Key links to resources for Businesses
Support finder tool
This online platform from the Government helps businesses easily access the financial support they are eligible for during the coronavirus pandemic.
A simple questionnaire, which should take just minutes to complete, will signpost you to relevant government financial support.
Access the tool here.
Recovery Loan Scheme
Announced in the 2021 Budget, the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) provides financial support to businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the coronavirus pandemic.
This replaced the previous Coronavirus loan schemes.
More information can be found here.
Help to Grow: Management
Announced in the 2021 Budget, this scheme enables small businesses to access a 12 week-programme delivered by leading business schools across the UK. The programme will combine a practical curriculum, with 1-2-1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network.
Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, the programme will support small business leaders to develop their strategic skills with key modules covering financial management, innovation and digital adoption. By the end of the programme participants will develop a tailored business growth plan to lead their business to its full potential.
30,000 places will be available over 3 years. The programme is 90% subsidised by government – participants will be charged £750.
You can find out more and register your interest here.
Help to Grow: Digital
Announced in the 2021 Budget, this scheme is due to be up and running in Autumn 2021. It waill enable small businesses to get free impartial advice on how technology can boost their performance through a new online platform.
Eligible businesses will also be able to get a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000. Vouchers are initially expected to be available for software that helps businesses:
– build customer relationships and increase sales
– make the most of selling online
– manage their accounts and finances digitally
Find out more and register your interest here.
Government business support helplines
Contact the Government’s business support helplines for free advice. Find contact details for the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland helplines here.
Government Job Retention Scheme and Furloughing
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ended on 30th September 2021.
Kickstart Scheme applications closed at midday on 17th December 2021.
Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme
The Additional Restrictions Grant ended on 31st March 2022
Corporate Financing Facility for larger businesses
This Scheme came to an end on 18th March 2022.
Creative industry tax credits: how to claim efficiently
If you are waiting for payment from any of the creative sector tax credits from the government the following information may help speed up your application process:
- HMRC aim to review and process claims received swiftly. The majority of claims are generally reviewed and processed within 30 days. However, this timescale is not always possible for a variety of reasons. Some claims may require a more detailed review, there may be computations or other information missing when the claim is submitted, which will build in delay. HMRC will always try to resolve any concerns as quickly as possible.
- To reduce any potential delay companies and their tax advisors should ensure that they are submitting their claims with all information necessary for HMRC to assess the claim. This includes completion of the CT600 tax Return, cultural certificate from the BFI, statutory accounts and computations for the claim.
- Companies can contact HMRC's specialist creative industry tax reliefs unit here.
If you need to contact the unit please wait 28 days after submitting your claim (31st March accounting period is particularly busy for accounts submissions). You should also follow up with your accountant, if you have one, as the accountant is usually the one corresponding with HMRC on any issues.
Support for reclaiming Statutory Sick Pay
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme has now closed. The last date for submitting or amending a claim was 24th March 2022.
- Extension for filing accounts
Relaxed rules on carrying over annual leave
Towards the end of March 2020 the government announced it would be relaxing its rules on carrying over annual leave in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Currently, almost all workers are entitled to 28 days holiday including bank holidays each year. However, most of this entitlement cannot be carried between leave years, meaning workers lose their holiday if they do not take it.
There is also an obligation on employers to ensure their workers take their statutory entitlement in any one year – failure to do so could result in a financial penalty.
The announced changes, which amend the Working Time Regulations, allow up to four weeks of unused leave to be carried into the next two leave years, easing the requirements on business to ensure that workers take statutory amount of annual leave in any one year.
This law applies for any holiday the employee or worker does not take because of coronavirus, for example if:
- they’re self-isolating or too sick to take holiday before the end of their leave year
- they’ve had to continue working and could not take paid holiday
Although primarily put in place to help key workers within the economy, all businesses are able to take advantage of this change.
More information can be found here.
The ACAS website also has a very helpful section on holiday pay here, which the Government is itself directing people to.
Tax: Time to Pay Services
What is it: support with tax affairs if you may be unable to pay an upcoming tax liability.
Eligibility: all businesses and individuals are eligible to apply for support.
How to access it: If you have missed a tax payment or are concerned you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, you can call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.
Arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
Business Interruption Loan Scheme for SMEs
This scheme closed for new applications on 31st March 2021.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme
This scheme closed to new applications and applications for Top-ups on 31st March 2021.
Business Interruption Loans Scheme for large businesses (CLBILS)
This scheme closed to applications on 31st March 2021.
- Support finder tool
Please note: we try to keep this information up to date but we advise you to look carefully at the date that it was posted/last updated. Please also keep checking your e-mails from Pact for the most up to date announcements and information.