A trio of the government’s Coronavirus measures to support businesses during the pandemic have gone live this week, including Bounce Back Loans and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
Here’s our overview of what we know so far about each.
Bounce Back Loans
This scheme is now live – it’s designed for SMEs and offers 100% government-backed loans of £2k-£50k. The loans are interest-free for 12 months with a repayment term of up to six years.
The application process is straightforward and the banks have committed to funds being available within one day of the application being approved. Within the first few hours of applications opening yesterday, the scheme had received over 100,000 applications.
Eligibility is fairly broad – your business has to be based in the UK and negatively affected by Coronavirus – but you can’t claim for this, if you’ve already submitted a CBILS application (however, you can apply to transfer your CBILS to a Bounce Back Loan via your bank). The amounts are based on business turnover.
Bounce Back Loans are available through 11 lenders (including the major high street banks), managed by the British Business Bank.
This has been completed in very quick time and also seems a very slick process, so we can only applaud the government for getting this completed so quickly. If you are thinking of applying for a Bounce Back Loan, please get in touch.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
HMRC have begun contacting customers this week who are eligible to apply for SEISS.
Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.
You can check your eligibility for SEISS here. You will need your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and National Insurance number to hand. Once the eligibility check is completed, you will be given a date for when you can submit your claim. The claims service will open on 13 May, successful claims will be paid by 25 May, or within six working days of submitting your claim. This is a month earlier than advertised, so please be aware and ready!
***Join us for our next webinar on Monday 11 May at 3pm for everything you need to know about making a SEISS claim and your questions answered! Email [email protected] for log-in details***
Additional Rates Assistance
Over the weekend, the government announced a programme to provide a top-up fund aimed at small businesses that don’t qualify for the existing business rates relief. These businesses must be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus.
Eligible businesses include:
- Small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief
- Bed and Breakfasts that pay council tax, rather than business rates
- Businesses in shared spaces
- Regular market traders
The allocation of this funding will be at the discretion of local authorities. The total amounts available are yet to be announced, but there will be three levels of grant payments, with the maximum being £25k.
Business Support Finder Tool
The government has also launched a helpful Business Support Finder Tool – so you can work out easily which of the Coronavirus support measures your business is eligible to apply for.