UK Small Business Resource Centre

Goldman Sachs believes small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs fuel the engine of local and national economies all over the world. We are deeply committed to supporting these business leaders during this uncertain time with clear, tangible steps to access capital and additional resources.  

Our commercial and philanthropic efforts focused on these communities include our Urban Investment Group, whose work spans comprehensive community and economic development; 10,000 Small Businesses and 10,000 Women which provide education, networking, and access to capital for business owners; and Launch With GS, the firm’s $500 million investment strategy grounded in the belief that diverse teams drive strong returns. Now more than ever we are marshalling our resources, our insights, and our global network to support small businesses struggling with the economic fallout of COVID-19.

 


A Message to Small Business Owners in the UK from Richard J. Gnodde, CEO of Goldman Sachs International
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UK Government Plan For Jobs

UK Government Plan For Jobs

The government will provide an additional £126 million in England for high quality work placements and training for 16–24-year-olds in the 2021/22 academic year. Employers who provide trainees with work experience will continue to be funded at a rate of £1,000 per trainee.

The government will extend and increase the payments made to employers in England who hire new apprentices. Employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 will receive £3,000 per new hire, compared with £1,500 per new apprentice hire (or £2,000 for those aged 24 and under) under the previous scheme. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the government provides for all new 16-18 year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an
Education, Health and Care Plan, where that applies.

The government will introduce a £7 million fund from July 2021 to help employers in England set up and expand portable apprenticeships. This will enable people who need to work across multiple projects with different employers to benefit from the high-quality long-term training that an apprenticeship provides. Employers themselves will also benefit from access to a diverse apprenticeship talent pipeline. Employers will be invited to bring forward proposals, and in particular the Creative Industries Council will be asked to do so in recognition of the potential benefits of this new approach for the creative sector.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Extended

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, which will continue until the end of March 2021. The CJRS extension will be reviewed in January to examine whether the economic circumstances are improving enough for employers to be asked to increase contributions.

  • Employer flexibility: Businesses will have flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full-time.
  • Employer contribution: There will be no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions for hours not worked. For an average claim, this accounts for just 5% of total employment costs or £70 per employee per month. We will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
  • Payment: The extended CJRS will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll. Claims can be made from 8am Wednesday 11 November. Claims made for November must be submitted to HMRC by no-later than 14 December 2020. Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month, to ensure prompt claims following the end of the month which is the subject of the claim.
  • Employee eligibility: Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under CJRS to make a claim under the extended CJRS (if other eligibility criteria are met). An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
  • Employees that are re-employed: Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23September 2020 (the day before the Job Support Scheme announcement) who were made redundant or stopped working afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made an RTI submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
  • HMRC will publish details of employers who make claims from December onwards under the extended scheme.

UK Government Financial Support Resources

UK Government Financial Support Resources

The Budget 2021 set a path for recovery. In the Budget the Chancellor set out a £65 billion three-point plan to provide support for jobs and businesses as we emerge from the pandemic and forge a path to recovery.

Chancellor’s three-point plan to protect jobs and strengthen public finances:

  • billions to support businesses and families through the pandemic
  • investment-led recovery as UK emerges from lockdown
  • future changes to strengthen public finances

To protect the livelihoods of those hardest hit, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is extended to September and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue with a fourth and a fifth grant. The Chancellor announced that more than 600,000 people, many of whom became self-employed in 2019-20, may now be able to claim direct cash grants under SEISS.

In addition, the business rates holiday in England has been extended by an additional three months. That means 750,000 retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England will pay no business rates for three months from 1 April when combined with Small Business Rates Relief, with further relief available for the rest of the year.

To continue supporting the 150,000 businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors and to protect 2.4 million jobs, the government has extended the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months, until 31 March 2022.

Grant funding will be available to businesses in England through a new £5 billion Restart Grant scheme to help the high street, providing up to £18,000, bringing the total spent on business grants to £25 billion.

A new Recovery Loan Scheme will also be launched to replace the existing government guaranteed schemes which have supported £73 billion of lending to date and closed at the end of March.

As part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs to support, protect and create jobs, the Chancellor is increasing support with £126 million of new money to enable 40,000 more traineeships, and doubling the cash incentive to firms who take on an apprentice to a £3,000 payment per hire.

