Covid-19 financial support

This page contains the latest financial support available during the Covid-19 crisis. To return to the main SIBA Covid-19 page please visit www.siba.co.uk/Coronavirus

Business guidance

Covid-19: Support for businesses
Covid-19: Guidance for employers
Covid-19: Guidance for employees

Wales: Support for business and information for individuals and businesses
Scotland: Support for business and information for individuals and businesses
Northern Ireland: information for individuals and businesses

Business Support Helplines

England: 0800 998 1098
Wales: 0330 060 300
Scotland: 0300 303 0660
Northern Ireland: 0800 181 4422

The Government has announced a series of measures to assist small businesses. This includes:

UK wide

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – extended

Deadline: Extended to end April 2021
For claims ending on or before 31 October, deadline is 30 November 2020. Claims for days in November must be submitted by 14 December 2020.

The furlough scheme has now been extended until 31 March 2021, with a review in January. Up to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.

  • Employers do not need to have used the scheme previously
  • All UK employers can claim, whether the business is open or closed
  • Employees can be on any type of employment contract
  • Employees must have been on the PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020 and the employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information submission for that employee between 20 March and 30 October 2020
  • Employers cover National Insurance and pension contributions for hours not worked

Previously furloughed: for employees that meet the eligibility criteria, and were previously furloughed, employers must use the same calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours as CJRS.

Newly furloughed: For an employee who meets the criteria of the extended scheme but was not previously eligible for CJRS, the alternative calculations of reference pay and usual hours must be used. For all other employees, employers must use the CJRS calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours.

Further information here.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Deadline: Third round opens 30 November 2020

Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.

HMRC is also inviting customers, or their agents, to go online and check their eligibility for SEISS.

In order to receive quick confirmation from the eligibility checker, individuals should:

  • have their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and their National Insurance Number to hand
  • make sure their details are up-to-date in their Government Gateway account

For further information, please read HMRC’s guidance or speak to your tax agent. If you need further support, please use HMRC’s webchat service or call the Covid-19 Helpline on 0800 024 1222.

England

January 2021 lockdown grants

 

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
  • any business which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant
  • £594 million for discretionary grants

More information

 

Wet led pubs

  • One off £1000 grant to wet led pubs in tiers 2 and 3.
  • Pubs that derive over 50% of their income from food sales will not be eligible to receive funding through this grant scheme.  Businesses in areas moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2 or Tier 3 after 29 December will not be eligible to receive funding

Guidance

Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed businesses)

Deadline: check local authority for details

During the winter lockdown (November-December) this funding will be provided by local authorities for businesses that have been mandated to close by the Government, including non-essential retail and hospitality businesses.

  • For properties with an RV of £15k or under, grants of £1,334 per 28 days
  • For properties with an RV above £15k and below £51k, grants of £2000 per 28 days
  • For properties with an RV of £51k or above, grants of £3000 per 28 days

During the Winter Lockdown the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) and (Sector) cease to apply.

Check to see if you can apply.

Guidance – here

Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply: Find the website for your local council

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open Businesses)

Deadline: check local authority for details

This is for businesses that have not had to close but been severely restricted (those in Local Covid alert levels: High or Very High). Local councils have the discretion to provide grants under this scheme.

It is expected that councils will provide:

  • For properties with an RV of £15k or under, grants of up to £467 per 14 days
  • For properties with an RV above £15k and below £51k, grants of up to £700 per 14 days
  • For properties with an RV of £51k or above, grants of up to £1,050 per 14 days

Guidance – here

Additional Restrictions Grant

This is a new discretionary grant administered by local authorities and councils can determine how much funding to provide and which businesses to target. The Government has encouraged councils to use the funding to support businesses not legally forced to close but which are severely impacted, including suppliers to the hospitality sector.

Check to see if you can apply

Guidance – here

Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply: Find the website for your local council

Wales

ERF Restrictions Business Fund

Deadline: First come first served

On the 30 November the First Minister announced a £340m package of support directed primarily at the hospitality, tourism and related supply chain sectors.

The purpose of the fund is to support businesses into the new year with cash flow support to help them survive the economic consequences of the restrictions put in place.

