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The Business Support Helpline - providing you with business advice under the Coronavirus outbreak

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Community Interest Company Office

The Business Support Helpline is a national service for all businesses or aspiring business owners in England, providing a service which is complementary to the business support information on the government website, GOV.UK. Their aim is to provide straightforward information on starting and running a business that may not be available elsewhere, or is not easily accessible from other sources.

It provides bespoke information and signposting to respond to queries that businesses could not answer with the website alone. It uses a variety of communication channels, of which the most common method is via telephone, but the Helpline also offers communication via webchat, email and social media.

Business Support Helpline 0800 998 1098

The Business Support Helpline have gathered a range of information available to those businesses struggling and needing financial assistance during the Coronavirus outbreak. You may want to check out their YouTube channel which has a number of webinars covering a whole range of topics to support business during this time.

Furthermore the Office of the Regulator for Community Interest Companies has acquired some additional information in relation to support for social enterprises (which includes CICs) which you'll find near the end.

So sit back with a cup of tea or coffee and put your feet up.  We hope you find the information of use to you.

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For those self employed

Those registered as self employed and who meet the following criteria will be eligible for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • have lost trading profits due to coronavirus

Find out whether you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

For those with Staff

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate

You can reclaim SSP paid to those with the virus. Find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

For anyone paid via PAYE, including directors, you can access the Job Retention Scheme to cover up to 80% of monthly salary to a limit of £2,500.

For those with premises

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure and Nurseries

A business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and non-local authority providers of childcare in England is to be introduced for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Check if your retail, hospitality or leisure business is eligible for business rates relief due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Small Business Grants Fund

Those registered with their local authority for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief can claim for the £10,000 Small Business Grant. If you have not been contacted by your local authority regarding obtaining the grant, we would advise you check on their website in the first instance, before contacting them via phone or email.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

Those in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for one of two cash grants. These are being administered by the local authority. If you have not been contacted by your local authority regarding obtaining the grant, we would advise you check on their website in the first instance, before contacting them via phone or email.

Find out more information about the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) here.

Discretionary Grant Fund (DGF)

For those businesses who fall out of the scope of the Small Business Grant, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant or Self-employed Income Support Scheme, but have fixed property-related costs, the discretionary grant fund has been introduced.

Local Authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for this fund but the following businesses should be considered as a priority:

  • Businesses in shared offices;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B & Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates;
  • and Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Further information regarding the discretionary Grant Fund can be found here.

piles of coins with letters on each one to form the word grants

For those needing additional financial support

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work. Find out more here.

Business Interruption Loan

This Scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. You can find further information regarding its eligibility and how to apply here.

Bounce Back Loans

Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS), launched on May 4th, supports smaller businesses on accessing loans of up to £50,000 in a matter of days.

Find out whether you are eligible for the Bounce Back Loans Scheme.

Mortgage Payment holidays and Guidance for those renting their premises

Mortgage providers are offering holidays for those affected by Coronavirus who are struggling to pay bills. This is also available on Buy to Let premises so those renting may also be able to benefit. There have been other measures set out for those renting their homes. Please click here for more information on the Government's package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus.

Utility Bills

Some energy suppliers are allowing payment holidays. It is worth contacting all suppliers of commercial and domestic bills to see what support they can give you during this time.

Tax Support

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

You are also able to defer VAT payments (for 3 months) and any self assessment payments due in July can be deferred to January 2021.

the words financial support

Funding for social Enterprises

Extra funding for Charities announced by the Chancellor on 8th April

There is funding available to support those organisations on the front line of fighting the coronavirus and providing crucial services and support to vulnerable people and communities.

A number of asset locked organisations - including certain CICs who are providing critical services - may be eligible to apply for this funding, which will be distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund NLCF in England. Devolved nations will also be allocated funding.

The Office for Civil Society, part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) will be providing further details in due course.  Keep tabs on The Office for Civil Society's website.

Big Society Capital Fund announced on 9th April

Big Society Capital have announced a fund for social enterprises, charities and small businesses in disadvantaged areas affected by the pandemic . It will include setting up a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund that will be run by Social Investment Business, and which will utilise the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to extend loans to social enterprises across the country. Further details are available here.

Alongside government, many social enterprises and other bodies (in addition to the Business Support Helpline) are also providing advice and support to CICs and other social enterprises at this time. They may be able to advise on more detailed enquiries which are outside the remit of the Regulator and the Business Support Helpline. These include, but are not limited to:

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

For all types of businesses there is a tool available on the GOV.UK website that has been devised and is extremely useful in helping you determine what finance support options are available to you and your business. Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.



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