COVID-19 Updates and Business Support

We hope you are all keeping well.

Over the last month we have been keeping a close eye on current developments of Covid-19 pandemic and government plans how to keep safe during the virus outbreak and what opportunities are available for our portfolio and other UK businesses.

Below you can find information about the different government support schemes available for businesses and individuals due to the virus outbreak.

Coronavirus: The Government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis

LINK: Overview of Businesses and premises that must remain closed

Stay alert: We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

We have compiled below information based on government guidance, as well as updates from other trade associations, to provide information what is available to public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

  • A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
    • If your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus, you can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions (up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution) on that subsidised furlough pay.
    • You must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020; enrolled for PAYE online and an you must have a UK bank account
    • Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities
    • This scheme has been extended by 4 months. New expected end date is now October 2020. The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July. From August, employers currently using the scheme will have more flexibility to bring their furloughed employees back to work part time whilst still receiving support from the scheme. This will run for three months from August through to the end of October
    • The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June.
  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
    • More information on eligibility is set out in the expanded retail discount guidance
    • The relief will apply to your business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Your local council may have to reissue your bill, but will do this as soon as possible
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Support for self-employed: Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • HMRC has produced guidance to help employers find out what equipment, services or supplies are taxable if your employees are working from home due to coronavirus
  • HMRC Time to Pay helpline service for eligible businesses and self-employed individuals to receive support with tax liabilities
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The temporary CBILS supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

CBILS has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme.

More information about who is eligible and how to access this scheme: British Business Bank website

Future Fund

The Future Fund will provide convertible loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal matched funding from private investors.

The minimum aggregate loan amount is £250,000. The maximum amount of the Government loan is £5 million. There is no cap on the amount that the matched investor(s) may loan to the company.

This is an investor-led scheme, meaning that a lead investor applies on behalf of themselves and may provide information about other investors making up the investment round, in connection to a company.

  • Future Fund portal is now open. Access here
  • The scheme is initially open for applications until the end of September 2020 and operates on a commercial basis to deliver an initial commitment of £250m of new government funding
  • Financing will be unlocked by additional third-party investment on a match funded basis
  • Applications submitted via an online platform based on a set of standard terms and eligibility criteria
  • The Future Fund will be allocated on a first come first served basis with the decisions being made only on eligibility not on any form of investment decision or merit

Full terms and eligibility criteria are available on British Business Bank website

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

The Bounce Back Loan scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.

You can apply for a loan if your business is based in the UK and has been negatively affected by coronavirus.

Current accredited lenders and partners

The full rules of the scheme and guidance on how to apply is available on the British Business Bank website

Support for businesses in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Because some elements of business support are devolved, the measures you can access may differ if your business is in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. We have also included guidance for businesses in Republic of Ireland.

Businesses in Scotland: View the latest guidance on coronavirus for businesses in Scotland

Businesses in Wales: View the latest guidance on coronavirus for businesses in Wales

Businesses in Northern Ireland: View the latest guidance on coronavirus for businesses in Northern Ireland

Businesses in Republic of Ireland: Government supports for coronavirus impacted businesses


BVCA: Coronavirus Updates

HM Government Business Support: Coronavirus business support

HM Government: Find coronavirus financial support for your business

British Business Bank: Coronavirus business interruption loan schemes and fund

Federation of Small Businesses: Advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed

This page was last updated on Monday, 1st June


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