Support for SMEs during Coronavirus pandemic

It’s hard to keep track of all the schemes to support small and medium sized enterprises affected by the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ve researched and summarised the most important parts of the programme for you right here but if you want more information visit to find out more specific details of each available element.


Coronavirus Business News Updates

Here’s our latest articles on the response to the Coronavirus pandemic:-



Time To Pay

Businesses and self-employed workers might be eligible for tax support through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

Arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and tailored to individual tax liabilities and circumstances.

Contact HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 599.


Cash Grants

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive a grant of £10,000 while those with a value higher than £15,001 and lower than £51,000 will receive a £25,000 grant.

While there are qualifying stipulations, all eligible businesses will be contacted directly by their local authority who will administer the scheme and answer all additional questions.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

All UK employers will be eligible and able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during the crisis.

Affected employees must be designated as ‘furloughed workers’ and officially notified of this change in status.

This change remains subject to existing UK employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs up to a maximum cap of £2,500 per month.

The scheme has been extended until the end of October 2020 overall with 80% support guaranteed until the end of July.


Companies will begin to pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension payments for furloughed staff starting in August. Additionally they will also pay for 10% of their staff’s wages from September and 20% from October.

Furlough flexibility will begin from July 1st so any furloughed staff would be allowed to be brought back on a part-time basis with their companies paying their wages for these worked hours.

The deadline for new entrants applying for CJRS or to furlough staff is June 30th 2020.

Claims will be restricted to employees that have already been furloughed before this date.

The scheme requires that staff have to be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks so any company wishing to use the new flexibility must furlough staff by June 10th 2020 at the latest.


Information on furloughed employees and their earnings must be submitted to HMRC via a new online portal that launched on Monday 20th April. 

Construction industry insolvency

Self Employed Help

Self employed workers could be eligible for a three-month, loss-of-earnings grant of up to 80% of their earnings.

The payments, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months, will be backdated from March and will begin in June. Only those earning under £50,000 a year qualify for this payment.

HMRC will be contacting all eligible claimants within the next few weeks using their details from the 2018/19 self assessment tax system.

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) can be accessed here.

Claimants unable to wait until June can apply for an accelerated advanced loan payment of Universal Credit.


A second and final round of SEISS grants has been announced. They will cover approx. 70% of calculated profits based on three month’s worth of trading up to a maximum of £6,570 – a reduction of 10% from the first round of grants.


Third party debt order

VAT & Self Assessment Income Tax Payments

The next VAT quarter payment (due 7th June) is deferred until April 2021.

If you’re self-employed then Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. No application is required as the offer is automatic.

If you have VAT direct debits set up, just make sure they don’t go on the June date.

Company insolvency

Business Rates Holiday

A 12-month business rates holiday was announced for all the retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England for the 2020/2021 financial tax year.

You don’t have to do anything to claim this – it will automatically apply in the next or re-issued council tax bill issued in April 2020.

Local authorities might have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge but they will do this as soon as possible.

You can find out how much you’ll be saving by clicking here.

online sales

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new loan scheme delivered by the British Business Bank has launched to support primarily small and medium sized businesses to access bank lending  and overdrafts.

The government is providing lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan subject to a per-lender cap on claims.

This gives lenders further confidence to provide ongoing financial support to SMEs. Businesses and banks won’t be charged for the guarantee.

The scheme will support loans of up to £5 million.

Your business is eligible to apply if it’s based in the UK, has a turnover not exceeding £45 million per year and meets other British Business Bank eligibility criteria.

Contact your bank or lender (not the BB) as soon as possible to discuss your business plan with them.

This will help them act quickly once the scheme is operational. If you have any existing monthly loan payments then you could also ask for a repayment holiday to  help with cash flow.

Bounce Back Loan

Bounce Back Loans

Companies will be able to apply for a Bounce Back Loan of up to 25% of their annual turnover for amounts between £2,000 and £50,000. They’ll be both interest and repayment free for the first 12 months and will be 100% guaranteed by the government.


Getting advice may be all the help your business needs. Contact the experts and make the decisions you need.