Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The scheme helps employers to pay salaries for employees who would otherwise have been laid off during Coronavirus lockdown. The grant is being tapered until 31 October to help people return to work. The details of this tapering are outlined in the key dates section below. 30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims. After this date you will no longer be able to submit new claims or add to existing claims. Find out more.

The details of this tapering are outlined in the key dates section below.

Important dates to remember

October 2020 – The Government pays 60% of wages for non-working time when employees return to work part time, up to a cap of £1,875. Employers pay 20% of wages to make up 80% up to a cap of £2,500.

31 October 2020 – the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will end.

31 January 2021 – Business can claim the job retention bonus for employees who have remained employed since before 19 March 2020 and has been furloughed.

Useful tools and calculators

Help and Support

The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub can help you. You can contact us for information and support.

Jobs Support Scheme

A new six-month Jobs Support Scheme replaces the furlough scheme in November and has been expanded to firms required to close due to COVID restrictions. Businesses facing reduced demand can avoid making employees redundant by keeping them on shorter hours. The scheme means:

  • The employee will work at least a third of their normal hours paid by the employer. For the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary.
  • The level of grant will be calculated based on usual salary and capped at £697.92 per month.
  • Employers that are retaining furlough staff on shorter hours can claim both the Job Support Scheme and the Jobs Retention bonus.

Where businesses are required to close due to COVID restrictions, the government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries up to a maximum of £2,100 a month from 1 November for six months. Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages, only NICS and pension contributions. Employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.

What is the Job Retention Bonus?

The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment of £1,000 per furloughed employee who is still employed on 31 January 2021. An employer will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus for any employee that they have claimed a Coronavirus Job Retention grant for. Employees must have been continuously employed until 31 January 2021 and have earned an average of more than £520 per month in November, December and January. From February 2021, employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus through GOV.UK. Further information has been published on how businesses can claim the bonus. Check eligibility and find out how to apply.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

Small businesses can apply for a loan of up to 25% of their turnover – classed as a fast-tracked loan of between £2k and £50k. Underwritten by the Government, Bounce Back Loans are interest free and fee-free for businesses for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due for the first 12 months and they have a flat rate of interest of 2.5% for the remaining loan period, which can be up to 6 years. The application deadline is 30 November 2020.

A new Pay as you Grow repayment system will provide flexibility for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan. This includes:

  • Extending repayments from 6 to 10 years.
  • Interest-only payments.
  • Suspending repayments for up to 6 months if needed.

Credit ratings won’t be negatively affected for businesses benefitting from this flexible system.

Early repayment of the loan is allowed and there are no early repayment penalties.

Visit the website to find a lender. Businesses who are already claiming under the CBILS scheme cannot apply, however if the CBILS loan is under £50,000 the business can ask their lender to transfer it to a Bounce Bank Loan instead.

Guidance on how to apply can be found here. We have also prepared a handy document to answer your questions, download your copy here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

CBILS allows businesses to access financial support interest free for the first 12 months, up to £5million underwritten by the Government across six years. Loans up to £250k do not require a personal guarantee but loans above £250k may require one, at the lender’s discretion. Loans will not be secured against the Primary Residential Property (PRP). Lenders may offer alternative finance deals and businesses who have had their CBILs application rejected by one lender can apply to another lender.

This is applicable to SMEs based in the UK (including sole traders, Limited Liability Partnerships and Partnerships) with an annual turnover of up to £45m, led by the British Business Bank. A list of over 40 lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website. An informative guide is also available to download here. The application deadline is 30 November 2020.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

Firms with an annual turnover of over £45 million may apply for up to £35 million of financial business support and those with a turnover of more than £250 million may apply for up to £50 million. The Government provides lenders with an 80% guarantee on individual loans. This gives banks the confidence to lend to many more businesses which have been adversely affected by Coronavirus and the UK lockdown period. Businesses can self-certify that they have been impacted by Coronavirus, and that they have not received support under the Bank of England’s COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility. Guidance on how to apply can be found here. The application deadline is 30 November 2020.

Please contact our Growth Hub team for more direct help and guidance on the scheme.

Future Fund

The Future Fund issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies with good potential, that typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by the Coronavirus. The scheme will help these companies through the current period of economic disruption and the recovery, so they are able to continue their growth trajectory and reach their full economic potential. The Scheme is designed by Government and delivered by the British Business Bank. The application deadline is 30 November 2020.

The Government has made £250 million available for the Future Fund and will keep this amount under review.

The Growth Hub have produced a guide to the Future Fund and is available to access here.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

This loan facility that raises working capital by purchasing the short-term debt of a business in the form of commercial paper. The scheme will operate for 12 months from March 2020 and appeals to large businesses including incorporated companies, those with foreign-incorporated partners and those who are headquartered in the UK. You must be able to demonstrate you were in sound financial health before Coronavirus. Lenders can be found on the link here.

