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Updates – Coronavirus Business & Self-Employed Support

September 23, 2020 9:21 am Published by

Since the UK entered lockdown, a number of Government financial support measures for businesses and the self-employed have been put in place to try and protect jobs and support people’s incomes.

As people across the UK begin to return to work, the support these schemes offer will slowly be winding down, with new schemes being put in place which are focussed on creating new jobs and supporting businesses in areas impacted by local lockdowns.

Find out more about the latest updates to existing Government support schemes and more information about the new schemes available in our latest blog post.

Business Loans

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) allows small to medium-sized business to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million from over 50 accredited lenders.

The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and will also pay any interest or fees for the first 12 months. To be eligible, businesses must be based in the UK, have a turnover of up to £45 million and be able to show that they have been adversely impacted by coronavirus.

The deadline for applications for the CBILS is 30th September 2020. You can find out more about the CBILS on the GOV.UK website.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) allows smaller businesses to access loans from £2,000 up to 25% of their turnover (max £50,000) quickly from 11 participating lenders.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and the business does not pay any fees or interest for the first 12 months. To be eligible, businesses must be based in the UK, established before 11th March 2020 and be able to show that they have been adversely impacted by coronavirus.

The deadline for applications for the BBLS is currently the 4th November 2020 and the government has the right to extend this. You can find out more about the BBLS on the GOV.UK website.

Payroll Support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Known to most as the furlough scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme enables businesses with a PAYE scheme to temporarily stop employees from working, with HMRC reimbursing 80% of furloughed workers wages up to £2,500 per month.

Before the scheme ends on 31st October 2020, there will be changes to employer contributions meaning that the amount the government pays will be gradually reduced from 80% to 60%.

You can find out more about changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in our blog or on the GOV.UK website.

To prevent potential redundancies, the Job Retention Bonus has been brought in, a one off payment of £1,000 for UK employers who retain the services of each furloughed worker until the end of January 2021, you can find out more about the Job Retention Bonus here.

Statutory Sick Pay Reclaim

As a result of the pandemic, the government changed the way that Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) was paid, meaning that employees would be paid from the 1st day of absence rather the fourth.

To prevent employers being left with a large SSP bill, the government are allowing eligible businesses to reclaim 2 weeks SSP for absence due to COVID-19.

This support measure is still ongoing, you can find out more about SSP reclaims on the GOV.UK website.

Self Employed

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allows those who are self-employed to claim a taxable grant from HMRC with up to 80% of trading profits for 3 months, with an upper limit of £2,500 per month.

Whilst claims for the first grant are now closed, those who are self employed can still apply for the second and final grant. In order to receive the second grant, you must make your claim on or before 19th October 2020. You can find out more about the SEISS on the GOV.UK website.

Mortgage Holidays

Mortgage payment holidays were introduced as a measure to reduce the financial impact coronavirus had on households. The deadline for applying for a mortgage repayment holiday has been extended to 31st October 2020.

New Schemes

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme was announced as part of the ‘Plan for Jobs’ within the Summer Economic Update, the scheme provides funding to employers to create job placement for 16-24 year olds who are at risk of long term unemployment or are on Universal Credit.

Employers will receive 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours week plus any employers National Insurance and Auto Enrolment contributions, employers must provide a minimum of 30 jobs to be eligible, this may be done as part of a consortium.

The government anticipate that the first jobs will be available in November 2020. You can find out more about the Kickstart Scheme on the GOV.UK website.

Apprentice Scheme

To support employers throughout the nation’s economic recovery and encourage hiring, the government are offering an incentive payment to all employers that hire an apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021.

There will be two levels based on age, with a maximum payment of £2,000 per apprentice, there is no limit to how many incentive payments an employer can claim.

You can find out more about apprenticeship funding on the GOV.UK website.

Targeted Lockdown Grants

To support businesses that are impacted by local lockdowns, the government announced new grants for businesses in England that are required to shut due to local interventions.

Eligible businesses can claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks with the funds being administered by local authorities in lockdown areas.

You can find out more about targeted lockdown grants on the GOV.UK website.


Throughout the pandemic, a number of grants were made available to businesses across a wide range of industries. These grants are administered by local authorities and all grants will be treated as taxable income – different criteria apply to each grant scheme and not all businesses will be eligible.

  • Small Business Grants – check your eligibility here.
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant – check your eligibility here.
  • Discretionary Grant Funding – check your eligibility here.

Need a Hand?

Throughout the pandemic, we have supported many clients with successful furlough reclaims, loan applications and grant advice and our staff have kept up to date with the latest support measures. We hope that all businesses are able to utilise the range of Government support available to them at this difficult time.


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This post was written by Steph Roffey

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