UK Government Coronavirus Aid For Businesses

Updated 13th May 2020

On Thursday 19 March, the UK Government announced a £330bn package of support for businesses, equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. Then on 26 March, the Self Employed Income Support Scheme. These announcements are on top of £30bn for businesses the Chancellor announced during the March 2020 Budget.

The Government coronavirus support includes these measures for small businesses:

    Bounce Back Loan Scheme
    The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is a new scheme designed to enable businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Grants of £10,000 for small businesses
    The Small Business Grant Scheme is for businesses who get Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief. This will be administered via your local council.

   Rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure
    Businesses in these sectors and based in England won’t pay business rates for the tax year 2020-2021. You don’t have to do anything – it’ll be applied on your council tax bill in April 2020.


    Statutory Sick Pay relief for SMEs
    To allow employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) they pay for sickness absence due to Covid-19. To be eligible, your business must have had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020


    Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
    This Scheme offers loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank


    Self Employed Income Support Scheme
    For eligible self-employed workers who submitted a tax return for 2018-2019: a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly profits for the last 3 years, up to £2,500 a month


  New lending facility from the Bank of England
    To support liquidity among larger firms. The loans are to tide companies over if their cash flow is disrupted due to coronavirus.


   HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
    For businesses and self-employed in financial distress, and owing money to HMRC. These businesses and individuals might be eligible for support, for example a longer time to repay what they owe.

If you have questions…

If you have questions about Government support for businesses during the coronavirus crisis, here are three steps to finding the answer:

   Official guidance: ‘COVID-19: support for businesses’
    This page has all the details of Government support, with more details added as soon as they’re announced. Use the list of contents to skip to the sections relevant for your business.


   Business support FAQs
    If the guidance webpage doesn’t answer your questions, try this page with FAQs about everything from how to protect your staff and how to help fight and treat the virus, to insurance and how long businesses must stay closed. The FAQs are part of the Government’s new Covid Business Support website.


   Call the Government Business Support helpline
    If the guidance webpage or the FAQs don’t answer your questions, you can call the new Government helpline on 0300 456 3565 (national rate number, call charges apply). It’s open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. Bear in mind it’s likely to be extremely busy.


    If your business is based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can call a dedicated Government helpline in your nation: list of all helpline numbers

There's an alternative summary of the schemes available here.

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