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Finance support for businesses

Businesses who need advice can call the government’s Business Support Helpline on FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm. The GOV.UK website provides specific information for employers and businesses. This includes guidance on working safely for those sectors who are allowed to operate. The London Growth Hub and the Federation of Small Businesses has advice for small businesses.

We have summarised the latest financial guidance, information and support for businesses below (also see our Useful Documents at the bottom of the page):

Local restriction support grant

If your business has been affected by COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG).

Find out here 

Additional Restrictions Grant

This discretionary grant is for Islington businesses who are not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) schemes; and freelancers not eligible for the HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Find out more here

Retail relief

The Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund have closed. Businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, including pubs, have received 100% Retail Relief for 2020/21.

Bounce back loan scheme

Small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronarvirus (COVID-19) can apply for loans between £2,000 and £50,000 through the Bounce Back Loan scheme, which was launched on 4 May. The government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months.

Information on the eligibility criteria and application process can be found on GOV.UK.

Support for employees

Furlough

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme employers can currently claim for 80% of their employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if they have put employees on furlough because of coronavirus. The scheme was scheduled to end on 31 March 2021, but has been extended until 30 April 2021.

Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021

You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before October 31 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) (at £94.25 per week) is available for those who need to self-isolate. Those not eligible for SSP can claim Contributory Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit (there is a minimum five week wait for the first payment, but advance payment can be claimed).

Jobseeker’s Allowance

New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) can be claimed on its own or alongside Universal Credit. JSA is subject to having made sufficient National Insurance contributions.

Business Rates holiday and rent protection

All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses are receiving 100% discount on business rates for the coming year through our Rate Relief Scheme. There is also a business rates holiday for nurseries for the coming year.

The Government has announced extra protection for businesses with a ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments. A temporary ban on the aggressive use of statutory demands and winding up orders by landlords where businesses cannot pay their rent due to coronavirus has also been announced. The measures also seek to support ongoing conversations between landlords and tenants about voluntary arrangements.

The London Growth Hub has business advisors who can help small businesses navigate the impacts of the COVID 19 crisis. You can access one to one advice and support by visiting the London growth hub website.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme employers can currently claim for 80% of their employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if they have put employees on furlough because of coronavirus.

The scheme was scheduled to end on 31 March 2021, but has been extended until 30 April 2021.

Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021.

You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before October 31 2020.

Find out more

VAT and Income Tax deferrals

Businesses are able to defer Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for three months (from the 20 March until 30 June 2020). Income Tax payments due for the self-employed in July 2020, under the Self-Assessment system, will be deferred to January 2021.

More information can be found on the Government website.

 

 

Support for employers

Businesses with less than 250 employees will be able to reclaim the cost of providing 14 days Statutory Sick Pay (per employee) for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The Federation of Small Businesses has set out some useful guidance on the rights of employees.

Time to Pay

Businesses that are having difficulties paying their tax bill can contact the Government’s Time to Pay service for support.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme

The Government has launched a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance. All major banks are offering this scheme and businesses are advised by the Government to talk to their banks or an accredited finance provider.

The rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

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