Coronavirus - a guide to government help for businesses

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK in March 2020 and the country went into lockdown, the effect on the economy has been significant. In response, the government has introduced a number of measures to support businesses, their employees and the self-employed.

With the coronavirus pandemic having a significant impact on the UK’s economy across 2020 and into 2021, the government has announced various help and support packages aimed at tackling both the immediate impacts of COVID-19 and offsetting any potential longer-term economic slowdown.

An initial package of measures was announced as part of the March 2020 Budget and these have been supplemented by significant further support as the crisis deepened.

In July, the Chancellor used his Summer Statement to announce the second phase of his three-phase recovery strategy; the Plan for Jobs, which included measures aimed at protecting, supporting and creating jobs.

In September, the Chancellor opted not to deliver the usual Autumn Budget and instead announced the Winter Economy Plan, featuring a range of measures aimed at supporting people and businesses through the colder months and a possible second wave.

Further measures to support businesses through the winter months were revealed in November and again in January as all four nations entered lockdowns.

(Please note: the information in here was correct at the time of publication. We aim to keep the page updated, but in this fast-moving situation things are changing all the time. Updated January 2021).

So what help is available to businesses and how can they access it?

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

To help small businesses in need of fast small loans, the Chancellor announced the launch of a 'new micro loan’ scheme on 27 April 2020. He said it would provide 'a simple, quick, easy solution for those in need of smaller loans’.

The scheme allows even the smallest business to get help. You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019.

Initially, loan applications were being accepted until 30 September 2020, however, this has now been extended to 31 March 2021.

How the loans work:

  • Loans of £2,000-£50,000 up to 25% of a business' turnover available.
  • The government will guarantee 100% of the loan.
  • No repayments will be due within the first year.
  • Borrowers won’t have to pay any interest or fees for the first year – these will be covered by the government.
  • Loan terms are up to six years. As part of the Winter Economy Plan, lenders can extend the term of loans to ten years, if the business needs support to repay the loan.
  • Flexibility to repay at any time without any fees. The ability to take one payment holiday over the length of the loan, and, up to three temporary interest-only periods of up to six months.

Loans have been available since 4 May 2020. Apply with just a short online form.

The government said it will work with lenders to make sure loans get to borrowers as quickly as possible. It also aims to agree a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan once the first year is up.

Since November 2020, eligible businesses that have already received funds through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme can request a top up if they did not take the maximum loan amount available to them; up to 25% of annual turnover, capped at total BBLS borrowing of £50,000. Lloyds Bank is accepting loan applications from existing business customers for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. See more about how the scheme works, who is eligible and how to apply.

Businesses cannot apply for a Bounce Back Loan if already claiming under CBILS.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

A temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been launched to help businesses access bank lending and overdrafts. The scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. They are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45 million, across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cash flow.

Initially, loan applications were being accepted until 30 September 2020, however, this has now been extended to 31 March 2021.

The scheme offers finance in a variety of ways including:

  • term loans
  • overdrafts
  • invoice finance
  • asset finance

It is being delivered by the British Business Bank to give confidence to participating lenders giving loans to small businesses and became available from 23 March 2020.

The main features of the CBILS scheme:

  • Up to £5m available per business: The maximum value provided under the scheme will be £5m.
  • Repayment terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance, and three years for overdrafts and invoice finance.
  • 80% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding balance, subject to an overall limit per lender.
  • No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme: No fee for smaller businesses. Lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme.
  • Interest and fees paid by government for 12 months: The government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments1.
  • The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

Since the scheme was launched, there have been changes made regarding security against the loans. Originally, the scheme was set up so that if the lender could offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they would do so.

Lenders have now been stopped from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000, making the scheme more accessible to a wider range of businesses. The Chancellor introduced this change at the start of April 2020, soon after the scheme’s introduction, following representations about how it was working. To be eligible the lender must consider the borrowing proposal viable, if not for the coronavirus pandemic.

Lloyds Bank is accepting loan applications from business customers for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. See more about how the scheme works, who is eligible and how to apply.

Please consider applying using our website in the first instance. Telephone lines are likely to be busy. Also consider government advice to stay indoors. Please try to avoid visiting a branch if possible, especially as branches may have limited capacity to handle enquires due to social distancing.

The government will also extend the funding of the British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans programme to the end of 2021-22, supporting up to 10,000 further entrepreneurs across the UK to access finance to start a business.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

A scheme has also been set up for larger businesses. According to the Chancellor, this is being done 'to ensure that more companies are able to benefit from government-backed support during this difficult time'.

