The fastest way to find what you want is to scroll down to the the FAQ's and Index sections.
More articles and news on grants and support appear in our blog pages too.
For further guidance call 01995 600 600, or email our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more here on reopening businesses and venues in England, and the full 60 page Covid Spring 2021 document can be accessed here.
To manage this risk, establishments in the following sectors, whether indoor or outdoor venues or mobile settings, must request contact details from staff, customers and visitors, and display the official NHS QR code poster:
You must ask every customer or visitor to scan the NHS QR code using their NHS COVID-19 app, or provide their name and contact details, not just a lead member of the group.
hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades
close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
community centres, libraries and village halls
A full list of organisations within scope in these sectors can be found in annex A.
Failure to comply
Collecting contact details and maintaining records for NHS Test and Trace is a legal requirement and failure to comply is punishable by a fine:
first fixed penalty: £1,000
second fixed penalty: £2,000
third fixed penalty: £4,000
any further penalty notice: £10,000
The person responsible for the organisation is liable. This could be the owner, proprietor or manager with overall responsibility of the organisation, business or service.
INDEX OF CONTENT
RESTART AND ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS GRANTS
JOB RETENTION SCHEME
MORTGAGES AND 95% HELP TO BUY
GRANTS FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES
RESTART GRANTS IN ENGLAND
Many Local Authorities will now require another application from local businesses in April, before issuing any of the Restart Grants, which range from £2,667 to £18,000.
Council officials and business owners alike had hoped that the need for a formal application process could be negated, as the recipients of the Restart Grant are the very same businesses whom the councils already had on their application and payment database for the LRSG Closed grant, which closed to applicants on March 31.
However, after central government insisted the L.A.'s confirm additional elements of data which they don't hold for future audit purposes, including the precise number of employees and the SIC codes for the category of business, some, though not all councils have determined they will regrettably need another application process.
The application forms for the Restart Grant are now live.
The links to the latest information in your area and application form pages from a number of Local Authorities in our area is below, or alternatively there's a link to the national postcode checker if your business is further afield.
Here's a reminder of the grant level per sector, based on the rateable value of your premises and your business sector.
RATES VALUATION UNDER £15k £15-£51k ABOVE £51k
NON- ESSENTIAL RETAIL £2,667 £ 4,000 £ 6,000
PERSONAL CARE £8,000 £12,000 £18,000
HOSPITALITY £8,000 £12,000 £18,000
ACCCOMODATION £8,000 £12,000 £18,000
LEISURE £8,000 £12,000 £18,000
GYMS £8,000 £12,000 £18,000
For non-rateable businesses, or rateable business that are open but seeing a severe drop in demand, the Additional Restrictions Grant can provide support.
Closed businesses that do not have a rateable value
Closed business that have costs that are significantly higher
Businesses that are open and severely impacted rather than closed.
However, Local Authorities have the freedom to determine the precise eligibility criteria for these grants. Each council has been given the opportunity to make it's own decision on eligibility priorities locally.
Some councils have chosen to make a recurring payment to those business who were awarded an ARG payment from the November/December round of applications, others have asked those businesses not to apply again and their case will be considered. Check your own councils website below for applications instructions for ARG Round 2 in your area.
All English local authorities will share £425 million of additional discretionary grant funding, but local councils were told on March 9, that they must spend all the remaining funds from the previous rounds of the Additional Restrictions Grant by June 30 , before any additional funds are released, as their pro-rata share of £425m made available in the budget. Previous guidance from BEIS has told councils that they must ensure the exisiting A.R.G funding would provide support to March 2022.
There has also been no confirmation that the funding ratio previously applied of £20 per head of population will still apply. Until Local Authorities have confirmation of that amount, they don't want to leave themselves short of funds, that may be needed to support local businesses through to March 2022, and for the moment that instruction from central government stands.
Rishi Sunak announced in March 2021 that he believed 70% of the existing funding remained unspent, whilst the guidance on the level of Additional Restrictions Fund now states
Local Authorities may want to take into account:-
businesses outside of the business rates system
businesses that have not received any other grant support
the level of fixed costs of the business
the number of employees the business has
whether it is unable to trade online
the consequent scale of coronavirus losses.
