Covid 19: Business Financial Support Measures
In response to the severe impact of Covid-19 on businesses, H. M.
Government (“HMG”) initiated a range of measures designed to help
relieve some of the damage caused to normal business operations. These were
designed to assist both small businesses (self-employed and personal
service companies) and medium/large companies.
We list below a number of these measures (grouped by topic). In each
case there is a link to the relevant HMG webpage or other document so
that you can go direct to the current relevant information on the
There is also an online tool which you can find on an HMG webpage here which can help businesses to quickly see what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.
We review the following list (and the links) periodically and
seek to keep them up to date.
Claim back statutory sick pay (if you have staff):
Claim back wages paid to staff on furlough:
Universal Credit if you are on low income or have no work: HMG pages here
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme : Simply Docs Info pages
Small Business Grants Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund:
Deferral of VAT:
Deferral of self-assessment tax: here
Business rates relief for certain types of business:
Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses to access finance more
quickly. This Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021.
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021.
Convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies. This Scheme closed to new applicants on 31 January 2021.
Covid Corporate Financing Facility to help large businesses by purchase of
their short-term debt. This closed to new purchases, as planned, on 23 March 2021.
Since tenants were under pressure from some landlords using aggressive debt
recovery tactics, HMG legislated to restrict landlords' rights to recover unpaid rent from commercial tenants and from eviction for unpaid rent. These restrictions have been extended until at least 30 June 2021. The details are here and here.
Mortgage Holidays for Landlords
Mortgage lenders agreed with HMG that they would offer repayment
holidays of 3 months to landlords with mortgages on their properties
(typically buy to let) whose tenants, due to COVID-19, have difficulty
paying their rent:
here. You will need to check and see if and how any lenders are extending the date for applying for a repayment holiday beyond 31 March 2021, and the length of mortgage holiday available - it might be more than 3 months.
Emergency Insolvency Measures
Measures to protect companies were included in the Corporate
Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 to
give them additional breathing space and maximise their chances of
survival. The measures:
a) extend existing moratorium provisions, so that, firstly, the threat of
winding-up petitions against a company is removed where they have unpaid
debts resulting from the pandemic, and, secondly, statutory demands issued
against companies are voided;
b) prohibit suppliers from terminating their supply agreements (but with
the ability for a supplier facing undue financial hardship to apply to the
court for permission to terminate its supply) so that companies continue to
access supplies and materials;
c) require dissenting creditors to accept a restructuring plan;
d) remove the threat to directors of being held personally liable for
wrongful trading if a company is unable to avoid insolvency as a result of
the coronavirus pandemic.
If you wish to see HMG's webpages about the Act, click
here. For an update, in particular as to how long these measures remain in place, click here.
Debt recovery/debt relief
The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 come into effect on 4 May 2021. These new Regulations are designed to protect certain consumer or sole trader debtors with problem debt. See Appendix B of our Guidance Notes : Debt Recovery and Legal Action. You can find those Notes here.