COVID-19
Knowledgebase

Duncan & Toplis is here to help and support you through the ongoing challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst this is an anxious time for many, it’s important to know that there is help available.

We are summarising the measures, including eligibility requirements, as they are announced and all details can be found here in our COVID-19 Knowledgebase.

Additional financial support

Future Fund

This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 and £5m to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak and will launch on 20 May.

The scheme will provide government loans to UK-based companies, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Further details and full headline terms can be found here.


Corporate Financing Facility

Under the Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Eligibility

Your business must be based in the UK and needs to:

  • Make a material UK contribution
  • Be investment grade rated (or equivalent) as at 1 March 2020
  • Not be PRA or FCA-regulated
  • Not be a public undertaking (there is additional guidance for some specific types of entities on the Bank of England website).
  • There is no requirement to have previously issued Commercial Paper.
How to access

The scheme is now open for applications here.

More information is available from the Bank of England here.


Support for Charities

£750m of funding has been made available for the charity sector; £370m going to smaller, local charities paid through funding bodies and £360m going directly to charities, specifically to those helping people in need. This will cover hospices, abuse charities and charities protecting vulnerable children, amongst others.

The government has provided general advice to the charity sector which can be viewed here.

Manage financial difficulties in your charity caused by coronavirus

The government have released guidance about COVID-19 related financial difficulties in charities and how to work through them.

This guidance specifically covers financial advice, considering the best interests of the charity and what to do if your charity cannot continue to operate because of the financial problems caused by COVID-19.

Full guidance can be found here.


Support for dairy farmers

A new fund will enable eligible dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

With some dairy farmers facing financial difficulties and excess milk, the new fund will provide support for those most in need. Eligible dairy farmers will be entitled to up to £10,000 each, to cover 70% of their lost income during April and May to ensure they can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare.

It also comes as the government backed a £1 million campaign to boost milk consumption and help producers use their surplus stock.

Eligibility criteria has not been confirmed so far.


Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The Government have provided additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility

Your business must be eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief.

Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.

How to access

You do not need to apply, you will be contacted by your local authority.


Small Business Discretionary Fund

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing foxed property-related costs.

Eligibility

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees and must be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to coronavirus restriction measures.

How to apply

There are three levels of grants, with the maximum being £25,000. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000.

Local authorities have been asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. However, local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need.


Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

There will be a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Eligibility

This includes businesses on the Ofsted early Years Register and used wholly or mainly for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage. The property must be based in England. 

How to access

No action is required. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020.


Other funding sources

Many charities and other funding organisations have launched funding programmes to help support businesses and other entities through the coronavirus pandemic. Each will have its own criteria, eligibility and application process. Some UK wide examples include:


Duncan & Toplis

Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers