Lockdown 3.0 – what support is available for business?

2021 didn’t quite start out as most of us had hoped, with the country going back into a national lockdown just four days into the start of the New Year. Whilst it’s no longer a case of navigating unchartered territory, many businesses are still facing the same challenges due to reduced demand or enforced closure during another lockdown.  

So, what support is available to business this time around?  

Job Retention Scheme   

The Job Retention Scheme, or furloughing as it’s more commonly known, has been extended through to the end of April 2021.  

Key points of the Job Retention Scheme:  

  • All employers are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme.  
  • As long as the employee was on payroll at 23:59 on 30 October 2020, they can be furloughed.   
  • Employees do not have to have been previously furloughed to be eligible.  
  • Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time.  
  • If employers fully furlough employees, the government will pay 80% of their current salary up to £2,500.  
  • If employers choose to flexibly furlough, the government will cover 80% of the hours not worked. 
  • Employers must pay all National Insurance and employer pension contributions.   
  • Employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.  
  • Employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.  
  • Employers must make claims for each month by the 14th of the following month e.g. claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021. 

Third Self Employment Income Support Grant 

The online service for the third grant is available. You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021. You can make you claim here

There will be a fourth grant covering February 2021 to April 2021. Details will set out further details, including the level of the fourth grant in due course. 

Extension to Government Backed Loan Schemes  

 There has been a further extension to the application deadlines for the CBILS and BBLS as well as the CLBILS and Future Fund, giving people more opportunity to access funding if they need it. These schemes will now be extended until the end of March 2021.  

The government has also announced existing Bounce Back loans can be topped up if businesses did not apply for their maximum in their application (to the maximum under the scheme rules) should they need additional finance. Check out our FAQ page on Bounce Back Loans for more information. 

Grants  

Rishi Sunak has announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. 

A further £594 million is also being made available for other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities; however, most are yet to receive details of these grants. For businesses in Coventry City Council, information will be updated here when available. For business in Warwick District council, information will be updated here

For any queries about the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme or any of the other government support measures, contact the team on 01926 422292 or email info@hboltd.co.uk  

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