The UK government has made an unprecedented attempt to keep businesses afloat during the pandemic. As restrictions ease many of the government-backed funding schemes have closed for new applications or are winding down.

However there are some that are still available. On this page you will find an update of these and links to more information about each one.


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Page updated: 11 August 2021 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme)

Deadline: Extended until 30 September 2021

The government’s furlough scheme, offering support to employees out of work due to the pandemic, was due to close on 31 October 2020 and had already been extended to the end of April 2021. It will now run to the end of September 2021.

To the end of June 2021, furloughed workers received 80% of their wages paid for by the government, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers could top this up to 100% but were under no obligation to do so. 

In July 2021, the government reduced its support from 80% to 70% up to a maximum of £2,187.50 per month with employers required to contribute the balance of 10%, together with NI and pension contributions, so their employees still received 80% of their wages.

From 1 August 2021, until the scheme ends on 30 September, employers are required to contribute 20% of their employees’ unworked wages up to £625; the government will contribute 60% up to £1,875 per month.

More information can be found on the website


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Deadline: 30 September 2021

The fifth and final SEISS grant can be claimed by individuals who think their business profits will be impacted by the pandemic between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021.The level of grant available is determined by a new turnover test. 

The grant is 80% of three months' average trading profits capped at £7,500 for those whose turnover has reduced by 30% or more. Those with a turnover reduction of less than 30% will receive a grant based on 30% of three month's average trading profits, capped at £2,850.

Individuals will be eligible to claim if they:

  • submitted their 2019/20 self assessment tax return by 2 March 2021
  • traded in the tax years 2019/20 and 2020/21
  • are currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus, or have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
  • intend to continue to trade in 2021/22, and
  • reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in their trading profits* due to the impact of coronavirus in the period from 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021. The expected reduction should be due to reduced demand or because you are temporarily unable to trade in that period.

* trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least half of their total income for either the tax year 2019/20 or the average of the tax years 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20.

For the turnover test, claimants will need to provide two turnover figures for:

  • the pandemic period - the turnover figure required is for a 12 month period starting on any date between 1 and 6 April 2020. The figure should exclude coronavirus support payments eg previous SEISS grants, local authority grants etc)
  • the reference period - in most cases this will be the turnover figures from the 2019/20 tax return but if this was not a normal year there is an option to use 2018/19. For businesses with an accounting period longer or shorter than 12 months there is the provision to adjust the turnover figure.

Businesses who started trading in 2019/20 will not be required to provide turnover figures and will receive a grant based on 80% of trading profits.

As with previous SEISS grants, the amount will be liable to tax and Class 4 NIC and need to be included on the 2021-22 tax return.

To find out more and make a claim visit the website


Recovery Loan Scheme (RSL)

Deadline: 31 December 2021

The RLS, aimed at helping businesses recover and grow, opened on 6 April 2021 and is due to run until the end of the year. The scheme, which replaced previous government business loan schemes (CBILS and BBLS) which closed at the end of March 2021, is available on similar terms and offers a government-backed guarantee of up to 80% to the lender. The business remains 100% liable for repayment of the debt.

RSL offers loans up to £10m per business. Term loans and asset finance facilities are available on repayment terms of up to six years and overdrafts and invoice finance facilities for up to three years. The money can be used for any legitimate business purpose, such as cash flow, investment, and growth.

To be eligible business must be trading in the uk and generate more than 50% of their turnover from the sale of goods or services. They must show they have been adversely affected by the pandemic and would otherwise be viable.

The provision of a business plan, details of assets or historical accounts to prove creditworthiness may be required by the lender. Businesses that have already borrowed from other government-backed loan schemes are still eligible but this may affect the amount they can borrow under the RLS.

The scheme is available through lenders accredited by the British Business Bank.

Our latest blog post has more information about the RSL.


VAT Rate Reduction for Hospitality, Holiday Accommodation and Attractions

End Date: 31 March 2022

The reduced VAT rate of 5% will be extended until 30 September 2021. Following this, an interim rate of 12.5% will be in place for a further six months with the standard rate of 20% returning in April 2022.

Businesses can check which sectors are eligible for the temporary reduced rate on the website


Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and Other Discretionary Grants and Funding

The ARG provides local councils with grant funding to support businesses that are severely impacted by restrictions. Eligibility for the grant is determined by the council and businesses should apply to them directly. 

Businesses can also speak to their local authority about business rates payment deferrals.

Other support grants and funding are being administered by local authorities and information is provided on their website. The government has a ‘find your local council’ tool on its website for those wishing to check what’s available in their area.

Businesses in our local area can view a list of grants and funding on Hampshire County Council’s website.


Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

Employers can claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) they’ve paid for employees who are off sick, self isolating or shielding because of coronavirus. This scheme will cover up to 2 weeks of SSP for every eligible employee.

Employers are eligible if both of the following apply to their business:

  • it’s based in the UK
  • it has had fewer than 250 employees since 28 February 2020

More information and how to make a claim can be found on the website


Support for Businesses Paying Tax: Time to Pay Service

Businesses unable to pay their tax bill on time because of coronavirus, may be able to delay it without a penalty using HMRC’s Time to Pay service. The arrangement covers income tax, corporation tax, PAYE/NI and VAT.

To be eligible the business must:

  • pay tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

Details on how to arrange to payment plan with HMRC are on the website

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