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21 May, 2020|

What Support is Available For Small Businesses During The Coronavirus?

We are currently in challenging and unprecedented times for businesses of all sizes. From sole traders, self-employed individuals, freelancers, contractors and small and medium sized business owners.

There is a range of small business support during coronavirus, available from a variety of sources. Here we look at government schemes as well as other support and resources which small and medium businesses can tap into.

What financial support is available to small businesses from the government?

A range of financial support schemes have been announced by the government during the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

These include (but not limited to):

The Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme)

The Job Retention Scheme, allowing employers to furlough their staff if their business had been severely affected by the Coronavirus, was initially set to run until the end of June. It has since been extended until the end of October.

Currently the government will cover 80% of furloughed staffs salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. This is set to continue until the end of July. From August, changes will be made, and employers will be asked to pay a % towards salaries of furloughed staff. More details on the changes from August will be available towards the end of May.

Self-employment support scheme

The Self-Employment Support Scheme officially opened on the 13thMay, with self-employed individuals able make a claim for support if eligible.

Business rates relief

Have been applied for some retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England. Find out more here.

Deferral of tax payments

Have been applied in some areas including VAT payments and self-assessment payments

And support available particularly for small and medium sized businesses includes:

Business interruption loan scheme

The business interruption loan scheme helps small and medium sized businesses access loans/other finance up to £5million. 80% is guaranteed by the government and they pay the interest/fees for the first 12 months.

Coronavirus future fund

Opening to applications from the 20th May, the future fund will allow businesses to apply for between £125,000-£5million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

Bounce back loan

One of the more recently announced support schemes, the bounce back loan scheme opened on the 4th May. It allows small and medium sized businesses to borrow up to 25% of their turnover, with a maximum loan of £50,000 available.

The loans are 100% backed by the government. There is no interest for 12 months.

Read this for more details including eligibility criteria.

This information was correct at the time of writing (18th May) but details change on a regular basis. So for full details of the business support available from the government during the Coronavirus, visit the business support page on the gov.uk website.

What other support is available to small businesses during the coronavirus?

Of course, financial support is a big area of concern for many small and medium sized businesses. But there are other areas in which support is also being offered.

Information and guidance

Institutions such as the FSB, Enterprise Nation and the CBI all have dedicated coronavirus hubs on their website. And many are all running webinars and information events aimed at helping SMEs navigate the coronavirus crisis.

We are also updating our blog with relevant articles and regular features from our directors around areas of concern for businesses. In particular, do take a look at our coronavirus advice and guidance leaflet – looking at areas such as business continuity, tools to support home working and taking care of your employees mental health.

Tools

Many technology businesses are offering tools and systems which businesses may find useful either for free or at a reduced rate during the coronavirus. This article provides a comprehensive list of the tools and resources being offered for free during coronavirus.

Insurance

Insurers are also flexing cover in some areas – including working from home under home insurance policies and extending periods for which commercial properties can be left unoccupied for. Of course, as usual do check with your insurer or broker if you have any questions about your cover as policies and stances will vary.

At Anthony Jones, we are working hard to support businesses at this time. From regularly updating our blog with timely information, to keeping our teams available and contactable in the usual ways. If you have any questions about your insurance at this time, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us.