The Government has had to react to the health and employment problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis with unprecedented speed and new initiatives seem to have been almost a daily occurrence in recent weeks.

This has perhaps left some employers unsure as to which of the support packages apply to them and to their staff.

An online tool now provides a simple questionnaire which is deigned to take business owners under a minute to complete and which will then signpost them to relevant financial support.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak explained: “We’ve launched an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs, businesses and incomes during these challenging times. Millions are already benefitting and this new online tool will allow firms and individuals to identify what help they are entitled to in a matter of minutes.”

The new business support finder tool can be found at https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

The various interventions announced by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) include:

  • up to £330 billion of loans and guarantees for businesses

  • the payment of 80% of the wages of furloughed workers, up to a maximum of £2500

  • deferring the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June

  • introducing £20 billion in tax relief and cash grants to help businesses with cash flow

  • introducing the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes for both SMEs and larger businesses

  • offering to cover the cost of statutory sick pay (SSP)

  • temporarily removing all eligible properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector from business rates

  • introducing the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, offering a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2500 a month

  • deferring Self-Assessment payments due in July 2020 until 31 January 2021

  • allowing companies required to hold AGMs to do so flexibly, which may include postponing them or holding them online

  • suspending wrongful trading provisions for company directors to remove the threat of personal liability during the pandemic

  • offering a three-month extension for filing accounts to businesses hit by coronavirus.

Last reviewed 5 May 2020