UPDATED: Government support for businesses

Saturday 28 March 2020

The Government has launched initiatives to help businesses through the financial pressure created by COVID-19. Some may apply to businesses in the motorsport industry.

The Government has announced a Business Rates Retail Discount, which in response to the coronavirus has been increased to 100% and extended to include the leisure and hospitality sectors. This relief will apply to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020/21.

More details are available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/873622/Expanded_Retail_Discount_Guidance.pdf

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will provide government-backed loans of up to £5 million to small and medium businesses, which is now available for applications. Businesses are able to access government support to keep operating in the face of the global economic emergency brought on by coronavirus.

More details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-business-support-to-launch-from-today

Following this advice the Chancellor has also announced (on 2nd April) a revamping of the Emergency Business Loans Scheme, ultimately making it easier and less risky for struggling businesses to secure loans from banks.

On Friday 20th March the Chancellor announced a Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme under which will provide a grant to employers to keep their workers on rather than make them redundant. Salaries will be paid at 80% of their current level up to a maximum of £2,500.

Details of the Jobs Retention Scheme are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

The Chancellor’s announcement in full is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-chancellor-rishi-sunak-provides-an-updated-statement-on-coronavirus

On 26th March the government announced the millions of people across the UK could benefit from the new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment. This brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, announced by the Chancellor last week

More details available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-gives-support-to-millions-of-self-employed-individuals

On 28th March the government announced temporary changes to insolvency rules which will allow businesses greater flexibility as they face the challenges of the coronavirus crisis.

The measures include a temporary suspension of “wrongful trading laws”, which protect company directors from prosecution for keeping a business going if it is insolvent or has no reasonable prospect of survival. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the changes would give business the chance to “bounce back”.

On 27th April the Chancellor announced that small firms are to get access to 100% taxpayer-backed loans after concerns were raised about slow access to existing coronavirus rescue schemes.

The scheme starts during w/c 4 May, offering firms loans up to £50,000 within days of applying. It aims to unlock a backlog of credit checks by banks amid fears many small firms could fold before getting loans. The scheme requires filling in a two-page self-certification form online.


For other Government resources on COVID-19 including advice for businesses, visit these links: