Government support for businesses

Government support for businesses

The Chancellor has recently announced his 2021 Budget about changes to the economic support available. For further information about Government financial support visit for regular updates.

Coronavirus (COVID‑19) support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed.

Use the business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

Restart Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme is designed to ensure businesses of any size can access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period.

Up to £10 million is available per business. The actual amount offered and the terms are at the discretion of participating lenders. Loans will include 80% government guarantee and interest rate cap. The government has backed £75 billion of loans to date as part of unprecedented £350 billion wider support package.

The scheme is open until 31 December 2021, subject to review.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("furlough") has been extended to the end of September 2021 to allow employees to continue to work where they can. Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2,500 a month.

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for hours not worked.

Furlough claims must now be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to. 

Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is in its third phase, covering from 1 February to 30 April 2021. The scheme was extended to September 2021 in the Budget.

To make a claim for the third grant your business must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021, which you believe will have a significant reduction in your profits.

The third taxable grant is worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months' worth of profits, and capped at £7,500.

Deferral of VAT payments

The government announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period. Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free. You will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022. Those that can pay their deferred VAT can still do so by 31 March 2021. The online service opened 23 February and closes on 21 June 2021.

If you are still unable to pay the VAT due and need more time, see the guidance about what to do if you cannot pay your tax bill on time you can also contact HMRC by phoning 03002003835.

More information on the scheme is available on GOV.UK.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme Extension

The government also intends to give Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of 6 years to 10 years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.

Please see information on other help available for businesses through our business pages or on the website.

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