May 23, 2024

The latest Government Covid support schemes SMEs must know

North West payment provider takepayments is continuing to run its Covid advice hub for the region’s SMEs and these are the key schemes you should know about

With Christmas just weeks away, many businesses should be experiencing their busiest time of the year, but as we continue through the second UK lockdown, most businesses are still struggling and requiring increased financial support from the Government.

With many different announcements from the Government going way back to March, and the ongoing introduction and extension of schemes covering everything from job support to loans, the volume of information out there can be overwhelming.

As we continue to navigate the crisis and information changes every day, here are some of the key SME related Government updates you need to know:

Bounce Back Loan Scheme top ups

There has been an update to the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) made this month, which enables smaller businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, from 10 November you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. The scheme is open to applications until 31 January 2021.

Self-Employment Income Support

The Government has extended the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to include a third grant. If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership, and have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), find out if you can claim. If, however, you were ineligible for the first and second grant based on the information in your Self-Assessment tax returns, you will not be eligible for the third scheme.

Local Restrictions Support Grant

If you own a nightclub, dancehall or adult entertainment business, you may be eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national restrictions. This falls under the Local Restrictions Support Grant, where businesses are entitled to cash from their council for each 14-day period they are closed.

Covid secure premises guidelines update

The Government has updated 14 guides on how to make your workplace COVID-secure. These documents outline the actions that you should take to keep people safe across sectors including hospitality and retail. You can read more in the takepayment’s Covid hub here.

The kickstart scheme for employers

If you are an employer looking to create 30 or more jobs placements for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme. The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16-to-24-year olds on Universal Credit, who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Deferred VAT

The Chancellor announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020, will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period. Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest-free.

This information is taken from Stockport-based takepayments’ online Covid advice hub which provides all the latest Government announcements in one place to support SMEs.

The hub and full guidance can be accessed here.