Throughout April, the Government launched a range of initiatives and support packages to support business as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It can feel overwhelming to understand which option is best for you, so to try and help we have laid out a summary of all the initiatives below:

Bounce Back Loan

Available as of 9 am this morning (4th May 2020), the Bounce Back Loan is the latest business support scheme to be announced for small and medium-sized businesses affected by the pandemic. The loans, of up to £50,000, will be interest-free for 12 months and will be not subject to any business liability tests. As long as the company is based in the UK, has been affected by Coronavirus and was not in any ‘financial difficulty’ as of 31st December 2019 it will be available to access. 

You can’t apply for the Bounce Back Loan if you are already claiming under the CBILS. 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The CBILS, operated through the British Business Bank on behalf of the Government, is a financial support package offering small and medium businesses loans of up to £5m, over a term of between one and six years. In order to secure the loans, which are interest-free for 12 months and are are available for companies with turnover of less than £45m that have been affected by Coronavirus, directors will need to submit the latest financial information as well as a 12-month cash flow forecast.

More information can be found here

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

In order to help larger businesses who are feeling the impact, this scheme provides loans of up to £25 million for business with an annual turnover of over £45 million, increasing to up to £50 million for companies with a turnover above £250 million. 

More information can be found here

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under this scheme, the Government will pay back to the employer 80% of each furloughed employees salary, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, plus the National Insurance paid, as well as the minimum employer pension contribution paid (even if you pay a higher contribution). 

Employees dismissed or made redundant since the 28th February can be rehired and placed on furlough and claims can be backdated until the 1st of March in instances where employees have already been furloughed. 

COVID Self-employment Income Support Scheme

A taxable grant worth up to 80% of trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, is available for the self-employed and members of a UK partnership. In order to be eligible, you must have submitted a self-assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19. The online application portal is expected to open in mid-May, with the first payments by early June. 

More information can be found here

Small Business Grant Fund 

The SBGF is a grant operated by local authorities and is available for small business who pay little to no business rates due to the Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rates Relief. If eligible, SMEs will be able to access a one-off grant of £10,000. 

More information can be found here

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund 

The RHLGF scheme is available for businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors. Companies within those industries with a rateable value of less than £15,000 will be able to access a one-off grant of £10,000, rising to £25,000 for those with a rateable valuable of between £15,000 and £51,000. As with the SBGF, this scheme is operated by local authorities, and applications should be made directly. 

More information can be found here

Additional support if you are struggling to meet HMRC obligations

Alongside the support outlined above, the government has announced that additional help is available for businesses in regard to their HMRC obligations. 

VAT payments due this quarter (20 March to 30 June 2020) can automatically be postponed until 31 March 2021. Self Assessment payment on account due in July 2020 has also been deferred until 31 January 2021. Both without penalties or accrual of interest. If however, you are struggling to meet other HMRC obligations such as PAYE or corporation tax payments, you must contact HMRC as soon as possible to negotiate a Time To Pay (TTP) arrangement. 

With so many options available, it can be confusing or overwhelming to understand which scheme is best for you. If you need more information on any of the support available or need advice on which scheme is best for your business, please contact a member of our team today.