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:
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.
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
Bounce Back Loans
From Monday 4 May, small business have been able to apply for a Bounce Back Loan. Application is through a simple online form for up to £50,000 or 25% of their turnover, whichever is lower.
The loans will come with a 100% guarantee for lenders, unlike CBILS. They are more likely to be accepted than some loan applications which may have been rejected by their bank. During the first twelve months, businesses will not have to pay fees or interest or make any repayments.
The loans have been designed so that as many businesses as possible can access them with no complex eligibility criteria. They also have a faster approval process and the business can also expect to receive the funds within 24 hours once the loan has been approved.
For more information on the Government’s Bounce Back Loans, click here
Business Grants Available
£25k Business Grant – provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with premises with a rateable value of £15,000 – £51,000. Delivered by local authorities who will contact you if you are eligible.
£10k Small Business Grant – a one off grant provided to businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
An additional discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside of the scope of the business grant fund scheme. The additional fund at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Businesses must be small with under 50 employees and must be able to demonstrate a significant drop in income due to the COVID-19 restriction methods. More info
Local authorities are being asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties who meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed & breakfast owners who pay council tax rather than business rates. However, local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on the local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.
There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. Further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly.
The Business Grants are delivered by local authorities who will contact you if you are eligible. For more information click here
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
Designed to assist people who are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to COVID-19. The scheme allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. You can do this for the next three months and this could be extended if needed. Check if you can claim a grant through this scheme here
HMRC has now simplified some of the information around calculating the thresholds for eligibility, making them easier to understand. For more information click here
Find out how different circumstances can affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme 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
Support from Companies House to prevent businesses being dissolved
The strike off process is being paused until 9 October 2020 by Companies House to prevent companies being dissolved and to give those businesses affected by COVID-19 time to update their records. Companies issued with a late filing penalty due to the outbreak will have appeals treated sympathetically.
The move comes after measures already introduced by the Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to give businesses the ability to apply for a three month extension to file accounts with Companies House – click here for more information
Any business applying for the extension because of the impact of the outbreak will automatically and immediately be granted an extension.
As an emergency response to coronavirus (COVID-19), they’ve developed a temporary online service to upload a number of completed forms and send them to Companies House digitally. More info
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