1. Statutory Sick Pay refunded

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 2 weeks of COVID-19 related statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. This will provide 2 million employers with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave. HMRC will provide further details in due course on how employers can access the rebate.

2. Business Interruption Loan

A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses.

Banks should be ready in the next week or two to roll out this emergency loan arrangement for businesses.

3. Cash grant

There will be a £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2 billion.

4. Help to Pay helpline

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

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559. Information that may be needed to hand for the call:

  1. Unique tax reference (10 digits long)
  2. PAYE reference
  3. Accounts office reference
  4. VAT number
  5. Address

If you need to know any of these details, please give us a call on 01474 853 856 and we will be able to help.

5. Abolishing business rates for small retailers

The government is temporarily increasing the business rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.

6. Banks can provide additional credit

The decisions announced by the Bank of England on 11 March 2020 mean that banks are in a better position to provide additional credit to smaller businesses. Please see here for more information.


More information on all of the above can be found here.