Hospitality businesses who received the Lockdown Business Grant in October via their Local Authority will begin receiving payments via the ERF Restriction Fund into their back account during December. These businesses will not be required to re-register their details.

For all other eligible businesses to receive any of the ERF Restrictions Fund, businesses will need to register their details, as well as making a short on-line application to their respective local authority for the discretionary elements. These payments will start to reach businesses in January.

More information – https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/erf-restrictions-business-fund

18/12 – Update – another £110m announced for level 4 restrictions – https://gov.wales/extra-110-million-support-welsh-businesses-affected-new-restrictions

Scotland

Strategic Framework Business Fund

Open: From 2 November 2020

Businesses that are required to close by law or have significant changes in its operations can apply. This consists of:

  • Temporary closure grant (for those closed by law) – £2,000-£3,000 (depending on rateable value)
  • Business restrictions grant (for those open but required to modify operations by law) – £1,400-£2,100 (depending on rateable value)

More information here

New Covid restrictions support fund of up to £40 million

Deadline: 3 November 2020 – closed

The Scottish Government have earmarked up to £40 million to support employees and businesses impacted by the new restrictions – consistent with the established commitment to sustainable and inclusive growth and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): fair work statement.

The COVID-19 Restrictions Fund will be available to hospitality and other businesses required to close (except for takeaway) by these new restrictions regulations. It operates as a two-tiered scheme, with a smaller grant of £2,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of under £51,000 and a larger grant of £3,000 for those businesses with a RV over £51,000.  An upper limit of £15,000 in total will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises.

At the same time, Local Authorities will invite applications for a business hardship fund –  with payments of £1,000 or  £1500, dependent on Rateable Value –   to  support some businesses that remain open but are still significantly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close. An upper limit of £10,000 will apply in total to any eligible business operating multiple premises.

There is a finite budget available for this support and we wish to do all we can to minimise the risk that applications from businesses exceed the funding available.  Therefore we will target the first round of applications on:

  • hospitality businesses and some gyms, required by these new regulations to close or operate in a restricted way and able to evidence a minimum 25% reduction in turnover during the brake period
  • producers/wholesale businesses based in Scotland supplying primarily short-life goods or produce to hospitality businesses required by the regulations to close or operate in a restricted way and able to evidence a minimum 25% reduction in turnover during the brake period

It is SIBA’s understanding that brewers of cask beer will be able to apply for funds as you meet the second criteria of business above.

Northern Ireland

Wet Pubs Business Support Scheme 

  • Announced 18 December
  • £10.6m to wet pubs closed between 4 July and 23 September
  • Payments will be based on the Net Annual Value (NAV) rating of the business:
  • NAV £15,000 and less:  £800 per week x 12 weeks
  • NAV £15,001 to £51,000:  £1,200 per week x 12 weeks
  • NAV over £51,000:  £1,600 per week x 12 weeks

Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme

Part A: Deadline 27 November 2020

The Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) Part A will support businesses which meet the following criteria:

  • The business is restricted within the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 but is not eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS)
  • The business is operating in Northern Ireland and was trading immediately prior to 16 October 2020
  • The income lost as a result of your business having to close or cease trading is your main source of income – ie accounts for more than 50% of your income

Check eligibility and apply.

Part B: Deadline 10 December 2020

The Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) Part B will support businesses which meet the following criteria:

CRBSS Part B is open to businesses not been named in the regulations but either:

  • in the direct supply chain of a business named in the regulations and as a result, has been severely impacted; or
  • reliant upon a business named in the regulations being open and fully operational and as a result, has been severely impacted.

Check eligibility and apply

Other support

Time to Pay service

Deadline: ongoing

All businesses in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities (including for Beer Duty) may be eligible to receive support through HMRC’s Time to Pay service which can be contacted on 0800 0159 559. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19 

HMRC are also giving out a direct number to phone for Beer Duty: 0300 058 3920, 0300 322 9483 or 0300 322 7821.

The Chancellor has decided not to cancel Beer Duty payments due in March and April. Therefore breweries are strongly encouraged to phone the HMRC helpline above.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

Deadline: 31 March 2021

Small businesses are able to borrow up to £5 million with no interest due in the first 12 months. CBILS support a wide range of products including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities.

Guidance – here

Further information is available here.

There is a FAQ for Small Businesses here.

