UK Small Business Resource Centre

UK Resources  | US Resources  
 

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 Business Support Resources

Coronavirus business support finder tool

The government ‘support finder’ tool will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The finder tool on GOV.UK will ask business owners to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete, and they will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-new-coronavirus-business-support-finder-tool

You can access the tool here: https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45m, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to six years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. This means smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to small and medium-sized businesses.

The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks. To find out more and apply: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme

The government-backed loan scheme for large businesses affected by coronavirus has been expanded to cover all viable firms. All firms with a turnover of more than £45 million will now be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance, and up to £50 million for firms with a turnover of more than £250 million. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-expands-loan-scheme-for-large-businesses


Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS)

Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – are eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

Small businesses can apply for quick and easy-to-access loans immediately. Businesses are able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with the cash arriving within days. Loans will be 100% government backed for lenders, and businesses apply online through a short and simple form. The government has agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. Any business that has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of £50,000 or less can apply to have these switched over to this generous new scheme.

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-bounce-back-loans-to-launch-today

To apply for a Bounce Back Loan: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme UK

If you cannot maintain your current workforce because your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), 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.

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now remain open until the end of October. New flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost the economy. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.

To find out more about these changes: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-scheme-until-october

Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

You can work out 80% of your employees’ wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by using the government calculator here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme


Self-employment Income Support Scheme

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant. The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended. If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.

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

To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Check if you’re eligible to claim: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference


Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure England only

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-retail-hospitality-or-leisure-business-is-eligible-for-business-rates-relief-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19


Business Support Grant Funding

There are two funding schemes available – the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

A discretionary fund has also been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This additional ‘top up’ fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.

The government is asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. Local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities. Further guidance will be available in due course.

Further information on both grant funds may be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-support-grant-funding-guidance-for-businesses


Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure England only

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. To find out more: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/cash-grant-for-retail-hospitality-and-leisure/

Further information on both grant funds may be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-support-grant-funding-guidance-for-businesses


Business Rates Holidays for Nurseries England only

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


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate

The online service to reclaim SSP is not available yet. HMRC will announce when the service is available and this guidance will be updated.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

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


Time to Pay UK-wide

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. To find out more: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/time-to-pay/


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’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to either defer the payment until a later date or pay the VAT due as normal. It does not cover payments for VAT MOSS or import VAT.

HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount deferred as a result of the Chancellor’s announcement. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19


Deferral of Self-Assessment Payment UK-wide

The Self- Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020 may now be deferred until January 2021. To find out more: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/deferral-of-self-assessment-payment/


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


Support for Start Up and Scale Up Businesses

The Government has announced a package consisting of two pots of funding totalling £1.25 billion. The first is a £750 million expansion of Innovate UK’s funding for the most R&D intensive small and medium-sized businesses. This will be made up of grants and loans, and while the bulk of it is reserved for businesses who are already receiving Innovate UK funding, over £200 million will be offered to new firms. 

The second pot is a £250 million fund, called the Future Fund, which will be administered by the British Business Bank (BBB) and will invest between £125,000 and £5 million in high-growth UK companies. The investment will take the form of a convertible note, and the main eligibility criteria that have been announced so far are the following:

The investment will be made on a 50:50 matched basis with private sector investment. So companies will need to raise the private sector money first before they are eligible for the government funding.

In the past five years, the company must have raised at least £250,000 from third-party investors (excluding any funding that is part of the match) and the company must be an unlisted UK registered company. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-support-package-for-innovative-firms-hit-by-coronavirus


Prevent Your Business From Being Evicted

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. Many landlords and tenants are already having conversations and reaching voluntary arrangements about rental payments due shortly but the government has recognised businesses struggling with their cashflow due to coronavirus remain worried about eviction.

To stop these unfair practices, the government will temporarily ban the use of statutory demands (made between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020) and winding up petitions presented from Monday 27 April, through to 30 June, where a company cannot pay its bills due to coronavirus. This will help ensure these companies do not fall into deeper financial strain. 

These measures, included in the emergency Coronavirus Bill currently going through Parliament, will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-protection-for-businesses-with-ban-on-evictions-for-commercial-tenants-who-miss-rent-payments

High street shops and other companies under strain will also be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-protect-uk-high-street-from-aggressive-rent-collection-and-closure


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


Business Support Helpline

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


HMRC Helpline

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


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://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk


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


Other Support Resources

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 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
 

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
 

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/
 

FSB Coronavirus advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed

Advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed. Rolling news, policy interpretation and implementation advice from the Federation of Small Business (FSB). To keep up to date with the latest Coronavirus news for business: https://www.fsb.org.uk/campaign/covid19.html


British Chambers of Commerce

Advice and guidance for members. To find out more: https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/page/coronavirus


Association for Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)

Advice for employers and employees concerning Coronavirus. To find out more: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus


CBI Coronavirus Hub

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) perspective on what you need to know about coronavirus and how it will impact your business. To find out more: https://www.cbi.org.uk/coronavirus-hub


MAKE UK The Manufacturers Organisation

The latest news and information pertaining to manufacturing businesses in the UK resulting from Coronavirus (Covid-19). To find out more: https://www.makeuk.org/coronavirus


IoD Coronavirus Support Fund

Advice and resources for Company Directors. To find out more: https://www.iod.com/iod-coronavirus-support-hub


Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)

Tips for communicating with employees at times of crisis specifically Coronavirus (Covid-19). Document link: https://www.cbi.org.uk/media/4439/tips-for-communicating-with-employees-at-times-of-crisis-v10.pdf


Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

Advice on how to support your business and workforce through this global health emergency. To find out more: https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/coronavirus


LinkedIn

Helping to stay informed and connected. A series of resources to help navigate work and Coronavirus. To find out more: https://blog.linkedin.com/2020/march/10/staying-informed-and-connected-resources-to-help-navigate-work-and-coronavirus


Futurelearn

Background to the Coronavirus disease and learn more about the potential worldwide implications. Course link: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/covid19-novel-coronavirus


Enterprise Nation

The homepage to keep companies updated of government moves, support schemes for small business, and pro-active advice on how to keep trading through the epidemic. To find out more: https://www.enterprisenation.com/coronavirus-support/


Technation

Tech business support and updates during the Coronavirus crisis. To find out more: https://technation.io/resources/coronavirus-info-hub/


Scale-Up Institute

Directory of guidance and resources available to small businesses from government and the private sector. Also provides a detailed breakdown of the support available on a regional level. To find out more: https://www.scaleupinstitute.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/

Mental Health at Work

A toolkit on ‘Coronavirus and isolation: supporting yourself and your colleagues’. To find out more: https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/toolkit/coronavirus-and-isolation-supporting-yourself-and-your-colleagues/

A toolkit on ‘Small businesses and the self-employed: taking care during the pandemic’. To find out more: https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/toolkit/small-businesses-and-the-self-employed-taking-care-during-the-pandemic/

 

 

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Think with Google

Search insights to help you understand consumer behavioural shifts. Article: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/buying-behaviour-insights-google-trends-covid19
 

The Drum

Preparing your marketing plans for the Coronavirus downturn. Article: https://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2020/03/18/preparing-your-marketing-plans-the-coronavirus-downturn


Marketing Week

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Additional Resources

 

Wellbeing Resources

Other current support services that can be accessed online include: