Coronavirus support for businesses

Central government support for businesses

The government made a series of announcements about the support available to businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to pay up to 80% of your employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. Wednesday 10 June is the last date employers can put people on furlough for the first time. From 1 July, employers will be able to bring back furloughed employees part time if they need to. From 1 August, employers will need to start paying the employer's national insurance and pension contributions. Find out more on the gov.uk website.
  • A Job Retention Bonus that will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.
  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments for three months
  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme  for small and medium-sized employers to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees. Employers should apply using a new online service, and will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure businesses (including pubs) and nurseries in England. Find out more on our emergency rates relief and grants page.
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses (including pubs) with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rates relief. Find out more on our emergency rates relief and grants page.
  • The Future Fund will provide UK Government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. The fund will be open for applications from Wednesday 20 May 2020. These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.
  • A Trade Credit Insurance guarantee will support businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus. The Government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) offering interest free loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank. All viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible
  • A Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) to help firms with a turnover of more than £45m access up to £25m of finance, and up to £50m for firms with a turnover of more than £250m
  • A Covid Corporate Financing Facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will be cut from 20% to 5%.
  • A temporary removal of VAT on PPE has been extended until the end of October.
  • A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.
  • The HMRC Time to Pay Scheme
  • A £1.25bn support package for start-ups, including a £500m fund designed for small businesses and the provision of £750m in grants and loans from Innovate UK
  • A coronavirus Bounce Back Loan for small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Businesses can apply online through a short and simple form. Find out more about the scheme and find out if you are eligible to apply
  • Top-up to local business grant funds scheme to accommodate certain small businesses in England previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. The maximum grant will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. Find out more about the top-up scheme
  • Reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions will enable VAT registered businesses to temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions. The temporary reduced rate will apply to supplies that are made between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.

You can find more information here:

Community Wealth Building

Community Wealth Building

Find out what support the government has made available to businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Community Wealth Building Business Bulletin (PDF)