Bounce Back Loans

Deadline: 31 March 2021

Businesses can borrow between £2,000-£50,000 under a Bounce Back Loan and access the cash within days. These are interest free for the first 12 months and 100% guaranteed by the Government. Loan terms are up to 10 years (extended from 6 years to 10 years in September 2020).

If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, from 10 November you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 January 2021.

Guidance – here

For more information, visit: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/

Future Fund

Deadline: 31 March 2021

This is aimed at supporting UK-based companies who can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation.  These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.

Guidance – here

Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/future-fund-launches-today

Find out how to apply here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/future-fund

VAT deferral

Deadline: 30 June 2020 to apply but extended payment time to March 2022

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you had the option to:

  • defer the payment until a later date
  • pay the VAT due as normal

HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount deferred as a result of the Chancellor’s announcement.

If you deferred VAT payments you now need to:

  • set-up cancelled Direct Debits in enough time for HMRC to take payment
  • continue to submit VAT returns as normal, and on time
  • pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June

On 24 September 2020, the Chancellor announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period.

Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.

You will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022. Those that can pay their deferred VAT can to do so by 31 March 2021.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

Deadline: ongoing

If you’re an employer, find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees’ coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

The online service you’ll use to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is now available. More info here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Commercial Rents

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic

  • Government to introduce temporary new measures to safeguard the UK high street against aggressive debt recovery actions during the coronavirus pandemic
  • statutory demands and winding up petitions issued to commercial tenants to be temporarily voided and changes to be made to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery, building on measures already introduced in the Coronavirus Act
  • landlords and investors asked to work collaboratively with high street businesses unable to pay their bills during COVID-19 pandemic

The government has published a Code of Practice for the commercial property sector and announced an extension to the existing moratorium on commercial forfeitures until 30 September. This comes alongside extensions for other tenant protection measures, including changes to commercial rent arrears recovery, statutory demands and winding up petitions. Please find the press release here and the code here.

9/12 update: evictions ban extended until March 2021 – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-evictions-ban-extended-until-march

Insurance

For businesses that have an insurance policy that covers pandemics, the Government’s has said its announcement will be sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their policy.

Due to continuing and widespread concerns about the lack of clarity and certainty for some customers making business interruption claims, the FCA has announced that it intends to obtain a court declaration to resolve contractual uncertainty in business interruption (BI) insurance cover. The FCA’s full statement is available here.

SIBA sent a joint letter to raise concerns about insurance, which can be found here.

Trade Credit insurance guarantee

Business with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and are experiencing difficulties in maintaining cover can get support from the Government. More information here – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-support-businesses-through-trade-credit-insurance-guarantee

Holiday entitlement

The Government has released guidance outlining how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic. It is designed to help employers understand their legal obligations, in terms of workers who:

More info here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/holiday-entitlement-and-pay-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Extra 3 months to file accounts to Companies House

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. Companies House has also temporarily paused the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved. Those issued with a late filing penalty due to COVID-19 will also have appeals treated sympathetically.

From 25 March 2020, businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts. This joint initiative between the Government and Companies House will mean businesses can prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus. More info.

Companies House have introduced a temporary service to Upload a document to Companies House during the coronavirus outbreak.

Read the guidance to find out which documents you can upload using the upload service.
We’re continually working to improve the service. As this service is updated, it will include more document types and features such as acknowledgments and payments.

This service will not be available for Companies House documents you can already send online and you must use existing online services to:

Pension guidance

New guidance setting out how employers can meet their automatic enrolment (AE) duties as they navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been published by the Pensions Regulator.

Beer duty changes

Due to measures put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) HMRC has temporarily changed the way they deal with Beer Duty. You must pay Beer Duty electronically using Faster Payment, Bacs or CHAPS

If you have made a payment by cheque after 6 April 2020 and wish to check if your payment has been received please telephone: 03000 583920

The guidance will be updated when the measures end. More info here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-beer-wine-and-cider-duty

Expired Schemes

‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme

Deadline: 31 August 2020

Whilst not applicable to alcohol sales, the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme is open to pubs, restaurants, hotels and members’ clubs that serve food so may be useful for some businesses.

Restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments who use the scheme will offer a 50% reduction, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to all diners who eat and/or drink-in throughout August.

