Covid-19 Update: Increased support for UK small business

Covid-19 Update: Increased support for UK small business

The Chancellor of the Exchequer took to the podium twice this week, promising to “do whatever it takes to support the economy” from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. By Friday, the measures unveiled by the UK government amounted to an unprecedented stimulus package.

Key developments so far:

All self-employed workers who have Covid-19 or need to self isolate will be able to make a claim for Universal Credit, as the minimum floor is temporarily removed.

In depth

Government-backed businesses loans

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) will support small- and medium-sized businesses with lending and overdrafts, guaranteeing 80% on each loan. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5m in value. Any SME business can apply for the loans from 23 March 2020. Interest rates will remain at 0% for 12 months, as confirmed on Friday evening.

Business Rates relief

The Chancellor extended the package of Business Rates relief once again on Tuesday. Retail companies in England with rates below £51k won’t have to pay any business rates until 31 March 2021. This is expected to apply to up to 90% of independent shops, pubs, restaurants and other similar businesses.

Help on the phone

You can call a dedicated COVID-19 helpline on 0800 0159 559 from Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm.

To support small businesses that pay little or no business rates because of Small Business Rate relief (SBRR), the government will provide up to £10k each to around 700,000 businesses currently eligible for that or Rural Rate relief.

Support will include agreement of a bespoke Time To Pay arrangement with HMRC. This will help those struggling with cash flow by spreading liabilities over an agreed period.

We’ll keep you updated with the latest news and measures that affect small business in the UK, including further measures expected to support the self-employed.

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