Government coronavirus help for businesses: summary and eligibility checker

First published: 23 March 2020
Information last updated: 18:00, 27 April 2020

On Thursday 19 March, the UK Government announced a £330bn package of support for businesses. Then on 26 March, the Self Employed Income Support Scheme. These announcements are on top of £30bn for businesses the Chancellor announced during the March 2020 Budget

What’s available and is your small business eligible?
Here’s what’s in this post:

Eligibility checker

Find out if your business is eligible for Government support

The question everyone’s asking is ‘what’s available for my business?’ To help to find out what Government support you might be eligible for, we’ve developed this checker chatbot.

Any business owner can use the eligibility checker: self-employed, sole traders, limited companies and larger organisations.

How it works

The checker chatbot will give you useful links. Then when you finish, it’ll ask for your email address. We’ll email you a link so you can go back to review your chat.

If you have two or more businesses, you can go back to complete the checker for your other businesses.

To get started, choose your reply:

Let us know what you think of the eligibility checker on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter. And if you have friends or contacts who’d find it useful, please share it with them.

Summary: Government coronavirus help for businesses

The Government coronavirus support includes these measures for small businesses:

  1. Bounce Back Loans for small businesses
    Get from £2,000 to £50,000, interest-free for a year and no repayments for the first 12 months.
  2. Grants of £10,000 for small businesses
    The Small Business Grant Scheme is for businesses who get Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
  3. Grants of £10,000 or £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
    The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme is for businesses in these sectors with property which has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  4. Rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure
    Businesses in these sectors and based in England won’t pay business rates for the tax year 2020-2021. You don’t have to do anything – it’ll be applied on your council tax bill in April 2020. There are rates relief schemes in the other nations of the UK but the details are different.
  5. Job Retention Scheme
    The Government will reimburse you for part of the wages or salary for your staff if you’d otherwise have to lay them off during the coronavirus crisis. 
  6. Statutory Sick Pay relief for SMEs
    To allow employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) they pay for sickness absence due to coronavirus. To be eligible, your business must have had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020
  7. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
    This Scheme offers loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  8. Self Employed Income Support Scheme
    For eligible self-employed workers who submitted a tax return for 2018-2019: a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly profits for the last 3 years, up to £2,500 a month
  9. Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility
    For larger companies. The Bank of England will buy short-term debt to support companies affected by a short-term funding squeeze.
  10. HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
    For businesses and self-employed in financial distress, and owing money to HMRC. These businesses and individuals might be eligible for support, for example a longer time to repay what they owe. 

If you have questions…

If you have questions about Government support for businesses during the coronavirus crisis, here are three steps to finding the answer:

  1. Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)
    This page lists all the Government support with links to more detail who’s eligible and how to apply.
  2. Business support FAQs
    If the webpage doesn’t answer your questions, try this page with FAQs about everything from how to protect your staff and how to help fight and treat the virus, to insurance and how long businesses must stay closed. The FAQs are part of the Government’s new COVID-19 Business Support website.
  3. Call the Government Business Support helpline
    If the webpage or the FAQs don’t answer your questions, you can call the new Government helpline on 0300 456 3565 (national rate number, call charges apply). It’s open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. Bear in mind it’s likely to be extremely busy.
    If your business is based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can call a dedicated Government helpline in your nation: list of all helpline numbers

Have your say

How is the coronavirus affecting you and your small business? We’re keen to hear from you – get in touch with us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter.

Coronavirus mailing group
Be among the first to know how to access Government aid and help from Tide.
For updates direct to your inbox, join our mailing group.

Photo of the Bank of England, London, by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Suzanne Worthington

Suzanne Worthington

Senior Writer