The Government has introduced a number of financial support packages to assist businesses and individuals impacted by the on-going COVID-19 outbreak. An overview of the support packages available, as at 23 March 2020, can be found below. 

However, please note that as the situation continues to evolve on a day by day basis, the information below is subject to change. Therefore, the relevant links are attached so that you can continue to review any changes as they are updated. 

Large BusinessesCovid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
  • This fund intends to operate for a period of 12 months to help businesses bridge the gap in their cash flow due to the disruption caused by Covid-19.
  • The scheme will provide funding to businesses by purchasing commercial paper of up to one-year maturity, issued by firms making a material contribution to the UK economy.
  • Eligibilty will be determined by a number of different factors such as whether the company generates significant revenues in the UK, serves a large number of customers in the UK, etc.
  • Application forms and pricing will be added to the Bank of England’s website on 23 March 2020.
Small and Medium Sized EnterprisesCoronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • This programme will support loans, and a variety of other finance options, which offer more attractive terms for businesses applying for new facilities with the aim of supporting continued provisions of finance to UK businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee of 80% against the outstanding facility balance.
  • The Government will also cover the first 12 months of interest payments, so businesses will benefit from lower initial repayments. The business remains liable for 100% of the capital.
  • This scheme is due to become available from 23 March 2020.
Business Rate Relief
  • Provision of a 3 month rates holiday for all business ratepayers, excluding public sector and utilities, for April, May and June 2020.
  • A grant of £10,000 is to be made available to all small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme.
  • Another grant of £25,000 is to be provided to companies in the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors with a rateable value from £15,000 up to £51,000.
  • 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.
  • This facility will assist businesses with their cashflow position and enable them to spread their outstanding liabilities over a pre-agreed term.
  • HMRC may cancel penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Deferral of VAT Payments
  • In order to support businesses, no VAT payments will be due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.
  • Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to pay any liabilities that accumulate during this deferral period.
  • Where businesses pay their VAT liability via Direct Debit, this will need to be cancelled with the bank in order to avail of the deferral period.
Self EmployedSupport for Self Employed
  • Where the self-employed are claiming Universal Credit and are required to stay at home due to the Coronavirus, the Minimum Income Floor will not be applied for a period of time whilst you are affected.
  • This enables the availability of Universal Credit at the same rate as Statutory Sick Pay.
Deferral of Income Tax Payments
  • The next Self Assessment payment which is normally due on 31 July 2020, will be deferred until January 2021.
  • The application of this scheme is automatic.
EmployersThe Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Businesses will receive government grants worth up to 80% of wages (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month) to keep workers in jobs.
  • Employers could choose to top up the payments further, but do not have to.
  • The scheme will cover the cost of wages back dated to 1 March 2020 and is expected to run for at least 3 months.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • Employees who are off work because of COVID-19 will be able to claim SSP for 2 weeks.
  • Businesses with fewer than 250 employees as at 28 February 2020 will be able to reclaim SSP expenditure up to a maximum of two weeks per employee from the government.
IndividualsMortgage Borrowers
  • Some mortgage lenders have agreed to support customers in financial difficulties, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, through payment holidays of up to 3 months.
Please refer to the individual mortgage lender website.
Delay In Rates Bills
  • Rate bills for 2020/21 were due to be issued in April 2020. To avoid placing financial pressure on ratepayers affected by COVID-19, rate bills will not be issued until June 2020.
Increase to Benefits Available
  • The government announced an increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance of £1,000, for the next 12 months.
  • Similarly, an increase of £1,000 to the Working Tax Credit basic element will also be introduced over the next 12 months.
Interest Rates
  • Interest rate cut to 0.1%.

This publication has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. The publication cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained therein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact Purdy Quinn Ltd to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstances. Purdy Quinn Ltd, its partners, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this publication or for any decision based on it.