Developments with the COVID-19 outbreak have escalated in the UK over the past few days, which has led to many businesses worrying what this means for the future.
There are a number of initiatives being put in place to help businesses who may be affected by Coronavirus. We’ve compiled helpful, practical steps you can take to support your business:
On 17th March, the Chancellor announced a massive £350 billion in financial measures to provide a lifeline for many businesses. It is still in the early stages on how this will be rolled out currently, but for now, you can access the package of support measures that the Government has put in place here. There is also a Business Support Helpline which can be reached on 0300 456 3565.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
This scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will allow businesses with a turnover of less than £41m to apply for a loan for up to £1.2m, with the Government covering up to 80% of losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion to protect small businesses.
Statutory Sick Pay
The Government will refund the cost of providing 14 days statutory sick pay per employee for businesses with fewer than 250 employees.
Small business cash grant
There will be a £10,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities, and worth a total of £2bn. Local authorities are awaiting guidance from the government on how this will be administered.
A dedicated helpline has been established by HMRC to support businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, to provide support with their tax affairs. Businesses may also be able to create a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement through this. You can reach HMRC on 0800 0159 559.
A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.
Crowdfunder have put measures in place to help businesses through the outbreak, providing 100% free fundraising for crowdfunding campaigns with support through Enterprise Nation.
The Government has temporarily suspended business rates in England for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value, meaning nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.
Bank of England measures
The Bank of England have also announced a package of protective measures to help UK businesses and households through the economic disruption associated with COVID-19.
Arts Council England
Arts Council England have announced plans to support people working as freelancers, artists and in publicly funded cultural organisations. Find our more here.
Citizens Advice have detailed how Coronavirus may affect you if you’re self-employed and need to take time off work, including what benefits you may be entitled to.
Companies House have provided guidance on what to do about your company accounts if you have been affected by COVID-19. Find all the information here.