COVID-19 Financial Support
The Government has developed three online assessment tools to help businesses:
- Business Support Finder – This tool allows employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors to determine their eligibility for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, loans, tax and rate relief and cash grants. Additionally, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme claim service will be accepting the fourth round of applications from late April 2021.
- Business Risk Assessment – This tool is to help business operators develop a risk assessment tailored to the specific circumstances of their business and provides advice on how work practices can be changed to mitigate any risks identified.
- Employee Risk Assessment – This tool is to help employees determine whether they should be going back to work or whether they should continue to work from home and includes advice specifically for tourism related businesses.
If your business is in distress, the Government have also published guidance on available support, restructuring and insolvency advice here.
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is encouraging businesses across England to contact their local Growth Hub, they can provide a free to use, impartial and local single point of contact to all businesses, so that they can access the right advice and support. Find your local Growth Hub here.
BEIS has also created a Business Support Blog and the Government has made available a list of additional resources that public bodies, organisations and charities are providing and a list of trade and business organisations that are providing sector-specific advice on Covid-19.
Recent Funding Announcements
Restart Grants (England) – The government will provide ‘Restart Grants’ in England of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses.
Business Rates Reliefs (England) – Eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England will be receive 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022.
Business Rates Relief (Wales) – The business rates holiday has been extended for 12 months. This applies to the retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with rateable values up to £500k and also applies to charities.
Economic Resilience Fund (Wales) – The latest round of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund will see £30m of targeted support being made available to support small, medium and large businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors as well as related supply chain businesses.
Inbound Tour Operators (Scotland) – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund – New guidance, including eligibility criteria, has been published for the Scotland Inbound Tour Operators – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund. Applications for the fund close at 5pm on Thursday 11 March 2021. Further details can be found here.
Zoo Animal Fund – Zoos and Aquariums are able to apply for animal welfare grants of up to £730,000. Fund is open until 28 May 2021
VAT Payments – All businesses with a UK VAT registration have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June. Businesses have until 31 March 2021 to pay any deferred VAT. Click here for more information.
Reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions – As announced in the 2021 Budget, the government will be legislating to:
- extend the temporary reduced rate of VAT of 5% until 30 September 2021
- prepare for a new rate of 12.5% from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022
The supplies to which the temporary reduced rates will apply remain the same. Find more information about which attractions are eligible for the reduced rate of VAT.
Kickstart Scheme – 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. Further details can be found here.
Recovery Loan Scheme for UK businesses – From 6 April 2021 a new Recovery Loan Scheme has been announced to enable businesses of any size to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close. Find out more, including eligibility criteria.
Business Innovation Support Package – Although applications for Continuity Grants and Loans have ended, there are still Business Advisory Support Packages available for around 6,000 innovative high-growth-potential, high-growth and scaling SMEs over the next 2 years managed through Innovate UK EDGE. Further information on the support and how to apply is available here.