So you find yourself at the end of the first month of the third period of UK lockdown and you just filed your tax return. Your revenue was woefully low and you are feeling scared about what 2021 might bring, or even if you might actually be able to reopen at all.
Firstly, I want you to take a moment, because you are one of many business owners feeling this way and whilst we do not have a magic wand, we can certainly help advise you on financial matters to help see you through another tricky patch.
So, if you haven’t already taken advantage of Government assistance, or you aren’t sure what options you have in terms of future support, then read on, because today’s blog post is for you.
Understanding when you need to seek Government lockdown support
Your cash flow will be the biggest indicator of how much time your current rate of income, or capital can hold you over, even if you are running on a skeleton team of essential workers. If things are looking tight, or you just aren’t sure how to read your cashflow, then now is the perfect time to seek help. Help comes in two forms; firstly, seeking help putting together and understanding your cashflow, we can do that (contact us on 01207 502145, or via email at email@example.com) and secondly, you also have a range of options available to you in the form of Government lockdown support.
But what financial support is available this time around? And how can you claim it?
Available Government lockdown support
During the initial lockdown periods of 2020, the Government provided a range of financial support schemes, with the aims of keeping the UK’s businesses financially solvent, stabilising the economy and protecting the nation’s jobs. In fact, we have spoken about many of them here on the Valued blog.
Are any of these schemes still available still in 2021? Here’s a list of the main financial support schemes that are currently available.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – the CJRS, or the ‘furlough scheme’ as we all now know it, is still very much operational and provides government funding to cover the wages of eligible furloughed workers (employees who are now forced to stay at home due to the current lockdown restrictions). The furlough scheme will pay 80% of your employees’ wages and has been extended until 30 April 2021. Find out more about the furlough scheme here
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL) – CBIL loans are also still available for larger businesses and allow your business to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5million. The Government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. Applications are now open until 31 March 2021. Find about more about the CBIL scheme here
- Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) – you can also still apply for Bounce Back Loans, which offer smaller businesses the chance to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The BBLS is now available until 31 March 2021. Find out more about the BBLS here
- Lockdown grants – at the beginning of January 2021, new lockdown grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors were announced. Eligible businesses in the affected sectors will be able to claim a one-off grant worth up to £9,000. Local Restriction Support Grants will also be available through your local authority, with qualifying businesses able to claim grants of up to £3,000 a month. Find out more about lockdown grants here
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – if you’re self-employed and have traded in the preceding two tax years, the third round of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is still available. The scheme closes to claims on 29 January 2021 and allows you to claim 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. Find out more about the SEISS here
It is important to state here, that schemes will be updated as vaccination rates increase and R-rates drop as an after effect of this recent lockdown. It would be prudent to say, therefore, that in order to keep on top of this changing information you should make time to inform yourself of the latest news and announcements. If you’d like to join our newsletter, we’d be happy to send that information to you as it becomes available, giving you our tips for your next steps.
Talk to us about claiming Government lockdown support
If you are in a position, or even think you might be close to a position where you need to seek Government lockdown support for you business, then as your accountant, we’ll review your financials, advise you on which schemes you’re eligible for, and will help you to produce the relevant financial information that’s needed when making a loan or grant application.
Quarter one of 2021 is going to feel tough for many businesses, so reach out now and let us help you get the financial assistance and funding you need.
Get in touch to talk through the government financial schemes.
Photo by João Barbosa on Unsplash