Financial Support for Businesses

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

Government Financial Support for Businesses

Business Support Grants

Eligibility and How to Access

1. £10,000 Small Business Grant

A grant of £10,000 is to be made available to small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme. There is no application for the Small Business Rates Relief scheme, Land Property Services automatically apply it to qualifying businesses. Businesses who qualify will be eligible for the grant.

  • if you pay your business rates via Direct Debit and you are part of the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme, LPS will automatically pay the £10,000 into your account. 
  • if you do not pay by Direct Debit but are part of the scheme you will need to register your bank details
  • if you have already registered for the scheme and provided details using the online form, your details are currently being checked. If everything is in order, you will receive an email confirming that the grant payment has been issued.

Following Reval2020, a new non-domestic valuation list will come into affect on 1 April 2020. This means that more businesses may qualify for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme. If you are on this list, you need to complete the form (linked above) to provide your bank details. If a business who qualified for rate relief until 31 March 2020 is not on the new list, they will still be able to avail of the £10,000 grant.

  • For rental properties, the scheme is being designed to benefit the small business who occupies the property and not the landlord or managing agent who is responsible for paying the rates. Landlords, managing agents and small businesses in this situation should not use the Small Business Grant Support online form to register for the scheme, but should wait until a new online form for rental properties is made available in the coming days.

Access the registration form here

Find out more information

 

2. £25,000 grant for businesses in the Hospitality, Tourism and Retail Sectors

 A grant of £25,000 will be available for businesses in the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors, with a rateable value from £15,000 up to £51,000. 

More information will be released about this scheme

Find out more information

Land Property Services Helpline

Questions about the scheme? Contact Land Property Services helpline on 0300 200 7809 or rating@lpsni.gov.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

NI Business Info have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Small Business Grant Schemes.

Read FAQ's

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Eligibility and How to Access

All UK businesses are eligible for this scheme. 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. 

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 28 February 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 28 February 2020. Any employee hired after this date cannot be furloughed. 

If you made employees redundant, on or after 28 February 2020, you can re-employ them and put them on furlough and claim wages through the scheme.

If your employee is on unpaid leave, you can claim their wages through the scheme for any unpaid leave after 28 February 2020. 

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. 

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

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.

View more information and FAQ's 

View Government Advice

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Eligibility and How to Access

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 information on their 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

Large Business Interruption Scheme

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 between £45 million and £500 million. Eligibility is similar to the small/medium sized business scheme. 

The scheme is expected to open later in April 2020.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

Eligibility and Guidance

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme will provide self-employed individuals or members of partnerships with a taxable grant worth 80% of their profits, up to a cap of £2,500, for the next three months. 

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 80% of your average profits from the tax years 2016-2019. It will be a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months. Grants are expected to start being paid in June 2020.

HMRC will contact those who are eligible. 

View HMRC guide

View Government Advice

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

Statutory Sick Pay

Organisations with fewer than 250 employees can get support for paying sick pay to employees. 

The business must have a PAYE scheme, which was created on or before 28 February 2020. Employers can receive a repayment of two weeks sick pay provided the employee could not work because they:

  • have coronavirus
  • cannot work because they are self-isolating at home

Employees do not need a doctors fit note. 

This scheme is being developed and more information will be released

Businesses to Receive 3 month Extension Period to File Accounts

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

An application is required and businesses should state Health or COVID-19 as the grounds for their application.

Find out more information

 

Deferred VAT Payments

The Government is automatically deferring business payments for VAT. The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. 

All UK businesses are eligible and there is no application.

 

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.

 

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 will be a 3 month rate holiday for business owners which will be shown as a 25% discount on annual rate bills. 

Other Grants, Loans and Schemes

HSBC Fund for Internationally Trading Businesses

Businesses across the UK are facing supply chain disruption, with delays in receiving both goods and payments, leaving many with a gap in their working capital cycle.

To cover this short-term gap, HSBC are offering:

  • £3bn lending to importers and exporters that need additional support*
  • Pre-approved 60-day extensions on trade loans for customers with a sound trade loan/financing record**
  • Fast turnaround on the issuance of Shipping Guarantees, enabling customers to transfer or receive goods from their counter-party faster

Call the dedicated helpline on 0800 783 1300 or click here to find out more

Business Led Innovation in Response to Disruption

The aim of this competition is to support UK businesses to focus on emerging or increasing needs of society and industries during and following the Covid-19 pandemic. By fast-tracking innovation, the UK will be better placed to maintain employment levels, a competitive position in global markets and make the UK more resilient to similar disruption.

Your application must demonstrate both realistic and significant benefits for society (including communities, families and individuals) or an industry that has been severely impacted and/or permanently disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £25,000 and £50,000.

Find out more information

Innovate UK to Invest up to £20 million in Innovation Projects

Businesses could help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of the coronavirus outbreak and similar situations in the future, as a result of £20 million government funding announced.

Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research-focussed businesses to develop new ways of working and help build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport, as well as support people at home in circumstances like those during the coronavirus outbreak.

Find out more information

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