COVID 19 Business Help

 1. Grant for small businesses – £10K

Among the support for businesses is a one-off grant of £10,000 for small businesses to help meet their ongoing business cost.

Who is entitle?

This is based around rate relief.

Therefore, small businesses who currently receive Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief will be contacted by their local authorities.

When will I get this money?

The grant money will not be available until early April 2020.

How do I apply?

There is no action for you.

Guidance will be issued to your local authorities by 1 April 2020 and they will write to businesses thereafter about the grant.

2. Grant for small businesses – £25K

Once again, this is based around rate relief.

Who is entitle?

This grant is for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from premises with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

How do I apply?

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

3. Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Business rates holiday, which is now being rolled out to all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

Who is entitle?

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  1. Your business is based in England.
  2. Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.

How do I apply?

There is no action for you.

This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

4. Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, boosting potential borrowing from £1.2 million to £5 million. This is to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

Who is entitle?

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  1. Your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £41 million per annum.
  2. Your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria.

How does it work?

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.

The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.

How do I apply?

You should talk to your bank or finance provider as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them.

All major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. The scheme will be available from the week commencing 23 March.

Existing loan

If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

5. Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service

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.


You are eligible if your business:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

6. VAT deferring

Businesses will be supported by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Who is entitle?

All UK businesses are eligible.

How do I apply?

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

7. Self-Assessment deferring

If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021

Who is entitle?

If you are self-employed you are eligible.

How do I apply?

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

8. IR35 postponed

Elsewhere in yesterday’s update, the government also announced it would be postponing the implementation of much-criticised changes to IR35 legislation. The reforms will now come into effect on 6 April 2021, rather than 6 April 2020, as originally planned.

9. Guidance for Employees

Businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible.

If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow the advice to stay at home

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.

This will be paid from the first day of their absence from work.

Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week,  or self-employed people, is able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

For those on a low income and already claiming Universal Credit, it is designed to automatically adjust depending on people’s earnings or other income. However, if someone needs money urgently, they can apply for an advance through the journal.


Job retention scheme

The government has announced it will help pay employees’ wages.

All employers will be able to apply to HMRC (for a grant) to pay the wages of employees who are furloughed (force to be absent temporarily from work).

The government will pay 80% of wages of furloughed employees, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

How do I apply?

No guidance is currently been provided; however, the scheme will be backdated to March 1 and open initially for “at least” three months.

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