Various packages of support and funding have been announced by the UK Government:
Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The CRJS will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month. The scheme covers the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is open for claim submissions until 31st October. However, the scheme closed to new entrants on 30th June. To furlough an employee from 1st July, they must have already been furloughed for 3 consecutive weeks at any time up to 30th June.
The CJRS rules changed on 1 July to give firms the flexibility to bring staff off furlough on a part-time basis. Find out how.
The scheme updates mean that the following will apply for the period people are furloughed:
- for June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours the employee is on furlough, as well as employer National Insurance Contributions (ER NICS) and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work
- for August, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough
- for September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed
- for October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed
You can find out more here.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
The CBILS offers government-backed, 12 months interest-free loans of up to £5m for businesses which turn over up to £45m. CBILS supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities. It is now open for applications and is available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders and partners, which are listed on the British Business Bank website.
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
Under this scheme, the UK Government will provide a guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £250 million. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million can borrow up to £50 million, and facilities will be available from 3 months up to 3 years. This scheme launched on 20th April and can be accessed here or contact your usual lender.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
Announced on 27th April, the BBLS is aimed at the UK’s smallest firms, offering loans of between £2,000 and £50,000. Businesses can borrow up to the value of 25% of their turnover up to a maximum of £50,000 and the UK government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months, and there is a short, standardised online application to apply, with no forward-looking test of business viability or ‘complex’ eligibility criteria. Finance should reach businesses within 24 hours of approval and loans are delivered through a network of accredited lenders. More details can be found here.
In May 2020, this scheme was expanded to increase the maximum loan size available to £200 million. The expanded loans, which have been introduced following discussions with lenders and business groups, will be available from 26 May. Changes also mean companies receiving help through CLBILS and the Bank of England’s Coronavirus Corporate Financing Fund (CCFF) Details of the scheme can be accessed here or contact your usual lender.
Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
This scheme provides a grant worth 80% of profits to a cap of £2,500 per month for the self-employed with profits less than £50,000 per annum. It is based on average profits declared in the last 3 years tax return will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months.
The claims service opened on 13th May and applications opened in tranches based on your UTR number, with eligible claimants receiving money within 6 working days of making a claim. On 29th May 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced this scheme would be extended so that claimants would be able to make a claim for a second and final grant in August 2020. If you’re eligible, the second and final grant will be a taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total. Other points to note about the extended scheme include:
- Individuals can continue to apply for the first SEISS grant until 13 July.
- Applications for the second grant will open in August
- The eligibility criteria are the same for both grants, and individuals will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. An individual does not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant: for example, you may only have been adversely affected by COVID-19 in this later phase.
More details on the scheme as it stands can be found here.
Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
Administered by the Bank of England, the CCFF will provide funding to businesses by purchasing commercial paper of up to one-year maturity, issued by firms making a material contribution to the UK economy.
The Future Fund
Announced in April 2020, this has now opened for applications. This fund will issue convertible loans to innovative UK companies with good potential, and who typically rely on equity investment which is currently affected by Covid-19. Companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.
The government has made an initial £250 million available for investment through the scheme and will consider increasing this if needed. Private investors – potentially including venture capital funds, angel investors and those backed by regional funds – will at least match the government investment in these companies.
The Fund will be open until September and is delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.
Deferral of VAT Payments for 3 months.
VAT payments were deferred so that businesses do not need to pay VAT between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, with firms having until the end of the financial year to repay these bills.
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate (SSP)
From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers with fewer than 250 employees are able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP they have made. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. Click here to find out more.
The Scottish Government has also announced various measures including:
- A full year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism businesses.
- 6% relief for all properties, effectively freezing the poundage rate next year
- Requests to local authorities to allow pubs and restaurants to relax planning rules to operate temporarily as takeaways
- Extending the go-live date for the deposit return scheme to July 2022
- Halting the introduction of the Visitor Levy Bill, and the delay of the introduction of Low Emissions Zones in Scotland’s key cities – including Edinburgh.
- The Small Business Support Grant which provides £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief.
- The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant which provides £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000
- An extension to these schemes was announced in late April 2020 and is also now open for applications. In addition to the existing grants of £10,000 or £25,000 for the first property – businesses may now qualify for grants of £7,500 or £18,750 on all subsequent eligible premises.
- In addition, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a rateable value up to £18,000 that do not qualify for the Small Business Bonus Scheme, may now qualify for Small Business Grants.
- These schemes are administered by Local Authorities – please check here for more details of how to apply
- To support the recently self-employed and viable micro-businesses, the following have been made available:
- A Self-Employed Hardship Fund, managed by Local Authorities, to be allocated to the newly self-employed facing hardship through £2,000 grants
- A Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies in partnership with Creative Scotland and VisitScotland for creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of business rates relief.
- A Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies for vulnerable SME firms who are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland
- Please note that both the Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprise Fund and the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund closed to new applications at 5pm on Monday 18 May
- A £230 million Return to Work package has been unveiled to help stimulate Scotland’s economy following the coronavirus pandemic. The initiative covers construction, low carbon projects, digitisation and business support and will provide a flow of work for businesses and support jobs. It is funded by the reallocation of underspends from schemes interrupted by COVID-19. New projects featured in the package include:• £51 million for business support, including boosting high growth companies;
• £78 million for construction, including £40 million for regeneration projects and £20 million for roads maintenance;
• £66 million to kick-start our green recovery, including £7 million to equip buses for physical distancing and the return to work; and
• £35.5 million for digitisation, including justice and education services.Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced the package on 16th June as she opened a Scottish Parliament debate on the financial implications of COVID-19. She also sought Parliament’s support for the Scottish Government’s call to be granted additional financial powers to manage the crisis. More information can be found here.
- The Towns and BIDs Resilience and Recovery Fund, announced as part of a £2m package by the Scottish Government on 12th June, is intended to support localised response activities contributing to town centre and high street resilience and recovery. The fund is open to local authorities and constituted groups with suitable governance controls, including Town Centre Partnerships, Town Teams, Traders or Business Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Community or Development Trusts, Housing Associations, Council-led initiatives, CICs, SCIOs and Charitable Community Groups. More information can be found here.