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

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:

Registration now live for the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme

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.

The Eat Out to Help Out registration page went live this morning on GOV.UK, allowing businesses to join the scheme announced last week by Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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):

Time to Pay service

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: 

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)

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.

Further information is available here.

There is a FAQ for Small Businesses here.

Bounce Back Loans

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 6 years.

You cannot apply if you’ve already claimed under the CBILS. However, if you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 you can arrange with your lender to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan Scheme until 4 November 2020.

For more information, visit:

Future Fund

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.

Further information can be found here:

Find out how to apply here:

VAT deferral

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have 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.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

All UK employers are able to access support to continue paying part of their employee’s salary for those who would otherwise have been laid off.

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. It covers wages backdated to 1 March and the scheme went live for claims on Monday 20 April. Once a claim is submitted, businesses can expect payment for furloughed workers within 4-6 working days. Further details are here and there is a step by step guide. We have also produced our advice here.

The cut off date for employees has been extended to 19 March which will mean that more workers can be included within the scheme.

12/5 – The Chancellor announced that the scheme will be extended to October and that from August furloughed workers can return part time with employers asked to pay a percentage towards their salaries. Link

28/5 – The Chancellor announced that from 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back part time. From August, the level of government grant will be tapered. Link

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 – If they cannot assist, your local MP or councillor maybe able to raise the issue on your behalf (contact yours here –

If you are successful in securing support from your local authority, please let us know

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)

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 –

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

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:

Business Support in Scotland

The guide to support for businesses in Scotland is here and details of all the support is here –

  • 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 hospitalty 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. Furrher details here.

29/6 – a start-up grant to support new businesses dealing with the severe impact of Coronavirus has been announced –

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 callingh the Invest NI Helpline: 0800 181 4422

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

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

Individuals have been invited to claim their SEISS grant on a specified date, from 13 – 18 May. They won’t be able to apply before their claim date but can make a claim after that day.

People can check their date using HMRC’s online checker at any time.

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.

Commerical 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.


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 –

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:

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 temporarilly paused the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved. Those issued with a late filing penalty due ot 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: