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COVID-19 Business Support Schemes

Our summary below outlines what is available, who is eligible and how to access it.

The latest guidance from HMRC can be found here.


What is it?

Who is eligible?

How is it accessed?


Bounce Back Loan

100% government backed loans of £2,000 to £50,000 for small business, with no fees, interest or capital repayments payable by the business for 12 months.

Small businesses, for loans worth up to 25% of their turnover, up to a maximum of £50,000.

Businesses can apply through an online form, applying to an accredited network, from 4 May when the scheme launches.

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information.

Future Fund

Convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to COVID-19.

UK based businesses that have previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third party investors in the last 5 years.

The Future Fund will launch in May 2020. 

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information.

Making Tax Digital for VAT - deferral of digital links requirement

Deadline for digital links in software extended from 1 April 2020 to 1 April 2021.

All VAT registered businesses trading above the VAT registration threshold.

Automatic. No application required.

All businesses now have until their first VAT return period starting on or after 1 April 2021 to put digital links in place.

Changes to Insolvency Measures

Temporary suspension of the wrongful trading law for company directors and a temporary moratorium for companies undergoing a restructuring process. During this time, the company cannot be put into administration by creditors and will be able to continue to access raw materials.

All UK businesses. NB: TBC whether companies already insolvent will be eligible for the new moratorium.

Automatic. No application required.

Suspension of wrongful trading provisions is being applied retrospectively back to 1 March 2020. All other checks that help to ensure directors fulfil their duties properly will remain in force.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Taxable grant of up to 80% of your trading profits.

Self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to COVID-19.

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

This is limited to £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. Self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of the individual’s income must come from self-employment.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

Loans scheme provided by British Business Bank (BBB) for loans up to £5m.

UK based SMEs with turnover of £45m or less.

Through all major banks and finance providers detailed on BBB website.

BBB criteria applies. 80% loan guaranteed by government. First 12 months interest free.

VAT payment deferral

Deferral of VAT due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.

All businesses registered for VAT in the UK.

Automatic. No application required but any business that currently pays by Direct Debit needs to cancel this, otherwise their VAT payment will be taken as normal.

Taxpayers will be given until 31 March 2021 to pay over any accumulated liabilities. Refunds paid as normal.

Job Retention Scheme

Government grants to cover 80% of non-working ‘Furloughed’ employees.

All UK businesses.

Through the HMRC portal.

Limited to £2,500 per month per employee. Agreement to ‘Furlough’ will be subject to individual employment contracts and likely to require employee consent.

Sick pay support

Laws allowing the reclaim of up to 2 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid in relation to Covid-19.

All UK businesses classed as small or medium and with fewer than 250 employees as at 28 February 2020.

Rebate scheme being developed.

No GP note required from employees.

Business rate support

A business rates holiday during the 2020/21 tax year.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England.

Automatic. No action required. This will be applied to the next council tax bill in April 2020.

Cash grants also available to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. £10k per property if the rateable value is less than £15k. Up to £25k if the rateable value is £15k - £51k.

Self-assessment tax payment deferral

Deferral of payments on account from 31 July 2020 until 31 January 2021.

All taxpayers.

Automatic. No applications required.

Ignore any recent reminders received from HMRC.

Larger Firms Corporate Financing Facility

A facility that allows The Bank of England to buy short term debt from larger companies.

All UK businesses.

Information on how this scheme is accessed, to be confirmed.

The facility will also support corporate finance markets overall. More information is available on The Bank of England website.

PAYE tax payment deferral

All businesses unable to meet tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support through HMRC’s ‘Time to Pay’ service.

All businesses with outstanding tax liabilities.

Please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline if you have missed or intend to miss tax payments, on 0800 024 1222.

Arrangements will be agreed on a case-by-case basis but decisions are typically given immediately over the phone. If you are uncertain about future cashflow, it is advisable to apply ASAP.


This was last updated on 28 April 2020. 


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COVID-19 help page

The government has issued numerous COVID-19 updates for businesses and our experts have carefully curated the content you need to be aware of. Our help page is updated regularly with new information as it’s announced. Bookmark this page now for easy access to the content you need to know.

Get in touch

If you need any further assistance or would like to have a conversation about the effect of COVID-19 on your business, your usual Buzzacott contact is only a phone call away or you can contact us below.

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