Support for businesses
Sector-specific financial support
1. Closed Business Lockdown Payment (One-off top-up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses)
Hospitality and leisure businesses required to close due to national restrictions introduced on 5 January, may be eligible for a one-off top-up grant of up to £9,000. This grant will be provided in addition to the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum) seen below.
2. Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum) - for closed businesses
This grant supports businesses that are required to close due to national restrictions and includes hospitality. All bars and pubs required to close due to national restrictions are eligible for a grant through the scheme even if they choose to operate as a takeaway, click and collect or online with delivery services.
3. Christmas grants for 'wet-led pubs' - final applications must be received by Local Authorities by 31 January 2021.
On December 1, the government announced that pubs predominantly serving alcohol rather than providing food in areas under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions will be eligible for a one-off £1,000 cash grant in December 2020. These will be administered by local authorities and eligible businesses can apply through their website.
4. Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed))
LRSG Closed - for the period 23 October - 4 November
Businesses including pubs and bars which were required to close because of the Tier 3 local restrictions that were imposed prior to the national restrictions on November 5 may be eligible for this grant scheme.
Pubs and bars that remained open operating as a restaurant serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal and where alcohol was served as part of such meal would not be eligible.
LRSG Closed - from 2 December 2020 onwards
From December 2, this grant also supports eligible businesses that were required to close under the new Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions.
LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4
Grant support for businesses required to close in Tier 4. The thresholds that apply to LRSG (Closed) apply to this addendum.
5. Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Open))
Businesses that were open but were severely impacted by Local Covid Alert Level ‘High’ (Tier 2) and ‘Very High’ (Tier 3) restrictions could be eligible for grants under LRSG (Open). This scheme is primarily aimed at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses and is retrospective, with backdated payments being provided to businesses that experienced Tier 2 or Tier 3 -type restrictions for any period since 1 August.
Further information on the grants outlined above is available through our guide here.
Financial support for all sectors
Grant support for businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions
A summary of the different grants available at a national and local level for businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions is available through our guide, here. All grants are allocated through the local authority, so please review your local council's page to see what is available in your area.
Please note that phishing emails seeking to target those eligible for the extended business support grants have recently been reported. Guidance on recognising phishing emails and texts has been published by the government and additional resources are available through our dedicated Cyber crime awareness during the Coronavirus outbreak page.
Open for applications until 31 March 2021
- Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS) for fast-tracked smaller scale finance including loans ranging from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover capped at £50,000.
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million (for SMEs with an annual turnover of no more than £45 million)
- Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) for debt finance of up to £200m (for larger businesses with a turnover of more than £45m)
Open for applications until 31 January 2021
- Future Fund for loans ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors
Open for applications from counterparties and issuers looking to become eligible until 31 December 2020
- Covid Corporate Financing Facility designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through the purchase of short-term debt in the form of commercial paper. The scheme will close for new purchases from eligible issuers with effect from 23 March 2021.
The scheme provides you with a grant to enable you to continue paying part of your employees’ salaries rather than making them redundant.
You can claim SSP for eligible employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are self-isolating in line with government advice.
The scheme can provide you with funding to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
Funding for each job placement covers:
- 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
- the associated employer National Insurance contributions
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If you are unable to offer this many job placements, you can partner with other organisations like the Growth Company to reach the minimum number.
From 3 February 2021, the 30 job placement threshold will be removed and businesses can apply directly to the scheme regardless of the number of job placements. Employers can also choose to apply through a Kickstart gateway, including those supporting sole traders.
To help you make a successful Kickstart Scheme application the government has published a series of tips available through the government website.
Incentive payment to hire new apprentices
If you hire an apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021, you will receive a one-off payment of:
- £2,000 for apprentices aged 16 to 24
- £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over
The government has introduced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 to amend insolvency and company law to support business to address the challenges resulting from the impact of coronavirus. These changes include temporary and permanent measures. Amongst these, is the introduction of a new moratorium to give companies breathing space from their creditors while they seek a rescue.
Our guide addresses the changes to Insolvency Law and what are the best steps to consider for your business if you are experiencing cash-flow difficulties.
New guarantee scheme providing SMEs with export finance up to £25 million helping them recover from COVID-19.
Gives small and micro-businesses the know-how to sell to customers around the world with confidence.
If you are an importer or exporter, or a business which completes customs declarations on behalf of your clients, you can get funding for recruitment, training and IT improvements.
Providing UK exporters access to working capital finance for specific export-related contracts.
Insurance from UK Export Finance to manage risk in challenging markets.
A loan from UK Export Finance for overseas buyers to finance the purchase of capital goods and/or services from UK exporters.
Other support available
VAT cuts and Business rates relief
- VAT: reduced rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors – Valid until March 31 2021.
If you are a VAT registered businesses, you can apply for a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admissions to certain attractions.
- If you have deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 you have the option to spread out your VAT bill over eleven smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year using the government’s new VAT deferral “New Payment Scheme”. To take advantage of the scheme, businesses will need to opt-in before the end of March 2021. The opt-in process will be set up by HMRC in early 2021. Find out how to get ready to opt in to the scheme here.
- If you complete a self-assessment tax return and chose to delay your second payment on account, you can pay your deferred July 2020 payment on account any time up to 31 January 2021.
- If you have up to £30,000 of Self-Assessment liabilities you will be able to benefit from an additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility. This means that payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid in full until January 2022.
If your property is a restaurant, café, bar, pub, cinema, live music venue, assembly or leisure property (i.e. sports club, gym or a spa) or a hospitality property (i.e.hotel, guest house or self-catering accommodation) you will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
Extension of moratorium on forfeiture of business tenancies
If you are a commercial tenant, you will be protected from the risk of eviction until 31 December 2020. In addition, the government has also extended the restriction on landlords using Commercial Rents Arrears Recovery to enforce unpaid rent on commercial leases, until the end of 2020.
Support for the agriculture, food and drink sector
- ‘Bounce back’ plan for agriculture, food and drink industry launched
The measures introduced will support producers, manufacturers and agri-tech companies across the food supply chain.
Support for individuals
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) - November 2020 - April 2021
If you are self-employed and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 you can benefit from the SEISS extension.
First grant (November - January)
The first grant will cover 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits up to £7,500 in total.
The online service for the next grant will be available from November 30 2020 and eligible individuals must make their claim on or before 29 January 2021.
Second Grant (February 2021 to the end of April)
The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.
- Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme – Open until 31 January 2021
If you are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and you’re on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the scheme.
If you have lost your job or are working reduced hours you may be able to claim: