COVID-19: Support for businesses
How we are supporting businesses
It is a priority that we do everything to enable the business sector to bounce back following this period of immense uncertainty. We will continue to advocate with a strong voice for the needs of businesses in Richmond to ensure we get through this situation as a cohesive and enterprising community. Key sources of support from the Government are set out below.
We recognise that this is an incredibly challenging time for our business community. We are working as fast as we can to ensure that the financial support provided by the government reaches those businesses who are eligible.
For a full range of Government support offers please head to the Government's online help tool.
On 3 March 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced further support for businesses in the Spring 2021 Budget.
- The furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September 2021
- The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will continue until September 2021
- A £5 billion Restart Grant scheme backed by the Government, to help high street businesses to reopen
- A new recovery loan scheme. Businesses of any size can apply for loans from £25,000 to £10 million
- Business rates holiday for businesses will continue until June with 75% discount
- A £700 million fund for arts, culture and sporting institutions to help them reopen.
- Commercial tenants to be protected from eviction until end of June 2021
Following the introduction of the Tier system and the subsequent national lockdown periods, the Government set up a support package for businesses. This scheme closes on 31 March 2021.
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September 2021, with a fourth grant from February to April, and a fifth grant from May onwards. The fifth grant will be open from late July. Those whose turnover has fallen by 30% will continue to receive the 80% grant. For those whose turnover has fallen less than 30% will receive a 30% grant. Newly self-employed that have filed a tax return can access the fourth and fifth SEISS grant.
The Government’s new Restart Grant (which replaces the National Lockdown Business Support Grant) is for businesses which are registered for Business Rates in the Non-essential retail, Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal care and Gym and Sport sectors.
The Restart Grant will be split into two strands. Under Strand One, grants of up to £6,000 will be paid to non-essential retail business premises, to help them reopen safely. Under Strand Two, grants of up to £18,000 will be allocated to hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises, which may open later under plans set out in the roadmap and will be more impacted by restrictions when they do reopen. Further information on this grant scheme will be added to this page as soon as we receive it.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Interruption Loan (CBIL) - closes 31 March
The deadline to apply for a Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) is until 31 March 2021. Businesses can apply for the new Bounce Back Loans between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. The Government will pay the interest for the first 12 months and support lending by guaranteeing 100% of the loan.
The Government’s Pay as You Grow Scheme includes the option to delay all repayments for a further six months, meaning businesses can choose to make no payments on their loans until 18 months after they originally took them out.
The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) is a new government backed loan scheme. Businesses of any size can apply for loans from £25,000 to £10 million with the Government providing a guarantee to lenders of 80%. The scheme will launch on 6 April and run until 31 December. Details will be posted on this page in due course.
Tax cuts and deferrals
The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors is extended until the end of March 2021. Businesses unable to pay the full amount by this date, can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.
Businesses that have deferred their VAT bills and unable to pay the full amount by this date, can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free. Rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end March next year, they will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021/22 financial year.
Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the 'Time to Pay' self-service facility. This means that payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022. Read more on GOV.UK.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (known as the furlough scheme), will remain open until the end of September 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Employees will continue to receive 80%. As businesses reopen, they will be asked to contribute 10% in July, rising to 20% in August and September.
Coronavirus sick pay scheme
The scheme allows small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 members of staff, to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay for two weeks - worth nearly £200 per employee. Find out more and apply.
The Government announced that business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of June 2021.
Help to Grow programme
The Government has launched a new Help to Grow programme, designed to help small and medium sized businesses to learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits. To be eligible, businesses need to have been operating for more than one year and have between five to 249 employees.
Read about how the self-employed can access help.
Further information on COVID-19 support for your business can be found on the following websites:
- Richmond Business Hub
- Enterprise Nation
- London Business Hub
- The Federation of Small Business (FSB)
If you have a query that isn’t covered by this guidance, please contact the Business Support Helpline.
Updated: 31 March 2021