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 - Please note the closing date for applications for the cash grants was 10 July 2020

  • 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 qualified for SBRR if your property’s rateable value if less than £15k, and you only use one property.  You qualified 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 were to contact their local authority, although the local authorities should have contacted small businesses that met the criteria


Bounce Back Loans - Please note that the scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021

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) - Please note that the scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021

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 - Please note this fund closed to applicants on 18 May 2020

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

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


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

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