05 Nov 2020

Financial Support for Lockdown

Financial Support Schemes

Lockdown 2 announced for England will be a major financial challenge for many ABRS members.  The Government have introduced or extended support schemes:

Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme)

The furlough scheme has been extended to the end of March, employees will receive 80% of their salary for hours not worked. This is capped at £2,500 per month. Employers will be required to make NI and pension contributions.

Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time.

The Job Retention Bonus will now NOT be paid in February. Furlough won’t have ended by then, so the government will look at a similar scheme for when it does come to an end.

Eligibility criteria has been made clearer for employees who are made redundant on or after 23 September 2020 and you have re-employed and employees that have a fixed term contract that expired after 23 September. The dates relating to TUPE eligibility have also been corrected. (Updated 12 November) Find out the criteria.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The government has announced an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme across the UK. Two further grants have been made available, each covering a three-month period – 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021, and 1 February to 31 April 2021.

Subject to meeting eligibility criteria, applicants will receive a single taxable grant worth 80% of the average profits they would make over a three-month period, up to a total of £7,500, paid directly into their bank accounts.

To be eligible for the grant extension, you must:

  • have previously been eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – although did not necessarily claimed previous grants
  • declare that you intend to keep trading
  • are currently actively trading but have been impacted by reduced demand due to COVID-19, or were previously trading but are currently unable to do so due to the virus.

The online service for claiming the next grant will be available from 30 November. Further details are available here.

Mortgage Holidays

Mortgage payment holidays will no longer end today.  Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

The FCA will announce further information on Monday.

Business Grants

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.

These grants are managed by Local Authorities.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/928760/BUSINESS_GRANTS_FACTSHEET.pdf.

Businesses in Scotland that are required to close due to restrictions may be able to claim the Strategic Framework Business Fund

  • temporary closure grant – £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) if your business is required to close by law
  • business restrictions grant – £1,400 or £2,100 (depending on rateable value) if your business can remain open but is specifically required to modify its operations by law, for example having to close earlier than normal or demand for your products or services has been reduced because of the pandemic

Grants will be paid every 4 weeks in arrears as long as restrictions last.

Find out if you are eligible HERE

Bounce Back Loans

 Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finances more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

The scheme is open to applications until 31 January 2021.

If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, from 10 November you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 January 2021.

For more information, visit GOV.UK

Regional opportunities

For other regional funding opportunities, please check with your local authorities.

Business Support Finder Tool

If your business has been financially affected by COVID-19, the government has a business support finder tool – simply complete the short questionnaire to find about what support is available to you across the UK.

Funding for Scotland

Fresh Funding Helps Employers Access Training –

Employers across Scotland are being given more opportunities to upskill and reskill their staff thanks to new funding

Find out more

Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund

The Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund is a package of interest-free loans and grants offered by Renfrewshire Council to provide immediate help to small businesses, social enterprises and self-employed people who’ve been affected by COVID-19.

  • The Business Restart Loan offers interest-free loans of between £1,000 and £5,000, repayable up to three years, to assist with short-term cashflow.
  • The Business Resilience Grant provides 50% match-funded grants of between £1,000 to £10,000 to help meet changed objectives and plans for growth.
  • The Business Adaptation Grant provides match-funded grants from £1,000 to £2,500 to help adapt premises to meet physical distancing requirements.

All loans and funds are subject to eligibility requirements. Further details are available here.