Government Support Available to businesses
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Here is our Finance Support & Advice guide for businesses to help you through the process:
March 2021 Budget Announcement
- An extension of the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme to 30 September 2021 across the UK.
- An extension of the UK-wide Self Employment Income Support scheme to September 2021, with 600,000 more people who filed a tax return in 2019-20 now able to claim for the first time.
- A new mortgage guarantee scheme will enable all UK homebuyers secure a mortgage up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit.
- £5 billion for new Restart Grants – a one off cash grant of up to £18,000 for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England.
- A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.
- Extension of the Film & TV Production Restart scheme in the UK, with an additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund.
- Six-month extension of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift in Great Britain, with the Northern Ireland Executive receiving additional funding to match the increase. A one-off payment of £500 to eligible Working Tax Credit claimants across the UK.
- Extension to the VAT cut to 5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions across the UK until the end of September, followed by a 12.5% rate for a further six months until 31 March 2022.
- 750,000 eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will benefit from business rates relief.
- Extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive in England to September 2021 and an increase of payment to £3,000.
- £7 million for a new “flexi-job” apprenticeship programme in England, that will enable apprentices to work with a number of employers in one sector.
- Additional £126 million for 40,000 more traineeships in England, funding high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds in 2021/22 academic year.
- Small and medium-sized employers in the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs per employee from the Government.
- To further support the cashflow of businesses, the government is extending the loss carry back rules worth up to £760,000 per company.
For more information click here
Recovery Loan Scheme launches 6 April 2021
A new government-backed loan scheme has been launched to provide additional finance to those businesses that need it to protect businesses and jobs.
The loans will include 80% government guarantee and interest rate cap. So far the government has backed £75 billion of loans to date as part of unprecedented £350 billion wider support package
The Recovery Loan Scheme will ensure businesses continue to benefit from Government-guaranteed finance throughout 2021.
With non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopening next week, Ministers have ensured that appropriate support is still available to businesses to protect jobs. From today, businesses – ranging from coffee shops and restaurants, to hairdressers and gyms – and can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000.
The scheme, which was announced at budget and runs until 31 December 2021, will be administered by the British Business Bank, with loans available through a diverse network of accredited commercial lenders. 26 lenders have already been accredited for day one of the scheme, with more to come shortly, and the government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans. Interest rates have been capped at 14.99% and are expected to be much lower than that in the vast majority of cases, and Ministers are urging lenders to ensure they keep rates down to help protect jobs. The Recovery Loan Scheme can be used as an additional loan on top of support received from the emergency schemes – such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – put into place last year.
For more information click here
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
These loans of up to £5m are available to smaller businesses across the UK. They apply to those businesses who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on cashflow. The scheme is available until 31 March 2021
Am I eligible?
Check your eligibility here
How do I apply?
Larger businesses can apply for up to a maximum of £200 million. More details here
The Kickstart Scheme
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wagedepending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
- associated employer National Insurance contributions
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.
A Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If a single employer cannot provide this many job placements, they can find a Kickstart gateway, such as a local authority, charity or trade body for help applying.
Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future. Applications from new Kickstart gateways will close on 28 January 2021 and all employers can apply directly online from 3 February 2021.
Apply for the Kickstart Scheme here
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
The Government is increasing the overall level of the grant to 80% of trading profits covering November to January for all parts of the UK. It was previously set at 55% of trading profits, or 80% in November and 40% in remaining months. The grant will open on November 30th two weeks earlier than announced and will be paid in time for Christmas.
You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021. To make a claim for the third grant your business must have been impacted by coronavirus on or after 1 November 2020. You can make a claim for the third grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first or second. Find out more here
If your business is affected by COVID-19, you can watch webinars to learn about the support available here
£40m boost for cutting edge start ups
Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. The Fast Start Competition which initially offered £20m, was launched in April in response to the outbreak and is being managed by Innovate UK.
The competition has now been expanded and aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups – helping to build the businesses of tomorrow and propel their future prosperity.
Among the successful projects to receive the funding to date, is a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers’ market platform.
The money is part of a wider investment package of £1.25 billion for innovative UK businesses, announced by the Chancellor on 20 April 2020.
On 27 June, the Government also announced the launch of the Sustainable Innovation Fund which is open to companies across the UK who need urgent financial help to keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive. The fund will provide government investment to support innovations ranging from AI systems managing city traffic flows to the latest reusable packaging materials.
R&D intensive businesses are being urged to apply for the funding to turn ingenious ideas into new technologies. More information here
Other Finance & Funding Options
There are a range of other finance and funding options available for small businesses. Don’t forget to get in touch with your current lender to discuss options for finance support & advice.
Outset Finance Support & Advice
Our sister organisation, Outset Finance can offer finance support & advice. They support young businesses which may be struggling to access finance, by supporting suitable candidates with a government-backed Start Up Loan.
If you have run your business for under two years and are struggling to access funding or facing high interest rates for borrowing, then a Start Up Loan from Outset Finance may be the answer.
With a fixed interest rate of 6%, you can borrow from £500 – £25,000 to help your business weather the storm of COVID-19. Eligibility criteria apply but the process is simple and you could also benefit from a range of business support including online training and mentoring
Find out more details on the Outset Finance website. Outset Finance has provided a total of £20 million worth of funding to business start-ups in the past six years.
FinPoint Finance Support & Advice
We have partnered with a trusted UK business financing platform, Finpoint. Because they work with the top UK lenders, they can help you find the right lenders and get access to finance options which are best for your business. All with just one simple online application.
Learn more about the Critical Steps that your business needs to take.
For more information on business finance options visit British Business Bank Finance Hub