Support for Businesses/Employers

Updated 23/02/2021

Government Support for Employers and Businesses

Latest advice from GOV.UK
Latest government support initiatives for businesses

The Chancellor announced an extension to his package of temporary and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through periods of disruption caused by COVID-19.


Furlough Scheme Extended and Further Economic Support announced

In response to the latest national lockdown, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021.

Claims for furlough days in January 2021 must be made by 15 February 2021.

You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.


New Grants for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors

In January 2021, the government announced new one-off grants for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors to businesses closed as a result of the latest restrictions as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

Payments are in addition to existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.

Check if your business is eligible


Bounce Back Loans Scheme

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

  • The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
  • The scheme is open to applications until 31 March 2021.
  • If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • was established before 1 March 2020
  • has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus

If your business was classed as a business in difficulty on 31 December 2019 you’ll need to confirm that you’re complying with additional state aid restrictions.


Temporary VAT cut for accommodation and attractions including museums

From 15 July to 31 March 2021 the reduced (5%) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK, including museums.


Job Retention Bonus for furloughed employees who remain employed until the end of January 2021

£1,000 one-off payment to employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021.


Kickstart Scheme for 6-month placements for unemployed young people

Fund to create high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.

Funding will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus employer NI contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.


Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme  

£1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme that will offer grants to public sector bodies (including schools and hospitals) to fund both energy efficiency and low carbon heat upgrades

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