We know that businesses like yours are likely to be experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Our purpose is to help businesses in East Sussex get through these uncertain times and come out as strong as possible.
We'll be updating this page as more details of the government's package of emergency financial measures for businesses becomes known. The Government has released a simple Business Support Finder that can quickly assess your business needs and the government support packages available.
For individual business support and full details on the funding available, the navigators at Business East Sussex are here to help. Find out more via their website.
Below is a list of some of the key schemes to help you to start to plan and consider your next steps.
Business support and funding available
Bounce Back Loans are available to small and medium-sized businesses allowing them to borrow from £2,000 up to a maximum of 25% of their turnover (Maximum loan £50,000), with the government paying the interest for the first 12 months.
No forward-looking tests of business viability or complex eligibility criteria. Simple, quick, standard form for businesses. For most businesses, loans should arrive within 24 hours of approval.
Bounce back loans are now available until 31 March 2021.
If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.
For more information or to find a lender click here
Any PAYE-qualifying small business employee will qualify for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will cover 80 per cent of a regular salary up to £2,500 a month.
Any employer in the country – small or large, charitable or non-profit - will be eligible for the Job Retention Scheme.
You can claim for employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.
Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but have been granted a leave of absence ‘furloughed’ and kept on the payroll, rather than being laid off.
This scheme has been extended until 20 April 2021.
The Government has announced an extension to the self-employed income support scheme. The government will be paying self-employed people a taxable grant based on their previous earnings over the last three years, up to 80% of their earnings and capped at £2,500 a month.
If you were uneligible for the first and second grants you will not be eligible for the third.
It is only open to people who make the majority of their income from self-employment, and only open to people who are already self-employed.
This scheme is only eligible for self-employed businesses that:
Applications must be made before 29th January 2021.
You can find more information on the Gov.UK website.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance.
Let's Do Business Finance will be delivering the temporary scheme in East Sussex on behalf of the British Business Bank or you can access it through your current business bank.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to businesses up to 250 employees.
The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest-free, as the government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments
The LRSG (Closed Addendum) scheme is available for businesses forced to close due to national COVID-19 restrictions and unable to provide usual customer service from their business location.
Grants are based on the rateable value of business premises and range from £1,334 - £3000 for each 28 day qualifying period.
Local councils in East Sussex are accepting applications. For more information visit your local council website below.
We urge as many eligible businesses as possible to apply for this one-off grant funding to help support and secure their future in the aftermath of Coronavirus.
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted.
Your local council can decide which businesses can receive this support and how much funding will be provided.
Contact your local council for more information.
12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
You’re eligible if your property is a:
Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority.
Employers with fewer than 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020), will be eligible to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to absence because of COVID-19.
The refund will cover up to two weeks SSP per eligible employee, and employers have to maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP. They will not need to provide a GP fit note as evidence.
The period of eligibility will start when regulations on the extension of SSP come into force for those staying at home.
To claim visit the Gov website
If you have any questions about the program or if you think your business may struggle to make scheduled repayments, please contact us to discuss what measures are available to help.
The details of our business managers below:
The UK Government has launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp.
The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice. To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. Further information can be found here.
You can contact the government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice on 0300 456 3565. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.
If you are unable to phone, you can visit their website here.
If you deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make, you can:
We will publish information on the new VAT deferral scheme when it becomes available.
Supporting the UK's innovative businesses and start-ups, the Future Fund has been established to support businesses that have been unable to access the other business support programmes, typically as they rely on equity investment, and either pre-revenue or pre-profit. The scheme will be offering convertible loans.
It has been developed in partnership with the British Business Bank. The loans can range from £125,000 to £5 million.
The scheme is open for applications until 31st January 2021.
To find out more, visit the GOV.UK official page.