4) Financial Support: Businesses, The Self-Employed and Individuals

Financial Support

Important Links:

Business Support: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

Business Support Line: BEIS Business Support Helpline for any queries: 0300 456 3565

Check if you can be furloughed: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Apply for Business Interruption Loan scheme: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/for-businesses-and-advisors/

Universal Credit: 0800 328 5644

Coronavirus and claiming benefits:  https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/   

Info on support for renters: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/complete-ban-on-evictions-and-additional-protection-for-renters   

Info on help with energy costs: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19   

Money Advice Service – for sick pay, money issues: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you   


4.1 I Am A Small or Medium Size Business Owner In Fareham. What Support Is There For Me?

1. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: This scheme will help businesses affected by coronavirus to access bank lending and overdrafts if they need to. For loans up to £5 million, the Government is providing a guarantee of 80% for each loan. This will give lenders the confidence to continue to provide finance to businesses. The Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee.


2. Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure: Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.


3. Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure: If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.


4. Small Business Grant Funding: The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.


5. Statutory Sick Pay Rebate: The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.


6. HMRC Time to Pay: All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.


7. Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility: The new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. The scheme will be funded by central bank reserves – in line with other Bank of England market operations. It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.


8. Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries: Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.


9. VAT Deferral: We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.


10. Income Tax Deferral for Self-Employed: If you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.


11. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.


Please Call my Assistant Guy on 02072196451 if you require further clarity.

4.2 I Am An Employee in Fareham, What Am I Entitled To?

Guidance for Employees: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

4.2.1 Will My Employer Be Obliged To Pay Me While I Stay At Home? 

  • Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by the virus.
  • From today (20th March) onwards, those who are advised to self-isolate will be able to obtain an “isolation note” by contacting NHS 111 online, rather than visiting a doctor.
  • This can be used by employees where their employers require evidence. Where individuals need to check their eligibility for sick pay, they should speak to their employer about their entitlements, and can visit www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay for further information.

4.2.2 What If I Have A 'Zero Hours' Contract?

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check with your employer in the first instance and if you're not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit  or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) .

4.2.3 What If I’m Self-Employed?

  • We are launching the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, to make sure people who work for themselves are getting the financial support they need. The Government will pay self-employed people across the whole UK who have been adversely affected by coronavirus a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, for three months –but we will extend it for longer if necessary.
  • We will make it simple for self-employed people to get the financial support they need. Self-employed people who are eligible will be contacted by HMRC directly, asked to fill out a simple online form, and HMRC will pay the grant directly into their bank account. We expect people to access the scheme by the beginning of June.
  • We are ensuring our support reaches those self-employed people who are most in need of it. The scheme will only be open to those with trading profits up to £50,000, leaving 95 per cent of people who are majority self-employed eligible for the scheme. HMRC will also ask people to demonstrate that the majority of their income comes from self-employment, and, to minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment, and who have a tax return for 2019, will be able to apply

4.2.4 What If The Whole Family Has To Stay At Home So We Have No Income?

If no one is getting Statutory Sick Pay, the family can apply for Universal Credit  -  the Government have changed certain rules governing this benefit during the coronavirus period.

4.3 I'm Worried About Paying My Tax - Is There Any Help?

Yes - there are 2000 staff supporting a COVID-19 dedicated helpline for businesses and self-employed being run by HMRC Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm - 0800 0159 559 who will discuss possible remedies such as:

  • agreeing an instalment arrangement
  • suspending debt collection proceedings
  • cancelling penalties and interest

4.4 I’m Worried About Paying My Mortgage Is There Any Help?

  • Mortgage lenders will offer repayment holidays of 3 months to households in financial difficulty due to coronavirus while they get back on their feet.
  • Customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should get in touch with their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for them.

4.5 What Do I Do On A Reduced Income?

The Government have made a number of changes to benefits and sick pay and will likely take more steps over the coming days and weeks. The following two organisations provide detailed support and advice about coronavirus and your money.

  • This up-to-date guide from the Money Advice Service  is easy to follow and filled with good advice about sick pay and changes to claiming your benefits during this challenging time.
  • The advice and benefits and grants calculators at Turn2Us  are useful to get support if the coronavirus has had a negative impact on your finances