Grants and loans

The Government’s business support site lists all of the financial assistance mentioned below, as well as other sources of funding.

June 20: Further guidance has been published on how Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will work between now and the end of October, when the scheme will end. This includes how employers can bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time from July 1 and how many employees they can claim for in any one claim.

May 15: Guidance for local authorities on the Discretionary Grants Fund has now been published. Local authorities have discretion to give grants up of £25,000 to businesses which “can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.”
These grants are aimed at:
• Small and micro businesses, as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006.
• Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
• Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.
The guidance says local authorities should “exercise their local knowledge and discretion and we recognise that economic need will vary across the country”.
Local authorities should set out the scope of their discretionary grant scheme on their website, providing clear guidance on which types of business are being prioritised, as well as the rationale for the level of grant to be provided (either £25,000, £10,000 or less than £10,000). Grants should be given via “some form of application process as the potential beneficiaries are highly unlikely to be known directly by the local authorities”

A new Top-up to local business grant funds scheme  offering grants of up to £25k has been set up for small businesses in England previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme, aimed at those businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Businesses must be under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures. Local authorities can choose to make payments to other businesses on a case by case basis.

Any business with Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme can transfer the first £50k to the bounce back loan. Businesses cannot have a CBIL and also apply for the bounce back, hence the option to transfer if the loan is £50k or under.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is now open for applications. The scheme allows small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with the Government guaranteeing 100% of the loan, which is interest-free for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The Government has also agreed with lenders that flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is being extended so all viable small businesses affected by Covid-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating. The Government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals. The Government will continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees.

The Government has extended the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £50million to £200million. Eligible businesses can borrow up to 25% of turnover.
The scheme is now open for applications. All major banks are offering this scheme.

The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

Small businesses may have access to the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)


Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Government will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.


Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Find your local authority.

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