Help and Support for Small Business and Self-Employed during COVI19 outbreak





Bounce Back Loans scheme for small businesses


The Chancellor is making more financing available to the smallest businesses. This support comes in the form of Bounce Back Loans of between £2,000 and £50,000, which you’ll be able to access within days.


As per gov.uk, the government will give accredited lenders a 100% guarantee for the Bounce Back Loans they payout. The government is also footing the bill for any fees and interest for the first year, and small business owners won’t need to repay anything towards their Bounce Back Loan in the first 12 months.


After the first year, borrowers will only have to pay “a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan”, as per government website.


How do I get this support?

A short and simple form to fill in will be made available with applications launching on Monday 4 May.


£750 million for innovative small businesses


Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) focused on research and development will have access to £750 million of grants and loans, according to the Treasury.


Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Britain is a global leader when it comes to innovation. Our start-ups and businesses driving research and development are one of our great economic strengths, and will help power our growth out of the coronavirus crisis.”


How do I get this support?


The funding will be available through the national innovation agency Innovate UK with its grants and loan schemes available for its existing 2,500 customers. If you are an existing customer you’ll be able to opt-in for the fast-track scheme and up to £200 million of grant and loan payments will be available to you. Furthermore, £550 million of extra support is being made available for existing customers.


If your small business is intensively into research and development but you are not an existing Innovate UK customer, you may still benefit from £175,000 of support that Innovate UK setting aside for approximately 1,200 firms.


Innovate UK planned to issue the first payment mid-may, and more information will be made available on eligibility and how the scheme works ‘in due course’ as per government website.


Coronavirus business grants


The Chancellor of the Exchequer is making £25,000 cash grants available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000.


The Chancellor made available a grant for Small Businesses of £10,000. A one-off payment will be made to qualifying businesses that have a rateable value of £15,000 or less. If you are already eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR), Rural Rate Relief (RRR), or tapered relief who will be entitled to the one-off grant payment.


The government plans to relax Planning Regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to offer takeaways without the need for a planning application, this will give an opportunity for these businesses a way to keep positive cash flow despite being empty.


How do I get this support?


  • You do not need to do anything – the government will write to you with more information if you are eligible.

  • If you have questions, the government’s advice is to contact your local authority.

  • If you are not sure how to get in touch with your local authority, The government website supports you to find your local authority.


Read more about grants for small businesses


Business rates holiday for the tax year 2020-21


The government is temporarily canceling business rates for all retail, leisure, and hospitality businesses, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The business rates holiday applies in England for the tax year 2020-21 for:

  • shops

  • restaurants, cafés, bars. pubs

  • cinemas, live music venues

  • assembly or leisure properties, like sports clubs, gyms, spas

  • hospitality properties, like hotels, guest houses, self-catering accommodation


How do I get this support?


  • You do not need to do anything to get this support – it will be applied to your April 2020 Council Tax bill.

  • Your local authority may need to reissue your bill to remove the business rate charge. They will do this automatically, as soon as possible.

  • You can use the government’s business rates calculator to find out the amount you will no longer be eligible to pay for this year.


Read more about business rates.


Business rates holiday for nurseries


Nurseries in England will also get a year off paying business rates for the tax year 2020-21 and

to be eligible, the building needs to be occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and completely or mainly used to provide the Early Years Foundation Stage (care and education for children up to age 5).


How do I get this support?


Like retail, leisure, and hospitality businesses mentioned above, you do not need to do anything to get this business rate holiday payment if you are eligible. Your local council will automatically apply the discount.


Protection if you can’t pay your commercial rent


The government announced that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak will be protected from eviction.


This means you will not be forced out of your business premises if you miss a rent payment up until 30 June – this period may be extended by the government.


How do I get this support?


Commercial tenants and landlords are being encouraged to come to voluntary arrangements on repayment.