Originally the CLBILS offered a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million for businesses with a turnover of £45 million - £250 million and up to £50 million to businesses with a turnover of over £250 million.

Initially, loan applications were being accepted until 30 September 2020, however, this has now been extended to 31 March 2021.

From 26 May 2020 the CLBILS has been expanded further to enable companies to apply to borrow up to 25% of turnover, up to a maximum of £200 million.

Any company borrowing more than £50 million will:

  • be required not to make any dividend payments not yet declared
  • face restrictions around share buybacks
  • be expected to exercise restraint on executive pay.

Lending can come in the form of:

  • business loans
  • overdrafts
  • invoice finance
  • asset finance.

Repayment terms of three months up to three years are available.

You must also have a borrowing proposal which the lender:

  • would consider viable, if not for the coronavirus pandemic
  • believes will enable you to trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty.

Loans backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest. Unlike the CBILS for smaller businesses, the CLBILS does not have business interruption payment to cover interest and fees for the first 12 months. Borrowers are responsible for the payment of all interest and fees, and remain 100% liable for the debt. But businesses should receive the economic benefit of the government guarantee reflected in the interest rate charged by lenders, says UK Finance, the organisation that represents the banking and finance industry.

Companies who have received facilities from the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) are not eligible.

Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) will provide funding to large corporate businesses by purchasing commercial paper of up to one-year maturity. It is open to firms 'making a material contribution to the UK economy' such as employing large numbers of people or having their corporate HQ in the UK. It will help businesses across a range of sectors to pay wages and suppliers, even while experiencing severe disruption to cash flows.

The facility is open to firms that can demonstrate they were in sound financial health prior to the crisis, by basing eligibility on their credit ratings before the COVID-19 shock, rather than on the recent temporary impacts on firms’ balance sheets and cash flows. In practice, this means companies that had a short or long-term rating of investment grade or equivalent, as at 1 March 2020. Businesses do not need to have previously issued commercial paper in order to participate.

It will offer financing on terms comparable to those prevailing in markets in the period before the COVID-19 economic shock.

Businesses that have used the CCFF can make an early repayment if they wish. This gives them greater flexibility to move to alternative sources of funding, if appropriate. The Bank of England will usually apply a fee to the price offered for early repayment.

The scheme will operate for at least 12 months and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.

Like CLBILS, the CCFF scheme has also had restrictions added for companies that wish to borrow money beyond 12 months from 19 May, 2020. To make sure any money goes toward keeping the company going through the crisis, restrictions have been put in place including:

  • a ban on dividend payments not yet declared
  • a ban on new cash bonuses for senior executives including board members except where they were already in place
  • curbs on share buybacks during the period of the loan.

From 9 October 2020, it was announced that firms requesting financing from the CCFF will be asked to provide an up-to-date credit rating. Where the firm’s credit rating has dropped below investment grade, the Treasury will ask for additional information before deciding the appropriate level of support.

For full details of how the scheme will operate, see the Bank of England’s information for those seeking to participate in the CCFF.

The Future Fund

The Future Fund is aimed at innovative start-up companies facing financial issues due to the coronavirus pandemic. Loans of between £125,000 and £5 million are available subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

The scheme is designed for businesses that rely on equity investment and are not able to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

To be eligible, your business must be an unlisted UK registered company that has raised at least £250,000 in aggregate from private third-party investors in previous funding rounds in the last five years and have a substantive economic presence in the UK. The scheme was initially open for applications until the end of September 2020, and has now been extended to 31 March 2021.

See more about the Future Fund.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cover employee wages

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was launched in March 2020 to help employers retain jobs for the longer term, even if they can’t afford to pay staff currently. The scheme has now been extended to run until 30 April 2021.

Over the months the CJRS has been adapted in various ways to account for changing economic circumstances. 

When the scheme started it was set up so that government grants would cover 80% of the salary of furloughed workers up to a total of £2,500 a month – including minimum wage employees.

At the end of May 2020, the Chancellor announced changes to the scheme to taper the amount of payment from the government from August onwards to reflect that people were returning to work. Between August to October 2020, businesses were asked to contribute a share towards furloughed employees’ wages for hours not worked, but individuals continued to receive that 80% of salary covering the time they are unable to work. In October, employers were required to pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of total wages up to a cap of £2,500 a month.  The government contributed 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875.

From November, the government resumed paying 80% of furloughed workers’ salaries for the hours they are not working. Employers will continue paying ER NICs and pension contributions.


