Business Support Hub


Know exactly where you stand in these tough times.

Just like you, we are a small business too and know the struggles and the uncertainly of this situation. We are here to support you and your business.

It’s important to think past these troubling times, and to the weeks and months past this when we’re out of the other side. We will get through it, but whilst we’re all in the thick of it at the moment, please don’t keep quiet and worry, please use this information to make a plan, and we’re here for you to share those plans with.

Latest Announcements

Furlough Extended Again

The furlough scheme has been extended until 30th September 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages – giving businesses and employees across the UK certainty into the New Year.

The government will continue to pay 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked until the end of June. Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked.

From July 2021, Employers will be required to make a partial contribution towards their employees furlough payments. 

How does it work?

Employers can fully furlough their employees until 30 September 2021 if they feel the need.

Employees can be required to take their holiday during this time, with employers having to top up the furlough pay, and then claim the 80% support, with employers required to make up 10% from July, 20% from August, and 30% in September 2021. 

What are the terms of this scheme?

It will be available for small and medium sized businesses, and is open to businesses even if they didn’t use the furlough scheme, for employees on payroll as at 30th October 2020.

Employers are still responsible for paying employers national insurance, and employer pension contributions.

Flexible and full furloughing will still be allowed.

Employers can still choose to top up employees wages.

Businesses will not be able to issue redundancy notices to employees while taking part in the extended furlough scheme and there will be restrictions on capital distributions to shareholders for larger businesses while they are in receipt of money for their workers on this scheme.

When can I claim?

The furlough portal will be open from 11th November 2020.

Furlough claim portal

There are some new deadlines you need to be aware of.

Claim for days in November 2020 – Deadline for claiming 14th December 2020

Claim for days in December 2020 – Deadline for claiming 14th January 2021

Claim for days in January 2021 – Deadline for claiming 15th February 2021

Claim for days in February 2021 – Deadline for claiming 15th March 2021

Claim for days in March 2021 – Deadline for claiming 14th April 2021

Claim for days in April 2021 – Deadline for claiming 15th May 2021

Claim for days in May 2021 – Deadline for claiming 14th June 2021

Claim for days in June 2021 – Deadline for claiming 14th July 2021

Claim for days in July 2021 – Deadline for claiming 16th August 2021

Claim for days in August 2021 – Deadline for claiming 14th September 2021

Claim for days in September 2021 – Deadline for claiming 14th October 2021

HMRC may accept a claim made after the relevant deadline if you had a reasonable excuse for failing to make a claim in time and you then claimed without delay after the excuse no longer applied.

HMRC will not consider reasonable excuses in advance of a claim deadline.

If you want to delete a claim in the online service, you must do this within 72 hours of starting it.

Recovery Loan Scheme

The recovery loan scheme ensures businesses can access loans and other finance of up to £10m per business once existing COVID-19 loan schemes close.

The Government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender. The scheme launches on 6 April 2021 and is open until 31 December 2021.

Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities and up to three years for overdrafts and invoice finance facilities.

No personal guarantees will be taken on facilities up to £250,000, and a borrower’s principal private residence cannot be taken as security. Businesses that have received support under existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes will still be eligible to access this scheme.

You can apply to the scheme if Covid-19 has affected your business.

You can use the finance for any legitimate business purpose – including managing cashflow, investment and growth. However, you must be able to afford to take out additional debt finance for these purposes.

Accredited Lenders (as at 8th April 2021);


Arbuthnot Latham

Bank of Scotland

Barclays Bank

Clydesdale Bank

Danske Bank

Ebury UK




OakNorth Bank






Ulster Bank

Yorkshire Bank

Bounce Back Loans 'Pay as you grow scheme'

With the anniversary of the first bounce back loans being received fast approaching, businesses will soon be required to start repaying these loans, which then adds an extra headache to an already stretched economy.

So, Chancellor Rishi announced on 8th February a new extension to the bounce back scheme to help businesses delay repayments whilst they recover from the pandemic.

Known as the ‘pay as you grow’ scheme, it allows businesses to apply for repayment flexibilities, including the option to delay all repayments for a further 6 months, meaning businesses can choose not to make payments on their bounce back loans for the first 18 months.

This option will be available from month one, rather than after the first 6 months.