UK Export Finance (UKEF)

This provides financial support for businesses exporting goods and services.

The Export Working Capital Scheme, guarantees up to 80% of a loan for businesses based in the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands. The Direct Lending Facility Scheme loans within an overall limit of £3 billion to overseas buyers, allowing them to finance the purchase of capital goods and/or services from UK exporters. The loans can be made in up to eight currencies, with a value limit of £200 million and are fixed rate.

Enquiries for the two options can be sent by email to: customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Self-employed individuals can apply for a grant to cover a percentage of their average monthly profits that they earnt over the last three years of trading.

The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can get here.

Two grants are available, and individuals can check if they can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. The scheme does not cover businesses who have traded for less than a year.

You can make a claim for the second grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

The Growth Hub’s guide helps with the process and answers questions here.

There is also a step-by-step guide available on YouTube.

Grant Support

Your Local Authority currently has 3 types of grant support available, they will be identifying where you are eligible and will contact you directly.

Discretionary Grant for Small Businesses

A one-off discretionary cash grant of up to £25k is available to support small businesses with up to 50 employees. This includes those in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charities and Bed and Breakfast businesses that pay Council Tax rather than Business Rates, with ongoing fixed property-related costs, who have seen a significant drop in income as a result of Coronavirus. This grant is discretionary to support businesses falling between the gaps of the other grant support schemes. Visit your Local Authority website to find out how to apply. Barnsley Council (Applications now closed), Doncaster Council (Applications now closed), Rotherham Council (Applications now closed), Sheffield Council (Applications now closed).

There is a one-off cash grant of £10k to support small businesses with disrupted operations/trade due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Small businesses with a property who are already eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) including those receiving tapered relief, and those already eligible for Rural Rate Relief (RRR).  Businesses that were either liquidated or dissolved on or before 11 March 2020 are not eligible for a grant. Please note that the property must be for business use only and any properties that are occupied or used for personal use are excluded. State Aid rules apply (a business can only receive total grant/government financial support up to 200,000 Euros in a three-year period).

A one-off £10k and £25k retail, hospitality and leisure grant is available to support businesses with disrupted operations/trade.
SMEs (up to 250 employees) with a rateable value of up to £15k will receive a grant of £10k, whilst those with a rateable value between £15k and £51k will receive a grant of £25k. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of over £51k are not eligible for a grant. Businesses that were either liquidated or dissolved on or before 11 March 2020 are also not eligible for a grant. Please note that the property must be for business use only and properties that are occupied or used for personal use are excluded. State Aid rules apply (under a temporary State Aid framework business in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors can only receive total grant/government financial support up to 800,000 Euros in a 3-year period).

The government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks. Find out more and check eligibility.

Grants for SMEs

In July 2020 the government announced a fund to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to access specialist advice to help further mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Eligible SMEs may have access to grants between £1,000 – £5,000 to help them access specialist professional advice such as HR, accountants, legal, financial, IT and digital, and to purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify.

The scheme is not yet open for applications, further details will be available shortly. This scheme is being managed externally to the Growth Hub and we will post a notification once it goes live.

Facts about Taxation

Did you know the Time to Pay scheme, run by HMRC, allows you to defer or delay payment of tax owed by setting up a tailored payment plan? This is applicable to all businesses including self-employed. For more information and to apply contact the national helpline on 0800 015 9559.

The Self-Assessment Tax Deadline has been extended and you will not have to pay your next bill until 31 January 2021, or 31 March 2021 for hospitality and tourism businesses. You will have the option of splitting your bill into smaller, interest free payments over the course of 11 months rather than paying a single lump sum. This is applicable to the self-employed, freelancers, contract workers and franchisees and you will be automatically contacted by the HMRC.

You can opt not to pay VAT from 20 March until 20 June 2020, the VAT is only deferred, and the scheme is VAT Suspension.

Self-assessed income tax payers who need extra help can now benefit from a 12-month extension on the ‘Time to Pay’ self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

If you’re a UK VAT-registered business that deferred VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you now need to:

  • set-up cancelled Direct Debits in enough time for HMRC to take payment
  • continue to submit VAT returns as normal, and on time
  • pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June

For more information see Pay your VAT bill.

Hear about Business Rates

There is a 100% relief on the Business Rates Bill for the full 2020/21 period if you have up to 250 employees in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. Including public houses, the Government has removed the rateable value limit so if your premises are occupied you are eligible for the rate relief. Contact your local authority to apply.

Local authorities are also offering 100% Business Rate Relief for nurseries and childcare providers listed on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and who provide the Early Years Foundation Stage with a rateable value of up to £100k.

Due to the nature of all the schemes being made available, use this handy Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.