A full list of budgetary measures can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/budget-2021-what-you-need-to-know

Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses. These are changing to reflect the kinetic nature of the virus.

The government has spent £280 billion over the last twelve months on an unprecedented package of economic support to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods, while supporting businesses and public services across the UK.

A summary of existing economic support is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summary-of-existing-economic-support

To find out more about the most up to date financial support available from the government: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19
 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

To support businesses and employees across the UK through the next stage of the pandemic, the government is extending the CJRS from May until the end of September 2021.

Employees will continue to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. There will be no employer contributions beyond National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pensions required in April, May and June. From July, the government will introduce an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September, as the economy recovers.

Business Grants

New Lockdown Grants

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus, and, together with the wide range of existing support, provides them with certainty through the Spring period.

The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.

  • Chancellor announces one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring
  • £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses
  • comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme

The new one-off grants come in addition to billions of existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.

Further information:

  • the one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
  • business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner:
  • the Scottish Government will receive £375 million
  • the Welsh Government will receive £227 million
  • the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million
  • this will contribute to the funding which has already been guaranteed by the UK Government, to continue to provide the devolved administrations the certainty they need to plan for their COVID-19 response in the months ahead
  • small businesses in the devolved administrations should also be able to benefit from other UK-wide measures in the government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including the various business lending schemes (where the repayment terms were made easier as part of the Winter Economy Plan), and the extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme

Check if your business is eligible for the coronavirus Closed Business Lockdown Payment: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-business-is-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-closed-businesses-lockdown-payment

Restart Grants

The government will provide ‘Restart Grants’ in England of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses, giving them the cash certainty they need to plan ahead and safely relaunch trading over the coming months.

The government is also providing all local authorities in England with an additional £425 million of discretionary business grant funding, on top of the Åí1.6 billion already allocated.

Check if you are eligible: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-restart-grant

Existing Local Grant Schemes

Businesses can still benefit from the £425 million top up funding of the ongoing Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme for councils to distribute to businesses in particularly urgent need of additional support – which could also be businesses who don’t necessarily pay business rates like tour operators, B&Bs, caterers, freelancers and wedding service providers. The Additional Restrictions Grant will be provided by councils on a discretionary basis.

Check if your business is eligible for the coronavirus Additional Restrictions Grant: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant

Kickstart Job Creation Scheme

The scheme, which has been underway since September, is helping to put young people who have been some of the hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic on the first rung of their career ladder. The start dates for these jobs vary but will all begin this year.

The government will make it even simpler for employers of all sizes to benefit from joining the scheme by removing the limit requiring they create a minimum of 30 vacancies to apply directly. To ensure all job placements continue to be of a high quality, the government will continue to apply rigorous checks on training support and finances.

The 6-month placements are open to those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. They will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales. The first placements are likely to be available from November.

There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart funded job.

Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-kickstart-scheme-grant

Recovery Loan Scheme

A new loan scheme to support access to finance for UK business as they grow and recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period.

Once received, the finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including growth and investment. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender to ensure they continue to have the confidence to lend to businesses.

The scheme launches on 6 April and is open until 31 December, subject to review. Loans will be available through a network of accredited lenders, whose names will be made public in due course.

To find out more about the new scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/recovery-loan-scheme

Scaling Up Employment Support

A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. Young people, who are amongst the worst hit by the crisis, will benefit from this. This includes:

  1. Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  2. A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 ensuring more young people have access to high quality training.
  3. £17 million of funding to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements in 2020-21.
  4. Nearly £900 million to double the number of work coaches to 27,000.
  5. Over a quarter of a million more young people to benefit from an extra £32 million investment in the National Careers Service.

Infrastructure Job Creation

The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects. This includes a £3 billion green investment package that could help support around 140,000 green jobs and upgrade buildings and reduce emissions. In addition, £5.8 billion will be spent on shovel-ready construction projects to get Britain building.

Job Protection Measures

The plan will also protect jobs. The tourism and hospitality sectors are massive employers in the UK and have been severely impacted by the pandemic due to necessary closures to protect public health.

