Government schemes


Support from the top. 

You may hear about them on the news, but how can you benefit directly from these schemes? Get more detailed information on Governement and Local Authority-led initiatives and see whether you are eligible.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

If your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, this scheme may be the help you need.

FIND OUT MORE

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

This scheme provides financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19.

FIND OUT MORE

Local Authority grants

Local authorities have received and distributed funding to support small and medium businesses, including those ineligible for other grants and funding.

FIND OUT MORE

Self-employment Income Support Scheme. 

The following information was published on Monday 4th May by HMRC in relation to the Self-employment Income Support Scheme: 

From Monday 4 May, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

If you are eligible you will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.

HMRC is also inviting you to go online and check your eligibility for SEISS.

In order to receive quick confirmation from the eligibility checker, you should:

  • have your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and your National Insurance Number to hand
  • make sure your details are up-to-date in your Government Gateway account.

Once the online check is complete, if you’re eligible, you will be given a date when you can submit your claim. You will also be encouraged to update your contact details.

The claims service will open on 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. This will help millions of self-employed people, covering a wide range of industries and jobs, whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the coronavirus.

The claims process should be simple and it you’re eligible you will have the money paid into your bank account by 25 May, or within six working days of completing a claim.

Who’s eligible

You should be eligible if your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue trading, and you:

  • earn at least half of your income through self-employment
  • have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
  • traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year.

HMRC is using information that customers have provided in their 2018 to 2019 tax return – and returns for 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 where needed – to determine their eligibility and is contacting customers who may be eligible via email, text message or letter.

Wider government support

This scheme brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where the government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.

If you aren’t eligible for the scheme, HMRC will direct you to guidance setting out the scheme conditions to help you understand why you are ineligible, and advise on other support available such as:

  • income tax deferrals
  • rental support
  • Universal Credit
  • access to mortgage holidays
  • various business support schemes the government has introduced to protect businesses during this time.

Further information

Guidance and information on the scheme is available on GOV.UK:

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) for Small Businesses was launched on 4th May 2020.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) provides financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue, seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and that can benefit from £50,000 or less in finance.

The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees: Business Support website.

The following information is from the British Business Bank:

How the BBLS works

BBLS is available through a range of lenders listed on the British Business Bank website.

A lender can provide a six-year term loan from £2,000 up to a maximum of £50,000 capped at 25% of a business’ turnover. 

The scheme gives the lender a full (100%) government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the facility (both capital and interest).

The borrower always remains fully liable for the debt.

Details of the scheme

Finance of up to £50,000

Guarantee to the lender to encourage them to lend

Government pays interest and fees for 12 months

Affordable interest rate

Loans range from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover. The maximum loan amount is £50,000.

The scheme provides the lender with a full (100%), government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the finance (both capital and interest).

The borrower remains 100% liable for the debt.

The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment (BIP) to cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

The borrower does not have to make any repayments for the first 12 months.

The interest rate for the facility is set at 2.5% per annum, meaning businesses will all benefit from the same, affordable rate of interest.

Finance terms

Security

No guarantee fees for businesses or lenders

The length of the loan is six years but early repayment is allowed, without early repayment fees.

Lenders are not permitted to take personal guarantees or take recovery action over a borrower’s personal assets (such as their main home or personal vehicle).

There is no fee to access the scheme for either businesses or lenders.

Finance of up to £50,000: Loans range from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover. The maximum loan amount is £50,000.

Guarantee to the lender to encourage them to lend: The scheme provides the lender with a full (100%), government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the finance (both capital and interest). The borrower remains 100% liable for the debt.

Government pays interest and fees for 12 months: The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment (BIP) to cover the first 12 months of interest payments. The borrower does not have to make any repayments for the first 12 months.

Affordable interest rate: The interest rate for the facility is set at 2.5% per annum, meaning businesses will all benefit from the same, affordable rate of interest.

Finance terms: The length of the loan is six years but early repayment is allowed, without early repayment fees.

Security: Lenders are not permitted to take personal guarantees or take recovery action over a borrower’s personal assets (such as their main home or personal vehicle).

No guarantee fees for businesses or lenders: There is no fee to access the scheme for either businesses or lenders.

How to apply

1. Find a Lender

View and select a BBLS accredited lender

2. Contact a Lender

You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via its website.

In the first instance, you should approach your own provider. You may also consider approaching other lenders if you are unable to access the finance you require.

You will need to fill in a short application form online, which self-certifies that your business is eligible for a loan under BBLS.

If your business is eligible, it will be subject to appropriate customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks. Some state aid restrictions may apply to your application.

Note: There is high demand for finance through BBLS. Phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person.

3. The lender makes a decision

The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance.

Under the scheme, lenders are not permitted to:

  • take any form of personal guarantee
  • take recovery action over a borrower’s personal assets (such as their main home or personal vehicle).

4. If the lender turns you down

If one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders within the scheme.

BBLS is designed to be fast for lenders to process and quick and easy for businesses to access. To help achieve this, you will only be required to fill out a short application form online.

Who is eligible

Your business must be able to selfdeclare to the lender that it:

  • has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
  • was not a business in difficulty at 31 December 2019 (if it was, you must confirm your business complies with additional state aid restrictions under de minimis state aid rules)
  • is engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK and was established by 1 March 2020
  • is not using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme (CCFF), unless the Bounce Back Loan will refinance the whole of the CBILS, CLBILS or CCFF facility
  • is not in bankruptcy or liquidation or undergoing debt restructuring at the time it submits its application for finance
  • derives more than 50% of its income from its trading activity (this requirement does not apply to charities or further-education colleges)
  • is not in a restricted sector (see below).

Note: The above is not an exhaustive list. 

Bounce Back Loans are available to businesses in all sectors, except the following:

  • Credit institutions (falling within the remit of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive)
  • Insurance companies
  • Public-sector organisations
  • State-funded primary and secondary schools.

Other business finance support options

You can find details of other government measures to support public services, people and businesses through this disruption on the Government’s Business Support website.

Guidance and support for your business during COVID-19

The British Business Bank and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) have also created content to help businesses that are facing financial and operational challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

You can view this regularly updated guidance at the Business Finance Guide website.

Local authority grant funding

Small Business Grants Fund & Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund 

Local authorities have received and distributed funding to support small and medium businesses in England during coronavirus. As of 17 May 2020, local authority payments covers 2 coronavirus grant schemes:

  • Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) scheme
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund (RHLGF)

As of 17 May, over £9.5 billion has been paid out to over 778,000 business properties.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses

Local Authority Discretionery Grants Fund

The Discretionary Grant Fund supports small and micro businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes, such as the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Scheme.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-local-authority-discretionary-grants-fund

 

Other funding and information

You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants. Use the business support finder on the Gov.uk website to see what support is available for you and your business.

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