Rishi Sunak unveils 100% state-backed 'bounce back loan' for small businesses
Small businesses will be able to access loans worth 25% of their turnover, up to £50,000 and the government will pay the interest for the first 12 months. This means that the UK's smallest businesses will have guaranteed access to loans of up to £50,000 within 24 hours of applying. These new loans will be guaranteed by the Treasury, meaning the government will take on all the default risk, and will be available from Monday 4th May at 9am.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The government introduced a temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank. The government is providing lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan to boost lender confidence. There is no charge for this guarantee and the scheme supports loans of up to £5m.
The loans can be interest free for the first 6 months, with the government covering the first 6 months interest payments. The scheme is available from 23 March 2020.
See more information on our CBILS blog.
From 25 March 2020, businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts.
While companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.
For more information click here.
Business Rate Holiday
The government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.
A £25,000 grant will also be available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
The government has announced that there will be a £10,000 cash grant (up from the original £3,000 advised) for small business eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
For more information on the Grant Funding Schemes please visit here
Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority - no need to apply. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20th March.
Confirmation that government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres etc. is sufficient for businesses to claim on their insurance where they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place.
To support the food industry and help provide meals for people who need to self-isolate, planning regulations have been relaxed to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing takeaways without a planning application.
There is a multitude of finance available to help ease your business through this turbulent time, for example:
- Business support measures mentioned above
- Merchant cash advances (allowing you to borrow based on volumes through your card terminals)
- Invoice financing (particularly useful if you already struggle to get cash from your customers and could see an impact from coronavirus, though likely to be expensive)
- Traditional borrowing such as loans, overdrafts and credit cards
Please contact us to discuss these options and more – please refer to our new Corporate Finance offering detailed below.