Build UK’s update the industry amid the covid-19 outbreak 

Cash flow is now critical and the government has made available an unprecedented level of financial support for businesses and individuals affected by coronavirus. Below is a reminder of the key measures, including grants, loans and tax relief, and make sure you are taking advantage of the support for your business:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Employers can claim 80% of an employee’s monthly wages, up to a maximum of £2,500, plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, by placing them on furlough leave. The online claims service is available now and the government has published step by step guidance on making a claim. Claims should be paid within six working days.
  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme – Employers with fewer than 250 employees, as of 28 February 2020, can recover the costs of paying SSP to employees for sickness absence due to coronavirus or self-isolation for up to two weeks from 13 March 2020. The online system is not yet available so make sure you are keeping records.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – Small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45m, can access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5m for up to 6 years. The government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, meaning no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. Apply now from an accredited lender by following the steps on the British Business Bank website and there is guidance from ICAEW on preparing a strong application.
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme – Large businesses with an annual turnover of more than £45m can apply for up to £25m of finance (or £50m for those with an annual turnover of more than £250m). Apply now from an accredited lender by following the steps on the British Business Bank website.
  • Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility – Large businesses which make a material contribution to the UK economy can purchase short-term debt in the form of commercial paper to finance their short-term liabilities. Apply now through the Bank of England.
  • Deferral of VAT – UK VAT-registered businesses which have a VAT payment due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 can defer the payment until on or before 31 March 2021. You do not need to tell HMRC that you are deferring payment and you will still need to submit your VAT returns on time. If you normally pay by direct debit, you should cancel it by contacting your bank. Further information about how to repay the deferred VAT will be available soon.
  • Small Business Grants Fund – Eligible businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief are eligible for a payment of £10,000. Companies that are eligible will be contacted by their Local Authority to arrange payment.
  • Coronavirus Future Fund – UK-based companies which rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme can receive government loans ranging from £125,000 to £5m, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. The fund will be launched in May 2020.

To determine which support your business may be eligible for, visit the government’s business support finder and provide a few key details about your business, such as size, location and turnover.

Businesses should continue to follow the most up-to-date government guidance and for the latest updates please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have any construction-specific queries or feedback on what is happening within the industry, please contact Build UK.