So much has happened since the UK first went into lockdown on March 23, 2020. The government has made a commendable effort to help people, businesses and keep the healthcare system afloat at the same time. Various schemes, grants and loans have been launched since the lockdown, now just over a month down the line – here is a summary of the support available to businesses across England.
Self-employed income support scheme (SEISS)
The SEIS scheme, allows any individual who is self-employed and anyone who is a member of a partnership to apply for a taxable grant of 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
> A local authority cash grant
£10,000 for businesses that are currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief to help meet their ongoing business costs
>Grants for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses (with premises)
Grants of £25,000 to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.
>Grant for Small and Medium-Sized Charities
£370 million grant scheme for small and medium-sized charities to enable them to meet the increased demand for their services as a result of coronavirus as well as continuing to carry out their day-to-day activities. Go to www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-sets-out-extra-750-million-coronavirus-funding-for-frontline-charities for more information.
Business Support Loan Options
> The Bounce Back Loan Scheme
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme provides loans of between £2,000 and £5,000 to small and medium sized businesses.
- For the first 12 months, the loan will be interest-free.
- Interest 2.5%
- Loans available equals 25% of annual turnover
Read our article on Business Bounce Back Loans
>The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
The CBILS scheme provides loans of up to £5 million to support and protect small businesses. For the first 12 months the loan will be interest free.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
Under the CJRS, employers can apply for a grant covering 80% of the wages of furloughed employees who they would otherwise have to lay off because of the coronavirus outbreak, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
VAT and self-assessment payments
VAT payments will be deferred by three months so payments due in April 2020 will now be payable at the end of June 2020.
Self-assessment tax payments will be deferred by six months so payments due on 31 July 2020 will not now be payable until 31 January 2021.
Businesses will also be able to apply for a three-month extension for filing their accounts with Companies House. www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19,
Statutory sick pay
All employers with fewer than 250 employees will be refunded by the Government for the cost of providing 14 days’ statutory sick pay for employees who cannot work because they need to self-isolate at home or are shielding in line with public health guidelines. Statutory Sick Pay will also be made available from day one to employees who need to self-isolate because they have coronavirus. Go to www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19 for more information.