Support for business in the Budget
The following is a summary of the support the Budget offered businesses last week, promoted recently by the Department for Business.
- £5 billion for new Restart Grants – a one off cash grant of up to £18,000 for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England. Non-essential retail businesses will open first, so they will receive grants of up to £6,000 per premises. Hospitality and leisure businesses, including personal care and gyms, will open later, or be more impacted by restrictions when they do, so will be given grants of up to £18,000. This brings the total spent on business grants to £25 billion
- a new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery. This replaces the existing COVID-19 loan schemes which have supported £73 billion of lending to date and closed to applications at the end of March
- the business rates holiday in England has been extended by an additional 3 months. That means 750,000 retail, hospitality and leisure premises in England will pay no business rates for three months from 1 April when combined with Small Business Rates Relief, with further relief available for the rest of the year
- to continue supporting the 150,000 businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors and to protect 2.4 million jobs, the government has extended the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further 6 months, until 31 March 2022
- small and medium-sized employers in the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs per employee from the government – a temporary COVID-19 measure intended to support employers while levels of sickness absence are high
- to help otherwise-viable UK businesses which have been pushed into a loss-making position, the trading loss carry-back rule will be temporarily extended from the existing one year to 3 years
- £100 million for a new Taxpayer Protection Taskforce to crack-down on COVID fraudsters who have exploited UK government support schemes. Government will also raise awareness of enforcement action in order to deter fraud and will significantly strengthen law enforcement for Bounce Back Loans
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