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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for Employers and Businesses

Finance

This page will be regularly updated with financial information and guidance for businesses and employers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The guidance will include information published by the Government around emergency funding for businesses.

Coronavirus Interruption Loan Scheme: For all the latest announcements, please refer to the British Business Bank page specifically dedicated to the Coronavirus Interruption Loan Scheme. Click here to visit the BBB website for more information or alternatively message the Growth Hub by clicking on Contact Us.

Fact sheet

View our updated fact sheet for financial support for businesses during the Coronavirus crisis.

Click here to view

Government Coronavirus Business Support

Follow the link below to access the Government Coronavirus Business Support site, which includes information on:

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme (CBILS)
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure
  • Cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure
  • Coronavirus Job Retention scheme
  • Small business grant funding
  • Statutory sick pay rebate
  • Time to Pay
  • COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
  • Business rates holiday for nurseries
  • VAT deferral
  • Income tax deferral for the self-employed

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

This scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for loans of up to £50,000. Click here for more information.

Click here to download the Fact sheet for SMEs.

Business support packages: latest updates

A new Coronavirus Business Support Hub is now available at gov.uk/business-support.

The hub brings together key information for businesses including on funding and support, business closures, your responsibilities as an employer and managing your business during coronavirus. The hub also includes information for self-employed people and sole traders.

Funding and support

  • Financial support for businesses – click here
  • Claim for your employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – click here
  • Apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – click here
  • Defer your VAT payments – click here
  • Prevent your business from being evicted – click here

Support for the retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery sectors

  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 – click here
  • 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England – click here

Self-employed people and sole traders

  • Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme – click here
  • Self-employment and Universal Credit – click here
  • If you cannot pay your tax bill on time – click here
  • Carry out work in people’s homes safely (tradespeople) – click here
  • Drivers’ hours rules relaxations – click here
  • Negotiate a mortgage payment holiday – click here

Your responsibilities as an employer

  • What you need to do and how to keep your employees safe – click here
  • Claim for your employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – click here
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): employer guide – click here
  • Claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – click here
  • Find out what to do if your employee needs time off to look after dependants – click here
  • Which expenses are taxable if your employees work from home – click here
  • Apprenticeships: how they can continue – click here
  • Guidance for Tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors of people affected by coronavirus – click here

Managing your business during coronavirus

  • Cleaning your workplace safely – click here
  • Handwashing advice posters – click here
  • Rules that have been relaxed to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic – click here
  • Construction sites and safe working – click here
  • Farmers, landowners and rural businesses – click here
  • Food businesses – click here
  • Freight transport businesses – click here
  • Medical and healthcare industry – click here
  • Shipping and sea ports businesses – click here
  • Supported accommodation, residential care and home care – click here
  • Transport businesses – click here

Business closures

  • Businesses that must close – click here
  • If you’re staying open for business: safe working guidance – click here
  • Closing holiday accommodation to temporary residents – click here

Find Coronavirus financial support: new Government tool

Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool

A new ‘support finder’ tool will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The finder tool on GOV.UK will ask business owners to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete, and they will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

Click here to use the tool

£500 million Future Fund opens for application

UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries and to help them through the Coronavirus outbreak. Click here for more information.

£1.25bn package to support innovative companies lead the UK economic recovery

£1.25bn for the ‘innovation and enterprise’ the UK needs for post COVID-19 economic recovery

The government has announced a £1.25bn package to support innovative companies lead the UK economic recovery.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced two schemes, both due to launch in May. They comprise:

  • a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and
  • £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.

Rishi Sunak said the targeted and tailored help would ensure firms in some of the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy – ranging from tech to life sciences – are protected through the crisis so they can continue to develop innovative new products and help power UK growth.

Delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank, the fund will provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5 million from the government, with private investors at least matching the government commitment. These loans will automatically convert into equity on the company’s next qualifying funding round, or at the end of the loan if they are not repaid.

The £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme, Innovate UK.

More information on the detail behind the scheme can be found in the headline terms – click here.

£330 billion support package for businesses

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £330 billion support package for business and workers to protect against the economic emergency caused by the coronavirus.

This includes unlimited loans and guarantees to support firms and help them manage cashflows through this period. The Chancellor will make available an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme launched on the23rd March. This will cover loans and overdrafts. The maximum is £1.2 million and there is no fee payable to the Government. This is borrowing that must be repaid, these are not grants.

The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Government-owned British Business Bank. There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

The Scheme will support business loans and overdrafts of up to £5 million in value by providing a guarantee to the lender. The Government will not charge businesses for this guarantee. The scheme will also cover asset finance and invoice finance.

The decision on whether to offer finance is taken by each individual lender, not by government. Businesses remain responsible for repaying any borrowing that they take out.

In order to access the scheme, businesses should contact their finance provider, not the British Business Bank.

To access the scheme, you should talk to your bank or finance provider as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

Bank of England package of measures

The Bank of England has announced a comprehensive package of measures to help UK businesses and households bridge across the economic disruption that is likely to be associated with COVID-19.

Interest rates have been reduced from 0.75% to 0.25% and additional funding will be available for banks to increase lending, especially to SMEs.

Budget support package for businesses, public services and individuals

The Chancellor announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19.

  • A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million, with the Government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses.
  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.
  • A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.
  • There will be a £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2 billion.
  • Finally, the Government is temporarily increasing the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where the company operates.

Funding boost for hi-tech, innovative companies and start-ups

Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced that the government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20 million.

The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups – helping to build the businesses of tomorrow and propel their future prosperity.

Click here for more information.

Government launches new £40 million Clean Growth Fund to supercharge green start-ups

The government is launching a new effort to support green start-up companies, joint-funding a £40 million venture capital fund to supercharge the development of next generation clean, low-carbon technologies.

The Clean Growth Fund (click here) will contribute towards the UK’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050 and will be accessible to UK-based companies driving green technology across the power, transport, waste, and building energy efficiency sectors. Potential examples of projects the fund could support include:

  • energy storage and smart grid systems to bolster resilience in the power system
  • renewable heating and ventilation technologies across homes and commercial buildings
  • bio-fuels and bio-energy systems

With £20 million of government investment matched pound for pound by CCLA, one of the UK’s largest charity fund managers, the fund could reach £100 million by Autumn 2021 through private sector fundraising.

Money Advice Service

Coronavirus and your money

If you have to take time off work because of coronavirus there are a number of support measures in place. Follow the link below to find out more.

Coronavirus – what it means for you and what you’re entitled to

The spread of coronavirus, also called COVID-19, in the UK and across the world could have implications for your work, benefits and travel plans. This guide will look at your rights to sick pay, what benefits you can claim if you’re self-employed or not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Women in Innovation 2020: new funding announced

Innovate UK has announced a new wave of Women in Innovation Awards to find and support the UK’s most promising female innovators. Up to 10 women will secure £50,000 each as well as a bespoke programme of coaching, mentoring and innovation growth support. Click here for more information.

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