The current eligibility criteria for the A.R.G. and the applications forms needed appear on the relevant pages below.
The online service to claim the fourth grant is now live.
If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, HMRC will contact you in mid-April to give you a date that you can make your claim from. It will be given to you either by email, letter or within the online service.
You’ll need to confirm you meet other eligibility criteria when you make your claim. You must make your claim on or before 1 June 2021.
The fourth grant covers 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021.
You can follow these steps to help you understand what you can do now.
Find out who can claim
Check that your business has been impacted by coronavirus.
Find out how HMRC works out your grant.
Find out what happens after you’ve claimed.
This webinar takes you through the aim of the scheme, who can apply, how much you may be entitled to, how to claim the fourth grant, and what happens after you have claimed.
WHO CAN CLAIM?
To be eligible for the fourth grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.
You must have traded in both tax years:
2019 to 2020 and submitted your tax return on or before 2 March 2021
2020 to 2021
You must either:
be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
You must also declare that you:
intend to continue to trade
reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits
In order to claim the fourth grant, you must reasonably believe that you’ll suffer a significant reduction in trading profits, due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021.
You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.
HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your business will have a significant reduction in profits.
Before you make a claim, you must decide if the impact on your business between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021 will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits for the tax year you report them in.
HMRC cannot make this decision for you because your individual and wider business circumstances will need to be considered when deciding whether the reduction is significant.
You should wait until you have a reasonable belief that your trading profits are going to be significantly reduced, before you make your claim.
You do not have to consider any other coronavirus scheme support payments that you have received when deciding if you’ve had a significant reduction in your trading profits.
There are some examples that can help you decide and we break these down at the foot of the page.
How HMRC works out your eligibility based on your tax returns
To work out your eligibility for the fourth grant we’ll first look at your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to or more than your non-trading income.
If you’re not eligible based on your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment tax return, we’ll then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.
Find out more information on how HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income for the self-employment income support scheme.
How different circumstances affect the scheme
There are some circumstances that can affect your eligibility such as if:
If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.
Find out more information on how your circumstances affect your eligibility.
HOW MUCH YOU WILL GET
The fourth grant is calculated at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits. It will be paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. How much you receive will depend on your average trading profits.
We’ll work out your average trading profits using up to 4 years’ of submitted tax returns. This may affect the amount you’ll get which could be higher or lower than your previous grants.
We’ll take into account trading profits from the 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020 tax years. If you have a gap in the years you have traded, we’ll only use your most recent returns after the gap to work out the grant.
This is an example of how we’ll work out how much grant you’ll get if your average trading profits were £42,000 over the last 4 tax years.
Start with your average trading profit (£42,000).
Divide by 12 = £3,500.
Multiply by 3 = £10,500.
Work out 80% of £10,500 = £8,400. You’ll receive £7,500 due to the cap.
Find out more information on how HMRC work out your trading profits.
HMRC look at your trading profits and non-trading income on your Self Assessment tax returns to check if you meet the eligibility criteria for the fourth grant.
We also use your average trading profits to work out how much grant you’ll get.
HOW TO CLAIM
You must make the claim yourself. You must not ask a tax agent or adviser to claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, which will delay your payment.
HMRC will check claims. We’ll take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments for claims found to be dishonest or inaccurate. If you know you’re not eligible for the grant and do not tell us, you may also have to pay a penalty.
Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.
If an amendment to your tax return on or after the 3 March 2021 lowers the grant amount you’re eligible for, you’ll need to tell us within 90 days. You may need to pay back some or all of the grant.
We’ll provide more information by mid May 2021 about what to do if you’re not sure if your grant amount has reduced.
Return to your claim
If you need to return to your claim, you can:
check the status of your payment
update your bank details if we have asked you to
check how much you got for previous grants
check to see if you think the grant amount is too low
After you’ve claimed
We’ll check your claim and pay your grant into your bank account within 6 working days. We’ll send an email when your payment is on its way.
Do not contact us unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made your claim and you have not received your payment in that time.
If your business recovers after you’ve claimed, your eligibility will not be affected as this is based on your reasonable belief that your trading profits would have been significantly reduced at the time you made your claim. You must keep evidence to support this.