To be eligible for the extended CJRS which starts in November 2020 you must have:

  • a PAYE payroll scheme 
  • enrolled for PAYE online
  • a UK bank account.

You don’t need to have previously furloughed any of your employees to use the scheme from November.

You can claim for employees who were employed and on your PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. They do not need to have been furloughed previously.

If an employee was on your payroll on 23 September 2020 (and you have made a Real Time Information submission in respect of them), but was made redundant or their employment was ended in some other way after that they can be rehired and placed on furlough. 

Any organisation with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities. 

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train while furloughed.

See if you can claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Flexible furlough

Since 1 July 2020, employers have been able to furlough staff part-time for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim a CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. Organisations are responsible for paying their staffs’ wages while in work.

Employers are required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked. To be eligible for the grant, employers must agree with their employee any new flexible furloughing arrangement and confirm that agreement in writing.

See guidance on calculating claims for flexibly furloughed employees.

See how to claim for wages through the Job Retention Scheme.

Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme

Businesses in England which are required to close due to local or national lockdown measures are eligible to receive grants of up to £3,000 per month based on the rateable value of their premises.

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month).
  • Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month).
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1,500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month).

Hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses that suffered from reduced demand due to local restrictions introduced between 1 August and 5 November 2020 will also be eligible for backdated grants at 70% of the value of closed grants up to a maximum of £2,100 per month for this period.

To apply for a grant, visit your local council’s website.

In January 2021, the government announced that businesses in England in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors could be eligible for a one-off grant of up to £9,000 to support them during lockdown, if they have been forced to close.

See more about Local Restrictions Support Grants in England.

See more about top-up grants.

The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have announced their own support packages for businesses affected by lockdowns.

See details of Scotland’s Coronavirus Restrictions Fund

See details of Wales’ Economic Resilience Fund.

See details of Northern Ireland’s Localised Restrictions Support Scheme.

Statutory Sick Pay

Employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for every day they are off work if they are self-isolating because:

  • they or someone they live with have coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive
  • they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they have been in contact with someone with coronavirus
  • someone in their support bubble (or extended household in Wales and Scotland) has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive
  • they’ve been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before surgery
  • they live in an area with local restrictions in place and have been asked to shield because they are at very high risk from coronavirus.

The Chancellor pledged that the government will support small and medium-sized businesses and employers to cope with the extra costs of paying COVID-19 related SSP by refunding eligible SSP costs. The eligibility criteria for the scheme are:

  • this refund will be limited to two weeks per employee
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020) will be eligible
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences, but should not require employees to provide a GP fit note
  • the eligible period for the scheme will start on the day on which the regulations extending SSP to self-isolators come into force.

If you need more help to understand what your responsibilities are then see the Statutory Sick Pay: employers guide.

Find out more about claiming back Statutory Sick Pay.

Help for the self-employed

In April 2020, the government announced plans to pay self-employed people who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus a taxable grant based on their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month. The Chancellor said 95% of people who are majority self-employed should be able to benefit from this scheme – about 3.8 million people.

The initial Self-Employed Income Support Scheme was divided into two grants covering different time periods each covering three months:

  • First Grant: Eligible people could claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits capped at £7,500 in total. Applications for the first grant opened on 13 May 2020. Applications for the first grant which covers March, April and May 2020 closed on 13 July 2020.
  • Second Grant: Eligible people could claim a taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits capped at £6,570 in total to cover June, July and August 2020. Applications opened in August and closed in October 2020.


To make sure only the genuinely self-employed benefit and help minimise fraud, to apply you have to have:

  • a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19
  • make the majority of your income from self-employment
  • have submitted a tax return for 2019 by 23rd April.

If you are self-employed but pay yourself a salary and dividends through your own company, you will not be covered by the scheme but will be covered for your salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if you are operating a PAYE scheme.

SEISS Extension

In September 2020, the Chancellor announced an extension to the scheme which will run for six months from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021. Again, the scheme is divided into two grants, each covering three months. Initially, the grants covered 20% of average monthly trading profit, however, this was increased to 80%.

  • Third Grant: Eligible people can claim a taxable grant covering 80% of their average monthly trading profits. This will be paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits from November to January. It will be capped at £7,500 in total.
  • Fourth Grant: This will cover the three months from the start of February to the end of April. Further details will be released in the coming months.

You don’t need to have applied for the SEISS scheme before to apply for a grant under the extension. However, you do need to meet the same eligibility criteria. You will also have to declare that you are:

  • currently actively trading and intend to continue to trade
  • impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus in the qualifying period (the qualifying period for the grant extension is between 1 November and the date of your claim)

The online claims process for the Third Grant is now open. All claims need to be submitted on or before 29 January 2021.

