What is the latest Government support relating to Covid for my small business?

Rachel with a cup of tea

Many of our clients and network have made use of the Government support relating to Covid for businesses over the last few months. While I’m aware others have fallen through the cracks the new announcements are worth looking at. This post was originally published on 29th October 2020 but has been updated following the changes in early November. However, it is possible that ther will be further changes so take care and look out for any updates.

Changes to government support relating to Covid

The government has had a range of schemes over the last few months. From November we are now seeing a combination of new schemes and extensions of previous schemes. A lot of the focus is on protecting employment but there is some help for some self employed people as well. Below I’m summarising some of the changes to support that were announced.

Bounce Back Loans

If you haven’t taken out a Bounce Back Loan the scheme has not changed but the deadline to apply has been extended extended until January 31st 2021.  If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but didn’t take out the maximum amount available you can now top that up to the maximum you would have been eligible for.
Contact your bank to discuss this if it is right for you.

Furlough scheme

While the furlough scheme had been due to end on 31st October and be replaced by another scheme we now know that the scheme will last until March and the amount employees will get is 80% of salary (unless topped up by their employer). The amount employers can claim will be 80% of salary until the end of January, with February and March to be reviewed.

Many employees not previously on the scheme can now be added and the good news is that the scheme continues to allow part time work. 

Example of how this might help;
You have a member of staff who you weren’t able to furlough because they were required one or two days a week throughout to keep the business going in the spring.  However they are now only actually working part time hours due to Covid.  You can consider adding them to the scheme to cover their wages for hours not worked.

Job Retention Bonus withdrawn

Employers had been due to receive a £1,000 bonus for retaining previously furloughed staff in February.  This has now been withdrawn unfortunately, so take it out of your diary of things to remember in the new year and your financial plans.

Support for the self-employed

The criteria for which self employed people are able to access support has not changed.

If you were eligible for the previous SEISS grant you can access it again.  For November-January this is a taxable grant calculated at 80% of 3 months average monthly trading profits, capped at £7,500 in total. 

A further grant will be paid to cover February to April 2021 but at the time of writing the amount had still not been announced.

Grants for businesses required to close

If your business is in a sector that has been required to close due to this lock down or the new Tier system due to come in you may be able to get a grant.  This will be based on the rateable value of the property your business uses and will continue if you continue to require a close down (e.g. your area is in Tier 3) once Lock Down 2 ends:

Examples of how this might work:

  • You are a café required to close that occupies a property with a rateable value of £15k or under – you will be eligible for a grants of £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • You run a beauty salon and occupy a property with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k- you will be eligible for a grant of £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • You run a ‘non essential shop’ with a rateable value of £51k or over so will be eligible for a grant of £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.

As with the previous scheme applications they will be administered by your local council, so do get in touch with your contact there if you don’t hear from them.

Other support already announced

Don’t forget that there is other government support relating to Covid still available that has already been announced. One particular example to consider is the government job creation “Kickstart” scheme was initially not accessible to small employers. However, bodies like the Federation of Small Business are now acting as intermediaries so that smaller employers (both business and charities) are now able to take part. If you are interested in offering a 6 month work placement to a 16-24 year old it is worth considering.

Further Help

The gov.uk website has useful factsheets on these schemes

If you are a Holy Brook client we can help you with looking at this so just get in touch. If you would like to make sure more you get most updates like this I recommend you sign up for our free newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out

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