We look at some of the financial initiatives designed to boost a recovering economy.
Loans, grants and overdrafts. There are a range of options available for small and medium-sized businesses looking to safeguard their businesses and maximise their potential in the post-lockdown age.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
If yours is one of the many businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, you could secure finance of up to £5 million. Your business has to be based in the UK and if you want to borrow £30,000 or more, you’ll need to confirm that your company wasn’t classed as a ‘business in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019. Loan terms vary depending on the type of finance you’re approved for and the government has pledged to pay interest and fees for the first 12 months. See details of CBILS at GOV.UK.
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow up to 25% of their turnover and is capped at £50,000. The initiative has proven popular because of its simple application process. No forecasting is necessary and there are no fees, interest or repayments to pay for the first 12 months. Once you’re approved by one of 11 accredited lenders, your business has six years to repay the loan without any early repayment fees. Go to GOV.UK for details of how to apply for a Bounce Back Loan.
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
Workforces have been hit hard by illness and self-isolation over the past few months. Now employers can claim back some of the sick pay they’ve paid their absent staff. Your business could receive up to two weeks statutory sick pay for employees who missed work due to coronavirus. To do so, you’ll need to have a PAYE payroll scheme with fewer than 250 employees and to meet the full criteria listed on the GOV.UK website.
The Future Fund is aimed at innovative businesses. UK-based companies can receive government loans starting from £125,000 and up to £5 million if eligible. Applications are investor-led, and you can confirm if your business qualifies through an online eligibility quiz. Check the GOV.UK website for more details.
Small Business Grant Fund
Businesses that pay little or no business rates could be entitled to a one-off grant of £10,000. Your local council should contact you if your company is based in England, occupies property and if it was eligible for small business rates relief on 11 March 2020. If not, you can try contacting your local authority yourself but first check on the GOV.UK website to see if you’re eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund.