HotPatch Guide to Business Support During Lockdown
Lockdown is a real challenge to any business. A range of schemes have been introduced by the government to support and protect jobs and businesses from collapse. HotPatch has taken a look the schemes available to businesses unable to operate fully due to this lockdown.
The Bounce Back Loan
The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, and up to 25% of their turnover. The government also guarantees 100% of the loan with no fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
Businesses that have already accessed the Bounce Back Loan, but have not borrowed their maximum amount, can now apply to top-up their existing loan, but can only do so once.
At present, the deadline for applying for a new BBL is the end of March 2021.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
This scheme provides equivalent support to the self-employed as is provided to employees through the government contribution in the CJRS Furlough Scheme. Currently, the SEISS has been increased to meet 80% of trading profits covering November 2020 to January 2021 and from February 2021 to April 2021 for all parts of the UK.
The grant is calculated based on 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500. The details of the grant for the February to April period is yet to be announced.
All up to date information, including eligibility criteria and the window to claim, as well as being able to make your application, can be found on the gov.uk website.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
This scheme was created to help small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance, up to £5 million.
The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.
National Lockdown Business Support Grant
You may be eligible for a monthly grant up to £3,000 if your business was forced to close.
There are also additional grants for nightclubs, dance halls, and other entertainment venues up to £1,500 for each 14-day period the business is closed.
If we move back into a tier system soon, there is also a local lockdown business support grant.
Business Rates Relief
If your business is in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England, you won’t have to pay business rates for the 2020–2021 tax year. This applies to:
Restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs
Cinemas, live music venues
Assembly or leisure properties, like sports clubs, gyms, spas
Hospitality properties, like hotels, guest houses, self-catering accommodation
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
This well known, and well-utilised scheme provides 80% of employees’ monthly salary covered for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Employers will have the flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time or shift pattern, furloughing employees on either a full-time or part-time basis. And employers only have to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions.
The CJRS was originally due to close on 31st October 2020 but has now been extended until 30th April 2021.
Refund of Statutory Sick Pay
SMEs with fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020 will get a full refund from the government on 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee off sick with Covid-19. Any sickness you claim for needs to have started on or after 13 March 2020.
The Next Steps for Your Business
It is worth noting that the information provided is for businesses in England. Different support is available for businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We will be providing more helpful information in the coming weeks, including how to engage with customers and top tips for working from home.
Keep up to date with the latest financial support that the government is offering to support your businesses through this Covid-19 lockdown. The gov.uk resources are the best place to look.
Keep safe. HotPatch.
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