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Government Support for Businesses

The following support is available on business rates and cash grants in England for the 2019/2020 financial year. See ‘devolved administrations’ for details in Scotland and Wales.

  • Small Business Grant Fund - £10,000 one-off cash grant for stores eligible for Small Business Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
  • Retail Grant Fund - £10,000 one-off cash grant for stores up to £15,000 rateable value, except those eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund. £25,000 one-off cash grant for stores between £15,000 - £51,000 rateable value.
  • Business Rates Holiday – 100% business rates relief for 2020/21 business rates bills.

We have developed a flow chart for businesses on the grants available to them, which you can download here. 

Additional business support for retailers trading anywhere across the UK includes:

  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme – allowing retailers to borrow up to £5 million, interest free for up to 12 months, with no personal guarantees required for loans under £250,000. All retailers are eligible, regardless of regular commercial financing options. See here for further information. The deadline to apply is the end of March 2021.
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme - providing a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make business interruption loans. Businesses with turnover of more than £250 million can borrow up to £200 million. More information is available here. The deadline to apply is the end of March 2021.
  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme - facilitating small businesses with loans for 25% of their turnover, up to a maximum of £50,000. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for these loans and will pay the interest for the first twelve months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. More information is available here. The deadline to apply is the end of March 2021.
  • Commercial Renter Protection – until 31st December, businesses cannot be evicted for unpaid rent where this is due to the effects of Covid-19 and landlords cannot issue statutory demands or winding up petitions to gain payments. Landlords cannot use the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) regulations to send in bailiffs unless more than 91 days’ rent is due. This is not a rental holiday and landlords will still be owed rent. A new voluntary Code of Practice on commercial property has also been published, available here.
  • Statutory Sick Pay – the Government is providing sick pay funding for retailers with up to 250 employees, enabling these retailers to reclaim up to 14 days of sick pay for COVID-19 related absences. Claims can be made here.
  • HMRC Time to Pay Service- a dedicated helpline to support businesses in financial distress due to the coronavirus with their tax affairs. If you are concerned about making tax payments due to COVID-19, you can call the helpline on 0800 024 1222.

For further information, ACS members can contact steve.dowling@acs.org.uk.