Government support for business owners

With the coronavirus situation changing rapidly by the day, we will keep this page updated as soon as there is new information available on access to support for business owners. HMRC has put in place a range of schemes and support services to support businesses and their owners throughout this troubling time. Below is an outline of the current support schemes in place and how we can help you in applying for them.

Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme)

All employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support in order to continue paying part of their employees wages throughout the coronavirus crisis. The intention of the scheme is to financially support workers who would have otherwise been laid off due to COVID-19. HMRC will pay a grant worth 80% of an employee’s wages, up-to £2,500 per month. From July, employers must contribute 10% towards the 80%, which increases to 20% in August. To receive this grant, employers will need to designate employees as ‘furloughed’. Click here to find out more information.

Statutory Sick Pay Support

If your employees were off sick due to the pandemic, you may be able to claim back some of the Statutory Sick Pay.

Business Interruption Loan

A loan for businesses that are experiencing short-term cash flow issues due to the COVID-19 crisis. This loan is to support businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45m. Businesses will benefit from no up-front costs and reduced initial repayments. Loans will be available through all major banks, for more information on accessing the loan please click here.

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan is a scheme for smaller businesses. They can apply to borrow loans from £2,000 to £50,000 interest-free for the first 12 months. For more information about this scheme click here.

Recovery Loan Scheme

Intended to eventually replace the Business Interruption Loan and Bounce Back Loan, these will be open to any businesses and applications can be made for between £25,000 to £10 million. The difference from the current schemes is that the government has only guaranteed 80% to lenders, not the full 100%.

Pay As You Grow

The Pay As You Grow scheme offers a flexible solution to paying back the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan and Bounce Back Loans. For more information on setting up these payments, please click here for more information.

Tax Deferrals

Whether you are self-employed or a business owner, the government has set up a ‘Time to Pay’ scheme, which may allow you to defer payments of VAT or other taxes. If you believe you will be unable to afford your next tax payment, it is important that you contact HMRC. Support is being assessed on a case-by-case basis, click here to find out more information.

More Time to File Company Accounts

Usually there are fines in place for late filing of company accounts. The government has put in place help for businesses that might struggle to file these documents in time. It is important to let HMRC know if you need an extension to file accounts, as the extension will not be done automatically. Click here for government advice on applying for an extension.

Restart Grants

As businesses re-open following lockdown, £5 billion will be available in restart grants. Non-essential retail will be eligible for up to £6,000 and leisure and hospitality sectors are eligible for up to £18,000.

Additional Restrictions Grant

If your business has not been forced to close, but the pandemic has still affected the operations of your business and you don’t pay business rates, you may be eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant.

Business Rates

Since 1st April 2020, retail, leisure, and hospitality businesses have not been required to pay business rates. It has been announced that this will be extended until 30th June 2021. This is to be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.

Support for Charity Sector

With the coronavirus proving to be an unsettling time for all types of organisations, the Government have set out their guidance and support for the charity sector. Please click here for the most up-to-date information on the support on offer to charities from HMRC.

Accounting Services that can help your business plan ahead

  • Cash flow forecasting tools and internal reports
    Our team are experienced in producing accurate cashflow forecasts by using historic financial data to predict potential future outcomes. This can help to identify areas where you might have shortcomings and how to avoid them in time. This process helps to identify areas where you can make cutbacks and savings.
  • Talking to HMRC on your behalf
    We can negotiate tax payment deferrals, repayments of Coronavirus loan schemes or just general changes to your accounting circumstances for you. We know what questions to ask HMRC, which saves time going back and forth on the phone.
  • Applying for Coronavirus support schemes

Although very useful, most of the government support schemes involve applications that are time consuming and require a lot of financial documents. There are a number of rules and restrictions when applying for these support schemes, making it easy to accumulate fines if the inaccurate information is provided.

To ensure that your business avoids sending inaccurate information to HMRC, we recommend that you consult an accountant in order to help you receive all the support that you are entitled to. We are on hand to support you through this difficult time. If you would like any advice or information on anything mentioned in this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0115 955 5500 or email

How we can help

Speaking to HMRC on your behalf
Tax deferrals/payment plans, COVID-19 government schemes

We have the know-how to help ensure that your business is making the most of the government help on offer. We are on hand to help organise deferred tax payments and set up ongoing payment plans, as part of the Time to Pay offer from HMRC.

Job retention scheme grant applications Grant application support

If your employees have needed time off work due to the coronavirus, the government are offering grants that help towards paying the wages of employees. Unlike some of the other government schemes, this one requires employees to be ‘furloughed’ and a grant application made. We are on hand to do this for you.

Furlough with minimal interruption Critical analysis of your staffing structure

We are able to analyse your current staffing structure and roles in order to advise on which employees can be furloughed with minimal interruption for the business. This ensures that the important roles and responsibilities are still covered within your organisation.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan applications Projections and forecasts to help with an application

This scheme is in place to offer flexible finance to businesses that may require extra cash due to the coronavirus. Our team of experts are able to provide banks with the business case they are seeking, increasing your chances of being accepted for a Business Interruption Loan.

Cash flow forecasting tools and reports Internal reports to help businesses survive the coronavirus crisis

We can provide accurate cash flow forecasts that can help plan ways in which your business can overcome the COVID-19 crisis and identify any areas in which your business might have shortcomings – critically analysing historical figures alongside future forecasts. We can help make recommendations on where it may be possible to make cutbacks and cost savings.

Keeping you updated on government announcements Summarising and clarifying information

As accountants and business advisors, we believe it is our duty to keep you updated on the latest business news and the opportunities and threats these might pose to your business.

This may include updates on new schemes put in place for businesses from HMRC, as well as advising on how to deal with the practical issues that COVID-19 is posing to businesses, such as remote working. We are able to talk through any issues you are facing.

Inheritance tax planning Concern about falling ill

Whether you are an older business owner, running a start-up or have underlying health conditions, we understand there is a worry of falling ill. We are on hand to help advise with inheritance tax planning and succession planning ensuring you have fewer worries about your finances if you were to fall ill.

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