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Coronavirus

UK practical business advice: COVID-19

Last updated: 6 January 2021, with updated information on the government's one-off grants of up to £9,000 to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

We have provided a quick summary of UK government support and guidance from ICAEW to help you secure the advice and assistance you need.

You can read the latest advice and guidance from government for businesses on its coronavirus pages.

We will be updating this page on a continuous basis to keep you, your business and your clients informed with all the latest information. For tax specific advice you may also want to visit the tax section of ICAEW's coronavirus hub. 

Business Support Finder

The government's Business Support Finder Tool is aimed at helping businesses navigate the range of financial support they are eligible for during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Government logo and the words 'Coronavirus' and 'Emergency support for businesses'

Employers

ICAEW guidance

Job Support Scheme
An overview of the UK government's support scheme for employers to follow the closure of the CJRS. The Job Support Scheme will subsidise up to 22% of the wages of employees forced to work reduced hours due to COVID-19.

Job Retention Bonus
Learn the key details of the UK scheme which will provide employers with £1,000 one off payment for each previously furloughed employee that remains in continuous employment up until 31 January 2021.

Guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Essential information on the UK government's key support scheme for employers, including changes from September, flexible furloughing, key dates, how to apply and who isn't covered by CJRS. This guidance also provides links to useful resources, such as an example claim form, and further support from ICAEW and HMRC.

Overview of CJRS
General information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, how to apply and who is excluded from the scheme.

CJRS - emerging issues and answers
The Tax Faculty provided a summary of issues that have emerged since the launch of CJRS and the answers that HMRC has provided. Issues covered, include: the requirement for a national insurance number; what furloughed directors can do; annual payroll periods and employment allowance.

Government guidance

Latest news articles

CJRS extended and changed for new lockdown
1 November: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until December, with furloughed employees to receive 80% of salary for hours not worked and businesses asked only to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions. 

Winter economy plan: round-up of key points
25 September: Rishi Sunak has unveiled a range of measures to stave off the threat of mass unemployment, including a new Job Support Scheme which will contribute to some workers' wages from November.

Helpsheets

Engagement letters helpsheet: Part 2 J-C Furlough grant claim services
Sample wording for claiming the coronavirus job retention scheme grant on behalf of clients, for practitioners and businesses. This is a supplementary schedule to the main engagement letter helpsheet.

External resources

Acas Furlough letter template
Selection of templates (including new versions covering flexible furlough) for an agreement to temporarily send home an employee because there's no work ('furlough'). Free to download and use.

Employment legal advice
Legal advice for employers during coronavirus provided by Edwin Coe LLP.

All businesses

ICAEW guidance

CJRS extended and changed for new lockdown
1 November: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until December, with furloughed employees to receive 80% of salary for hours not worked and businesses asked only to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions.

Winter economy plan: round-up of key points
25 September: Rishi Sunak has unveiled a range of measures, including a new Job Support Scheme, an extension of SEISS, VAT and SA deferral, loan extensions, and extension of insolvency measures.

New grants for businesses hit by local lockdowns
10 September: Government ministers have announced new grants of up to £1,500 to help businesses shut down by local lockdowns or targeted restrictions. 

COVID-19: VAT and self assessment payment deferral
The UK government is supporting businesses during the coronavirus pandemic by deferring VAT and self assessment payments. ICAEW's Tax Faculty outlines how the deferral will work.

COVID-19: Support on negotiating time to pay
Useful tips on how to negotiate with HMRC from the Tax Faculty, as they seek seeks further clarification on the support for businesses having difficulty paying tax bills due to COVID-19.

Government guidance

Self-employed

ICAEW guidance

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership in the UK and have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19) this scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth a percentage of your trading profits. This guidance covers how to apply for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), including information on eligibility, how to apply, time periods covered and changes to the scheme.

Government guidance

Micro and small businesses

ICAEW guidance

Future Fund - government funding to match private investment
Update 6 November: Companies that secure private investment can attract up to £5m on a matched basis from the government’s Future Fund. The scheme will be open for new applications until 31 January 2021.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme: what you need to know
6 November 2020: smaller businesses impacted by coronavirus can apply online for funding support of up to £50,000 via the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), if certain eligibility criteria are met. Flexible repayments (Pay as you Grow) were announced in September. New applications may be made until 31 January 2021. 

Cash grants for businesses receiving small business rate relief - coronavirus
There are cash grants available for businesses receiving Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief through the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Government guidance

Latest news articles

BEIS launches new SME leadership schemes
6 August: A brace of schemes aimed at helping SMEs in England improve their leadership skills while learning with and from their peers have been launched by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

External resources

Recovery Advice for Business scheme
The Recovery Advice for Business scheme gives small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert to help them through the pandemic and prepare for long-term recovery. Advice offered includes accountancy, legal, advertising, marketing, recruitment and digital.

Small Business Leadership Programme
Funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and delivered by university business schools, this free online programme helps SMEs enhance their resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

Peer Networks
A free peer-to-peer virtual networking programme for SMEs supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and delivered locally by the network of Growth Hubs across England.

Medium-sized businesses

ICAEW guidance

Future Fund - government funding to match private investment
6 November 2020: Companies that secure private investment can attract up to £5m on a matched basis from the government’s Future Fund. The scheme will be open for new applications until 31 January 2021. 

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: revised
9 November 2020: the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides support for businesses to access funding if certain eligibility criteria are met. From September, new guidance regarding the ‘undertaking in difficulty’ test could mean that more companies will be eligible. The deadline for new applications is 31 January 2021. 

Government guidance

Large businesses

ICAEW guidance

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Updated 6 November 2020: the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provides funding support for businesses with annual turnover of more than £45m, if certain eligibility criteria are met. New applications may be made until 31 January 2021. 

Lending facility for larger firms - coronavirus
The Bank of England’s direct lending facility for larger businesses, the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), is open for applications via banks.

Government guidance

Specific business sectors

Latest news articles

Chancellor reveals new lockdown grants for retail and hospitality firms

6 January 2021: One-off grants of up to £9,000 per property will be paid to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors as the government outlined a new £4.6bn package of measures to help businesses through the latest lockdown.

Government guidance

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Government FAQs

Read government’s Frequently asked questions that will be regularly updated according to the latest advice and guidance.

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Government COVID-19 website

You can read the latest advice and guidance from government for businesses on its coronavirus pages.