Coronavirus Updates

These are uncertain times for everyone, and we want to bring you up to date with the latest guidance with regard to COVID-19. Please check our website for regular updates. 
On 20 March 2020, the Chancellor announced some further support for businesses affected by coronavirus.

Coronavirus job retention scheme

  • Grants of up to £2,500 per employee where employees are unable to work because of coronavirus, covering 80% of salary costs.
  • The scheme is intended to run for three months in the first instance with the first payments expected in early April and the scheme fully up and running by the end of April.
  • The grants will be paid via HMRC and all UK employers are eligible.
  • At present, it is unclear if employers will be expected to make up the remaining 20% of salary.


Extension of the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBIL)

  • The maximum turnover for eligible businesses has been increased to £45m million per year
  • The interest-free period has been increased from 6 months to 12 months.
  • The scheme is being managed by the British Business Bank but businesses will access them via one of the 40 accredited lending providers, including most major banks.
  • The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5 million
  • Loans will be available from Monday 23 March 2020.


Deferral of tax and VAT payments currently due

  • VAT payments from UK-based VAT registered businesses due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 will not need to be paid to the usual deadlines, with payment deferred until the end of the tax year.
  • Self-assessment income tax payments for the self-employed which were due on 31 July 2020 can now be deferred until 31 January 2021.
  • Both deferral schemes apply automatically and no application is required.


At a press conference on 17 March 2020, the Chancellor announced a package of support worth £350 billion.


Extension of business rate discount

  • All hospitality, leisure and retail venues in England, regardless of rateable value can now claim a 100% discount on business rates for 12 months from 1 April 1010 to 31 March 2021.
  • Unoccupied properties that become vacant in the next 12 months will be charged 100% full rates from three months after they become empty.
  • The discount will automatically be applied to the next council tax bill, due in April 2020. 


Cash grants for very small businesses

  • Hospitality, leisure and retail businesses operating from units with rateable values between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
  • Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of less than £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000
  • Those with a rateable value of more than £15,000 will receive £25,000.


Interest rates

  • On 19 March 2020, the Bank of England cut interest rates to a historic low of 0.1%, having previously reduced them to 0.25% on the day of the Spring Budget.


For more information on support for employers and businesses please go to -