The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will also be cut from 20% to 5%. This will save households around £160 per year on average and will support over 2.4 million staff at over 150,000 businesses. This has been extended in the Chancellor’s Winter Plan to the end of March 2021.

With the goals of increasing consumer confidence, driving growth and supporting jobs across the housebuilding and property sectors, a temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 is being introduced until 31 March 2021.

To find out more about these measures: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rishis-plan-for-jobs-will-help-britain-bounce-back

Supporting and related documents can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-plan-for-jobs-documents

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provided financial support to smaller businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). The scheme has now closed.

Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS)

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enabled smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme is now closed.

The Future Fund

The Future Fund scheme closed to new applicants on 31 January 2021. The online portal remains open for investee companies with legally completed convertible loan agreements (CLAs) to submit information.

Access the online portal here: https://www.uk-futurefund.co.uk/s/

The government is set to launch Future Fund: Breakthrough as a follow on from last year’s £1bn Future Fund initiative. The £375 million UK-wide ‘Future Fund: Breakthrough’ will invest in highly innovative companies such as those working in life sciences, quantum computing, or clean tech, that are aiming to raise at least £20 million of funding.

Job Retention Bonus Scheme

The Job Retention Bonus is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to the employer, for each eligible employee that was furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021.

The bonus can be claimed between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021. This sum does not have to pay this money to an employee.

A company can claim the bonus if it’s an employer who has furloughed employees and made an eligible claim for them through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The employee must have been eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for the company to be eligible for the bonus.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-claim-the-job-retention-bonus-from-15-february-2021
 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

To support the self-employed across the UK through the next stage of the pandemic, the government confirms that the fourth SEISS grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. The grant will cover the period February to April and can be claimed from late April. Self-employed individuals must have filed a 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax return to be eligible for the fourth grant. This means that over 600,000 individuals may be newly eligible for SEISS, including many new to self-employment in 2019-20. All other eligibility criteria will remain the same as the third grant. Further details will be published in due course.

The government has announced that there will be a fifth and final SEISS grant covering May to September. The value of the grant will be determined by a turnover test, to ensure that support is targeted at those who need it the most as the economy reopens. People whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive the full grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500. People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, capped at £2,850. The final grant can be claimed from late July. Further details will be published in due course.

Business Rates Holidays for Retail, Hospitality or Leisure Businesses

The government will continue to provide eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England with 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.

Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-nursery-is-eligible-for-business-rates-relief-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Business Rates Relief (outside Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Sectors)

Business ratepayers adversely affected by COVID-19 are to get a £1.5 billion discount on their bills.

  • New Business Rates relief fund of £1.5 billion for businesses affected by COVID-19 outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
  • Targeted support delivered as appeals against rates bills on basis of material changes of circumstance due to the pandemic to be ruled out
  • The relief fund will get cash to affected businesses in the most proportionate and equitable way

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-rates-relief-boosted-with-new-15-billion-pot

 


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees for up to two weeks.

You can use the scheme as an employer if you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus; you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020; you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all your PAYE payroll schemes.

Further information may be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

If You Cannot Pay Your Tax Bill On Time

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible if you have missed your payment. How you contact HMRC depends on what you need to pay. Because of coronavirus you may be able to delay (defer) some tax payments without paying a penalty. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc

VAT Deferral

If you deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make, you can:

  • pay the deferred VAT in full, on or before 31 March 2021
  • join the VAT deferral new payment scheme – the online service is open between 23 February and 21 June 2021
  • contact HMRC on Telephone: 0800 024 1222 by 30 June if you need extra help to pay

You may be charged interest or a penalty if you do not:

  • pay the deferred VAT in full by 31 March 2021
  • opt into the new payment scheme by 21 June 2021
  • agree extra help to pay with HMRC by 30 June 2021

The VAT deferral new payment scheme opens from 23 February up to and including 21 June 2021.

If you’re on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme, you can join the scheme now.

