Coronavirus

Support for Businesses

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by the Coronavirus.

Support for Businesses

Coronavirus is causing unprecedented disruption and concern for businesses. As the crisis continues, it is important that businesses know that support and advice is out there.

We are doing everything we can to keep our economy afloat, and support jobs and businesses across South Yorkshire during this difficult time.

As the situation develops, the Government may announce more measures to support businesses. See the latest updates on the Government’s website using the links in the resources section below.

The following are the current measures available for businesses.

Business Support Schemes

Scheme/AssistanceDescriptionWhat Size of Business is Eligible?How Businesses Can Access it?Scheme Responsibility
Coronavirus Job Retention SchemeBusinesses can apply for a grant to cover 80% of the salary of workers during business shut-down. The grant is capped at £2,500 per worker, and it is for staff who are still employed but not working (fuloughed). It does not cover wages for workers who have been made redundant. It can cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020.All businesses (including charities and not-for-profit organisations) Businesses must apply for the scheme from HMRC.

National Helpline: 0800 015 9559
Lines open 8am - 8pm Mon-Fri & 8am - 4pm Sat
HMRC
Self-Employed Income Support SchemeSelf-employed individuals can apply for a grant to cover 80% of the average monthly profits that they earnt over the last three years of trading. The grant is capped at £2,500 per month. It does not cover start-up businesses who have traded for less than a year. The scheme will be up and running in early June with the grant paid in one lump sum (it is taxable). It will be backdated to 1 March 2020.Self-employed individuals who have been trading for at least one full tax year and who have made a trading profit of less than £50k in 2019/20.Self-employed individuals must apply for the scheme from HMRC.

National Helpline: 0800 015 9559
Lines open 8am - 8pm Mon-Fri & 8am - 4pm Sat
HMRC
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan SchemeSupports businesses experiencing increased costs or disruption to trade/operations with cashflow by allowing them to access up to £5m of loans, overdrafts, asset and invoice finance from lenders that are underwritten by the Government (Government will guarantee 80% of the debt to ensure lenders can lend - similar to the arrangement in the economic recession). Loans up to £250k may be unsecured and are interest free for businesses for the first 12mths (Government pays this interest on their behalf). Loans will not be secured against the Primary Residential Property (PRP). Lenders may offer alternative finance deals.Mainly SMEs (including sole traders, Limited Liability Partnerships and Partnerships) but some large businesses may be eligible.Through banks/lenders.

A list of over 40 lenders is on the British Business Bank website https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/accredited-lenders/
British Business Bank
£500m fund for vulnerable peopleA national fund shared amongst local authorities for support vulnerable people in hardship, including the self-employed and those individuals working in the gig economy or on zero-hour contracts.Self-employed individuals. Unclear if franchisees will be able to access itVia their local authorityLocal authorities
100% Business Rate Relief (Retail, Hospitality & Leisure)100% relief on Business Rates for the full 2020/21 Business Rates Bill.SMEs (up to 250 employees) in either the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors. The Government has removed the rateable value limit so all occupied premises in these sectors are eligible for the relief. Empty properties will still be liable to pay the normal Business Rates.Via their local authorityLocal authorities - Government to issue guidance to all local authorities by 20th march
100% Business Rate Relief (Nurseries)100% relief on Business Rates for the full 2020/21 Business Rates Bill (at the discretion of the local authority).Nurseries and childcare providers listed on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and who provide the Early Years Foundation Stage with a rateable value of yup to £100kVia their local authority.Local Authority
One-Off GrantsOne off £10k grant to support businesses with disrupted operations/trade.
One off £25k grant to support businesses with disrupted operations/trade
Small businesses already eligible for small businesses Rate Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rate Relief (RRR)
SMEs (up to 250 employees) in either the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors, with a rateable value of between £15k and £51k (so this one will mostly benefit smaller businesses in smaller premises).
Automatic - businesses do not need to apply, they will be contacted by their local authority.Local authorities - Government to issue guidance to all local authorities by 20th march with funding given to the local authorities in early April
Covid-19 corporate financing facilityTo be launched w/c 23 March. Loan facility to help businesses with disruption to cashflow to remain liquid. It raises working capital by purchasing the short-term debt of a business.Large businesses (over 250 employees)To be confirmedBank of England
Employment Support Allowance (ESA)Self-employed individuals who are self-isolating for Coronavirus can claim ESA from day 1of isolation/sickness rather than having to wait 7 days.Self-employed individualsThrough JobCentre PlusJobcentre Plus
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)Businesses can claim a rebate on SSP paid for 14 days per employee for those employees absent due to Coronavirus. It comes into effect on day 1 of the sickness. NB: Businesses will have to repay the rebate to Government at a later date (details to be confirmed).SMEs (up to 250 employees)National Helpline:
0800 015 9559
Lines open 8am - 8pm Mon-Fri & 8am-4pm Sat
To be confirmed but expect the rebate to be paid directly by HMRC to businesses
Time to PayOptions to defer or delay payment of tax owed by setting-up a tailored payment plan(eg. Corporation Tax, Income Tax, PAYE, VAT) due to financial constraints or disruption to trade. Late payment penalties and interest will be waived for businesses that contact HMRC immediately. This isn't new - it has been available for several years.All businesses including self-employed individualsNational Helpline:
0800 015 9559
Lines open 8am - 8pm Mon-Fri & 8am-4pm Sat
HMRC
Universal CreditGovernment has suspended the minimum income floor for Universal Credit, enabling self-employed individuals on low income to claim it temporarily.Self-employed individuals. Unclear if franchisees will be able to access itThrough Jobcentre Plus.
People have to apply. they can also apply for an advance on the first scheduled payment of Universal Credit
Jobcentre Plus
Business DebtlineAdvice and information on debt, finance and pensions. Self-employed and small businesses.www.businessdebtline.org/coronavirusMoney and Pensions Service
VAT SuspensionBusinesses will not pay VAT from 20 March until 30 June 2020. NB: VAT is only deferred. Businesses will still be liable for paying any VAT incurred for the 20 March to 30 June period by 31 March 2021. Businesses are advised to cancel their Direct Debit to ensure they are not charged during the deferment period.All UK businessesAutomatic - businesses do not need to applyHMRC
Deferring income tax paymentspayments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021Premises occupied If you are self-employed you are eligibleThis is an automatic offer with no applications requiredHMRC
Deferring PAYE/NI and other tax paymentsAccess to Time to Pay arrangements highlighted above (VAT and income tax have automatic deferrals)Any business or self-employed with outstanding tax liabilitiesNational Helpline:
0800 015 9559
Lines open 8am - 8pm Mon-Fri & 8am-4pm Sat
HMRC

Business Support FAQs

The Government has launched a new FAQ section on to their business support website, which can be found here: https://bit.ly/FAQsStayHome

Where businesses continue to stay open, employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home. If your employees cannot work from home – e.g. if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing or are delivering front-line services – then employees can still travel to work, provided they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available). Where that is not possible, and there are many types of jobs where that will be challenging, the PHE/Chief Medical Officer Advice is that it is okay to come to work.

Business Resources

Businesses can contact the Growth Hub to get more information, alternatively Government have a dedicated helpline (0300 456 3565) which all businesses/employers can access to obtain advice on how to minimise and cope with the impact of Coronavirus.  Lines are open between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday.  Advice also available by emailing enquiries@businesssupporthelpline.org

Key Financial Info

Please see current financial information available for businesses that have questions about their current financial position.