Business support measures

A variety of temporary measures have been introduced at various levels to support businesses through this period of disruption.

Factory building

North Lanarkshire Council has prepared a comprehensive summary of currently available support and details of some support

Wage support / Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least 3 months starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees' (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020 and is open for applications 20 April 2020.

Deferring VAT payments

The UK Government will support businesses by allowing them to defer Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

If you're a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer the payment until a later date.

Paying sick pay

Legislation is being created to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

Employers with fewer than 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020) will be able to claim a refund covering up to 2 weeks' SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.

A rebate scheme is being developed and further details will be provided once the legalisation has passed.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

  • Small and medium sized enterprises can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 on loan terms of up to 6 years
  • 100% UK Government guarantee
  • No fees or interest to pay during the first 12 months
  • If you've already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020
  • This scheme is not available yet. It will launch on 4 May 2020 through a network of accredited lenders

Find out further information

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports small-and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

Sea Fisheries Intervention Fund

The temporary Sea Fisheries Intervention Fund has been set up to provide emergency hardship support for fishing vessels 12m and under in length. The amount granted will be calculated on a case by case basis, based on average monthly gross revenue from sales of fishery products for 2019. The aid will be paid as a lump sum by electronic bank transfer.