Covid-19 Support Schemes
Many thanks to our friends at the Sport and Recreation Alliance for collating information for organisations during this difficult time.
What loans are available to businesses?
Larger businesses can access a new lending scheme through the Bank of England, which is backed by the government.
For small and medium size businesses, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) announced at the Budget has been extended from maximum loans of £1.2m to up to £5m, with no interest due for six months.
The Business Interruption Loan Scheme will launch the week commencing 23 March and will be delivered through the British Business Bank. Further details can be found on the British Business Bank website here.
What about support for businesses to retain staff?
In order to support business who may be struggling to afford to pay staff while businesses are closed, the government has introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The scheme is open to all businesses and means that the government will pay 80% of furloughed workers’ wage costs up to £2,500 per month. In order to claim you will need to:
Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.
Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).
What if I’m self-employed?
On 26 March the Chancellor announced a new scheme to support self-employed workers who have been impacted by coronavirus. Those with average profits of £50,000 or less will be eligible for taxable grants worth 80% of their average profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month.
The scheme will be open to those who earn the majority of their income from self-employment. If they are able to, individuals will also be able to continue doing work whilst also claiming this grant.
To be eligible for support, self-employed people will need a completed tax-return for 2019 and the government have allowed an additional four weeks for this to be completed. You can find out how to file your tax return here.
It is expected that the new scheme will be available from the beginning of June with payments backdated to the beginning of March. HMRC are intending to use existing records to identify those who are eligible and contact them directly with details of how to apply.
In his announcement on 20 March the Chancellor announced that he was suspending the minimum income floor for everyone affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus. This means the self-employed can now access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
In addition, support for rental costs may be available through Universal Credit. You can find out more about claiming Universal Credit here.
The Chancellor also announced that the next self-assessment payments will be deferred until January 2021.
Where can I find further information?
The government’s dedicated advice and support to businesses in response to COVID-19 can be found here.
You can also call the government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice, details of which can be found here.
Local authorities will be responsible for administering business rate relief and grant support schemes in their area. We would therefore suggest contacting your local authority for advice about eligibility for support.