Make a claim under the SEISS extension.

Find out more about the SEISS extension

If you are self-employed and are struggling now you can also:

  • access the Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • ask HMRC for additional time to pay any self-assessment income tax due at end of January 2021 that you cannot afford to pay in full
  • access Universal Credit in full.

Business Rates Reliefs

Administering rates is devolved, so available help can differ between UK regions.

In England all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will be eligible for a tax holiday from business rates for 12 months. The measure applies to:

  • shops
  • cinemas and theatres
  • restaurants and hotels
  • museums and art galleries
  • caravan parks
  • gyms and sports clubs
  • nightclubs

Nursery businesses on Ofsted’s Early Years Register or properties wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage are also being given a business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

You can get small business rate relief if your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000. You will not pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief will go down gradually from 100% to 0%. For example, if your rateable value is £13,500, you’ll get 50% off your bill. If your rateable value is £14,000, you’ll get 33% off.

If your property in England has a rateable value below £51,000, your bill will be calculated using the small business multiplier, which is lower than the standard one. This is the case even if you do not get small business rate relief.

The small business multiplier is 49.1p and the standard multiplier is 50.4p from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. The multipliers may be different in the City of London.

Grants are available to some businesses too:

  • small businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief can apply for grant funding of £10,000 for all business
  • retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 can apply for grant funding of £25,000.

See more about grants

In Wales the government, which has devolved responsibility for rates, has also announced business rates relief for small businesses with shops, leisure and hospitality businesses seeing their rates cut, and in some cases removed entirely. It is also offering grants to small businesses.

Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of below £500,000 will receive 100% business rate relief.

Businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 or less that are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief will get a grant of £10,000.

Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £12,001 to £51,000 will get a grant of £25,000.

These grants and changes will be administered through the business rates system.

In Scotland the government has said it will provide relief to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021:

  • a 100% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors – which will be applied to bills without the need to apply.
  • Scottish airports will get 100% rates relief for a year, as will organisations providing handling services for scheduled passenger flights at Scottish airports, such as baggage handling, re-fuelling and waste servicing.
  • 1.6% rates relief for all properties across Scotland, effectively reversing the planned below inflation uplift in the poundage from 1 April 2020.
  • a fixed rates relief of up to £5,000 for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 from 1 April 2020.

Because of the role that Loganair plays in providing connectivity in the Highlands and Islands, the Scottish government has also given them 100% rates relief for a year. No other airline will receive rate relief in Scotland.

There are also grants available to specific types of businesses including retail, hospitality and leisure businesses including self-catering accommodation and caravans. Get more details on grants and how to apply.

In Northern Ireland, at the start of the pandemic, Finance Minister Conor Murphy announced a £100 million rates package:

  • All businesses paid zero rates for the first three months of the pandemic excluding public sector and utilities. It was shown as a 25% discount on the annual rate bill for business ratepayers.

The issuing of rates bills was deferred from April until June 2020 to help businesses with short-term cash flow. You can still choose to pay monthly from June 2020 to April 2021

Later, further rates relief help was made available for eligible businesses:

  • 12 Months Rates Holiday
  • Hardship Rate Relief

If your business is eligible, you’ll need to apply separately for each of these reliefs. They are assessed by Land & Property services (LPS) separately.

12 Month Rates Holiday

Eligible businesses will pay no rates for the full financial year from 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021. It only applies to certain sectors and is available whether the property is occupied or vacant for:

  • hospitality, tourism and leisure
  • retail (excluding certain supermarkets and off-licences) and retail services
  • childcare
  • Belfast City Airport, Belfast International Airport and the City of Derry Airport

If you consider your business to be eligible but the reduction is not shown on your rates bill for 2020-21, you may need to apply and give LPS more information to check that you are eligible. 

Hardship Rate Relief

Hardship Rate Relief is available for non-domestic ratepayers who have been affected by exceptional circumstances.

Hardship Rate Relief is only available on rates that are due – so you can’t claim it for April, May, June and July 2020 when there was a four month rates holiday. However, if your business was affected during February and March 2020 or since August 2020 for example, you can apply. Applications for Hardship Rate Relief must be made online.

The Regional Rate has been adjusted downward to offset the change in the total rateable value due to Reval2020.

Also, the rural ATM scheme has been restored which will help to sustain accessibility to cash in isolated rural areas.

