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:  

  

 Budget announcement: 3 March 2021  

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced further government support to help businesses over the next few months as restrictions are gradually eased. This includes:  

Furlough extension: the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September 2021 with employees continuing to receive 80% of their wages. Employers will have to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September as the scheme is phased out. Find out more on the government website.
 
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended. The fourth grant will cover February to April, worth 80% of average trading profits up to £7,500. A fifth grant will be available from July covering the period May to September 2021. The amount allocated in the fifth grant will depend on the following criteria: if your turnover has fallen by more than 30% you will continue to receive the full 80%. However, if it is less than 30% your grant will be reduced to 30%. The scheme will be expanded to allow those who became self-employed in the 2019-2020 financial year to claim provided they filed a tax return by midnight last night.  Find out more on the government websiteFind out what other financial help may be available for the self-employed including New Style Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit.
 
£5bn in government ‘Restart Grants’ from April 2021 with up to £18,000 for individual businesses in England including those in the personal care sector who will have to continue to work under restrictions. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive £794m in extra funding to distribute to businesses.
 
Local authorities in England will get £425m to support businesses who are not eligible for restart grants.
 
100% business rate holiday in England until the end of June 2021 followed by discounts of up to two thirds for the rest of the year.
 
Later this year, the contactless payment limit will rise from £45 to £100 to help support high street spending.
 
Incentive payments for businesses in England that take on apprentices will double to £3,000 and an additional £126 million will be provided for traineeships in England.
 
Small and medium-sized employers in the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs per employee from the government.
 
Recovery loans of between £25,000 and £10m will be available with a government guarantee to lenders of 80%.
 
For two years, businesses will be able to reduce their tax bill by 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment under a ‘super-deduction’ scheme’.
 
UK-wide ‘Help to Grow’ scheme to help small and medium-sized businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits. This includes a 12-week management programme and free technology advice plus discounted software. Register now at gov.uk/helptogrow
 
In April 2023, limited companies with profits of over £50,000 will see an increase in corporation tax. The increase will be tapered from 19% up to 25% for those earning over £250,000 profit.

 

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 was 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.

In England, the eviction ban has been extended to 25 March 2022.  In Wales, the eviction ban has been extended to 30 September 2021.

Calculations

England 

Job Retention Scheme: Furlough 

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

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 was not paid in February 2021 as the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of September 2021. We understand that the government will announce a new Job Retention Bonus scheme at the appropriate time.

 

Business grants 

Businesses in the personal care sector in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £18,000 to help them reopen safely. You can check your eligibility on the government website. 

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.   

Business rates

There is a 100% business rate holiday in England until the end of June 2021 followed by discounts of up to two thirds for the rest of the year.

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. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 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. 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. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme closed to new applications and top-up applications on 31 March 2021.
  • The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period. It launched on 6 April 2021. Find out more.

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. 

 

England: eviction ban extended to 25 March 2022   

Salons and barbershops in England are now protected from eviction for non-payment of rent until 25 March 2022.   

The cut-off date was originally 31 March 2021.   

The move is part of the government’s package of support for businesses affected by the pandemic.  

 

Clean basin

Wales

Job Retention Scheme: Furlough

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

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 was not paid in February 2021 as the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of September 2021. We understand that the government will announce a new Job Retention Bonus scheme at the appropriate time.

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.

Business rates freeze

Business rates in Wales are to be frozen for 2021/22. This will support about 54,000 ratepayers across Wales who are not already receiving 100% rates relief. Find out more on the Welsh Government website.

Wales: eviction ban extended to 30 September 2021   

Salons and barbershops are now protected from eviction for non-payment of rent until 30 September 2021.   

The cut-off date was originally 31 March 2021.   

The move is part of the Welsh Government’s package of support for businesses affected by the pandemic.  

Find out more on the Welsh Government website.    

NHBF Members can download a detailed fact sheet about how to negotiate with your landlord.  

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. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 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.  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. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme closed to new applications and top-up applications on 31 March 2021.
  • The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period. It launched on 6 April 2021. Find out more.

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 September 2021.

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 was not paid in February 2021 as the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of September 2021. We understand that the government will announce a new Job Retention Bonus scheme at the appropriate time.

100% rates relief  extended

In Scotland, salons and barbershops will not have to pay any business rates during 2021/2022. Find out more on the Scottish Government website.

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.

Find out more on the Scottish Government website.

Strategic Framework Business Fund 

The final four-weekly payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF) started on 22 March 2021. 

On 19 April 2021, all SFBF recipients will automatically receive a combined final two-week payment from the fund and a one-off restart grant to help them reopen.

Retailers in receipt of SFBF will be eligible for grants up to £7,500 based on rateable value: 

  • For properties with a rateable value below £51,000: £7,000 (£6,000+£1,000).
  • For properties with a rateable value above £51,001: £7,500 (£6,000+£1,500). 

All businesses currently in receipt of support through the Strategic Framework. Business Fund  will receive the final payment and Restart Grant.

Find out more on the Scottish Government website. 

Business rates relief extended

Salons and barbershops will not have to pay business rates during 2021/22. Find out more on the Scottish Government website.

Local Authority Discretionary Fund

A £120 million fund will be distributed by local authorities across Scotland to help with the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses.

(The fund was doubled from its original £60 million to £120 million as of 10 February 2021 to allow councils to respond further to local economic pressures.)

Find out more on the Scottish Government website.

Support for the wedding sector

Non-mobile hair and beauty businesses involved in the wedding sector can apply to a £25 million support fund.  Applications opened on 28 January 2021.

In recognition of the ongoing challenges faced by the sector, a further £10 million has been added to the £15 million announced in December.

The fund will provide one-off grants of up to £25,000 for eligible businesses in the sector impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Find out more on the Scottish Government website.

Fund for mobile and home-based businesses 

Update 17 February 2021: A fund for owners and operators of mobile and home-based close contact service businesses is now open for applications and will be open for four weeks. The fund will be awarded on a ‘first-come first-served’ basis.  Find out more on the Scottish Government website

Eligible applicants will receive a one-off £4,000 payment (£2,000 for the period to end December 2020 and a further £2,000 to cover the period from January 2021 onwards). You can apply here.

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. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 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.  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.  The Bounce Back Loan Scheme closed to new applications and top-up applications on 31 March 2021.
  • The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period. It launched on 6 April 2021. Find out more.

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 September 2021. 

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 was not paid in February 2021 as the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of September 2021. We understand that the government will announce a new Job Retention Bonus scheme at the appropriate time. 

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 closed 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.

Further grants

March 2021: A number of new grants have been announced for businesses in Northern Ireland. Bookmark this page on the Northern Ireland Executive website where more details on how to apply will be published soon.

Small business support grant top-up

The Small Business Support Grant Top-Up Scheme provides financial support of up to £5,000 to businesses that received the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant and have not been paid under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme or Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B. Eligible businesses will receive an email or letter to confirm that the grant payment has been issued. Payments began to be issued to eligible businesses as of Thursday 27 May 2021

Businesses which started trading after the applications for the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant closed in May 2020, will have the opportunity to apply for the Small Business Grant Top-Up from early June 2021Find out more on the Northern Ireland Executive 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. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 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.  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. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme closed to new applications and top-up applications on 31 March 2021.
  • The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period. It launched on 6 April 2021. Find out more.

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 opened 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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