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What government support is there for your business?

What government support is there for your business?

With the Government putting in place a number of schemes for small and medium sized businesses, it can be hard to know which ones are relevant to you and your business.

We’ve compiled a list of the assistance schemes available to you, including loans, grants and tax deferral periods. We’ve attempted to simplify and condense the information that’s out there, so you can see at a glance what may be relevant for your business. If you need more information, there’s handy links to access official government content. 

Support finder tool

On Monday 20 April 2020, Business Secretary, Alok Sharma and Chancellor, Rishi Sunak launched a new ‘support finder’ tool for businesses and the self-employed. Driven by a short questionnaire, this tool is designed to help business owners quickly identify what financial support is available to them. You can find out more here.

Job Retention Scheme

If your business has been impacted by Coronavirus, and staff are no longer needed to work, you can furlough these employees. This means they’re still employed by you and are on your payroll, but you won’t be paying them, nor will they be performing any work tasks for you. 

HM Revenue and Customs will pay people up to 80% of their usual salary  up to £2,500 a month. As the employer, you must get in touch via an online portal and apply for the money. In the meantime, you should pay your staff as normal and claim the money back. 

Compulsory commission can be paid to furloughed sales staff, and it’s suggested that this is worked out in a similar way to working out annual leave payments.

This includes any commission for selling vehicles and aftersales products, and the test to be applied is ‘commission paid to staff in normal trading conditions’, and contracted – but this contract can be verbal. 

Limited company directors, even if they're the only employee, can furlough their PAYE income.

If a director does this, they can’t then work for the firm, but can continue to perform statutory director's obligations, e.g., official legal filings.

The scheme was recently updated and has been extended until the end of April 2021. You can find out more here or watch the government information video here.

Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs 

Businesses with less than 250 employees can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay for any employees who’ve had to take time off due to COVID-19 to cover up to two weeks of statutory sick pay.

You can find out more about the rebate scheme here.

VAT Payment Deferral

The VAT deferral new payment scheme will be open from 23 February up to and including 21 June 2021. 

Find out more here.

Small Business Rates Relief

You can get small business rate relief if your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000 and your business only uses one property.

You'll not pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, there’s a sliding scale from 100% to 0% relief. 

Find out more here. 

Small Business Grant Scheme 

The Government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

For businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, this grant increases to £25,000.

You don't need to do anything to access this scheme. If you’re eligible, your local authority will write to you. 

The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme 

This gives businesses the option to defer Tax payments. If you’ve missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This is a government backed initiative that gives lenders the ability to offer funding to distressed businesses. The Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
There are currently over 40 accredited lenders able to offer this scheme.  
Find out more here

New bounce back loans

From Monday 4 May 2020, Britain’s small businesses were able to apply for quick and easy-to access loans of up to £50,000 – with the cash expected to land within days. 

Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and the loans will be 100% government backed for lenders. Businesses can apply online through a short and simple form, with more information here

Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they’ve seen a significant drop in income due to COVID-19 restriction measures. More information can be found here.

How can Close Brothers Motor Finance help?

Your Account Manager can offer support with which of these are most likely to be useful for you and your individual circumstances. You can contact them by phone or email. Before making any business decisions, you should speak to your Accountant or Financial Advisor.