The government has also provided a package of temporary measures to support businesses through the period of disruption caused by Covid-19. The measures you can access differ if your business is in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, with additional detail being released regularly.
Retail, hospitality and leisure sector
A business rates holiday will automatically be given to businesses with property that is wholly or mainly being used in this sector. Nurseries also qualify.
You may also be entitled to a cash grant depending on your property’s rateable value:
- £10,000 if rateable value is £15,000 or less.
- £25,000 if rateable value is over £15,000 but less than £51,000.
Premises occupied for personal use are excluded, and there is also no relief for anyone working from home and therefore not paying business rates.
Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for a grant, so you do not need to act directly. All local authorities have apparently already received the necessary funding.
You can check here to see if your business is within the retail, hospitality and leisure sector here.
Other businesses can qualify for a £10,000 grant if they have a property that qualifies for small business rates relief (rateable value £15,000 or less). You might not even be aware you qualify because no rates will have been paid if your property’s rateable value is £12,000 or less. You will also receive the grant if you qualify for rural rate relief.
- You must have been receiving small business or rural rate relief on 11 March 2020 to qualify.
- You cannot get this grant as well as a retail, hospitality and leisure sector grant.
- Also, (and this covers both types of grant) a business is only entitled to one grant regardless of the number of properties that qualify.
Again, there is no need to do anything as your local authority will write to you. All local authorities have already received the necessary funding. Implementation is being rolled out but will vary across authorities according to when they are able to put measures in place.
On 2 April, the Chancellor announced revisions to some of the business support measures.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been extended to cover all small businesses and not just those unable to secure funding commercially. The loan limit is £5m and there will be no interest charged for the first twelve months.
- Initially aimed at SMEs with an annual turnover up to £45m, an additional scheme will be put in place for firms with turnover between £45m and £500m where the government will guarantee 80% of loans allowing banks to offer up to £25m to such businesses.
- Banks have now been told they cannot ask for personal guarantees on loans up to £250,000. Under the corporate financing facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies