The government’s financial support packages for businesses and the self-employed are being changed and amended as the coronavirus pandemic continues. This post covers the latest information about the financial help available in: 

 

5 JANUARY 2021 UPDATE: NEW FINANCIAL SUPPORT ANNOUNCED ACROSS THE FOUR NATIONS
 

Hair and beauty businesses in England, along with all others required to close, will receive one-off grants to help them through to the spring. One-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under.
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000.

 To help businesses in the devolved nations:

  • The Scottish Government will receive £375 million.
  • The Welsh Government will receive £227 million.
  • The Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million.

Find out more on the government website. 

This financial support is in addition to the schemes already announced by the government (see below). 

Eviction for non-payment of rent banned

Please note: eviction for non-payment of rent on commercial premises is banned across the UK until 31 March 2021. (The ban does not apply to eviction for other breaches of the lease.) You can negotiate with your landlord if you are finding it difficult to pay the rent. NHBF Members can download our fact sheet on how to do this and get the best deal for you and your business.

Calculations

England 

Job Retention Scheme: Furlough 

The furlough scheme has been extended  to the end of April 2021.

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. 

Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked. 

The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged. Find out more on the government website. 

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train while on furlough. However, you must pay your apprentices the correct apprenticeship rate for all the time they spend training. This means that for time spent training you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.

Job Support Scheme

PLEASE NOTE: The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday, 1 November 2020, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends. The furlough scheme has been extended. See above.

If businesses are legally required to close, the government will cover the cost of two thirds of employees’ salaries where they can’t work for a week or more. Employers must cover National Insurance and pension contributions where applicable. 

If businesses are still open but adversely affected by coronavirus, the government is making it easier to keep employees on:

  • Employees must work a minimum of 20% of their hours. The employer will pay the wages for these hours.
  • For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid two-thirds of their usual salary. The employer will contribute 5% to a cap of £125 a month, with the rest paid by the government to a cap of £1,541.75 a month. 

Find out more on the government website. 

Job Retention Bonus 

The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021 as the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of March 2021. We understand that the government will announce a new Job Retention Bonus scheme at the appropriate time.

 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The government is offering two grants, each available for three-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. 

 

Self-employed chair, space and room renters can claim a grant of 80% of their average trading profits covering the three-month period November 2020 to January 2021, up to a maximum of £7,500 (the maximum previously announced was £5,160). 

The amount of the second three-month grant to cover February 2021 to April 2021 will be decided at a later date. Tax and National Insurance must be paid on the grants. Find out more on the government website. 

Find out what other financial help may be available for the self-employed including New Style Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

Business grants 

The Local Restrictions Support Grant was introduced in November 2020 to support businesses in England that were required to close due to the second national lockdown (a grant for each 28-day period of closure).  It was later extended to cover any business which had been open and was then required to close under Tier 4 restrictions (a grant for any 14-day period of closure) before the full lockdown was reintroduced in January. 

£1.1bn was distributed to local authorities so they could make one-off payments (Additional Restrictions Grant) to help support businesses. Find out more.
 
Following the announcement of the national lockdown in England from the beginning of January, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the existing grants scheme in England. Hair and beauty businesses in England, along with all others required to close, will receive one-off grants to help them through to the spring. These grants are distributed by local authorities on the basis of the rateable value of the premises the business occupies.  The latest round are:
  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under.
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000.

The categories have been the same through the pandemic. 

Visit your local authority's website to find out how to apply. Find your local authority on the government website.  

Loan schemes 

  • The Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides loans of up to £5m, with no interest due for 12 months. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. Open for applications until 31 January 2021.
  • The Bounce Back Loan helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year. Open for applications until 31 January 2021. If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay 

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees who are off sick for coronavirus-related reasons. Find out more on the government website. 

 

 

Clean basin

Wales

Job Retention Scheme: Furlough

The furlough scheme has been extended  to the end of April 2021.

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. 

Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked. 

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train while on furlough. However, you must pay your apprentices the correct apprenticeship rate for all the time they spend training. This means that for time spent training you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.

The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged. Find out more on the government website. 

Job Support Scheme

PLEASE NOTE: The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday, 1 November 2020, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends. The furlough scheme has been extended. See above.

If businesses are legally required to close, the government will cover the cost of two thirds of employees’ salaries where they can’t work for a week or more. Employers must cover National Insurance and pension contributions where applicable. 