If you are experiencing any difficulty in paying a business rate bill in Northern Ireland you should contact LPS as soon as possible so that payment arrangements can be put in place to help you.

Get more information on the Northern Ireland official channel for business information.

Check your relevant government website for more information on business rates:

England and also English business rate relief



Northern Ireland

If you need any further information, talk to the business rates team at your local council.

The Scottish government has also launched a website to help Scottish businesses find support plus a business helpline on 0300 303 0660. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.

The Northern Ireland government has put together answers to common questions that may be useful for local business.

The Welsh government has information on support for Welsh businesses.

UK government advice and support for business.

VAT payments deferred

VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 were deferred by the Chancellor. That meant businesses did not have to make any VAT payments to HMRC during that period. Originally, people had until the end of the financial year to repay those bills, however, there is now the option to spread the cost over 11 smaller payments until 31 March 2022, interest free.

Businesses will need to opt into the scheme and those who can pay their deferred VAT can still do so by 31 March 2021 if they choose. Businesses which have deferred VAT payments need to remember to:

  • set-up cancelled Direct Debits in enough time for HMRC to take payment
  • continue to submit VAT returns as normal, and on time
  • pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June.

VAT cuts for hospitality sector

As part of efforts to boost hospitality as lockdown eases, the Chancellor announced a VAT cut from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors.

This was initially in place for six months, from 15 July 2020, however, it was extended as part of the Winter Economy Plan and will remain in place until 31 March 2021. It applies to:

  • food and non-alcoholic beverages sold for on-premises consumption, for example, in restaurants, cafes and pubs
  • hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic beverages
  • sleeping accommodation in hotels, holiday accommodation, pitch fees for caravans and tents, and associated facilities
  • admission to various attractions that are not already eligible for the cultural VAT exemption, including theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, museums, zoos, cinemas, concerts and exhibitions.

See further government guidance on the temporary VAT cut

Time to Pay

Self-assessment taxpayers were given the option to defer payments due in July 2020 and will also be given more time to pay taxes due in January 2021.

Taxpayers with self-assessment liabilities of up to £30,000 can use HMRC’s Time to Pay facility to arrange a payment plan over an additional 12 months. This means liabilities originally due in July 2020 now don’t need to be paid in full until January 2022.

Any self-assessment taxpayer struggling to pay their tax bill on time can use Time to Pay to agree a payment plan. A Time to Pay arrangement is a time-limited deferral period on HMRC liabilities owed, and a pre-agreed time period to repay these. HMRC will also consider cancelling penalties and interest and suspending debt collection proceedings. HMRC will also waive late payment penalties and interest where a business experiences administrative difficulties contacting HMRC or paying taxes due to COVID-19.

Call the Payment Support Services helpline on 0300 200 3835 Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm to discuss any problems and your options.

Alternatively, you can now apply online to set up an online payment plan for tax liabilities of up to £30,000. Previously the limit was £10,000.

Business interruption insurance

The Chancellor also confirmed in March 2020 that government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres etc. was sufficient for businesses to claim on their insurance where they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place.

Plan for jobs

As part of efforts to help the economy bounce back from the effects of lockdown, the Chancellor unveiled a number of measures under his Plan for Jobs in the Summer Statement 2020. These included:

  • The £2bn Kickstart Scheme which will fund six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on universal credit. Payments under the scheme will cover national minimum wage for 25 hours per week, plus national insurance and pension contributions. Employers will be able to apply to be part of the scheme from August 2020 and it is expected to run until December 2021. There will be no limit to the number of placements available under the scheme.
  • £1,000 trainee grants for employers in England who provide trainees aged 16-24 with work experience. The grants are expected to be available from September 2020.
  • Payments for apprenticeships − the government will pay employers in England £2,000 for every new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and £1,500 for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021.

The UK government said it is providing funding to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for similar initiatives.

Getting help from Lloyds Bank

As a bank, we are also committed to protecting our small business customers from the impacts of the coronavirus and have therefore introduced a £2 billion package to help minimise disruption over the coming weeks and months. For more information on the support available please see our dedicated page, where you’ll also find more information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Also, if you are not sure which government support you qualify use the online government tool to help you.

Fishery, aquaculture and agriculture businesses may not qualify for the full interest and fee payment.

All lending is subject to status.

Coronavirus support

Find information and support for your business from accessing your account and managing cash flow to government lending schemes.

COVID-19 Business FAQs

Read our FAQs to find the answers to some of the most pressing questions being asked by business owners.

UK Recovery Tracker

Key insights into the shape and pace of the UK’s economic recovery.

Important legal information

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While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.