COVID-19 Support for Small Businesses

16 April 2020

With current uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a concerning time for small business owners. We have outlined the support measures available to small businesses announced by the Government below, full details can be found on the Government’s Covid-19 website.

Businesses that pay little or no business rates

  • Cash grants for businesses who qualify for small business rates relief (SBRR) (England), small business bonus scheme (SBBS) (Scotland) or Rural Relief of up to £10k
  • You qualify for SBRR if your property’s rateable value if less than £15k, and you only use one property.  You qualify for SBBS if the combined rateable value of all your business premises is £35k or less, and the rateable value of individual premises is £18k or less
  • Applicable businesses should contact their local authority, although the local authorities should be contacting small businesses that meet the criteria
  • Grant money will not be available until early April


Bounce Back Loans

The UK Government has announced a new fast-track finance scheme, providing loans with a 100% Government-backed guarantee for lenders. The new “Bounce Back Loans” scheme will provide small businesses with loans between £2k and £50k.

The scheme has been designed to ensure that small firms who need vital cash injections to keep operating can get finance in a matter of days. 

Click here to find out more about Bounce Back Loans.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

CBILS was announced by the Government, and opened for applications from 23 March 2020.  CBILS allows UK companies with viable businesses to respond to cash flow issues during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding facility balance, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.  Proof that a business has insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the Scheme.

Click here to read our full overview of CBILS.


Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund

The Scottish Government has announced the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, providing grants to businesses that can play a critical role in supporting Scotland’s recovery, but need some immediate support.  

The aim for the grants is to support businesses that have the potential to continue trading and supporting employment, but are currently suffering from immediate cash flow challenges, get back up and running or maintain current operations.

Click here to find out more about the fund, what is classed as a pivotal business, and the application requirements.


Support Packages Available to Innovative Businesses

The UK Government has announced plans for a £1.25 billion coronavirus package to protect innovative UK businesses. 

SMEs focusing on research and development (“R&D”) will benefit from £750m of support through a mix of grants and loans through Innovate UK.

Click here to find out more about the support available.


Other Support Schemes Eligible to Small Businesses:

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Thompson, a member of our dedicated COVID-19 support team who can also be reached at

If you are unsure about what Government support package is available to your business, we are here to help. We have created a simple toolkit that cuts through the noise and makes you aware of exactly what help is available to you. It takes a few minutes to fill out and you can find it on our COVID-19 Information hub

Latest Posts

Get the AAB Blog Digest