If businesses are still open but adversely affected by coronavirus, the government is making it easier to keep employees on:

  • Employees must work a minimum of 20% of their hours. The employer will pay the wages for these hours.
  • For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid two-thirds of their usual salary. The employer will contribute 5% to a cap of £125 a month, with the rest paid by the government to a cap of £1,541.75 a month. 

Find out more on the government website

Job Retention Bonus 

The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021 as the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of March 2021. We understand that the government will announce a new Job Retention Bonus scheme at the appropriate time.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The government is offering two grants, each available for three-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. 

Self-employed chair, space and room renters can claim a grant of 80% of their average trading profits covering the three-month period November 2020 to January 2021, up to a maximum of £7,500 (the maximum previously announced was £5,160). 

The amount of the second three-month grant to cover February 2021 to April 2021 will be decided at a later date. Tax and National Insurance must be paid on the grants. Find out more on the government website. 

Find out what other financial help may be available for the self-employed including New Style Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

Economic Resilience Fund

The Economic Resilience Fund, which complements support schemes available from the UK Government, is part of the Welsh Government’s £1.7 billion support package for businesses to help deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus. Funding includes: 

  • Payments of £1,000 for businesses that are eligible for Small Business Rates relief and occupy a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.
  • Payments of up to £5,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that are required to close and which occupy a property with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £50,000.
  • A discretionary £2,000 top-up grant for businesses closed or affected by the firebreak lockdown.
  • A further discretionary £1,000 grant for businesses that were affected by local lockdown measures for 21 days or more before the start of the firebreak lockdown period.
  • The Welsh Government is also providing a further £20 million towards business grants making a total of £100 million available. 

Find out more on the Welsh Government website.

Restrictions Business Fund

The current Restrictions Business Fund is being increased by £110m.  This means there will be £270m to support businesses, which have to close to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

  • Hospitality and non-essential retail businesses receiving small business rates relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will be eligible for a £3,000 payment. 
  • Hospitality and non-essential retail businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000 will be eligible for a £5,000 payment if impacted by the restrictions.
  • Larger hospitality and non-essential retail businesses with a rateable value of up to £150,000 will be eligible for a £5,000 payment. 

The discretionary fund is also being extended to enable businesses not on the non-domestic rates database to claim £2,000 grants towards their fixed costs.    

Find out more.

Loan schemes 

  • The Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides loans of up to £5m, with no interest due for 12 months. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. Open for applications until 31 January 2021.
  • The Bounce Back Loan helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year. Open for applications until 31 January 2021. If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay  

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees who are off sick for coronavirus-related reasons. Find out more on the government website.  

 

Covid haircut

Scotland

Job Retention Scheme: Furlough

The furlough scheme has been extended  to the end of April 2021.

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. 

Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked. 

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train while on furlough. However, you must pay your apprentices the correct apprenticeship rate for all the time they spend training. This means that for time spent training you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.

The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged. Find out more on the government website. 

Job Support Scheme

PLEASE NOTE: The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday, 1 November 2020, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends. The furlough scheme has been extended. See above.

If businesses are legally required to close, the government will cover the cost of two thirds of employees’ salaries where they can’t work for a week or more. Employers must cover National Insurance and pension contributions where applicable. 

If businesses are still open but adversely affected by coronavirus, the government is making it easier to keep employees on:

  • Employees must work a minimum of 20% of their hours. The employer will pay the wages for these hours.
  • For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid two-thirds of their usual salary. The employer will contribute 5% to a cap of £125 a month, with the rest paid by the government to a cap of £1,541.75 a month. 

Find out more on the government website

Job Retention Bonus 

The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021 as the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of March 2021. We understand that the government will announce a new Job Retention Bonus scheme at the appropriate time.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The government is offering two grants, each available for three-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. 

Self-employed chair, space and room renters can claim a grant of 80% of their average trading profits covering the three-month period November 2020 to January 2021, up to a maximum of £7,500 (the maximum previously announced was £5,160). 

The amount of the second three-month grant to cover February 2021 to April 2021 will be decided at a later date. Tax and National Insurance must be paid on the grants. Find out more on the government website. 

Find out what other financial help may be available for the self-employed including New Style Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

Grants for businesses 

UPDATE 11 JANUARY 2021 - INCREASED FUNDING

Eligible hair and beauty businesses operating from fixed premises will be given up to an additional £9,000 (previously £3,000) as a one-off payment and can claim this funding through their local authority website if they have not already submitted an application for the Strategic Framework Business Fund. Non-essential businesses already in receipt of payments are also eligible but do not need to reapply. 

