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Financial Support for Businesses

There is a wide range of financial support available for businesses navigating the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Government Financial Support for Businesses

Use the GOV.UK financial support finder 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Scheme Extension

From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current 3 week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

Find out more information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Eligibility and How to Access

If your business operations have been severely impacted by COVID-19, you can furlough your employees and claim 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. This is available to any UK business.

Eligibility

Any business with a UK payroll can apply, including charities, recruitment agencies and public sector organisations, as long as:

  • they have created and started a PAYE scheme after 19 March 2020
  • they are enrolled in PAYE online
  • they have a UK bank account

Claims can be made for any employee or apprentice on any kind of contract, as long as they were on the payroll on or before 19 March 2020. Any employee hired after this date cannot be furloughed. 

If your employee is on unpaid leave, If an employee started unpaid leave after 28 February 2020, you can furlough them and can claim their wages through the scheme.

If an employee is sick or self-shielding, if they are sick they will be eligible for Statutory Sick pay (costs for two weeks can be claimed back by the employer) after their sick leave they can be furloughed and paid for through the scheme. If they are self shielding, they can be furloughed and claimed for through the scheme.

Employees can volunteer or undertake training while furloughed, as long as the training does not generate income for the business. 

If you made employees redundant or they stopped working for you after 28 February, you can re-employ them, put them on furlough and claim for their wages through the scheme.

This applies to employees that were made redundant or stopped working for you after 28 February, even if you do not re-employ them until after 19 March. This applies as long as the employee was on your payroll as at 28 February and had been notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February 2020. This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 28 February 2020.

Company Directors

As office-holders, salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme. Company directors owe duties to their company which are set out in the Companies Act 2006. Where a company (acting through its board of directors) considers that it is in compliance with the statutory duties of one or more of its individual salaried directors, the board can decide that such directors should be furloughed. Where one or more individual directors’ furlough is so decided by the board, this should be formally adopted as a decision of the company, noted in the company records and communicated in writing to the director(s) concerned.

Salaried Members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

Members of LLPs who are designated as employees for tax purposes (‘salaried members’) under the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act (ITTOIA) 2005 are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme.

Employer National Insurance and Pension Contributions

You’ll still need to pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions on behalf of your furloughed employees, and you can claim for these too.

You cannot claim for:

  • additional National Insurance or pension contributions you make because you chose to top up your employee’s salary
  • any pension contributions you make that are above the mandatory employer contribution

Past Overtime, Fees, Commission, Bonuses and non-cash payments

You can claim for any regular payments you are obliged to pay your employees. This includes wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. However, discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments should be excluded.

Employee taxes

Employees will still pay the taxes they normally pay out of their wages. Including pension contributions (both employer contributions and automatic contributions from the employee), unless the employee has opted out or stopped saving into their pension.

Making a Claim

This scheme is currently available.

Employers should agree changes with employees and changes to employment contracts, formally in writing. Not all employees need to be placed on furlough if your business is still operating. A furloughed employee can not undertake any work for the employer. 

Employers can claim 80% of employees wages, including National Insurance Contributions and and automatic pension contributions.

Employers can top up a salary should they wish. 

To make a claim, employers will need:

  • ePAYE reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • the claim period (start and end date)
  • amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
  • bank account number and sort code
  • contact name
  • phone number

Employers will need to calculate the amount they are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of a claim. Claims can be backdated to 1 March 2020.

After you've Claimed

HMRC will check your claim, and if you’re eligible, pay it to you by BACS to a UK bank account.

You must pay the employee all the grant you receive for their gross pay, no fees can be charged from the money that is granted.

When the government ends the scheme

When the government ends the scheme, you must make a decision, depending on your circumstances, as to whether employees can return to their duties. If not, it may be necessary to consider termination of employment (redundancy).

HMRC will process all claims made before the scheme ends. The scheme will end in June 2020.

Contact HMRC

Do not contact HMRC unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made the claim and you have not received it in that time.

If you need to contact HMRC after 10 working days, you can call 0800 024 1222 or you can chat online with an advisor.

Contact HMRC about your claim

 

Read the HMRC Guide

Claim for Wages through Online Service

View more information and FAQ's 

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

Applications are currently closed for this scheme. Applications for a third grant are expected to open in November

Eligibility and Guidance

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme will provide self-employed individuals or members of partnerships with a taxable grant. The second grant is worth 70% of their profits, up to a cap of £6,570 which covers a three month period. The second grant is closed.

To be eligible for the scheme you need to meet the following criteria:

  • traded in 2019/20, trading when you apply or would be trading if not for COVID-19 
  • filed a tax return for 2018/9 (those who have not filed, will have four weeks from 26 March to do so)
  • have lost trading profits due to COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in 2020/21
  • trading profits are less than £50,000 and more than half your income comes from self-employment*

*This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
  • Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.

The grant amount will be 70% of your average profits from the tax years 2016-2019. It will be a maximum of £6,570, which covers a three month period. Individuals must prove to HMRC that their business has been adversely affected by Coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020, to be eligible for the second grant. You don't have to have received the first grant to be eligible for the second grant.