If you made a claim in error as you were not eligible for a grant or would like to make a voluntary repayment, tell HMRC and pay some or all of the grant back.
Records you need to keep
You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including the:
grant claim reference
If you’re currently trading but have reduced demand
You must keep any evidence that your business has had reduced activity, capacity or demand due to coronavirus at the time you made your claim, such as:
business accounts showing reduction in activity compared to previous years
records of reduced or cancelled contracts or appointments
a record of dates where you had reduced demand or capacity due to government restrictions
If your business is temporarily unable to trade
You must keep evidence if your business has been unable to trade due to coronavirus, such as:
a record of dates where you had to close due to government restrictions
NHS Test and Trace communications - if you’ve been instructed to self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and are unable to work from home
a letter or email from the NHS asking you to shield
test results if you’ve been diagnosed with coronavirus
letters or emails from your child’s school with information on closures or reduced hours
You can check a list of genuine HMRC contacts if you receive any suspicious texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC as this may be a scam.
TAXING THE GRANT
The grant is subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance Contributions. It must be reported on your 2021 to 2022 Self Assessment tax return.
The grant also counts towards your annual allowance for pension contributions.
SEISS grants are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.
SEISS GRANT FIVE
There will be a fifth grant covering May 2021 to September 2021.
Guidance on how to claim the fifth grant will be provided in due course.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
To claim the fourth grant you must have been
impacted by reduced activity, capacity and demand or
been previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so.
What we mean by impacted by reduced activity, capacity and demand
This applies to your business if it has been impacted by reduced activity, capacity or demand due to coronavirus. For example, you:
have fewer customers or clients than you’d normally expect, resulting in reduced activity due to social distancing or government restrictions
have one or more contracts that have been cancelled and not replaced
carried out less work due to supply chain disruptions
You must not claim if the only impact on your business is increased costs.
If for example, you’ve had to purchase face masks and cleaning supplies. This would not be considered as reduced activity, capacity or demand.
What we mean by previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so
This applies to you if you’re temporarily unable to carry out your business activities due to coronavirus, because for example:
your business has had to close due to government restrictions
you’ve been instructed to shield or self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and are unable to work from home
you’ve tested positive for coronavirus and are unable to work
you cannot work due to caring responsibilities, for example as a result of school or childcare facility closures
If your business had to close before 1 February 2021 and continued to be closed for a period of time up to 30 April 2021, you can claim if you are eligible.
Examples of reduced activity, capacity or demand or unable to trade
These are examples of people who have been impacted by coronavirus.
Reduced activity, capacity or demand and reasonable belief
A cafe owner has fewer customers due to government restrictions and is only allowed to offer take-away service, which reduces her takings. She reasonably believes this will significantly reduce her trading profits. She is eligible to claim the fourth grant.
A plasterer cannot get materials due to supply chain issues due to coronavirus. This has reduced the amount of work he can complete and be paid for. He reasonably believes this will significantly reduce his trading profits. He is eligible to claim the fourth grant.
A part-time personal trainer works in a gym that has closed due to government restrictions. This reduces her business activity on the days that she works. She reasonably believes this will have a significant reduction on her trading profits. She is eligible for the fourth grant.
Reduced activity, capacity or demand and no reasonable belief
A cafe owner has fewer customers due to government restrictions on households mixing, which initially reduces her takings. She increases her prices and believes her trading profits will not reduce significantly, so she is not eligible to claim the fourth grant.
A plasterer cannot get materials due to supply chain issues due to coronavirus. This has reduced the amount of work he can complete and be paid for, but he manages to quickly find a new supplier. He does not believe that the reduced demand will cause a significant reduction in his trading profits. He is not eligible to claim the fourth grant.
Unable to trade and reasonable belief
A hairdresser has had to shut his shop due to government restrictions. He will not have any income due to the closure and reasonably believes the reduction in his trading profits will be significant. He is eligible to claim the fourth grant.
A builder has received a letter from the NHS identifying him as clinically extremely vulnerable and it asks him to stay at home. As he is unable to work from home he has a reasonable belief that there will be a significant reduction in his trading profits. He is eligible to claim the fourth grant.