Gov.uk makes it clear that this is protection from eviction is only offered if you cannot pay your commercial rent right now, because of the pandemic. It should not be treated as a rent holiday payment, and commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)


Under a new coronavirus business loan scheme, if you have a turnover of up to £45 million you can apply for loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years.


The government will encourage lenders to part with their cash by guaranteeing up to 80 percent of any losses, and there will be no upfront loan charges as well as the government covering the first 12 months of interest payments.


More information on CBILS can be found by clicking the link below:

The government has extended the CBILS to all viable small businesses affected by the pandemic


The government banned lenders from requiring you to use your own property or savings to guarantee a loan under £250,000.


Besides making operational changes to speed up lending approvals, the Chancellor, along with the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has written to banks 'asking them to support small and medium-sized enterprises in any way they can'.


This support includes making sure interest rates are reasonable, and making sure the benefit of the government guarantee to those borrowing under the CBILS is passed on.


How do I get this support?


The scheme is delivered via the British Business Bank, through participating lenders.


Your business needs to:


  • be based in the UK

  • have an annual turnover of up to £45 million

  • have a borrowing proposal the lender would consider viable if it was not for coronavirus

  • have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus and you can self-certify for this.


All major banks will offer this scheme, according to the government website. It advises speaking to your business banking provider, to ensure you are eligible for any payment and to do this as soon as possible.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – help to pay furloughed employees’ salaries


If you have staff, including apprentices, and your business is affected due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will you up to 80% of an employee’s salary, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month to enable you to pay your staff.


This support is currently available and is open for four months, but this may be extended if needs be.


How do I get this support?


  1. Identify your employees as ‘furloughed workers’, which means staff who have to take unpaid leave

  2. Tell the affected employees they’re now ‘furloughed workers’

  3. Work out how much you need to claim for using the government calculator

Once you know how much you need to claim, you can apply through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).


Find out full details of how to claim under the CJRS on gov.uk.


If you need cash flow support now, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, mentioned above.


Full refund on statutory sick pay due to Covid-19


SMEs with fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020 will get a full refund from the government on 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee off sick with Covid-19. Any sickness you claim needs to have started on or after 13 March 2020.


How do I get this support?


You do not need a doctor’s note from your employee, however to qualified:

  • Your employee had coronavirus

  • Have been unable to work because they are self-isolating

  • or be shielding in line with public health guidance

As per government website repayment system will be set-up for employers as soon as possible.

Make sure you keep records of all absences and statutory sick pay payments due to Covid-19 this a legal requirement and good practice for your business.


Read more about statutory sick pay.


Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)


The Chancellor's Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) pays you 80% of your average trading profits over the last three years, or up to £7,500 a month and members of partnerships are also eligible for this support


Found out about the Self-Employment Income Support


Income Tax and VAT deferred for the self-employed


Anyone due to make their second payment on account in July 2020 and who is struggling to pay because of the pandemic, will not need to pay their Self Assessment Income Tax bill until January 2021.


If you’re able to, you can still make your second payment on account


If you are VAT registered you can get more time to pay has VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 can be deferred until 31 March 2021. However, if you choose to keep up your VAT payment is due after 30th June as normal.


How do I get this support?


You do not need to do anything to get the Income Tax deferral – it’ll be applied automatically to all UK businesses. You’ll have until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any Income Tax liability you accumulate.


The deferred VAT payment deadline will be applied automatically, but you still need to submit your returns. If you’re due a VAT refund during this period, the government will pay it as usual.


More time to pay Corporation Tax


As of 25 March 2020, if your business is registered with Companies House, you can apply for a three-month extension to the deadline for filing your accounts. Businesses granted this extension won’t get the usual late payment penalty.


How do I get this support?


You need to apply for the extension using the fast-tracked application system. It takes 15 minutes, and any business giving Covid-19 (coronavirus) as the reason will get an automatic and immediate extension, according to the government website.


