has to be no more than £45 million.

You must prove to lenders why your business is viable for support.

Find out more here.

Further information and a list of accredited lenders can be found at the British Business Bank website.

One-off grants for hospitality, retail and leisure sectors

The Chancellor has most recently announced £4.6bn worth of off grants for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses – the most effected industries. Those eligible could receive a grant of up to £9k per property.

Grants will therefore be linked to business rates, with payments of £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, and £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000.

Grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.

Check if you are eligible for these grants or any other Coronavirus support schemes with this government support finder.

Sick Pay

You can receive £95.85 per week in Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 consecutive weeks if:

  • You are too sick to work
  • You are shielding and therefore unable to attend your place of work
  • You isolating because you or your family member has symptoms
  • You are self isolating before surgery

Find out more here.

You’ll have to keep evidence of this form of pay for at least 3 years following your claim.


The Kick-start Scheme

The government plans to introduce a scheme whereby hundreds of thousands of  6-month work placements will be government funded. It aims at age 16-24 year olds who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.

The funding will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for the job in question, 25 hours a week, plus the any employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Tax including VAT

The government will continue to offer a reduction on VAT rates on supplies for business in hospitality, hotel accommodation and attractions. The amount of VAT reduction varies depending on the supplies being purchased. Check here.

Deferred VAT

If you deferred VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, remember you’ll need to pay this by 31 March 2021.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The 2020 to 2021 tax year will include a business rate holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be re-billed by their local authority as soon as possible.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
    for assembly and leisure.
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Other business support schemes to get you thinking:

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) grants scheme – England

Improve your position in the construction sector with support from CITB. Get grants to cover costs of training your workforce, or extra funding for specific training or business development projects.

Innovate UK – grant funding, innovation loans and expert support

Discover and implement new technologies, develop ideas and work on your commercial success.

TALE (Transport and Logistical Efficiencies)

Support, workshops and grants to help SMEs who transport goods or deliver services, to improve their use of data.

South East Creatives (SECCADS)

A grant programme supporting freelancers and sole traders, start-up and growing businesses working in Essex, East Sussex or Kent.