Unable to trade and no reasonable belief
A mechanic was unable to work for 2 days as his premises had to be closed to be deep-cleaned due to a positive coronavirus case. He does not believe this will significantly reduce his trading profits. He is not eligible to claim the fourth grant.
A builder has developed coronavirus symptoms and self isolates for 5 days before receiving a negative test result. During those 5 days he was unable to work from home but was able to rearrange his contracts. He does not believe there will be a significant reduction in his trading profits. He is not eligible to claim the fourth grant.
Other not eligible examples
An electrician is still trading but has had increased costs due to buying masks, cleaning supplies and screens. She is not eligible for the fourth grant because increased costs were the only impact on her business and she has not lost customers.
A dentist returns from essential travel abroad and has to self-isolate for 10 days in a hotel due to quarantine rules. As this is the only impact on her business, she is not eligible to claim the fourth grant. This is because reduced demand due to self-isolation after foreign travel is not included in the eligibility criteria.
An accountant reduces his business activity because he wants to partially retire. He reasonably believes this will have a significant reduction on his trading profits. He is not eligible for the fourth grant because the reduced business activity was not caused by coronavirus.
The client of a dog walker cancels a contract due to coronavirus. The dog walker could but chooses not to look for additional work to replace the contract. This means her business activity and her trading profits are reduced because she chooses not to replace the contract and not because of coronavirus. She is not eligible for the fourth grant.
An IT consultant has other income from renting property. He has made losses on renting due to renovation costs. This is not related to his trading profits from his IT consultancy service. As his consultancy business has not been affected due to coronavirus, he is not eligible for the fourth grant.
OTHER HELP YOU CAN GET?
Get other financial support
You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but even if the claim is not approved it will affect any tax credits you claim and may affect other benefits. So you should:
check how tax credits and other benefits affect each other
find out what to do if you’re already getting benefits
If you make a claim for Universal Credit the grant may affect the amount you get, but will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.
The government is also providing the following help for the self-employed. Find out what support you can get if you’re affected by coronavirus.
If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
You can watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.
Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.
The online service has closed for the first and second grant.
Find out about the first and second grant in a previous version of this guidance on The National Archives.
JOB RETENTION SCHEME EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 30
The CJRS is being extended until September 2021. The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500.
Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work up to June 30.
From July the employer will also pay 10% of hours not worked
In August and September the employer will also pay 20% of hours not worked
Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages cost
The next step for employers (where relevant) will be to notify their staff that they are aware of this extension to the scheme, making clear that further information will be communicated to applicable staff in due course and, where appropriate, updated furlough letters will be provided.
In particular, employers will need to review the letters they have sent to furloughed staff in the past to see whether those letters refer to a specific end date for furlough, or state more generally that furlough will continue until the end of the scheme.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted.
All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.
To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020.
This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
*As under the current CJRS rules:
Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees
Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.
80% WAGES AND MINIMAL EMPLOYER COSTS
For hours not worked by the employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions for hours worked and should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.
As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
Claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November from 8am on November 11, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
Find out if you’re eligible, and how much your employer can claim if they put you on temporary leave ('furlough') because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Calculate how much you have to pay your furloughed employees for hours on furlough, how much you can claim for employer NICs and pension contributions and how much you can claim back.
Find out what steps you need to take before you calculate how much you can claim for furloughed and flexibly furloughed employees.
Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
JOB RETENTION SCHEME RE-PAYMENTS
The original scheme ended on October 31 2020. If you feel that you may have over claimed for employees wages under the Job Retention Scheme you should contact HMRC to arrange re-payment.
The current holiday continues to June 30 2021 on properties up to £500,000. The nil rate band will be £250,000 until September 30 202, double its standard level, until the end of September before returning to the usual level of £125,000 from October 1st.
The scheme is designed to help creditworthy households struggling to save for the higher mortgage deposits required by lenders in the current environment.
The government will underwrite seven year guarantees for 95% mortgage values up to £600,000, from April 2021 to December 2022, and lenders must offer a five year fixed rate product as part of their range of mortgages offered under the guarantee.
