Yesterday, the Chancellor announced a further series of measures intended to help businesses struggling under continuing COVID-19 restrictions. The £4.6bn relief package includes:
- One-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the spring
- A £594 million discretionary fund available to support other impacted businesses
- In addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and the extension of the furlough scheme to end of April 2021
- Support packages will be considered further in 3 March 2021 Budget.
CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME (CJRS)
The CJRS was extended to the end of April 2021, a further extension of one month from the end of March.
Employers can continue claim for up to 80% of furloughed employees’ current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Employers will still be required to pay employer national insurance and pension contributions for the hours not worked, that have been claimed for under the scheme. They will continue to pay for hours worked as normal.
The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme remains unchanged and continues to apply equally to the devolved administrations.
CJRS applications for November closed on 14 December; applications for December must be made by 14 January 2021.
It should be noted that shorter deadlines apply for submitting monthly claims, for periods starting on 1 November, of 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, subject to certain conditions.
CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME (CBILS)
The CBILS was extended to 31 March 2021 and provides financial support to smaller businesses across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of COVID-19.
The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees.
Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses that would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility, but would nevertheless have been ineligible for the CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme. This will significantly increase the number of businesses now eligible for the scheme.
For more information on financial support available to employers, refer to the government website link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19