COVID-19 guidance for small businesses

Since chancellor Rishi Sunak’s admission that the £12bn pledged in the budget to support the economy would not be sufficient, a £350bn package of grants and loans has been announced. We highlight the measures that the government are taking to support businesses and self-employed individuals across the UK.

Business Loans

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, being provided by the British Business Bank, is aiming to provide affordable lending to businesses whose cashflows are suffering. Loans of up to £5m will be available to borrow, with the government pledging to pick up some 80% of irrecoverable losses to the bank. Furthermore, the loans will be available free of interest charges for the first 12 months due to additional government provision.

Sick pay

With the number of employees self-isolating and social-distancing increasing steadily, employers have been facing staff shortages and cashflow problems, which has been accentuated by the sick pay subsidies provided. The chancellor has, in part, addressed this issue by promising a full refund of up to 14 days Statutory Sick Pay per employee – note that this only applies to employers with fewer than 250 employees. It is estimated that this could reach a value of £2bn across 2 million business.

HMRC tax payments

The treasury has opened a dedicated helpline for business and self-employed people who need help with outstanding tax liabilities. Whether you need to discuss the possibility of a payment plan, late payment penalties or collection procedures, it is well worth giving them a call on 0800 0159 559. You can find more information here.

Cash grants

Small businesses that are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief will be contacted by their local authorities about a £10,000 cash grant that has become available. Local authorities will be provided with funding in early April and will contact businesses automatically. You will not need to apply and can expect to hear more about this scheme soon.

A grant of £25,000 is also to be made available to businesses operating in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors if their premises has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. These businesses will also benefit from a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year. For more information regarding eligibility for these grants, please contact your local authority.

Get in touch

If you are worried about the impact of COVID-19 on your business or want to discuss any of the above then please get in touch. You can email Misty on or call the office on 01392 241228. The chancellor has promised to provide “whatever it takes” to support the UK through these turbulent times, so expect further announcements over the coming days and weeks.