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Coronavirus

UK practical business advice: COVID-19

Last updated: 10 August 2020, with updated information on new SME leadership schemes launched by BEIS and the Job Retention Bonus.

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

Guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Essential information on the UK government's key support scheme for employers, including: changes from 1 July, 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 to 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

Summer Statement serves up jobs-first package
9 July 2020: the Chancellor’s Summer Statement put forward a plan for jobs, green investment and a variety of targeted tax cuts, but also signalled a clear intention to wean businesses off government support.

£1k job retention scheme bonus for employers
8 July 2020: Employers who retain staff for three months after the furlough scheme ends will receive £1,000 government ‘bonus’ for each employee, the Chancellor has announced.

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

Corporate insolvency bill: a vital lifeline for business
The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 26 June. The new rules give businesses a minimum of 20 days of protection from certain creditor actions, with an insolvency practitioner acting in the role of monitor.

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 first taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits and a second grant at 70% of three months of trading profits. This guidance covers how to apply for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), including information on the pre-application phase, the eligibility checker and disputes.

Government guidance

Micro and small businesses

ICAEW guidance

Future Fund - government funding to match private investment
Companies that secure private investment can attract up to £5m on a matched basis from the government's Future Fund. The eligibility criteria was amended on 30 June to include innovative companies that participate in accelerator programmes based outside the UK.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme: what you need to know
Smaller businesses impacted by coronavirus are now able to apply for funding support of up to £50,000 via the Bounce Back Loan Scheme if certain eligibility criteria are met.

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
Companies that secure private investment can attract up to £5m on a matched basis from the government's Future Fund. The eligibility criteria was amended on 30 June to include innovative companies that participate in accelerator programmes based outside the UK.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: revised
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), introduced on 23 March and revised on 2 April, provides support for businesses to access funding if certain eligibility criteria are met. 

Government guidance

Large businesses

ICAEW guidance

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provides financial support to mid-sized and larger UK businesses with annual turnover above £45 million that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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

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.