Support for businesses
Sector-specific financial support
1. Restart Grant scheme - Applications closed on 30 June.
This scheme will provide one-off grants of up to £18,000 to businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors to help them reopen following the national lockdown. More information on the scheme is available through our dedicated grants page.
2. Additional Restrictions Grant
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.
Please note that the second top-up of £425 million of ARG funding will be allocated to Local Authorities when they have spent or made a validated attempt to spend 100% of their first two ARG allocations combined. Local Authorities have until 30 July 2021 to meet all necessary conditions to be eligible to receive the top-up.
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 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 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 from 6 April 2021
- Recovery Loan scheme for loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £10 million (for businesses of any size)
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 back SSP paid to 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.
- Apprenticeships support
Incentive payment to hire new apprentices - extended to 30 September 2021
- For new apprentices who join your business between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 you will receive a one-off payment of £3,000. You can apply for these apprentices from 1 June 2021.
- 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.
- SME Brexit Support Fund - The scheme closed to new applications on 30 June
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
VAT cuts and Business rates relief
- VAT: reduced rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors – Valid until 30 September 2021.
If you are a VAT registered businesses, you can apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admissions to certain attractions.
Between October 2021 and April 2022, there will be an interim rate of 12.5%.
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.
In the 2021 Budget, it was announced that the business rates holiday will continue to apply for these businesses until June 2021. After that, businesses will be eligible for a discount and will only be required to pay 66% of their business rates bill until the end of the financial year. Most councils will automatically apply the 66% discount applicable from 1 July to qualifying businesses. However, some councils state that in order to receive a discount from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, eligible businesses will need to complete a form. To ensure you get any relief you might be eligible for, visit your local council's website Contact your council about business rates bill - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Extension of moratorium on forfeiture of business tenancies
If you are a commercial tenant, you will be protected from the risk of eviction until 25 March 2022. In addition, the government will extend the restriction on landlords using Commercial Rents Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to enforce unpaid rent on commercial leases.
Government extends business support measures
Regulations are set to be laid that will mean restrictions on statutory demands and winding up petitions will remain for a further three months until 30 September 2021 to protect companies from creditor enforcement action where their debts relate to the pandemic.
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
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.
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: