Funding

COVID-19: support for businesses - do I qualify?

March 27, 2020

There have been great cheers and relief surrounding the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. However, before you get started with the applications and paperwork it is important that you correctly understand the key features and eligibility criteria for each scheme announced and/or supported by the government.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Key Feature: CBILS can provide finance of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK experiencing lost or deferred revenues causing disruptions to cashflow.

Eligibility: You are eligible for the scheme if:

- Your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year

- Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable your business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty

- Smaller businesses from any sector can apply for the full amount of the facility

 Please review British Business Bank’s quick eligibility checklist here 


Loans – lenders offering payment holidays

Key Feature: Leading banks such as Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, RBS and Santander are offering payment holidays for up to 3 months. While selected banks are waiving fees for missed payments and some are offering reduced payments. In most cases people will need to continue to pay interest during the holiday period as only the repayment is postponed. Meaning that interest will be charged if you take a repayment holiday, so you'll pay more interest overall and your original term will be extended.

Eligibility: You are eligible when you find that things aren’t going to plan especially given the current circumstances. 


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Key Feature: Allows all UK employers to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis i.e.furloughed workers. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.

The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

Eligibility: All UK businesses are eligible.


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) 

Key Feature: Allows small and medium sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee. 

Eligibility: You are eligible for the scheme if you are a UK business that is small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.


Deferring VAT payments

Key Feature: Deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Eligibility: All UK businesses are eligible.


Deferring Income Tax payments

Key Feature: For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

Eligibility: You are eligible for the scheme if you are self-employed you are eligible.


Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service

Key Feature: All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Eligibility: You are eligible for the scheme if you are a business and/or self-employed person in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities and liable to pay tax to the UK government.


Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates

Key Feature: A business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Eligibility: You are eligible for the scheme if:

- Your business is based in England

- Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

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


Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Key Feature: The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Eligibility: You are eligible for the scheme if:

- Your business is based in England

- Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

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


Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

Key Feature: A business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year

Eligibility: You are eligible for the scheme if:

- Your business is based in England

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be hereditaments:

- Occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register

- Wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage


On April 1st we are organising support for business webinar, “Masterclass: Equity, Loans, Grants & Business Schemes for Today's Climate" where you can learn and ask questions from industry leaders about the recent developments in real-time, sign up here

Looking to secure a loan? Why not check out our loan facilitator - ‘Loan Finder’ with the help of which you can access 140 funders and products with funds available from £500 to £50 million! It’s simple, safe, efficient, free and fair, get exploring here.

Do you have a question? Contact us now!

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