Financial Support During The COVID-19 Crisis & How You Access It
What financial support is available during the COVID-19 crisis and how do you access it?
We have put together a list of financial assistance that will be available and who to approach, taken from government websites. From what we can see, none of these packages are available yet (19th March 2020), but several are due to be rolled out next week. We will post more details and how to apply as the information becomes available. Much of this information is available on www.gov.uk
Frazer Hall Corporate Finance recommend that you do as much of this in-house as you can – keep costs down in this uncertain climate. If you do have any questions, then contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07770 986763) and if we can help or answer the question (no fee), we will do so.
Government support for businesses includes a package of measures including:
- A statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs with up to 250 employees on 28th Feb. Available from 13th March 2020. Weekly allowance will be £95.85 on 6th April. This will be a refund of up to 14 days and only for those off work due to COVID-19. They don’t need a sick note from the doctor. Refunds not available yet. From central government.
- A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England. Available through local authorities. Guidance available to local authorities from 20th March. Will apply for 2020-2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-2020 tax year will be rebilled as soon as possible. Not available yet. From local authorities.
- Also, a grant of up to £25,000 available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. From local authorities. No date set yet.
- Small business grant funding of up to £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief. Funding will be provided in early April. Not available yet. From local authorities but you can’t apply, have to wait for them to contact you.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. To enable access to bank lending and overdrafts. This scheme offers guarantees on commercial lending rather than actual funding. Each loan will be guaranteed by 80% and will support loans of up to £5million. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt. The Government will cover first 6 months of interest payments. https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/ for a list of lenders and further financing options from the British Business Bank. Available from w/c 23 March. Directly from commercial lenders.
- The British Business Bank has listed the following eligibility criteria:
• Be UK based, with turnover of no more than £41 million per annum
• Operate within an eligible industrial sector (a small number of industrial sectors are not eligible for support – see below)
• Be able to confirm that they have not received de minimis State aid beyond €200,000 equivalent over the current and previous two fiscal years
• Have a sound borrowing proposal, but insufficient security to meet the lender’s requirements
• Full eligibility criteria will be published shortly.
- Corporate Financing Facility for larger companies. A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans. Will support corporate finance markets overall to maintain a supply of credit. Available from w/c 23 March. Waiting for further details on how to access.
- The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme. For all businesses and self-employed individuals. Contact the free helpline on 0800 0159 159 to declare your difficulty in paying tax due to the coronavirus. Support will be offered and may include an instalment arrangement, suspending debt collection payments or cancelling penalties and interest where you have been unable to contact HMRC due to administrative difficulties. Contact directly. Open 8am-8pm weekdays, 8am-4pm Saturday.
- Insurance. If you are covered for pandemics as well as government-ordered closure, you should be covered. But most insurance policies exclude pandemics and just cover damage to property.
- Banking facilities. All the banks are rolling out assistance for their customers. These are just some of the options available:Lloyds Banking Group have set aside £2 billion of financial support so their small business customers can access:
- No arrangement fees for new overdrafts or overdraft limit increases
- No arrangement fees for new or increased invoice discounting and finance facilities
- In certain circumstances, repayment holidays to be provided, to those businesses impacted the most*.Royal Bank of Scotland have a very helpful spreadsheet on the banking and financing options available. The downloadable pdf is available at:
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