Coronavirus Support for Businesses

As the country moves into a three-tier system of restrictions, there is a great deal of information for businesses and sole traders to digest, particularly in the North of England.

To ensure that you have access to financial support that could make a difference, we have gathered together the latest government guidance on the grants, loans and schemes currently available into a single pack.

As always, we are here to support you not only with your insurance cover but in any way we can. If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team, please give us a call.

Coronavirus (COVID 19) support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed.

Below is a summary of some of the support your business may be entitled to. Please note this may not be comprehensive so we would thoroughly recommend using the tool on link above to gain insight into what may be most suitable for your business.

Deferring VAT

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 payment until 31 March 2021.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

Employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID 19. This scheme will cover up to 2 weeks of SSP for every eligible employee.

Employers must maintain records of staff absences and payments for SSP. Employees will not have to provide a GP fit note.

You are eligible if your business meets both of the following requirements. Your business is:

  • UK based
  • Small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

You do not need to do anything. If you are eligible, your local council will apply the discount automatically.

You’re eligible if your property is a:

  • shop
  • restaurant, café, bar or pub
  • cinema or live music venue
  • assembly or leisure property – for example, a sports club, a gym or a spa
  • hospitality property – for example, a hotel, a guest house or self-catering accommodation

Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme

If you are a small to medium-sized business (SME) you may be able to apply for a temporary loan, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million, for up to 6 years.

You may also be eligible for Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender fees. The government will give lenders 80% guarantee on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims).

Self-employed people are also eligible for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

You may be eligible for this scheme if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • your business is UK-based, with a turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • you have a borrowing proposal which would be considered viable by the lender, if not for the current pandemic
  • you can self-certify that coronavirus (COVID 19) has adversely impacted your business

Coronavirus bounce back loan

If your small to medium-sized business (SME) is affected by coronavirus, you may be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 through a Bounce Back Loan scheme.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and for the first 12 months you will not have to pay any fees or interest, or make repayments.

You may be eligible for this scheme if your business:

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

This includes self-employed people.

Support for businesses paying tax: Time to pay service

If you cannot pay your tax bill on time because of coronavirus, you may be able to delay it without penalty using HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

You may be eligible if you are a UK business that:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

Support to create job placements: Kickstart scheme

The Kickstart Scheme gives you financial support to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The scheme is open to all organisations.

It pays:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • employer National Insurance
  • minimum automatic pension enrolment contributions
  • £1,500 per job placement for setup costs, support and training


Each application is for a minimum of 30 job placements. You can partner with other organisations if you have fewer than 30.

Please note that you may be eligible for more than one scheme, whether your business is open or closed.

For detailed information about different types of business support schemes, check the coronavirus business support page.

covid-19 pdf cover

The Guide to Risk Resilience During COVID-19

We’ve put together a handy guide to help give you some clarity during this uncertain time. Click the link below to access the guide as a free download and get in touch today to speak to one of our friendly advisors.

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