Latest COVID-19 updates: 17 April

17 April 2020

The Chancellor has announced that the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been expanded to cover all viable businesses.  Also the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of June and will be opening for claims on Monday 20 April. 

Chancellor expands loan scheme for large businesses 

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been expanded to cover all viable firms. All firms with a turnover of more than £45 million will now be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance, and up to £50 million for firms with a turnover of more than £250 million. The scheme, which will launch on Monday 20 April, will be available through a series of accredited lenders, which will be listed on the British Business Bank website

The Government is also clarifying the position for firms owned by private equity, which will be able to access the guaranteed loan schemes. This complements existing support including the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended and open for claims from 20 April 

The Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until the end of June to reflect continuing social distancing measures.
The online claim service for the scheme will be launched on on Monday 20 April. Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities. 

To prepare to make your claim you will need:

  • a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can register here.
  • the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for: Name, National Insurance number, claim period and claim amount, PAYE/employee number (optional). 
  • if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee. If you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; HMRC will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods. 

You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims. You can find more information on the scheme and eligibility to claim here.

Other announcements 

The FCA published a letter on 15 April from their CEO to insurance sector CEOs specifically about conduct in relation to business disruption insurance. They have set up a new small business unit to respond to issues whereby insurers aren't paying out where businesses think they should be, amongst other things. This relates to smaller companies, classed as firms with turnover of less than £6.5m and fewer than 50 employees. They can now take complaints directly to the financial ombudsman.

Councils will be allowed to defer £2.6 billion in business rates payments to central government, and £850 million in social care grants will be paid up front this month. 

Changes announced on 16 April will help businesses avoid being struck off the Companies House register as they deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Visit our Business Advice Hub to access information for businesses affected by COVID-19 including advice, guidance and key links to financial support.