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Government support schemes extended

A number of government support schemes designed to support employers, employees and business owners through the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic have been extended this week. Here’s a roundup of the latest updates.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Also known as the ‘furlough’ scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is a temporary initiative that allows employers to access financial support to pay part of their employees’ wages. Today, the government announced an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until 31st March 2021.

Under the extended scheme, eligible employers will be able to claim 80% of an employee's normal wages for the hours that the employee does not work during November. Employees will be paid this amount, along with any optional top-up payment that the employer wishes to make. The government will review the scope of the scheme again in January 2021.

The Job Support Scheme will begin when the CJRS closes. The Job Retention Bonus, which had been designed to encourage employers to bring furloughed employees back to work, will not be paid in February 2021. The government has stated that it will “redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time”.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The government has also expanded the scope of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Eligible self-employed business owners will now have the opportunity to receive a grant for up to 80% of their business's average trading profits for the months of November 2020, December 2020 and January 2021. This grant will be capped at a total of £7,500.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is an initiative introduced by the government to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis to secure loans of up to £50,000. Earlier this week, the deadline for applying for the scheme was extended from 30th November 2020 to 31st January 2021.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is designed to help UK businesses access bank loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance during the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has extended the deadline for applications to this scheme from 30th November 2020 to 31st January 2021.

For the latest news about the coronavirus crisis and its impact on small businesses, take a look at our small business coronavirus hub.

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