For this reason, a mortgage eligible for a guarantee under the scheme will need to:
• be a residential mortgage (not second homes) and not buy-to-let
• be taken out by an individual or individuals rather than an incorporated company
• be on a property in the UK with purchase value of £600,000 or less
• have a loan-to-value of between 91 per cent and 95 per cent
• be originated between the dates specified by the scheme
• be a repayment mortgage and not interest-only
• meet standard requirements in terms of the assessment of the borrower’s ability to pay
the mortgage, for example a loan-to-income and credit score test
MORTGAGE HOLIDAYS EXTENDED
What support is available?
The FCA reiterates that consumers should keep up with payments on their mortgage if they can afford to do so and should only seek support where such support is absolutely necessary. The FCA has also provided more detail on which groups of consumers will and won’t be able to access payment deferrals:
Those who have not yet had a payment deferral will be eligible for payment deferrals of 6 months in total.
Those who currently have a payment deferral will be eligible to top up to 6 months in total.
Those who have previously had payment deferrals of less than 6 months will be able to top up, as long as total deferrals don’t exceed 6 months. This includes those receiving tailored support and those who are behind on payments.
Borrowers who have already had 6 months of payment deferrals will not be eligible for a further payment deferral. Firms will provide tailored support appropriate to their circumstances. This may include the option to defer further payments.
The FCA has also confirmed that no one should have their home repossessed without their agreement until April 1, 2021.
Consumers will have until 31 March 2021 to apply for an initial or a further payment deferral. After that date, they will be able to extend existing deferrals to 31 July 2021, provided these extensions cover consecutive payments, and subject to the maximum 6 months allowed. Borrowers who have not yet taken a deferral, and who think they need the full 6 months should apply in good time before their February 2021 payment is due.
Payment deferrals under these proposals would not be reported as missed payments on a borrower’s credit file. This does not mean that consumers’ ability to access credit will be unaffected in future, as lenders may take into account a range of information when making lending decisions.
Tailored support may be reported on a borrower’s credit file, and lenders should inform borrowers where this will be the case. Any payment deferrals offered as tailored support could be recorded on a borrower’s credit file.
In October, the FCA issued separate guidance for borrowers with interest only or part-and-part mortgages whose capital repayment plans were affected by the crisis. This means that borrowers whose mortgages matured from 20 March 2020 can delay the repayment of the capital on their mortgage until 31 October 2021.
The FCA has confirmed that as well as accessing payment deferrals before maturity, these borrowers can access payment deferrals after maturity without this affecting their ability to delay the capital repayment.
The scheme, runs until 31 December 2021, will be administered by the British Business Bank, with loans available through a diverse network of accredited commercial lenders.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU BORROW?
term loans or overdrafts of between £25,001 and £10 million per business
invoice or asset finance of between £1,000 and £10 million per business
No personal guarantees will be taken on facilities up to £250,000, and a borrower’s principal private residence cannot be taken as security.
26 lenders were accredited for day one of the scheme, with more to come shortly.
The government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans.
As the borrower, you are always 100% liable for the debt.
Interest rates have been capped at 14.99%
HOW LONG IS THE LOAN TERM?
The maximum length of the facility depends on the type of finance you apply for and will be:
up to 3 years for overdrafts and invoice finance facilities
up to 6 years for loans and asset finance facilities
Business of any size can borrow £25,000 to £10m with the government guaranteeing 80% of the loans, which will be available up to the end of 2021.
This will be accompanied by asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.
HOW TO APPLY
Find a lender accredited to offer Recovery Loans from the list on the British Business Bank website:
More information for businesses about the scheme is also available on the
There we focus on some of the less high profile support measures including :-
RATES HOLIDAY FOR RETAIL, HOSPITALITY & LEISURE
PAYING TAXES AND TIME TO PAY SERVICE
WORKING SAFELY AND TRACK AND TRACE
BUSINESSES WHO NEED BREATHING SPACE
RENTERS AND COMMERCIAL TENANCIES
STATUTORY SICK PAY
£500 SELF ISOLATION PAYMENT FOR THOSE ON LOW INCOME
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE AND COVID 19