This page was last updated on 27 April 2022.
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Support for businesses
Sector-specific financial support
1. Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant - The scheme closed on 31 March 2022
In response to the Omicron variant, the government has launched a new scheme that will provide one-off grants of up to £6,000 to businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors. More information on the scheme is available through our dedicated grants page.
2. Additional Restrictions Grant -The scheme closed on 31 March 2022
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is a discretionary grant supporting businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed.
To support other businesses impacted by Omicron – such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors – the government is providing an additional £102 million to the fund for local authorities in England.
More information on the scheme is available through our dedicated grants page.
All grants are allocated through the local authority, so please review your local council's page to see what is available in your area.
Live Events Reinsurance Scheme - scheme running until September 2022
From September 2021, under the new government-backed insurance scheme worth over £750 million, event organisers will be able to purchase cover for government-enforced cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Government Covid restrictions alongside their standard commercial events insurance.
While the scheme will cover the cancellation, postponement, relocation or abandonment of events due to new UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to COVID-19, it will not cover self-isolation of staff or performers or cover loss of revenue prompted by lower demand for tickets or venue capacity.
Note: In order to be eligible, you must have or purchase a standard events cancellation policy (or a policy that includes event cancellation coverage) provided at least in part by a participating insurer within the scheme. The cover backed by the scheme will not be offered on a standalone basis.
Visit the government website for the full scheme rules.
Financial support for all sectors
- The COVID-19 Grant Schemes have now closed.
- Recovery Loan scheme for loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £2 million (for SMEs). The scheme has been extended to 30 June 2022.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – Scheme closed on 30 September 2021
The scheme provides you with a grant to enable you to continue paying part of your employees’ salaries rather than making them redundant.
- Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSP) - Scheme closed on 24 March 2022
Under this scheme, you can claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP paid to eligible employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are self-isolating in line with government advice. Eligible employers are able to claim for COVID-related sickness absences having occurred from 21 December 2021 onwards.
The online service you can use to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) can be accessed, here.
- Kickstart Scheme - The scheme closed in March 2022. Employers and gateways could apply until 17 December 2021.
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.
- Apprenticeships support
- Employers who hired an apprentice between 1 October 2021 to 31 January 2022 are able to apply for a one-off payment of £3,000 from 11 January 2022. Applications for this period will close on 20 May 2022.
- Placement support
- Employers can claim £1000 for every T Level student they host on a high-quality 45 day (315 hour) industry placement that commences between 27 May 2021 and 31 July 2022. You can offer a T level placement if you are looking for talent in areas such as catering and hospitality, business and administration, digital and IT and others. The full list of skill areas within scope is available on the government website.
- Internationalisation Fund - The Fund will provide SMEs looking to grow through international trade match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000.
- SME Brexit Support Fund - The scheme closed to new applications on 30 June 2021
The Fund will provide small and medium-sized businesses new to importing or exporting with grants up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice.
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.
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
Business rates relief
In the 2021 Autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced that the government will continue to support the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in 2022-2023 introducing a new temporary 50% business rate discount for eligible properties capped at a maximum of £110,000.
Other tax relief
- Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief (MGETR) – This relief which was due to end in March 2022 will be extended for a further two years until 31 March 2024
- Theatre Tax Relief (TTR), Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR) and MGETR – The government will increase the headline rates of relief for TTR, OTR and MGETR
Arbitration on rent debt relief for businesses affected by coronavirus
From 25 March 2022, a new law is in place to help resolve certain remaining commercial rent debts accrued because of the pandemic.
This means that from this day, a legally binding arbitration process will be available for eligible commercial landlords and tenants who have not already reached an agreement. This will resolve disputes about certain pandemic-related rent debt and help the market return to normal as quickly as possible.
The law applies to commercial rent debts of businesses including pubs, gyms and restaurants which were mandated to close, in full or in part, from March 2020 until the date restrictions ended for their sector. Debts accrued at other times will not be in scope.
While the general moratorium on commercial evictions and restrictions on Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) in England and Wales has now ended, eligible firms will remain protected for the next 6 months during which arbitration can be applied for or until the conclusion of an arbitration.
Commercial landlords and tenants are encouraged to negotiate agreements using the updated Code of Practice. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the new binding arbitration system can be used as a last resort for eligible businesses.
For more information, visit the government website.
Other business support measures
Temporary insolvency measures - ended on 31 March 2022
In 2020, the Government made changes to Insolvency law which included temporary and permanent measures. These measures were introduced in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act in March 2020 and came into force on 26 June 2020.
Most of the temporary measures expired at the end of June and September 2021, except for restrictions on winding up companies, which were extended until 31 March 2022. This remaining insolvency restriction was not extended further, allowing the insolvency regime to return to its pre-pandemic operation.
The Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme - ended on 30 June 2021
• The Trade Credit Reinsurance (TCR) scheme which was introduced in 2020 as a temporary solution to companies struggling to get insurance cover for transactions because of the pandemic will close on 30 June as planned.
Support for individuals
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) - Scheme closed on 30 September 2021
If you are self-employed and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 you can benefit from the SEISS extension. Visit our guide to find out more about the fifth and final grant covering the period May 2021 - September 2021.
- Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme - Ended on 24 February 2022.
Individuals who were required to isolate before this date could still claim financial support up to 42 days after their first day of isolation.
If you are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (or you’re the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate) 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: