Government Financial Support for All Businesses

The government has released a raft of measures to support businesses and sole traders through the Covid-19 pandemic. Use the support finder to see what schemes are still available for you and your business.

Business Coronavirus Support Finder

Recovery Loan Scheme

Following the Autumn Budget, the Recovery Loan Scheme has been extended until 30 June 2022. Changes will take place from 1 January 2022 meaning that Recovery Loans available to small and medium sized enterprises will only be guaranteed up to 70%. You can find the government guidance here.

Covid-19 support schemes to end

A range of government support schemes introduced to help businesses and individuals through the pandemic came to an end on 30 September. The schemes include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and the reduced VAT rates for hospitality. The stamp duty land tax rates in England and Northern Ireland will also return to pre-Covid levels.

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government has updated its guidance for claims made under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. Employers can only claim back statutory sick pay paid to employees due to Covid-19 who were off work on or before 30 September 2021. Find out more here.

Prime Minister sets out Autumn and Winter Covid Plan

The Prime Minister has set out the government’s plan to manage Covid throughout autumn and winter. You can find full details here.

VAT Deferred due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

More information about the VAT deferral penalty has been added to the Gov.uk website, which you can find here.

Sector-by-sector Covid guidance published

The government has published sector-by sector guidance on how employers in England should reduce the risk of Covid-19 for staff and customers after 19th July when restrictions such as compulsory mask wearing and social distancing are lifted. You can read this information here.

Working safely - Guidance from Step 4

Employers need to meet their core legal obligations - starting with the following principals set out in the revised 'Working Safely' guidance here.

VAT deferral – apply now to spread your payments

The VAT deferral new payment scheme is open for all businesses who deferred paying VAT due between 20 March and 30‌‌ June‌‌ 2020 and have been unable to pay in full by 31 March‌‌ ‌2021.

You can apply now to spread these payments – businesses that join by 19‌‌ ‌May‌‌‌ ‌2021 can pay in up to nine monthly instalments. The later businesses join, the fewer instalments will be available to them.

Businesses can join the easy-to-use scheme quickly and simply online by 21‌‌ ‌June, without needing to call HMRC. To find out more, including what you need to join online, go to VAT deferral on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

If businesses are still unable to pay and need more time, they should contact HMRC.

Businesses may be charged a 5% penalty and/or interest if they do not pay in full, sign up to the scheme or get in touch with HMRC to make an arrangement to pay by 30‌‌ ‌June‌‌ ‌2021.

Pay as you Grow

If you took out a Bounce Back Loan, Government has announced a flexible repayment system. This includes extending the length of the loan from six years to ten, cutting monthly repayments by nearly half. Interest-only period of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to those businesses struggling.

For lenders of the CBILS, repayment terms again can be extended from six years to ten years.

Read more information

BBLS repayment terms relaxed

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme payments are due to start in May 2021. For example, a business that received the first BBLS loans in May 2020 will start to pay back their loan in May 2021. The Chancellor has however recently announced some repayment concessions.

The government announced the Pay as you Grow initiative in September 2020. In addition to this however, they have extended the loan repayment period from six years to ten years, and make interest-only payments for six months (up to three times). A repayment holiday can also now be taken at any time with no requirement to have made any repayments at all. So this means if a business took out a loan in May 2020, they could opt to delay repayments until November 2021. This option is only available once though. Read more on this here.

Recovery Loan Scheme

A new government backed loan scheme launched on 6 April 2021 to provide additional finance to those businesses that need it.

Find out all you need to know here.

Reopening businesses and venues in England

You can find information on the steps to reopen certain businesses and venues in England here.

Chancellor announces top-up grants for some businesses (Update 05/01/2021)

The Chancellor has announced a one-off top up grant for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors worth up to £9,000 per-property basis.

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

Further information can be found here.

An additional £594m discretionary fund will also be made available through local authorities and devolved administrations to support other businesses affected by the restrictions.

Deferral of Income Tax (Self Employed)

If you are self-employed, Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 were previously deferred until the 31 January 2021. Government have now announcement a ‘time to pay’ options meaning that payments deferred to January 2021 can now benefit from an additional 12 months extension meaning this will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

Read more information

HMRC’s ‘Time to Pay’

All businesses and self-employed people who find themselves in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HRMC's 'Time to Pay' service. Arrangements will be agreed on a case-by-case basis. HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore:

  • agreeing an instalment arrangement
  • suspending debt collection proceedings
  • cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately

Read more information


HMRC Helpline

HMRC have a helpline for businesses who have concerns and worries about complying with their tax obligations due to the Coronavirus pandemic - 0300 200 3822

HMRC have stated that this helpline can be used to:

  • Agree instalment arrangements
  • Suspend debt collection proceedings
  • Avoid penalties and interest

Call the helpline

Insurance

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and Government-ordered closure should be covered.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

Policies you may be able to claim on include:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Employers’ Liability Insurance

Potential lifeline for small businesses

September saw the High Court rule in favour of a small business that ‘the disease clause in some business interruption policies should have meant they were covered’.

Read the article here

If you have tried and failed to claim on your business interruption insurance, we would recommend that you try again following this ruling to see if anything has changed in relation to your insurers handling of claims.

Need advice?

If you’re feeling unsure or confused, we can guide you through the very latest COVID-19 financial support measures relevant to your circumstances.

Get in touch and we’ll find the best member of our team to handle your enquiry.

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Coronavirus advice

To help you keep your business operating, we’ve made it easy to access the correct and most up-to-date information. Below, you’ll find information on government support for businesses and individuals and practical advice to help you to manage your business through this unusual period.