COVID-19: small business and government support

This fact sheet, COVID-19 small business and government support provides a checklist of the various government initiatives available to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

The government has announced a raft of measures to help keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out more about the current government support initiatives

  • Job retention scheme
    Scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.
  • Deferred VAT until June 2020
    For self-employed people and business owners.
  • Deferred Income Tax until January 2021
    All taxpayers with a second self-assessment payment on account due on 31 July 2020.
  • Reclaiming Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for employees off sick with COVID-19
    You can reclaim SSP at the cost of £94.25 per week for staff sickness absence due to COVID-19, or for those who are unable to work due to self-isolation.
  • Business Rates holiday
    Organisations can reclaim SSP at the cost of £94.25 per week for staff sickness absence due to COVID-19, or for those who are unable to work due to self-isolation.
  • Grant funding schemes
    Holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, as well as all nurseries
  • Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS)
    The government is underwriting interest- free loans which will be delivered by accredited lenders.

Unprecedented challenges

Small businesses face unprecedented challenges in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, with long-term business interruption and enforced closure as a result of social distancing measures.

The Business in the Community (BITC) toolkit COVID-19 and small business, the sister paper to this fact sheet COVID-19 small business and government, contains information on the support available from large businesses, the government, and important contact information for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Current guidance

This advice and checklist is accurate at the time of publishing. It will be updated when required.
For the most up-to-date guidance for businesses, please visit GOV.UK for relevant detailed guidance and businesssupport.gov.uk for cases studies and frequently asked questions (FAQs).