Grants and Financial support available to business owners during the Covid-19 crisis – Updated 14th April 2020

There are a range of grants available from various sources that SME’s can access during the current Covid-19 crisis. We have summarised these below.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

To help UK businesses retain their staff on the payroll when business has been forced to stop.
  • Wage subsidy which covers 80% of a qualifying employee’s wage, at a monthly cap of £2,500
  • Employers must identify ‘furloughed’ workers and notify them that their status has changed
  • Employers can top up salaries above this level if they choose
  • Scheme will run for an initial three-month period from 1 March 2020

Further information is available here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

If you are self employed (sole trader or partnership) this scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. It will be available for 3 months, but may be extended. The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. HMRC will aim to contact you by mid May 2020, and will make payments by early June 2020.

The grant will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions but does not need to be repaid.

You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant, but any grant received will be treated as part of your self-employment income and may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get. Any Universal Credit claims for earlier periods will not be affected.

Further information is available here.

Business Rates Holiday

A reprieve from paying business rates for those in the retail, leisure, and hospitality sector, for 12 months, regardless of their rateable value.

  • The business rates holiday is available to all sizes of companies within this sector
  • Automatic entitlement with no application necessary
  • Council tax bill for April 2020 will be issued – or reissued – to exclude the charge for business rates
  • A business rates holiday will also be introduced for nurseries in England for the 2020–21 tax year

Non-Domestic Rates Support Grants of £10,000 and £25,000

  • £10,000 grants are available for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief
  • £25,000 grants are available for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000

Grants are administered by local councils. You can access your local council website by entering your business premises postcode here.

Grants for Creative Industries in Scotland

Creative Scotland has launched three funding programmes designed to provide further support to sustain the country’s creative community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Screen Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund – between £500 and £2,500

Sustaining Creative Development – between £1,000 and £50,000

Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund – between £500 and £2,500

Third Sector Resilience Fund

The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is a £20m emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland. The fund supports organisations that already deliver services and products but find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fund is delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and the Corra Foundation and provides grants up to £100,000. In addition there is up to a further £5m available in fully flexible, 0% interest loans starting at £50,000.

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise have launched a competition to support UK businesses to focus on emerging or increasing needs of society and industries during and following the Covid-19 pandemic. By fast-tracking innovation, the UK will be better placed to maintain employment levels, a competitive position in global markets and make the UK more resilient to similar disruption.

  • The applications must demonstrate both realistic and significant benefits for society (including communities, families and individuals) or an industry that has been severely impacted and/or permanently disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Proposals must focus on a clear need and the proposed innovation to address it.
  • The business must have the ability to deliver the project during the working restrictions of Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Important – businesses can claim 100% of project costs up to the maximum of £50,000. Funding is offered as a de minimis grant.
  • Funding will be paid in advance of the project start date.

More details can be found here.

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