Government grants and schemes to help small businesses during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis

Wondering what financial support you can claim to help your business through the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis? In this guide you’ll find a handy list of the main grants and schemes that the government has introduced to help UK businesses and self-employed workers.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme was a temporary initiative that aimed to provide financial support to self-employed people whose businesses were affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

Read more about the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the ‘furlough’ scheme) is a temporary initiative that allows employers to access financial support to pay part of their employees’ wages. The government introduced the initiative in March 2020 to enable employers to retain employees who they may otherwise have been forced to lay off during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

Important: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closed on 30th September 2021. Employers can no longer claim for wages that they paid to furloughed or flexibly furloughed employees when the scheme was in effect.

Read more about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was an initiative designed to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis to secure loans of up to £50,000.

Read more about the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is an initiative designed to repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Important: The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme closed at the end of September 2021, but employers are still able to claim for employees who were off work during the final month of the scheme, so long as they do so on or before 31st December 2021.

Read more about the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

Time To Pay

Time To Pay is a service that allows businesses or individuals to agree an alternative payment plan with HMRC if they are having difficulty paying a tax bill.

If a business cannot pay a tax bill as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis it may be able to defer payment, depending on the type of tax bill in question.

Read more about HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

Changes to existing rules

The government has also amended a few existing rules temporarily in order to provide support to small business owners. Click through to read more about these temporary rule changes on HMRC’s website:

Find out about all the grants available to small businesses on the government's website.

You can also keep up to date with the latest news about the government’s support measures for small businesses during the pandemic on the FreeAgent blog.

Disclaimer: The content included in this guide is based on our understanding of tax law at the time of publication. It may be subject to change and may not be applicable to your circumstances, so should not be relied upon. You are responsible for complying with tax law and should seek independent advice if you require further information about the content included in this guide. If you don't have an accountant, take a look at our directory to find a FreeAgent Practice Partner based in your local area.