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Government Support for businesses affected by Covid-19

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a package of measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The Government have an online tool [external link] to help you find support for your business. You answer a series of questions and it will tell you of the support available to your business or to you if you are self-employed.

The main support mechanisms are listed below, but to find out more information, visit GOV.UK - about the government guidance to employers, employees and businesses[external link].

Business advice and guidance

There is a dedicated Business Support Helpline Telephone Helpline 0800 998 1098

The Government Business Support helpline provides free, impartial business support and help with contacting services to businesses in England - which currently includes business advice on Covid-19.

Financial support

The Government have made a series of announcements about support available to businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic:

Recovery Loan Scheme

Launched on 6 April 2021, the Recovery Loan Scheme provides financial support to businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the coronavirus pandemic.

You can apply to the scheme if Covid-19 has affected your business. You can use the finance for any legitimate business purpose – including managing cashflow, investment and growth.

However, you must be able to afford to take out additional debt finance for these purposes. The scheme is open until 31 December 2021, subject to review. To find out more, visit Recovery Loan Scheme - GOV.UK [external link]

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.

Employers will be able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme [external link] through a new online service.

Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now run until the end of March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their salary for hours not worked.

Employers will have to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions, and the Government will review whether employers should be asked to increase their contributions in January.

 Check to find information on:

Please note: The previously announced Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.

Kickstart Fund

Kickstart is a £2 billion Government initiative aiming to create thousands of 6 month, paid work experience placements with employers.

Jobs under this scheme will be open to 16-24-year-olds in receipt of Universal Credit and who are at risk of long term unemployment.

The government will pay the salaries of young people in placements for 25 hours and at minimum wage. Employers can supplement hours and pay as they see fit.

Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

For full details of the Kickstart Scheme are available on the .gov website [external link].

Tax helpline

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax or wishing to defer VAT payment due to coronavirus (Covid-19).

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222.