This is a very difficult time for businesses across Penrith and The Border, with many having to temporarily close due to the latest lockdown. Whilst the lockdown is unwelcome, it is necessary to try to control the spread of the new variant, get the case-rate down and protect the NHS. The Government has a wide range of grants, loans, tax relief and other support schemes designed to help businesses and individuals who have been adversely affected by this crisis. I have outlined below the major schemes and where to find them:
- A helpful tool and starting point that will show you what schemes your business is eligible for: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as furlough) is designed for employers to be able to cover the wages for employees on temporary leave and has been extended until April: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has a third grant still open for applications until 29th January 2021 which is worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. See if your eligible here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.
- Coronavirus grant for businesses who have been forced to close due to the latest lockdown: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-business-is-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-grant-due-to-national-restrictions-for-closed-businesses?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae.
- Business loan schemes and finance agreements: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (CBILS and CLBILS) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme, Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan, the Future Fund and Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/future-fund.
- Please view the sector specific funds and support for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19
Whilst this is not an exhaustive list of all of the Government support schemes that are available to businesses and individuals, I hope it proves helpful to those still wondering if they are entitled to support. I am acutely aware that some self-employed, company directors and freelancers are continuing to fall through the gaps, and I continue to raise this with Government. I am a member of the Gaps in Support APPG who are pushing the Government hard on making the necessary changes to include those left behind.