Time to Pay coronavirus helpline


HMRC’s Time to Pay service is available for all businesses with outstanding tax bills and who are in financial distress. If coronavirus has caused you difficulty with paying your tax bill that will not be solved by the tax deferrals mentioned above, you can try the special coronavirus helpline.


How do I get this support?


You can call the dedicated HMRC helpline on 0800 024 1222, but be aware it may take longer than usual to speak to an adviser. Decisions about any extra time you get to pay your bill will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Benefits for self-employed workers during the coronavirus pandemic


If you’re not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay because you’re self-employed or earn below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 a week, the government is making it easier to claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance during the Covid-19 outbreak.


Universal Credit (UC)


You’ll be able to claim Universal Credit and get advance payments upfront with no need to go to a Jobcentre, if your work has reduced or stopped because of coronavirus.


How do I get this support?


Any payments you get will be based on your actual earnings, and you’ll need to declare any self-employed earnings and expenses at the end of each monthly assessment period.


The Treasury argued that “self-employed people can now access Universal Credit in full and as a self-employed person with a non-working partner and two children, living in the social rented sector, can receive welfare support of around £1,800 per month.” The government website has details on eligibility and how to claim Universal Credit.


Read more about benefits for self-employed people.


Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)


ESA is for people with a disability or health condition that affects how much they can work. During the coronavirus pandemic, you can apply for ‘new style’ ESA if you cannot get Statutory Sick Pay and you or your child are ill or self-isolating because of coronavirus.


Once you have been assessed, you’ll be placed into one of two groups. The amount you will get depends on whether you can get back into work:

  • up to £74.35 a week if you’re able to get back into work

  • up to £113.55 a week if you’re unable to get back into work

The government website has details on eligibility and how to claim ESA.


Relief from paying back loans and credit cards


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) asked lenders to be flexible and to support customers during the coronavirus outbreak, taking into account individual circumstances.


If you’re given a payment holiday, your lender should record it in a way that doesn’t impact your credit score.


How do I get this support?


Lots of the major lenders have already made statements on this, so it’s worth speaking to your provider if you are now facing difficulty keeping up with personal loan or credit card repayments.


You can use Hazel our Business Credit Calculator to manage your credit card spending.


Mortgage payment holidays


If you own your own home, there’s good news from mortgage lenders. They have agreed to offer a payment holiday to customers in financial difficulty due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This could mean you do not have to pay anything towards your mortgage for up to three months.


How do I get this support?


Speak to your mortgage provider to find out what support they can offer you. This may depend on whether you were already in arrears when you applied for the payment holiday.


Rent payment holidays


Similarly, mortgage payment holidays for landlords bring good news for tenants. Along with residential mortgage customers, buy-to-let landlords are now eligible for the three-month payment holiday from their mortgage.


That’s on top of the three-month ban on landlords starting any new eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent.


These measures recognise the fact that tenants may struggle to keep up with rent payments if their income is affected during the pandemic. However, tenants are still expected to pay the rent in the future.


How do I get this support?


The government advises landlords and tenants to work together to come up with an affordable rent repayment plan. Tenants’ individual circumstances are to be taken into account when creating the plan.


Coronavirus business and self-employed support in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland


Some of the support measures available to help small businesses through the pandemic are administered by the devolved governments. You can find out more about small business support measures specific to the devolved nations on gov.uk.


Look after your business’s greatest asset


If you’re self-employed, you are your business’s most valuable asset – so look after yourself. The Mental Health Foundation offers useful advice on looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. Equally, if you’re a small business owner with employees, you can share these tips with your staff.


View the coronavirus support in place for you from Girlfridayz


  • We have a payment facility for payment over £200 after which you can pay by installments

  • We have waived the deposit on some services and offer you to pay your deposit in installment

  • We have a semi-permanent 20% discount offer on all service over £250

  • We have our game lifewithmore#win that you can play and win £100 off our website bundles except for our online store bundle.

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