Resources for U.K. Small Business Owners Affected by COVID-19

COVID-19: Support for small business owners in the U.K.

Resources for U.K. Small Business Owners Affected by COVID-19

June 2nd, 2020

While the government's schemes and programs to save businesses and jobs are welcomed widely, you're left wondering what support there is for you, as an owner, self-employed professional, or independent contractor.

There are some options available to you. You'll find them below.

Resources for U.K. Small Business Owners:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The job retention scheme allows all UK employers with a PAYE (pay-as-you-earn) scheme to continue paying furloughed employees 80% of their salaries up to £2,500 over the next three months. These salaries can be reclaimed from the HMRC later.

If you are the director of your own company and are paid a salary through a PAYE scheme, then you can essentially furlough yourself for three months, earning 80% of your salary up to £2,500 per month from your company.

To claim, you will need:

  • PAYE reference number.
  • The number of furloughed employees.
  • Start and end date of the claim.
  • Amount claimed.
  • Bank account number and sort code.
  • Contact name and details.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Starting at the beginning of June, the HMRC will start paying cash grants to self-employed people who make less than £50,000 in trading profit a year. The single, direct, lump-sum cash grant will amount to 80% of trading profits up to £2,500 per month for three months. The HMRC will contact those who are eligible. Applications are not being taken yet.

The grant is subject to income tax and national insurance contributions, but it will not need to be repaid.

Universal Credit.

To help with your living costs, you could apply for Universal Credit. The self-employed can now access Universal Credit as the minimum income floor has been suspended.

This means that while you work to keep your business afloat you can claim about £94.25 per week.

If you begin earning again while receiving Universal Credit, your Universal Credits will begin shrinking at the rate of your income growth.

Time to Pay Tax Service.

All businesses, including self-employed individuals, that cannot pay outstanding tax liabilities can contact the HMRC to reach an agreement. Each case is handled individually and by its own merits.

Dedicated helpline: 0800 024 1222.

Business Rates Holiday.

Owners of small businesses could continue to pay themselves a salary (their employees too) by making use of the business rate holidays for the 2020 to 2021 tax year, made available to nurseries and businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors. You can use the business rates calculator to estimate the rates you would have paid for this period.

There is also the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme, which provides a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property with a rateable value of no more than £51,000, and a £10,000 grant for properties that have a rateable value of up to £15,000.

Small Business Grant Funding.

For small businesses that occupy a property and are currently receiving small business rate relief, rural rate relief, and tapered relief, there is a once-off £10,000 grant provided by the government to be used for running costs.

Note: If you have income protection insurance, contact your insurance company to make a claim. And, you can now apply for a three-month mortgage holiday. Contact your mortgage lender.


How do I claim from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

Visit the job retention scheme page on the government's website.

When will the self-employed income support scheme pay out?

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will begin in June 2020.

Can the self-employed access Universal Credit?

Yes. The self-employed can now claim Universal Credit.

How do I arrange a time to pay tax service?

Contact the HMRC on the dedicated helpline: 0800 024 1222.