What Government Support is Available for Coping with Business Interruption?

Help is available for businesses

Read a summary of the help available for coping with business interruption during the Covid-19 epidemic, depending on the type of business you have.

There is a large volume of information to digest about all of the UK government support measures that you could be eligible for, so we have summarised specific support which we feel is particularly pertinent.

Explore help for businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak

Covid-19 is placing huge challenges on businesses of all types, but there is a number of different initiatives to help support during this time. 

Use this flowchart to find out what support you may receive

Government Support For Business Flowchart

 

The coronavirus business interruption loan scheme

The coronavirus business interruption loan scheme supports SMEs with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value and for up to six years.

  • The government will pay to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will not face any upfront costs and will benefit from lower initial repayments
  • The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs
  • This scheme is being delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the British Business Bank

 

Eligibility for the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • Your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • Your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

 

How to access the scheme

The scheme is now open for applications. To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan You can find out the latest on the best ways to contact
them via their websites.

All major banks are offering this scheme. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

See the full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders.

Maintain your insurance policies

The need to have insurance still remains and our staff are well positioned to take a flexible approach to your policies as we work with a number of different insurers.

The coronavirus bounce back loan scheme

Launched on 4 May 2020, the bounce back loan scheme (BBLS) provides further government help and support for businesses affected by Covid-19.

Loans can be used by those not able to obtain other support, such as self-employed who don't qualify for the self-employed income scheme, or limited company directors.

How the coronavirus bounce back loan scheme works

  • Borrowing limits: £2,000 and £50,000. Must not exceed 25% of your total turnover.
  • Interest free period: No interest charged and no repayments will need to be made in the first 12 months.  
  • Fixed interest rate: After 12 months, fixed 2.5% interest charged by all banks.
  • Loan term up to six years. First year is interest-free and the rest at 2.5%.
  • The loans are unsecured. The UK government provides the security.
  • You will be eligible if your business was established before 1 March 2020 and you are still trading as a going concern when you apply. The reason for any business issues must be coronavirus.
  • Available from a range of accredited lenders. Note that many are only lending to existing customers.

Help for businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak

If you want support with your business at this challenging time, read useful articles in our coronavirus information hub.

The information contained in this article is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general risk management and insurance information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. If you wish to discuss your specific requirements, please contact us.

About the author

Mike Stephens FCII is a respected senior industry professional and Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) with well over 40 years’ varied experience in the commercial insurance sector as a director, underwriter, and operational improvement manager.