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Covid-19 advice for businesses

COVID-19 business loans and advice

Self – Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension

The government will provide two taxable SEISS grants to support those experiencing reduced demand due to COVID-19 but are continuing to trade, or temporarily cannot trade.

It will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS grant one and grant two and meets the eligibility criteria.

View Government news on the SEISS Grant Extension

Job Support Scheme

The JSS starts to operate from 1 November and covers all Nations of the UK. For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual salary.

The government will provide up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to £1541.75 per month (more than doubling the maximum payment of £697.92 under the previous rules). The cap is set above-median earnings for employees in August at a reference salary of £3,125 per month.

View Government news regarding the Job Support Scheme

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan 

  • The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.
  • The Government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won't be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. 
  • Loan terms will be up for 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The Government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. 
  • The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders. 

View Government guidance on the Bounce Back Loan

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims.

 Government guidance on the Job Retention Scheme

Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

Support to businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs

The government will bring forward legislation to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  1. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  2. Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  3. Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  4. Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
  5. Eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to self-isolators comes into force
  6. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible. Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

The new Scheme supports SMEs with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value and for up to 6 years. The government will pay to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will not face any upfront costs and will benefit from lower initial repayments. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. This scheme is being delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the British Business Bank. The scheme is now open for applications.

View the latest information on the British Business Bank website

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will support large businesses, with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million, to access loans of up to £25 million. This scheme will help large businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access loans of up to £25 million.

View Government guidance on the CLBILS

Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility 

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

View Government guidance on the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Financial Distress

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

Business support/advice from the SEMLEP Growth Hub

The current business environment is understandably a challenging one for our local businesses and their staff. The SEMLEP recognise and understand that coronavirus is likely to be causing concern and possible disruption to businesses of all sizes for the foreseeable future. To speak to an advisor, please visit the SEMLEP Growth Hub website,

SEMLEP Redundancy Support

If you've been made redundant, it can be difficult to know how to move your career forward. SEMLEP have worked with organisations across the area to identify the fully funded support available to help you. From writing your CV to starting your own business, access advice and support to help you get back into the world of work. For more information, please visit the SEMLEP website.

Government Employment Support

The Department for Works & Pensions is currently focusing on ensuring that anyone who finds themselves out of work as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak is able to claim benefits easily and quickly.

View Government news on support for employees, benefit claimants and businesses

COVID-19 Guidance for the Charity Sector

Understandably, charities are concerned about what to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, so we have set out our response to the most commonly asked questions. We want to assure charities that our approach to regulation during this uncertain period will be as flexible and pragmatic as possible in the public interest, whilst helping trustees to be aware of and think about the wider or longer impact of their decisions on their charity.

View Government guidance for the Charity Sector during COVID-19

Advice and Guidance from the Federation of Small Businesses

In response to COVID-19, the Federation of Small Businesses has written a range of online articles to support your business during the outbreak.

View the latest guidance from the Federation of Small Businesses

Business Support Helpline

Business Support Helpline (England)
Telephone: 0300 456 3565
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

Northampton Borough Council are closely monitoring the situation and will update this page as and when further Government guidance is released.