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 three 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

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? 

You are advised not to contact HMRC directly about the scheme. Instead, you can check your eligibility requirements online. If you decide to submit a claim, HMRC aim to contact you by mid-May (if you are deemed eligible for support).

The first payment under this scheme will come in June 2020. This will cover your trading profits through March, April and May 2020. For example, if you had an average trading profit of £1,000 a month over the last three years, 80% of this is £800 a month.

Your first payment accounts for three months of trading profit, meaning you would receive £2,400 one payment (3 x £800 = £2,400)

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 and has been negatively impacted by coronavirus but wasn’t otherwise in any serious financial difficulty before the pandemic.  

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.

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 operating healthily, were it not for coronavirus. This contrasts with the Bounce Back Loan criteria of not being in any serious financial difficulty.

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 

Businesses are meant to pay VAT every quarter (every three months).

You can choose to delay paying VAT for the current quarter (covering 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020). This is called a deferral and you will then have until the end of the 2020-21 tax year (31 March 2021) to pay VAT for this period if you chose not to pay it now.

Similarly, if you file an annual self-assessment tax return (which you will do if you are self-employed), you can delay making the tax payment for this year until January 2021.

You do not need permission from HMRC to defer your VAT payment or self-assessed tax, and you will not be charged interest or late payment penalties on deferred tax.

Good to know:

  • You can choose not to defer tax payments and pay as normal - tax returns will still need to be filed on time
  • Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year

You do not have to apply for this scheme and more details 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.

The Prince's Trust and Natwest Enterprise Relief Fund

The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future. Find out more

This Fund compliments existing support available from the government for small businesses and the self-employed. To see what support you may also be entitled to from the government, check out businesssupport.gov.uk.