The new scheme lets you:

  • pay your deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free
  • choose the number of instalments, from 2 to 11 (depending on when you join)

To use the online service, you must:

  • join the scheme yourself, your agent cannot do this for you
  • still have deferred VAT to pay
  • be up to date with your VAT returns
  • join by 21 June 2021
  • pay the first instalment when you join
  • pay your instalments by Direct Debit (if want to use the scheme but cannot pay by Direct Debit, there’s an alternative entry route for you)

If you join the scheme, you can still have a Time to Pay arrangement for other HMRC debts and outstanding tax.
The month you decide to join the scheme will determine the maximum number of instalments that are available to you. If you join the scheme in March, you’ll be able to pay your deferred VAT in 11 instalments or fewer.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19
 

VAT Reduction for the UK’s Tourism and Hospitality Sector

The government will extend the temporary reduced rate of 5% VAT for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sector until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard 20% rate, a 12.5% rate will apply for the subsequent six months until 31 March 2022.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility UK-Wide

This scheme helps large businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) through the purchase of their short-term debt. Under the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from large companies. This scheme will support your company if it’s been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Bank of England. 

It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-covid-19-corporate-financing-facility

 

£750 Million Coronavirus Funding for Frontline Charities UK-Wide

Charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of a UK-wide package of support, £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. As well as this, £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support those organisations at the heart of local communities which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.

The Chancellor has also announced that the Government will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-sets-out-extra-750-million-coronavirus-funding-for-frontline-charities

The Future Fund

Announced by the Chancellor on 20 April, the Future Fund issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies with good potential that typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by Covid-19. The scheme will help these companies through the current period of economic disruption and the recovery so they are able to continue their growth trajectory and reach their full economic potential. The scheme is designed by government and delivered by the British Business Bank.

The Government has made £250 million available for the Future Fund and will keep this amount under review. The scheme is initially open for applications from Wednesday 20th May until Monday 30th November 2020.

The Government has made £250 million available for the Future Fund, and will keep this amount under review. The scheme is initially open for applications from Wednesday 20th May until the end of September 2020.

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.

The distribution of funds for successful applications will be handled through a nominated company solicitor. It is the company’s responsibility to appoint a solicitor with the necessary right to practice and handle client monies.

To be eligible for the scheme, the company must meet the following criteria:

  1. The company must have raised at least £250,000 in equity from third-party investors in previous funding rounds in the last five years (from 1 April 2015 to 19 April 2020, inclusive)
  2. If the company is a member of a corporate group, it must be the ultimate parent company
  3. The company does not have any of its shares or other securities listed on a regulated market, a multilateral trading facility, a recognised investment exchange and/or any other similar market, stock exchange or listing venue
  4. The company must be a UK incorporated limited company
  5. The company must have been incorporated on or before 31 December 2019
  6. At least one of the following must be true for the company:
  7. Half or more employees are UK based
  8. Half or more revenues are from UK sales

Investors and companies should note that the proceeds of the convertible loan agreement must not be used by the company to:

  1. Repay any borrowings from a shareholder or a shareholder related party (other than the repayment of any borrowings pursuant to any bank or venture debt facilities);
  2. Pay any dividends or other distributions;
  3. For a period of twelve months from the date of the relevant convertible loan agreement, make any bonus or other discretionary payment to any employee, consultant or director of the company other than as contracted prior to the date hereof and as paid by the Company in the ordinary course of business; or
  4. Pay any advisory or placement fees or bonuses to any corporate finance entity or investment bank or similar service provider on monies advanced by the Future Fund.

To find out more: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/future-fund/company-information/

 

The Sustainable Innovation Fund

The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help companies recovering from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive. Funding totalling almost £200 million could go towards developing new technologies focused on making homes and offices more energy efficient to cut bills, creating ground-breaking medical technologies to treat infections and diseases, or reducing the carbon footprint of public transport in our towns and cities.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help power the UK’s economic recovery and develop new sustainable opportunities for businesses in any sector following the coronavirus pandemic, while helping the UK meet its ambitions to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

This funding, delivered through Innovate UK, forms part of a wider £750 million package of grants and loans announced in April to support innovative firms. This sits alongside the new £500 million Future Fund, which provides match-funding to private investors.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-unveils-200-million-package-to-help-innovative-businesses-bounce-back

To apply for support: https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/678/overview

£20 Million in New Grants to Boost Recovery of Small Businesses

Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from £20 million of new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 - £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track.