Universal Credit

You may be eligible for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant, but the grant will be considered as self-employed income and may affect the amount of Universal Credit you will get. Any Universal Credit claims for earlier periods will not be affected. 

The deadline to submit your 2018/2019 Self Assessment tax return was 23 April 2020. If you had not submitted this by then, you will not be able to claim through this scheme

How to Claim

Check your eligibility for the Self-Employed scheme

To check your eligibility you will need your:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number 
  • National Insurance number 

Make a Claim

To make a claim you will need your:

  • Self Assessment UTR - if you do not have this find out how to get your lost UTR
  • National Insurance number - if you do not have this find out how to get your lost National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online
  • bank account number and sort code you want us to pay the grant into (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted)

You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020.

Applying for the second SEISS grant
Applications for the second grant are now open. Individuals will be able to claim a second taxable grant worth 70 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total. Individuals claiming a second grant will need to prove their business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020. Find examples of how your business could be adversely affected.

After you Claim

Once you’ve submitted your claim, you will be told straight away if your grant is approved. HMRC will pay the grant into your bank account within 6 working days.

You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including:

  • the amount claimed
  • the claim reference number for your records
  • evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus

You will need to report the grant:

  • on your Self Assessment tax return
  • as self-employed income for any Universal Credit claims
  • as self-employed income and that you’re working 16 hours a week for any tax credits claims

View HMRC guide on the scheme

Find out more about Universal Credit

Pay the Grant Back

You must tell HMRC if you think you:

  • have been overpaid
  • should not have claimed the grant (because you weren't eligible or made the claim in error)

You should tell HMRC as soon as possible if you know you’ve been overpaid or are not eligible for the grant. You may have to pay a penalty if you do not tell them.

Tell HMRC you need to pay money back

COVID Social Enterprise Fund

Fund Information

The £7m fund is now accepting applications, until 26 October 2020.

The COVID Social Enterprise Fund is a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will aim to distribute £7m of grant funds over the coming months and is designed to support social enterprises as they seek to stabilise and manage cashflow during this difficult period. The Fund will be managed by Community Finance Ireland (CFI) and provide grants of up to £75,000.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Social Enterprises who meet all of the following eligibility criteria:
  • Have a base in Northern Ireland and/or primarily delivering services/activities to Northern Ireland communities
  • Have a legal format and governing documents/profit re-distribution policy that meets Social Enterprise NI guidelines e.g. Company Ltd. by Guarantee/Community Interest Company) 
  • Have been trading in excess of one year and have demonstrated sustainability.
  • Funding need is directly as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
  • Have a clear understanding of the negative financial impacts of COVID-19 on the organisation over the six-month period March 2020 - August 2020
  • Are applying for funding to stabilise short-term future cashflow need and to ensure resilience of  business model

Apply to the Social Enterprise fund now

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Eligibility and Information

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks

You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 - if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 - if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus

The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85. If you’re an employer who pays more than the weekly rate of SSP you can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.

Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim. But you can ask them to give you either:

  • an isolation note from NHS 111 - if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus
  • the NHS or GP letter telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks because they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus

Eligibility

You can use the scheme as an employer if:

  • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
  • you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020

You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time for that employee.

The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:

  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • employees on agency contracts
  • employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
  • fixed term contracts (until the date their contract ends)

What you can Claim

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks SSP starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they:

  • have coronavirus symptoms
  • are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • are self-isolating because they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
  • are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks
  • have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery for up to 14 days

You can make more than one claim per employee, but you cannot claim for more than 2 weeks in total.

You can claim from the first qualifying day your employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 – if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus
  • 28 May 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
  • 26 August 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery

This scheme is now open.

Claim now

Find out more about the Sick Pay Scheme

Farming COVID-19 Support Fund

Fund information

Over 11,300 local farm businesses will benefit from the £21.4m Covid-19 support funding package. 

Eligible farm businesses in the dairy, beef and sheep sectors will be able to apply for the support package by completing a short application available on DAERA Online Services from Monday 7 September to Wednesday 23 September 2020. These farm businesses will receive payments if they were the qualifying keeper of eligible animals presented for slaughter and / or sold milk during the qualifying periods.

Applications for support to potato businesses will open on Wednesday 9 and close on 30 September 2020, with the ornamental horticulture support scheme scheduled to open later in the month, subject to relevant approvals. 

Find out more about the COVID-19 Farm Funding Scheme 

Apprenticeships Incentive

Scheme information

Employers will be offered £3,700 for every apprentice they bring back from furlough and retain until they have completed their apprenticeship. 

A £500 return payment will be made to employers who bring an apprentice back from furlough. A £2,000 payment will be made to employers who retain an apprentice for four months following their return from furlough. A further £1,200 will be made when the apprentice completes their qualification.

Support of £3,000 will be made to employers for each new apprenticeship opportunity created between 1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021. 

More information will be released.

