Coronavirus: Your guide to business supportPublished: Thursday, 19th March 2020
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on 17 March 2020 that the government will do ‘whatever it takes’ to support businesses throughout the Coronavirus crisis. Here's your guide to the help available.
After pledging £12 billion to soften the impact of Covid-19 last week, the government confirmed they will give ‘businesses the tools to get through the crisis’, with access to a £350 billion package of grants, loans, and business support – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP.
The following funding and support was announced:
Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme
THe Coronavirus Business Interruption scheme increased loan borrowing from £1.2 million to £5 million, with the first 6 months of finance interest free. This funding will be accessed through British Business Bank and will launch week commencing 23 March 2020.
Bank of England
Support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans. More information to follow.
A 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months for all retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses, no matter what their rateable values are.
Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR)
Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief. More information to follow.
Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Sector Small Business Grant
Businesses with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000 can access an additional £25,000 grant for retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses operating from small premises. Businesses can access this grant through their local authority, with more information to be announced on 20 March 2020.
Statutory Sick Pay
For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.
Time to Pay
A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.