Pay as you grow also allows borrowers to extend the length of the loan from 6 years to 10 years, cutting the monthly repayment by almost half, and make interest only payments for the first 6 months (within the option to do this up to 3 times during the length of the loan), in order to tailor the repayment schedule to suit their individual circumstances.

Lenders are expected to offer this to all borrowers under the bounce back scheme, and correspondence will be received from lenders within 3 months of the first repayment.

Restart Grants

To support the recovery of the high street as Government trading restrictions are relaxed, the Chancellor has announced the one-off payment ‘Restart Grant’. This grant will replace the Local Restrictions Support Grant (CA/C) from April 2021 onwards (for eligible businesses).

Although guidance is expected soon, it is likely that this grant will be made available to qualifying High Street, Hospitality and Leisure businesses from w/c 12th April 2021 onwards and:

  • Non-essential retail businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, will receive a one-off grant of £2,667.
  • Non-essential retail businesses with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, will receive a one-off grant of £4,000.
  • Non-essential retail businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, will receive a one-off grant of £6,000.
  • Qualifying Hospitality and Leisure properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, will receive a one-off grant of £8,000.
  • Qualifying Hospitality and Leisure properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, will receive a one-off grant of £12,000.
  • Qualifying Hospitality and Leisure properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, will receive a one-off grant of £18,000.
SEISS Extension to September 2021

At the 2021 Budget, it was announced that the fourth SEISS grant will be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £7,500.

The fourth grant will take into account 2019 to 2020 tax returns and will be open to those who became self-employed in tax year 2019 to 2020. The rest of the eligibility criteria remain unchanged.

The UK government has also announced that there will be a fifth and final grant covering May to September.

You will be able to claim from late July if you are eligible for the fifth grant.

The amount of the fifth grant will be determined by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.

The fifth grant will be worth:

  • 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500, for those with a turnover reduction of 30% or more,
  • 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850, for those with a turnover reduction of less than 30%
    Further details will be provided on the fifth grant in due course.

Your eligibility for the scheme will now be based on your submitted 2019 to 2020 tax return. This may also affect the amount of the fourth grant which could be higher or lower than previous grants you may have received.

Who can claim

To be eligible for the fourth grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

To work out your eligibility the HMRC will 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 your non-trading income.

If you’re not eligible based on your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment tax return, the HMRC will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.

You must also have traded in both tax years:

  • 2019 to 2020 and submitted your tax return by 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
  • you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus.

How to claim

To allow the HMRC to process recently submitted 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment tax returns, the online claims service for the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021 until 31 May 2021.

If you are eligible, HMRC will contact you in mid-April to give you your personal claim date. This will be the date that you can make your claim from.

There will be more guidance about the fourth grant in due course.

Claimed SEISS in error? – We’ve got you covered, read our blog all about claiming SEISS in error and what to do. 

Stamp Duty Holiday Extended

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the stamp duty holiday until the end of June 2021 – and ruled it will then be tapered until the end of September.

The extended stamp duty holiday means that no tax will be levied on the first £500,000 of property purchases in England and Northern Ireland until June 30.

From June 30 until September 30, tapering will mean no stamp duty will be charged on a residential property bought for up to £250,000.

Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

The government has announced a new mortgage guarantee scheme to support a new generation of people wanting to join the housing ladder, but have seen their earnings impacted by COVID19.

This will increase the availability of 95% Loan-to-value mortgage products, enabling more households to access mortgages without the need for large deposits.

The document’s first section introduces high loan to value mortgage lending and the role of the mortgage guarantee scheme, the second section gives an overview of trends in high loan to value lending and the third section outlines how the new mortgage guarantee scheme will work.

Business Rates Relief extended

As announced at the Budget on 3 March 2021 by the Chancellor, the government will continue to provide eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England with 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

This will be followed by a partial relief of 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.

5% VAT Cut Extended again

The government’s VAT cut to help the hospitality sector during the coronavirus crisis is to be extended for another six months to 30 September 2021.

The cut to 5% was due to finish on the 13th January, but to support the sectors most at risk if the second wave takes hold, the decision was taken to extend this in the Budget 2021.

As a consumer, you may see that 5% cut being passed on, but businesses are not legally required to pass this on, so some will inevitably use the saving to support their business.

From October 2021, the VAT rate will increase to 12.5% until April 2022, with a return to 20% from April 2022.

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