Update: What government support is still available for my business?

4 March, 2021 · 4 min read

As Coronavirus restrictions start to ease up, some government support schemes for businesses are also coming to an end. In this article, we’ve summarised all the latest updates for CJRS, BBLS, and CBILS. You’ll find a reminder of what’s available, what you need to be eligible – and the all-important application deadlines.

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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) update

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) helps to pay furloughed employees’ salaries.

If you have staff, including apprentices, that you’d otherwise have to lay off due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the CJRS will pay a portion of an employee’s salary – up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. You don't need to contribute for the hours your employee doesn't work – you'll only pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions.

You can use ‘flexible furloughing’ as well as full-time furloughing, and you can top up your employee’s wages if you want to. When on furlough, employees can’t do any work that makes money or provides services for you. And if you’ve made employees redundant since 23 September, you can rehire and furlough them once again. The government has postponed the Job Retention Bonus, which was due to be a one-off £1,000 payment for each employee kept on after furlough.

You can read more here about claiming through the furlough scheme.

The CJRS was originally due to close on 31 October 2020, but has now been extended until 30 April 2021. 

Bounce Back Loan (BBLS) update

Following the November 2020 lockdown announcement, the government stated that any business that has borrowed less than the maximum amount (25 percent of turnover) can top up their Bounce Back Loan. They can only do this once.

There are currently 11 lenders taking part in the scheme – you can apply for a Bounce Back Loan on the government website.

The deadline for applying for a new Bounce Back Loan is now the end of March 2021.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) update

In September 2020, the government announced that CIBILS lenders can now extend loan terms up to 10 years – it was previously six years. 

To apply for this additional support, your business needs to:

  • Be based in the UK
  • Have an annual turnover of up to £45 million
  • Have a borrowing proposal the lender would consider viable, if it wasn’t for Coronavirus
  • Have been adversely impacted by Coronavirus (you can self-certify for this)

All major banks will offer this scheme, according to the government website. The site advises speaking to your business banking provider now, to ensure you get any cash you’re eligible for as quickly as possible.

Businesses will now have until the end of March 2021 to apply for CBILS.

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