Over the last year, the UK government has announced a range of measures to support businesses, small and large, that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Here, we’ve outlined the measures currently in place to support businesses, many of which were announced during the 2021 Budget, and will update this article as new information becomes available:
The Recovery Loans Scheme
The Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) have been replaced by the Recovery Loans scheme, which provides 80% government-backed loans to businesses to help them borrow between £25,000-£10m - through to the end of 2021. If you've already received a loan under the existing schemes, you'll still be able to apply for a Recovery Loan. To find out more, and how to apply, follow this link.
'Pay As You Grow' Loan Payback Scheme
The Chancellor’s Pay as You Grow repayment flexibilities now include the option to delay all repayments for a further six months, meaning businesses can choose to make no payments on their loans until 18 months after they originally took them out. The option to pause repayments will now be available to all from their first repayment, rather than after six repayments have been made.
Pay as You Grow will also enable borrowers to extend the length of their loans from six to ten years (reducing monthly repayments by almost half) and make interest-only payments for six months, in order to tailor their repayment schedule to suit their individual circumstances. Find out more here.
Help to Grow scheme
Small businesses will be able to access discounted software licences and free training courses to help digital growth. Eligible businesses will be able to apply for vouchers for 50% off software licences up to £5,000. Find out more here.
Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
The CCFF scheme allowed businesses with an annual turnover of more than £45m to apply for funding of at least £1m at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Now, the scheme has closed, but HM Treasury and the Bank of England have confirmed that the CCFF will continue to allow early repayment of funds borrowed. This is happening via a sell-back window on the first business day of each week. To find out more, follow this link.
The furlough scheme, which was due to end in April 2021, has been extended. The scheme sees the government pay 80% of employees’ wages for those unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme will operate as normal, with employers then having to contribute 10% from July, and 20% throughout August and September. Find out more about the current conditions for the furlough scheme in this article here. Information on claiming the Job Retention Bonus, which is a £1,000 taxable payment to you, the employer, can be found here.
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
- associated employer National Insurance contributions
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
Apprenticeships and Traineeships Bonuses
In 2020, it was announced that any firm that hires a new young apprentice aged 16-24 would receive £2,000 - and now this figure has been increased to £3,000 to incentivise hiring of young people. Find out more about this scheme here.
Business Rate Holiday extended
The 100% business rates holiday will be extended until the end of June 2021. After that, rates relief will still be available for smaller businesses, with a lower cap for businesses who have been able to stay open throughout. Find out more here.
Support for the self-employed
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended, with 600,000 newly self-employed people eligible for the grants. Two more grants will be available before the end of September 2021, giving people 80% of their average profits up to £7,500. You can find out more about the grants here.
Welsh government coronavirus support
For full details of further tailored support available to businesses and self-employed individuals registered in Wales, visit the dedicated coronavirus support section on the Business Wales website.
Scottish government coronavirus support
For full details of further tailored support available to businesses and self-employed individuals registered in Scotland, visit the dedicated coronavirus support section on the Find Business Support website.
Northern Ireland government coronavirus support
For full details of further tailored support available to businesses and self-employed individuals registered in Northern Ireland, visit the dedicated coronavirus support section on the NI Direct website.