Valuable grants and schemes for small businesses

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Recently the government’s 2021 Budget was announced by The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Sunak outlined the financial schemes aimed to help businesses get back on their feet after COVID-19 closures.

Most of those schemes will replace those in 2020, or be an extension of them, so you may need to reapply for a new financial grant with your local council.

We’ve rounded up the most useful grants and schemes available to small business owners.

Restart grants

Restart grants are available to any business that has suffered profit losses during the pandemic. These grants began being issued by local authorities on 1st April, preparing businesses for the governments easing of the restrictions on 12th April.

Businesses that reopened on Monday could qualify for up to £6,000 as a one-off cash payment. If you are operating in the leisure, hospitality, accommodation or personal care sector, you could receive up to £18,000 as a one-off cash payment.

To see the full eligibility and apply through your local council, visit here: Restart Grant.

The Recovery Loan Scheme

Replacing last year’s CBILS and BBS is The Recovery Loan Scheme, a range of loans from government-backed lenders. These loans are on offer to businesses of any size, applications opened last Tuesday and will run until the end of the year.

Business owners can borrow up to £10 million for any legitimate business purpose, and the government will guarantee 80% of the finance to the lender.

You can find out more about the Recovery Loan scheme here: Recovery Loan scheme.

Furlough 

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of September this year, the government are covering up to 80% of employee’s salary.

From July the government contribution will reduce to just 70%, employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of the employee’s wages. Then in August, this is expected to be reduced to 60%, employers will then be expected to top up the extra 20% until the scheme is phased out.

You can see up to date information on the furlough scheme here.

Business rates relief

For non-essential retailers, hospitality, personal care and leisure the Business Rates Holiday are continuing at 100% until the end of June. Later in the year, rates will be discounted by two-thirds up to the value of £2 million for closed businesses.

Your local council should implement the discount automatically, so you don’t need to apply for this. However, if you think you’re not getting what you’re entitled to, you should contact your local council directly.

Find out more about the Business Rates relief here.

Self-employment Income Support (SEISS)

The government has extended the self-employment income support scheme providing a fourth grant to those who have suffered profit losses under the pandemic.

The grant is set at 8% of 3 months trading profits, and it’s paid out to business owners in 1 single instalment, capped at £7,500.

See the full eligibility criteria and how you can claim on the government guide.

VAT 

VAT will remain at a reduced rate of 5% until the end of September. On 1st October, there will be a new rate of 12.5% introduced, which will last until March 31st 2022.

You can see more information on these rates here: Government Guidance.

Alcohol Duties

Sunak has frozen duties on all alcoholic drinks for the second year in a row, in a bid to help pubs and the hospitality industry. The British Beer and Pub Association reported that this could save pub-goers £80 million and safeguard 2,000 jobs.

All of the above schemes and grants were announced as part of the 2021 Budget. Small business owners should keep up to date with financial aid to help them on the road to recovery. You can see the full Budget transcript here.

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