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Support from UK government

The UK government has announced a series of measures to provide support for businesses affected by Coronavirus. Click on the name of the support you are interested in to be taken to the relevant section.

  1. Tax
  2. Financial support for businesses
  3. Financial support for the self-employed
  4. Job support
  5. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  6. Business rates
  7. Apprenticeships, traineeships and kickstart scheme

VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

The government will give businesses which deferred VAT due in March to June 2020 the option to spread their payments over the financial year 2021-2022.

Rather than paying in full at the end of March 2021, businesses will be able to choose to make 11 equal instalments over 2021-22. All businesses which took advantage of the VAT deferral can use the New Payment Scheme. Businesses will need to opt in, but all are eligible. HMRC will put in place an opt-in process in early 2021.

Temporary VAT reduced rate for hospitality and tourism extended

The temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) has been extended from 12 January to 31 March 2021. This will continue to apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises, supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK.

Time to Pay upscaled

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.

Financial support for businesses

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

The scheme is open to applications until 31 March 2021.

The scheme enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak. Loans are between £2,000 and £50,000, capped at 25% of turnover. Under the new Pay as you Grow options, BBLS borrowers will be offered the choice of more time and greater flexibility for their repayments.

Find out more and apply

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The scheme provides financial support to SMEs that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

SMEs will be able to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

As of 18 December, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the CBILS will be extended until 31 March 2021.

Find out more and apply

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

The scheme provides finance to mid-sized and larger UK businesses with a group turnover of more than £45 million that are suffering cashflow disruption due to lost or deferred revenue during the COVID-19 outbreak.

As of 24 September, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the CLBILS will be extended until 31 March 2021.

Find out more and apply

Coronavirus Future Fund - CLOSED

The scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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.

Financial support for the self employed

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is limited to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19.

Applications for the first grant closed on 13 July 2020.

Applications for the second grant closed on 19 October 2020.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension

The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three month period.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.

The government are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Job Support Scheme.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

The grants are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions.

Job support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

If you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus, you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough.

Employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked. Only employees that employers have successfully claimed a previous grant for will be eligible for more grants under the scheme.

From 1 August 2020, employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages.

Read the related guidance

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extension

The CJRS has been extended until March, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.

Read the related guidance

Job Support Scheme

If you require additional support to help retain your employees because you are experiencing reduced business activity due to coronavirus, then from December 2020 you can agree a Job Support Scheme temporary working agreement with any eligible employees.

Under the scheme, the company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the burden of hours not worked will be split between the employer and the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction). Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming the grant for that employee. The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap of £697.92 a month, with the employer also contributing a third. This will ensure employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages (where the Government contribution has not been capped). Employers using the scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus provides additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment.

The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021.

Find out more

The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February, as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended. Further details about the extension are available.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Employers who have paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to staff taking coronavirus-related leave will be able to claim back the money.

After making an application, employers will receive the money from HMRC within six working days.

Find out more and check your eligibility

Business Rates

Business Rates Relief

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

There is no need to apply. Local councils will refund the money to any business that is eligibile.

Find out more

Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Kickstart Scheme


The government will introduce a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new Apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new Apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1 August 2020 to 31 March 2021.

These payments will be in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the government already provides for new 16 to 18 year-old Apprentices, and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan - employers could receive up to £3,000 for hiring 16 to 18 year old Apprentices from August to January.

Find out how Doncaster Chamber can support you to develop your apprenticeship scheme.

Find out more about apprenticeship funding


The Government will provide an additional £111 million this year for Traineeships in England, to fund high-quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds. Employers will receive £1,000 per trainee.

The Government will also improve provision and expand eligibility for Traineeships to those with Level 3 qualifications and below, to ensure that more young people have access to high-quality training.

Find out more about traineeships

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds who are currently on Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Part of the government's Plan for Jobs, the scheme aims to create fully funded jobs across the UK, with the first placements available from November.

Find out more about how Doncaster Chamber can apply to government on your behalf.

Find out more about the Kickstart Scheme

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