Government extends Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and Government-backed loans

As England prepares for a four-week national lockdown, the Government has announced it will extend existing support measures to help businesses and the self-employed business community in the weeks ahead.

As part of its latest support package, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the various Government-backed loans, including the Bounce Back Loan, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan and Future Fund, will see further changes.

To help highlight what these changes may mean for you and your business, we have summarised them below.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The Government had already announced an extension to the SEISS under its plan for local lockdowns, which would ensure that self-employed workers would receive two more grants between November 2020 and April 2021.

The first of these grants covering the three months from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021 was to provide a taxable grant covering 40 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £3,750 in total.

However, now the Government has decided to increase the total grant from 40 per cent to 55 per cent of trading profits for November to January, while the grant will be capped at £5,160.

To confuse matters slightly, in Parliament, the Prime Minister announced that support to the self-employed would increase from 40 per cent of trading profits to 80 per cent for November. As this would only be for just one month and claims are made over three, the amount available in total for the period has been adjusted to account for this.

To ensure that those who need support get it as soon as possible, payments will be made more quickly, with the claims window being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.

The level of the second SEISS grant, running from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021, will be reviewed by the Government and set in due course.

Government-backed loan schemes

Businesses had already been given an additional month to make an application for the Bounce Back Loan, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan and Future Fund schemes, allowing them to submit by 30 November 2020.

However, in recognition of the additional financial support that some businesses may require, the Government will now extend the loan application window until 31 January 2021.

Businesses that wish to make an application are encouraged to begin applications soon to ensure they have sufficient time to prepare and submit the required information.

To help businesses prepare for the changes resulting from national lockdown in England, the Government has produced a helpful factsheet.

Click here to download the latest factsheet

If you require support with any of the schemes recently announced or outlined in this update, please contact us.