The support will be fully funded by the government from the England European Regional Development Fund and distributed through Growth Hubs, embedded in local areas across England.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/20-million-in-new-grants-to-boost-recovery-of-small-businesses

£1.57 Billion Investment to Protect Britain’s World-Class Cultural, Arts and Heritage Institutions

UK-wide £500 Million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme

The new UK-wide £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme will help to get TV and film productions across the country that have been halted or delayed by a lack of insurance to get back up and running, by giving productions the confidence they need that they will be supported if future losses are incurred due to Covid-19.

It will fill the gap left by the lack of available insurance and cover coronavirus-related losses for cast member and crew illnesses and filming delays or disruptions caused by the ongoing battle against the virus.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dowden-jump-start-for-uks-leading-creative-industries

Trade Credit Guarantee

Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government.

The government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-support-businesses-through-trade-credit-insurance-guarantee

HMRC Helpine

HMRC have online help set up to help businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus.

The best way to get help from HMRC on any topic is to contact them online.

Alternatively, you can call them on 0800 0159 559 

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Other Government Support Resources

Help to Grow Scheme

The management scheme is designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, this programme will support small business leaders to develop their strategic skills with key modules covering financial management, innovation and digital adoption. Available from June.

This digital scheme from the Autumn will enable small businesses to get free impartial advice on how technology can boost their performance through a new online platform.
Eligible businesses will also be able to get a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000. Vouchers are initially expected to be available for software that helps businesses:

  • build customer relationships and increase sales
  • make the most of selling online
  • manage their accounts and finances digitally

To find out about eligibility: https://helptogrow.campaign.gov.uk

£20 Million Business Leadership Support Scheme

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis spurs British businesses to adopt new ways of working, the government is investing £20 million to improve small businesses’ management, productivity and problem-solving skills through 2 training programmes, at this crucial time in the UK’s economic recovery.

The Small Business Leadership Programme will focus on strengthening decision-makers’ leadership skills, so they are able to address management challenges, some of which, such as remote working, have arisen from coronavirus. The programme will equip business leaders with the confidence and leadership skills to plan for the future of their business and ensure that they are in a great position to recover from the impacts of coronavirus.

Additionally, the Peer Networks Programme will focus on helping business owners improve their problem-solving skills, through a series of guided exercises. Participants will take part in sessions where common coronavirus related business challenges will be discussed, such as finding new customers and using technology such as customer record management and websites to adapt a business model. Members of the programme will be given skills in areas such as leadership and management, sales and marketing that they need to tackle these challenges head-on while growing their business.

To find out more about the Small Business Leadership Programme: https://smallbusinesscharter.org/small-business-leadership-programme/

To find out more about the Peer Networks Programme: https://www.peernetworks.co.uk
 

Prevent Your Business From Being Evicted

The UK government has extended measures to prevent struggling companies from eviction until the end of March 2021 help protect jobs.

These interventions are in addition to the comprehensive £280 billion financial package provided by the UK government to businesses during 2020 and the £55 billion committed for 2021 and is in recognition of the strain that businesses are under.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-provides-further-halt-to-business-evictions-and-more-support-for-high-street-firms

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Fraud and Cyber Crime

Measures announced over recent weeks to deal with Coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen day-to-day life drastically changed with more time at home and online. Unfortunately, criminals will use every opportunity they can to scam innocent people and their businesses.

This government guidance explains simple steps individuals can take to protect themselves and their business against fraud and cyber crime and where to get help.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-fraud-and-cyber-crime

Working Safely During Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

The 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

The guides have been updated to reflect the phased opening of shops and retail establishments from the 1st June.

The guides set out practical steps for businesses focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as is practical:

  1. Work from home if you can
  2. Carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
  3. Maintain a 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
  4. Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
  5. Reinforcing cleaning processes

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-launched-to-help-get-brits-safely-back-to-work

To access the guides: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Corporate Insolvency and Governance

New measures announced by the government will help to relieve the burden on businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The measures in this new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill will allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate.

The Bill will introduce temporary easements on filing requirements and Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Introduce new corporate restructuring tools to the insolvency regime to give companies the time they need to maximise their chance of survival and temporarily suspend parts of insolvency law to support directors during this difficult time.

