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Financial support for businesses and self employed

Find out what financial help you can get for your business or if you are self employed.

Local Restrictions Support Grant

On 22 October the Chancellor announced a new grant scheme for businesses in COVID alert level high areas. Lewisham is in COVID alert level high.

The grant will support businesses which are not legally closed but are severely impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.

We expect the grant to be available to some eligible businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector.

The grant will have retrospective effect. So businesses can backdate the grant to the date alert level high restrictions were applied.

We will provide more information on the grant and how to apply shortly.

For any additional information please email economyandpartnerships@lewisham.gov.uk

Bounce Back Loan for small and medium sized businesses

Small and medium sized businesses will be able to access the Bounce Back Loan scheme. This scheme will allow small and medium sized businesses to apply for loans of up to £50,000. The Government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first for the first 12 months. The loan terms will be up to 6 years and there will be no repayments due in the first 12 months. Read more about the Bounce Back Loan.

Help if you are self employed

If you are self-employed and have lost income, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Self-Employment Income Support Scheme offering a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months.

This grant extension is for self-employed people who are currently eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and are still working, but are facing less demand due to coronavirus.

The first payment will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January 2021. This is worth 20% of your average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875.
A second grant will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April 2021.

Read more about the scheme and see if you can apply.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Via the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme firms with a turnover of more than £45 million can apply for up to £25 million of finance, while firms with a turnover of more than £250 million can apply for up to £50 million of finance. This scheme has been established to support firms that do not qualify for the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If your business is eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme you can now make an application online.

Job support for businesses who are facing lower demand due to COVID-19

The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on 1 November 2020, has been postponed as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until December.

The scheme will run for six months.

Under the scheme, the Government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer hours due to decreased demand.

Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work. For the hours not worked, the Government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary.

This means employees who can only go back to work on less hours will still be paid two thirds of the hours that they can’t work.

Employees must be working at least 33% of their usual hours. The grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary. It is capped at £697.92 per month.

The Job Support Scheme will be open to UK businesses even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme.

It is designed to sit alongside the Jobs Retention Bonus and could be worth over 60% of the average wage of workers who have been furloughed – and are kept on until the start of February 2021. Businesses can benefit from both schemes in order to help protect jobs.

 Read more about the Job Support Scheme

Tax cuts and deferrals

Hospitality and tourism

The Government will extend the temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors until the end of March 2021. This will allow businesses to maintain staff as they adapt to a new trading environment.

Business owners

Up to half a million businesses who delayed their VAT bills will be given more time to pay through the New Payment Scheme. You will be able to pay back tax in smaller instalments.
Rather than paying a lump sum at the end March 2021, you will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year.

Self employed

Around 11 million self-assessment taxpayers have a 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility. This means payments from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will not need to be paid until January 2022.

Coronavirus loan schemes that have been extended

Businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan through the Pay as You Grow repayment system will have more time to pay it back.

These loans will be extended from six to ten years, cutting monthly repayments in half.

Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses. This will further protect jobs by helping businesses recover from the pandemic.
We will also give the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.

The chancellor also announced that he would be extending applications for the government’s coronavirus loan schemes until the end of November 2020.

This means that more businesses will be able to benefit from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund. This change applies to all the end dates of these schemes, ensuring that there is further support in place for those firms who need it.

Free advice for businesses at the London Business Hub

The London Business Hub provides free advice to help with any issues that your business may be facing.

The London Business Hub will provide access to our free business support programmes, webinars and events. For established businesses, the London Business Hub offers one-to-one support and meetings with business advisers who are based at Hubs across the capital. These advisors can help work out your business’s next steps, create a plan of action and provides resources, support and initiatives.

The London Business Hub is supported by the Mayor of London and funded by the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), the Mayor of London and the European Regional Development Fund.

Visit the London Business Hub website.

Government guidance for businesses

Guidance for employees, employers and businesses.

Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance.

The Government’s business rates and retail discounts guidance.

The Government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance on business support and grant funding.

Guidance about working safely during Coronavirus outbreak.

Business closures and stay at home frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Guidance for food businesses on Coronavirus.

Guidance for food delivery and take away services.

Guidance for reducing the risk of Legionnaires’ disease during lockdown.