Find out more about the Apprenticeship Recovery Package

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (Turnover less than £45 million)

Eligibility

Businesses are eligible for the loan scheme if:

  • they are UK based
  • their annual turnover is no more than £45 million
  • Have a borrowing proposal which the lender:

They must also have a borrowing proposal which the lender:

a) would consider viable, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic

b) believes will enable you to trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty

Businesses from any sector can apply, except the following:

  • Banks and building societies
  • Insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • Public-sector organisations, including state-funded primary and secondary schools

The scheme is currently open. British Bank are responsible for running this scheme.

View full scheme information on British Bank website

Applications are open, businesses should apply through a lenders website, there are 40 accredited providers. 

Apply with Ulster Bank

Apply with Danske Bank 

Apply with Bank of Ireland

Apply with Santander

Apply with Barclays

View the full list of participating banks

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme (Turnover more than £45 million)

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of £45 million or more and loans of up to £50 million to firms with an annual turnover of £250 million or more. 

Eligibility

Businesses are eligible for the loan scheme if:

  • they are UK based
  • their annual turnover is more than £45 million
  • Have a borrowing proposal which the lender:

They must also have a borrowing proposal which the lender:

a) would consider viable, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic

b) believes will enable you to trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty

Businesses from any sector can apply, except the following:

  • Banks and building societies
  • Insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • Public-sector organisations, including state-funded primary and secondary schools

This scheme is operated by British Business Bank. 

View British Business Bank information on the scheme

 

The scheme is open for applications. Businesses should apply directly through a lender.

Apply with Danske Bank 

Apply with Santander

Apply with Barclays

Apply with HSBC

View Chancellors Update

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

Eligibility and Information

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Eligibility

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019

Who cannot apply

The following businesses are not eligible to apply:

  • banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector bodies
  • further-education establishments, if they are grant-funded
  • state-funded primary and secondary schools

You cannot apply if you're already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), however, if you have received a loan through CBILS you can transfer it to the Bounce Back scheme. 

The Bounce Back Loan is currently available, businesses should apply directly with a lender.

Lenders include: Danske Bank, Santander, Ulster Bank and Barclays.

Apply with Ulster Bank

Apply with Santander

Apply with Barclays

Find out more about the Bounce Back loan 

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Eligibility and Guidance

Under the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCEF), the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from large companies.

Eligibility

Companies – and their finance subsidiaries – that make a material contribution to the UK economy are able to participate.

Full information about this scheme is available on the Bank of England's website

Rates Holiday and Reduction

An 18% reduction has been made to rates on the 2019-20 figure. This is intended to help business ratepayers as well as the rates holiday for businesses.

There has been a rates holiday for businesses, this has been further extended by 1 month until July 2020. The sectors who have been hit hardest by the pandemic will receive a one year rates holiday until March 2021. 

These sectors include; hospitality, tourism, leisure, childcare and retail. (Some exclusions apply to certain supermarkets and off-licences)

Deferred VAT Payments

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to:

  • defer the payment until a later date
  • pay the VAT due as normal

You can only defer:

  • quarterly and monthly VAT returns’ payments for the periods ending in February, March and April
  • payments on account due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
  • annual accounting advance payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020

The deferral does not cover payments for VAT MOSS or import VAT.

All UK businesses are eligible and there is no application. 

Find out more about Deferred VAT

 

HMRC Tax Helpline

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call 0800 024 1222 for help and advice.

Other Grants, Loans and Schemes

Future Fund

The Future Fund scheme will issue loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit. 

Eligibility:

Businesses are eligible if:

  • It is UK-incorporated. If your business is part of a corporate group, only the parent company is eligible
  • it has raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third-party investors in the last 5 years
  • none of its shares are traded on a regulated market, multilateral trading facility or other listing venue
  • it was incorporated on or before 31 December 2019
  • at least one of the following is true:
    • half or more employees are UK-based
    • half or more revenues are from UK sales

This fund is now open.

Find out more information about the Future Fund 

Innovate UK Continuity Grants

Innovate UK has developed a range of options for supporting its existing customers with current projects through the impacts of the pandemic.

Up to £90 million is available in continuity grants, paid up front, to SMEs and third sector organisations who are existing Innovate UK award holders and who are at risk of abandoning their project due to a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funds directly related to COVID-19.

Find out more about Innovate UK Continuity Grants

IntertradeIreland COVID-19 Supports

Emergency Business Solutions

Professional advice, to the value of £2,000/€2,250 inc VAT (100% funded), is available for cross-border companies in manufacturing and tradable services, to address key business challenges related to Covid-19.

Find out more about the Emergency Business Solutions Programme

 

E-Merge

The E-Merge programme provides £2500/€2800 fully funded consultancy support to help businesses develop online sales and eCommerce solutions.

Find out more about the E-Merge Programme

Open4Business Funding Search

The Open4Business portal provides businesses an opportunity to search a regularly updated directory of funding content. Businesses can search for funding specific to their industry and business size. 

Access the Open4Business portal

Grants Online

Grants Online is a grant support resource which details both national and regional support programmes that are available to businesses.

Go to Grants Online

Coronavirus Business Advice and Support

The AND business team is here to support you.

For further information or if you need help and advice, please get in touch via email or telephone 028 9147 3788