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COVID-19 schemes extended to support businesses through second lockdown

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include: all non-essential retail, indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, entertainment venues and personal care facilities. View a full list of businesses that must close. Due to these closures, the Prime Minister has announced changes and extensions to many of the existing support packages available to businesses.

In order to secure jobs across the UK, The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the Furlough Scheme, which was due to end on 31st October has been extended to March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. Due to the extension of the CJRS, the Government has withdrawn the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus and will look to deploy a retention incentive in due course.

Financial support packages put together by the Government will also continue. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme can provide small businesses access to a fast-tracked finance scheme that provides loans of up to £50,000 with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders. It has been extended until 31st January 2021. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which helps SMEs access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million, has also been extended until the 31st January 2021. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant has been extended and increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. A Government-backed loan scheme for large businesses affected by COVID-19 has been expanded to cover all viable firms. The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme is available until 31st January 2021 and can help medium and large sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200 million. In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

So far this year, the furlough scheme has protected over nine million jobs across the UK, and self-employed people have received over £13 billion in support. This is in addition to billions of pounds in tax deferrals and grants for businesses, all with the aim to protect, create and support jobs.

At Exemplas, we’ve been providing trusted, expert, advice to SMEs for over 25 years. We know this year has been a challenging time for many businesses across the UK, and through our delivery of public sector contracts, we’ve been supporting them through this continuing uncertain landscape.

Further information on our programmes and services

Hertfordshire Growth Hub

Enterprise Europe Network East of England

Department of International Trade East of England

Department of International Trade Yorkshire and Humber

Ellenbrooke Consultancy and Training