Lockdown 3: What Support is Available for Businesses?
Following the latest announcements from Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon, England and Scotland have now joined Wales in new national lockdowns.
The new restrictions mean that people should only leave home for an essential purpose, such as to buy food or medicine. This means that, along with schools, large swathes of businesses now need to close their doors.
While some shops and hospitality businesses will still be able to offer click and collect and takeaway services, they are likely to see a dip in sales. Many other businesses may also see their revenue fall as demand dries up, similar to the first lockdown in March 2020.
To help support businesses through his latest period of uncertainty, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced some additional funding alongside some older schemes that are still open to businesses.
New grant funding for closed businesses
The Chancellor announced £4.6bn of new grant funding for businesses that need to close, including:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
There’s also another £594m pot of discretionary funding to support businesses that need to close. Both of these grants will be distributed by local authorities. Find out more.
Bounce Back Loans Scheme
The bounce back loans scheme is a government guaranteed loan with no fees or interest for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will rise to 2.5% per year.
Loans are available between £2,000 and £50,000 up to 25 percent of turnover. Any businesses that have already applied for a bounce back loan but not the full amount available to them can now apply for a top-up. Find out more.
Business rates relief
As announced in 2020, businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates in the 2020-2021 tax year. Find out more.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Larger businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45m will be able to apply for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan worth up to £5m. Available until the end of March, 80% of this loan is guaranteed by the government. Find out more.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The ‘furlough scheme’ which sees 80% of employees’ monthly salary covered up to a maximum of £2,500 will be continued until the end of April 2021.
This scheme can also be used to cover any hours not worked by full-time or part-time employees, even if they are still carrying out some of their duties. Employers don’t need to make a contribution, but they do need to pay National Insurance and pension contributions.
Future Fund for technology start ups
Kickstart Scheme grant
The Kickstart Scheme is designed to create job placements for 16-24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
It covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week up to a total of six months and also covers National Insurance contributions. An application must cover 30 job placements, but businesses can team up to reach this minimum number. Find out more.
Find out what support is available for you and your business
Use this Government business support finder tool to see what support is available for you and your business. Find coronavirus financial support for your business - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
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