Eligible businesses will receive: 

  • A one-off grant of £9,000 for all relevant businesses with a rateable value of £51,001 or more.
  • A one-off grant of £6,000 for relevant businesses with a rateable value of up to and including £51,000.

In most cases, payment will be combined with the next tranche of payments for the Strategic Framework Business Fund due to go to businesses on 25 January 2021.

(Previously, from 2 November 2020, firms that were required by law to close were eligible for grants of either £2,000 or £3,000.)

Find out more on the Scottish Government website.

Businesses that are open but directly affected by coronavirus will be eligible for grants of £1,400 or £2,100 based on rateable value. 

Find out more on the Scottish Government website. 

Applications for the Coronavirus Restrictions Fund closed on 3 November 2020. Find out more.  

A £30m discretionary fund for local authorities to allocate to businesses most adversely affected has also been announced. 

Loan schemes 

  • The Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides loans of up to £5m, with no interest due for 12 months. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. Open for applications until 31 January 2021.
  • The Bounce Back Loan helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year. Open for applications until 31 January 2021. If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay  

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees who are off sick for coronavirus-related reasons. Find out more on the government website.  

 

Hairstyle PPE

Northern Ireland    

Job Retention Scheme: Furlough

The furlough scheme has been extended  to the end of April 2021.

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. 

Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked. 

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train while on furlough. However, you must pay your apprentices the correct apprenticeship rate for all the time they spend training. This means that for time spent training you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.

The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged. Find out more on the government website. 

Job Support Scheme

PLEASE NOTE: The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday, 1 November 2020, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends. The furlough scheme has been extended. See above.

If businesses are legally required to close, the government will cover the cost of two thirds of employees’ salaries where they can’t work for a week or more. Employers must cover National Insurance and pension contributions where applicable.  

If businesses are still open but adversely affected by coronavirus, the government is making it easier to keep employees on: 

  • Employees must work a minimum of 20% of their hours. The employer will pay the wages for these hours.
  • For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid two-thirds of their usual salary. The employer will contribute 5% to a cap of £125 a month, with the rest paid by the government to a cap of £1,541.75 a month.  

Find out more on the government website.  

Job Retention Bonus  

The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021 as the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of March 2021. We understand that the government will announce a new Job Retention Bonus scheme at the appropriate time. 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme  

The government is offering two grants, each available for three-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. 

Self-employed chair, space and room renters can claim a grant of 80% of their average trading profits covering the three-month period November 2020 to January 2021, up to a maximum of £7,500 (the maximum previously announced was £5,160). 

The amount of the second three-month grant to cover February 2021 to April 2021 will be decided at a later date. Tax and National Insurance must be paid on the grants. Find out more on the government website. 

Find out what other financial help may be available for the self-employed including New Style Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

Help for newly self-employed

The Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme (NSESS) opened on 3 December 2021. This will provide financial support to newly self-employed individuals (sole traders and those in partnerships) whose business is adversely affected by the pandemic and who have not been able to access support from the UK government's Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. A one-off taxable grant of £3,500 will be provided under the Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme.

The scheme will close to applications at 6pm on 7 January 2021. Find out more on the Northern Ireland Executive website.

Grants for businesses 

Localised Restrictions Support Scheme

The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme provides financial support to businesses which have been required to close or severely limit their operations. 

Payments range from £800 to £1,600 for each week that local restrictions are in place. 

Find out how to apply online.  

Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme

This scheme provides support to businesses that are required to close but are not eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme. Examples of this might include a business that delivers its product or service on a mobile basis or operates from their home, or their customers’ homes, for example, a mobile hairdresser or beauty therapist. Find out more.

Loan schemes  

  • The Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides loans of up to £5m, with no interest due for 12 months. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. Open for applications until 31 January 2021.
  • The Bounce Back Loan helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year. Open for applications until 31 January 2021. If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay   

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees who are off sick for coronavirus-related reasons. Find out more on the government website.   

Limited company director support scheme  

  • £20million will be available for the Limited Company Directors Support Scheme (LCDSS). The scheme will open for applications on 21 January 2021.
  • A £1,000 grant will be paid to eligible limited company directors. Any amount left over when the scheme closes will be distributed equally among approved applicants in the form of a top-up grant up to a maximum of £3,500.
  • The scheme will be delivered by Invest Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy. Find out more.

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