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Lockdown support: What the government’s new package means for your business

Following the latest lockdown announcement, the government unveiled some additional support, particularly for leisure, hospitality and retail businesses. 

With many businesses once again closed for the foreseeable future, Rishi Sunak announced a new top-up grant of up to £9,000, as well as a discretionary additional fund for businesses outside of the above listed sectors.

We’ve summarised the details below, as well as the existing funding and support schemes that remain in place.

Further grant support

As part of a £4.6bn package of grant funding, businesses can apply for a one-off grant of up to £9,000.

Grants will be available to closed businesses with the amounts decided 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

As with other grant funding, you’ll need to apply via your local authority.

There is also a further £594m discretionary fund which is being made available for councils to distribute. The aim is to support other businesses (that don’t meet the above criteria but are still affected by the lockdown).

Loan application extensions and Pay As You Grow scheme

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

More than a million businesses received £38bn of BBLS loans. While originally there were no repayments or interest for the first 12 months, there will now be even more time and flexibility to pay back the loan.

As part of what Sunak coined a ‘Pay As You Grow’ scheme, the loan terms will be extended to between six and 10 years, potentially halving the monthly payments companies will need to make.

If your business is struggling, there will also be the chance to take a payment holiday for up to six months or to make interest-only repayments.

Available until 31 March 2021.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Over 60,000 businesses have been supported by CBILS with £15.45 billion lent to-date. The chancellor also promised the government guarantee would be extended on CBILS loans for up to 10 years, giving borrowers more time to repay.

The deadline for all coronavirus loan schemes, including the CLBILS (for larger businesses), has been extended until 31 March 2021.

More time and flexibility on tax bills

There will also be more time and flexibility on tax bills. Those businesses who deferred payments to March 2021 can now spread the cost over 11 smaller repayments with no interest (rather than face a big lump sum).

The self-employed can also extend their tax bill over 12 months from January too.

VAT payments will remain at 5% for hospitality until 31 March, with the industry continuing to face big disruption.

Business rates relief

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-2021 tax year.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended 

Originally the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was due to be replaced by the new Job Support Scheme at the end of October. However, in the end, the government took a U-turn as high-level restrictions continued to remain in place for lots of businesses.

Businesses can claim up to 80% of their employees’ monthly salary to cover hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

The scheme is due to run until 30 April 2021.

Does your business need funding?

At Fluidly, we work with a range of CBILS-accredited lenders, including Funding Circle, iwoca, and MarketFinance, so you can review options across the entire market.

Although the deadline for this one-off scheme has been extended, it’s still worth starting an application early to keep your options open and get a faster decision.

Find out your funding options here in just 30 seconds.


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