Extensions have also been introduced to certain filing requirements including confirmation statements, accounts, registrations of charges (mortgage) and event-driven filings, such as a change to your company’s directors or people with significant control.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/how-the-corporate-insolvency-and-governance-bill-will-help-your-business

Thousands of Business Advisers to Offer Free Services to Small Firms

The Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the government and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, will give small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery. The platform is now live.

Advice offered will include bespoke, specialist assistance from accountancy, legal, and advertising to marketing, recruitment and digital to help businesses adapt to difficult circumstances and to bounce back as the UK economy recovers.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-business-advisers-to-offer-free-services-to-small-firms
 

Find a Job Service

If your business needs more workers as a result of COVID-19, such as those in food logistics, preparation and retail, post vacancies on Find a Job.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Getting Tested

The government’s priority is testing patients to inform their clinical diagnosis. In addition, they are now also testing essential workers with symptoms and people who live with essential workers and have symptoms.

This means essential workers including council workers can find out whether they have the virus, and can be helped in returning to work if they test negative. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.

To book a test: https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers

Guidance for Safer Travel During the Next Phase of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic

The latest government guidance provides advice on how passengers should make journeys safely, following the publication of the government’s roadmap and strategy for the next phase of the pandemic. It urges people to consider cycling, walking or driving to help ensure there is enough capacity for those who need to travel on public transport to do so safely.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-published-to-ensure-transport-network-is-safe-for-those-who-need-to-use-it

Business Support Helpline

Contact the Government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice: 0300 456 3565 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. 

Brexit Transition

Brexit Transition

New rules are here. New rules apply to things like travel and doing business with Europe. Use the Brexit checker to get a personalised list of actions for you, your business and your family.

Check what you need to do differently if you’re:

Brexit checker: Start now https://www.gov.uk/transition-check/questions

For further information on transition implications for you and your business: https://www.gov.uk/transition

SME Brexit Support Fund

The SME Brexit Support Fund provides up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover.

You can use the grant for training on:

  • how to complete customs declarations
  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin

It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

Your business must:

  • be established in the UK
  • have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status
  • not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations
  • have no more than 500 employees
  • have no more than £100 million turnover
  • import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or moves goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Your business must also either:

  • complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for its own goods
  • use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice on rules of origin or advice on dealing with a supply chain)

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.

Apply online here: https://www.customsintermediarygrant.co.uk/sme-brexit-support-fund

Other Financial Support Resources

British Business Bank Application Portal

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes and Future Fund were designed to support UK businesses that were losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. All schemes are now closed to new applications.

To find out more: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/

Additional Finance and Support for Your Business

There are 175 specific industry and regional schemes across the United Kingdom supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. You can find out which ones are available to your business here: https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support

Coronavirus Support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

The government has published a directory of Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations.

The directory may be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-support-from-business-representative-organisations-and-trade-associations

Growth Hubs

England’s 38 LEP Growth Hubs are providing practical support and guidance to the thousands of local employers and businesses across the country facing the challenges caused by the economic impact of the coronavirus. Find your Growth Hub here: https://www.lepnetwork.net/growth-hubs/  

Internationalisation Fund now open for businesses in England

The Department for International Trade has launched its new Internationalisation Fund for eligible businesses in England. Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity (subject to eligibility and availability).

To secure a grant, you will need to fund a proportion of your costs yourself. This varies according to where your business is based and will be either 40 or 50% of the total cost.

The fund can be used to support areas including (but not exclusively limited to):

  • Market research
  • IP advice
  • Translation services
  • International social media/SEO
  • Trade fairs (where no TAP funding is available)
  • Independent market visits
  • Consultancy and other international commercial services

To find out more: https://www.great.gov.uk/campaigns/internationalisation-fund-for-english-businesses

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Business Advice Resources

Business Advice Resources

Think with Google

Top digital marketing trends and predictions for 2021. Article: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/consumer-insights/consumer-trends/digital-marketing-trends-predictions/


Marketing Week

Are brands living up to their purpose during the coronavirus crisis?
Article: https://www.marketingweek.com/brand-purpose-coronavirus-crisis/

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Personal Wellbeing Resources

Personal Wellbeing Resources

Other current support services that can be accessed online include:

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