The Government’s Business Coronavirus Support Finder gives you all the information you need to find out what government support is available to your specific business.

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  1. Are you self-employed?
  2. Do you run your own business?
  3. Do you need more time to pay tax?
  4. Do I qualify for a business grant?
  5. What support is available to me in my country?
  6. What other support is available to me?

Are you self-employed? 

If you're self-employed (this includes Sole Traders) and your trading profits have fallen as a result of coronavirus, you could be entitled to receive 80% of your average trading profits through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

What is trading profit? 

Trading profit is the amount of money your business or self-employment generates (turnover), minus business expenses (money spent on operating your business, such as for travel, materials or stationery). When applying for support, your profits are calculated as an average over the past three years. If you haven’t been self-employed for this long, then an average is taken over the time you have been self-employed.

You are eligible for this scheme if you meet all of the following criteria: 

  1. You make more than half your income from self-employment
  2. You submitted a tax return for 2018-19
  3. You have traded in 2019-20 and intend to continue trading in 2020-21
  4. Your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus (examples of what that means here) on or after 14 July 2020 

You are not eligible for this scheme if you have only recently become self-employed and have not submitted a tax return for 2018-19.

What does this mean for you? 

The first payment through this scheme (covering 80% of trading profits) has already been paid out and you cannot make a claim for it, but the scheme has been extended to include a second final payment (covering 70% of trading profits). You can claim for this second payment regardless of whether you received the first payment or not.

You are advised not to contact HMRC directly about the scheme. Instead, you can check your eligibility requirements online. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible and you will be able to claim this second final payment from 17 August 2020. You must make your claim on or before 19 October 2020. You should receive the payment within six working days of submitting your claim and should contact HMRC only if you have not received payment within 10 working days. HMRC contact details can be found here

The second payment covers your trading profits through June, July and August 2020. For example, if you had an average trading profit of £1,000 a month over the last three years, 70% of this is £700 a month. This payment accounts for three months of trading profit, meaning you would receive £2,100 in a single payment (3 x £700 = £2,100)

Not eligible for the scheme or need payment before June? You can claim Universal Credit.

How do I apply for Universal Credit?

You can apply for Universal Credit here.

Universal Credit payments have increased by £86.67 a month to £342.72 during the coronavirus outbreak, for a single person under 25. 

You currently do not need to attend the Jobcentre to claim Universal Credit.

Do you run your own business? 

Bounce Back Loan 

If you run a small business, you could qualify for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan and receive anywhere between £2,000 and £50,000. You can apply for this loan if your business is based in the UK, was established before 1st March 2020 and has been negatively impacted by coronavirus. 

What does this mean for you? 

Information on how to apply for a Bounce Back Loan can be found here.

Applications are made online with an individual bank. If successful, you should receive payment from the bank within a few days of applying. You won’t have to repay anything on the loan (including interest) within the first 12 months of receiving payment and you will have six years to pay back the loan. After 12 months, the interest rate will be fixed at 2.5% a year.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 

If you think that your business needs more than £50,000, you can find out how to apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) here.

This scheme offers loans of up to £5 million for up to six years (meaning you have six years to pay it back). You can apply for this loan if your business in based in the UK and has been seriously impacted by coronavirus but would otherwise be profitable.

What does this mean for you? 

Like the Bounce Back Loan, you don’t have to pay anything back for the first 12 months. However, the requirements to receive a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan are stricter.

To qualify for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, your business must have been capable to continue to be viable (meaning to operate healthily). This condition does not exist for Bounce Back Loans. Unlike Bounce Back Loans, the interest rates on Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans are not fixed at 2.5%, meaning taking out the loan may be more costly for your business.

If you would like to apply for a CBILS, you should contact the bank directly to apply. They make the final decision on whether to give you a loan, and you can approach another lender if one bank turns you down.

All Banks lending money through this scheme are listed here.

Do you need more time to pay tax? 

If your business has been disrupted by coronavirus and you need more time to pay tax that you owe, there are a few options available to you.

HMRC ‘Time to Pay’

This service allows businesses, and the self-employed, to have more time to pay taxes without facing penalties for late payment. To qualify, you must be able to demonstrate that your business is in genuine difficulty and for this reason not able to pay your taxes on time.

You must also show that you would be likely to be able to pay the taxes owed if granted some additional time to pay.

HMRC will make the decision whether to grant you an extension. They may also waive late payment penalties and interest charges if you have difficulty contacting them or with paying taxes due to disruption caused by coronavirus.  

Tax payment deferral 

As a result of coronavirus, HMRC temporarily allowed businesses to delay paying back VAT that they owe but the VAT payment deferral scheme has now ended. If you deferred your business’s VAT payments between 20 March and 30 June 2020, you must re set-up Direct Debits you may have cancelled in order to pay VAT you owe, continue to submit VAT returns as normal and on time, and pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June. Information on how to pay your VAT bill can be found here.

HMRC also allowed for self-assessed tax to be paid late. If you file an annual self-assessment tax return (which you will do if you are self-employed), and chose not to pay self-assessed tax that was due by 31 July 2020, you have until 31 January 2021 to pay tax you that you owe. You do not need to have told HMRC that you were planning on paying your self-assessed tax late. More information can be found here.

Do you qualify for a business grant? 

All businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief are eligible for a grant of £10,000. Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses qualifying for full business rate relief will be entitled to a grant of £25,000.

Your Local Authority will contact you if your business is eligible to arrange payment of these grants. More details can be found here.

What support is available to me in my country? 

All the above government schemes are available across the UK, except for the business grants. Choose an option below to explore additional support available in your country.

You can call the Business Support Helpline on 0300 456 3565 if you are in England.

What other support is available to me? 

Growth Company Business Finance 

If you have previously taken out loans through The Prince’s Trust and your business is facing financial uncertainty, you can access additional support and advice by contacting the Growth Company Business Finance (GCBF). They will discuss your individual circumstances and agree an approach, and if the business remains viable, the option of a Second Loan can be explored with you.  

GC Business Finance   
Lee House, 90 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, M1 5JW  
0161 245 4977 

Companies House

Companies House has produced guidance for businesses that need more time to file their accounts here.

Federation of Small Businesses

Federation of Small Businesses has produced a coronavirus hub that offers free advice to small businesses and the self-employed here.

Local authorities 

Local authorities (councils) have useful information for small businesses.

Enterprise agencies 

Your local Enterprise Agency has advice and support.

Guidance for social enterprises 

Information and resources available to social enterprises.

Speak to your bank if you have concerns about payments or loans.