Coronavirus Business Support Hub
Government Support for Businesses
The government has announced a number of measures and packages to help support businesses through unprecedented times.
After pledging £12bn to soften the impact of COVID-19 in the budget, the government confirmed that they would be giving businesses the tools to get through the crisis. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £350bn financial support package for businesses, which included but is not limited to £330bn in loans, £20bn in other aid, business rates holiday, VAT deferral, sector specific grants and the job retention scheme.
Below are some of the measures put in place to help you.
If you’re self employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assesment system wil be deferred to January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.
The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs. If you think you are eligible but have not yet been contacted, get in touch with your local authority.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme has increased loan borrowing from £1.2million to £5million, with the first 12 months of finance interest free. This funding can be accessed through British Business Bank, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees.
Businesses must have turnover of less than £45million and meet eligibility criteria. Under new rules, small businesses affected by COVID-19 will be eligible (not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing). The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000.
A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme has been created. This new scheme for large busineses will provide a government gurantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25million to firms with an annual turnover of £45million to £500million. Loans backed by this gurantee will be offered at commercial rates of interest and further details of the scheme will be announced later this month.
Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.
The Cash Grant will be made available in June for self-employed people for at least 3 months. In the meantime self-employed individuals are advised to apply to universal credit. This scheme covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment. To qualify, more than half of your income needs to come from self-employment. Only those who are already self-employed will be eligible.
A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.
Business Helpline: 0800 024 1222
Self-employed Helpline: 0300 456 3565
Business Secretary, Alok Sharma has announced changes to insolvency laws to give businesses who have felt the impact of COVID-19 greater flexibility. The government had said they are working to implement this as soon as possible. The changes to the legislation will apply retrospectively from the beginning of March.
Herefordshire Council’s Fastershire Broadband Project has launched a Keep Connected grant to help support groups and organisations to adapt and continue to deliver their services remotely
The grant, of up to £500, is available to any not-for-profit groups or organisations, including charities, community groups and Parish/town councils.
Additional advice & support
Arts Council England has announced the cash injection to help artists, venues and freelancers in the cultural sector. The package includes £20m for individuals (made up of grants of up to £2,500 each), £90m for National Portfolio Organisations – venues and others that get annual funding – and £50m for organisations outside that scheme.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has suspended the issue of its levy bills (which ususally takes place in April) for at least 3 months. This is aimed to ease financial pressures for businesses affected by COVID-19. CITB will not seek collection on the suspended bills until August, or later.
The Government has announced that all UK employers will be able to access support to
continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have
been laid off during this crisis.
The BCC has sought clarification from Ministers on the detail of the scheme and will update these
FAQs as further information is obtained.
How we can support you
We have a host of ways in which we can support you and your business in navigating through these uncertain times.
We are here to help every business, whatever size or sector.
Here are a few Chamber Services for you to use that might be helpful at this time.
A service free to Chamber Members providing professional advice and documentation to help your business implement good HR practices. Benefit from our free 24/7 advice line and access to online HR documents.
Talk to us, we’re here to help
For more information about how the Chamber can help your business during the coronavirus pandemic