Financial support for businesses
This information was last checked on 27 July 2020.
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- Financial support from Government
- Other potential financial support
- Improving broadband connectivity
- Sector-specific Government support
- Community groups meeting residents' needs during the Coronavirus crisis
- Search for a business grant
- Scam awareness
The Government's ‘support finder’ tool helps businesses and self-employed people to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the Coronavirus pandemic.
They have also created a Business Support Hub which brings together information and guidance on the range of finance and support available to businesses.
If you can’t find the information that you need from the published information, advice and guidance, you can speak directly to an adviser on the Government's Business Support Helpline call FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098.
Financial measures to support businesses through the economic uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus (COVID 19):
- A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where businesses may be able to claim a grant of up to 80% of furloughed employees' wages.
- A Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) supports self-employed people whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
- A 12-month business rates holiday for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector and children's nurseries (see below).
- Deferring Income Tax payments for the self-employed, due on 31 July 2020, until 31 January 2021.
- A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs.
- A Bounce Back loan scheme, which provides loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank.
- The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans Scheme for large businesses not eligible for the other loan schemes.
- A Covid Corporate Financing Facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.
- The Future Fund providing bridging loans to high-growth companies across the UK to ensure that they receive the investment they need to continue during the crisis.
- £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.
- The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme supporting businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities which will be agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. HMRC have launched a tax webchat and helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to Coronavirus.
Plan for Jobs 2020
On 8 July 2020 the Government has announced a range of new initiatives in its new ‘Plan for Jobs 2020’.
Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme closed on 31 August 2020. If you’ve already registered you can submit a claim until 30 September 2020.
Loans for small businesses
Small firms who have been in business for less than two years and who are unable to secure finance from other sources could be eligible for a Start-up Loan, a government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK.
In addition to finance, successful applicants receive 12-months of free mentoring and exclusive business offers to help them succeed. The loan is unsecured, so there’s no need to put forward any assets or guarantors to support an application. All owners or partners in a business can individually apply for up to £25,000 each, with a maximum of £100,000 available per business.
Financial assistance for employers unable to pay statutory redundancy payments
If as an employer you cannot afford to pay your employees redundancy pay, you can apply to the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) (part of a government agency called the Insolvency Service) for financial assistance. If approved, the RPS will make statutory redundancy payments directly to the redundant employees on your behalf.
The Government has issued guidance to help employers understand whether the scheme is right for them.
PPE temporarily VAT free
From 1 May 2020, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against COVID-19 is free from VAT until the end of October 2020.
Rural Gigabit Vouchers are available for new applications until 31 March 2021 (or until funding runs out). Gigabit broadband vouchers help eligible homes and businesses in rural areas install a full fibre connection to their premises as part of a group project.
Gigabit-capable means that the connection can handle speeds of 1,000 megabits per second but users only sign up to speeds they can afford.
Find out about Rural Gigabit Vouchers and check if you are eligible for a Rural Gigabit Voucher using the postcode checker.
A 12-month business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
The Council has now applied business rates holidays for eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality, leisure sectors. If you think you should qualify for the relief, please email NNDR@scambs.gov.uk and we will look into your situation individually.
Business rate reliefs for nursery businesses
South Cambridgeshire District Council has now applied business rates holiday for nurseries to all eligible premises. Properties that benefit from the relief are those occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Zoos and aquariums
Licensed zoos or aquariums in England that are experiencing severe financial difficulties because of lost revenue, can apply for a grant from Government of up to £100,000.
The amount of money organisations will receive will be based on their animals’ needs. Grants can be used to cover animal-care costs that cannot be lowered such as:
- keepers’ wages
- animal feed and bedding
- veterinary care and medicines
- electricity and heating
- waste removal
Equine rescue and rehoming
The Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT) has joined together with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) to create a Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund. The maximum grant will be £5,000 with the expectation that the average grant will be around £2,500. The final round is until 15 January 2021.
Arts Council National Lottery project grants
The Arts Council has reopened its National Lottery Project Grants which will focus on supporting independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers.
Funding for museums, galleries and cultural organisations
£1.5m is available this year from The Art Fund’s Respond and Reimagine Grants. These new grants aim to help museums, galleries and cultural organisations respond to immediate challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis, and offer support to adapt and reimagine ways of working for the future.
The Authors' Emergency Fund
Funding is available to help support authors impacted financially by the Coronavirus crisis. Applications are open to all professional authors who are resident in the UK or British subjects – including all types of writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others – for whom author-related activities make up a substantial amount of their annual income. Grants are likely to be up to £2,000 and designed to meet urgent need with the possibility of review as the situation continues.
Support for workers in the photography industry
If you have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and have worked in the photographic industry (including photographic laboratories) then the Benevolent Society of the BIPP (BenSoc) may be able to help.
BenSoc assists people in need, due to illness by means of single grants in case of emergency or long-term hardship. It also provides help, gives encouragement and friendship.
Funding for Community Sports Organisations
Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need. It's specifically targeted at organisations who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing crisis.
The types of organisations eligible include local sports clubs forced to close at short notice but who are facing ongoing costs around maintenance and utility bills, and voluntary and community sector organisations who deliver or enable sport and physical activity.
This fund is now paused to new applications.
Sport England have committed £1 million to combating the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on sports clubs and community activity groups, in the form of match funding through Crowdfunder.
Through their Active Together programme they will be matching crowd funds of up to £10,000 raised by clubs and organisations hit by the coronavirus crisis.
To be eligible, organisations must be:
- Local sports clubs
- Charity, community, voluntary and social enterprise sector organisations that deliver sport and/or physical activity in their community – including organisations that are not solely or primarily sports organisations
- For the benefit of people residing in England.
The GroceryAid Covid-19 Fund has been established to provide enhanced support for grocery colleagues during the Coronavirus crisis. They offer:
- Mental Health Support: Offering 'in the moment' emotional and practical support for grocery colleagues dealing with shock, anxiety, or stress, from day one of working in the grocery industry.
- Bereavement Financial Assistance: Providing financial assistance for the loss of a loved one through Covid-19.
- Crisis Grants: Non-repayable grants designed to help those struggling with exceptional hardship caused during Covid-19.
Crowdfunder: Pay it forward
Through their Pay it forward initiative, Crowdfunder are offering 100% free fundraising for businesses during the Coronavirus crisis. Small businesses who may be worried about the future due to COVID-19, can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign offering customers the option to book meals, a room for the night or a ticket to an event for example, now, based on a promise to deliver in the future. Crowdfunder will cover all platform and transaction fees. Take a look at the businesses already raising funds.
Information about the financial support available to community groups responding to the needs of residents during the Coronavirus crisis can be found on our dedicated page.
Search a database for information about a grant that may be suitable for your business. Please note that by no means is the information available via the search tool exhaustive, but it may help to find some funding that you were not aware of. Please contact our team for support if you do not find the help you need using this tool on firstname.lastname@example.org.
HMRC have published guidance to help businesses recognise when contact from them is genuine, and how to recognise phishing or bogus emails and text messages.
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