Customers do not need a voucher as participating establishments will just remove the discount from their bill. Businesses simply reclaim the discounted amount through an online service, supported by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Claims can be made on a weekly basis and will be paid into bank accounts within five working days.

The scheme is open to eligible establishments across the UK and can be used all day, every Monday to Wednesday, between 3 and 31 August 2020.

Businesses will receive a window sticker to show they are using the scheme and can download promotional items from GOV.UK.

Register here for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Further info:
How to register your restaurant or establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
More detailed information about the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Scheme Documents (after application):

Business Support in England

Although the exemption for business rates and the £25,000 cash grant are only for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, we have heard reports in the industry that some local authorities have extended this to the brewing sector. We would encourage you to apply via your local authority, especially if you have a brewery with a taproom or shop (find yours here – https://www.gov.uk/contact-your-local-council-about-business-rates). If they cannot assist, your local MP or councillor maybe able to raise the issue on your behalf (contact yours here – https://www.writetothem.com/). Deadline: 28 August 2020

If you are successful in securing support from your local authority, please let us know political@siba.co.uk

  • All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will now be exempt from business rates for a whole year. The Government has advised the relief will be for occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used: as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues.
  • Businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be given a cash grant of £25,000. Deadline: 28 August 2020
  • To support pubs, the Business Rates discount for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 in England was also increased from £1,000 to £5,000 for one year. Deadline: 28 August 2020
  • Businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief will receive a £10,000 one off grant to help meet their ongoing costs. Deadline: 28 August 2020
  • Businesses struggling to pay their taxes can arrange a time to pay arrangement with HMRC. SIBA lobbied Government following the Budget and Treasury has confirmed to us that time to pay arrangements can also be made on Beer Duty.

The Government has issued guidance for local authorities and for businesses

Top up to local business grants (Local Authority Discretionary Fund)

Deadline: most local authorities have now closed this scheme

The Government announced a top up to business grant funds scheme to accommodate certain small businesses outside the scope of the existing schemes. This is aimed at those in shared spaces, market traders and small charity properties. But councils can choose to make payments to others as well based on local economic need.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and able to demonstrate they have seen a significant drop in income.  The guidance for local authorities is here – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885011/local-authority-discretionary-grants-fund-guidance-local-government.pdf

Business Support in Scotland

The guide to support for businesses in Scotland is here and details of all the support is here – https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/

  • a full year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism
  • £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief. This was extended to include those that hold one or more properties
  • £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000
  • 1.6% relief for all properties, effectively freezing the poundage rate next year
  • £145m to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to COVID. This consists of £34m for the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, £20m for Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund and £90m for Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund and £1m for Creative Scotland’s Bridging Bursaries.
  • £120m to extend the Small Business Grant scheme to ensure that, in addition to a 100% grant on the first property, small business rate payers will be eligible to a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.
  • extending the go live date for the deposit return scheme to July 2022
  • halting the introduction of the Visitor Levy Bill

The Scottish Government has also set up a business helpline (open Monday – Friday, 8.30am-5.30pm) – 0300 303 0660

Update 8/10 – small businesses which share properties but do not pay business rates are now eligible to apply for grants. More info here.

Business Support in Wales

The Guide for businesses in Wales – link

The Welsh Government has launched a support eligibility checker.

  • Shops, leisure and hospitality businesses will receive 100% business rate relief.
  • Shops, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £12,001-£51,000 will get a £25,000 grant.
  • £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.
  • Pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their Business Rates bill.
  • A further £100m will be available for a new grant scheme for small businesses which are not eligible for this new business rate relief

For further support or business advice call: 03000 6 03000 (open Monday – Friday, 8.30am-5.30pm)

17/4 – applications are now open for the second stage of support from the Economic Resilience Fund. Further details here.

29/6 – a start-up grant to support new businesses dealing with the severe impact of Coronavirus has been announced – https://gov.wales/welsh-government-announce-grant-support-start-businesses

Business Support in Northern Ireland

  • All businesses will pay zero rates for the next three months
  • The issuing of rates bills is deferred from April until June
  • Proposed reductions in the regional business rate

Businesses can receive help by calling the Invest NI Helpline: 0800 181 4422

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