Covid-19: A Guide to Supporting Your Business

In uncertain times, businesses need clarity and knowledge. Here's an extensive guide to accessing financial support to help keep your business trading

By The Fleximize Team


The outbreak of coronavirus has created a rapidly-changing trading environment, with new announcements and measures being rolled out all the time. We’ll be updating this page with information & financial support for your business, but please continue to keep up to date with your local authority/government. The information contained below is correct as of 09:00 am 01/04/20.

Quick Links

Business Advice

Government Guidance

FSB Support

Advice for Employers

Government Support

Statutory Sick Pay Relief

Business Interruption Loans

Grants & Funds

Business Rates Relief

Paying Taxes

Financial Support

Support From Your Bank

Help From Fleximize

Finance Options

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak is causing large ripples throughout the global economy, and Britain's small businesses are feeling the pinch. As always, we're committed to supporting you, your business, and the wider SME community, at this most difficult of times. Below you'll find:

If you have any questions whatsoever about what we’re doing and how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – our number is 020 7100 0110, or you can email us at hello@fleximize.com

Business advice

The Government’s advice on coronavirus is changing all the time in line with updates from leading scientists and health professionals. For the most up-to-date advice on the Government’s response visit gov.uk, which also has lots of useful information for businesses and the self-employed:

Government Guidance

For advice on self-isolation, identifying symptoms, and how to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus, visit NHS England.


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has an in-depth guide to keeping your business afloat during the outbreak. It covers everything from:

Insurance: Claiming on your business interruption cover and working with your insurer.

HMRC: Including the deferment of tax payments, SSP & Employment Allowance.

Local authority issues: Applying for grants and hardship funds, and the emergency business rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

Financial support: Talking to your bank or lender about finance options, customers about payment, and landlords about rent.

FSB Guidance


Being an employer brings a unique challenge at this point. The CIPD website provides a full fact sheet, FAQs and actions to take to help manage your employees. It's a helpful resource for both business owners and HR teams. Key advice and resources include: 

For their full advice and information, please visit the CIPD website by clicking the button below.

Employment Guidance


Government support

This crisis has affected businesses in all industries, all over the world, and needs a co-ordinated and strong response. The Government has announced a package of measures worth a combined £350bn designed to minimize the impact on your business. These include:

Types of Support

Statutory Sick Pay Relief | Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme | Small Business Grant Fund | Retail, Leisure & Hospitality Grants | Business Rate HolidaysTime to Pay & VAT DefermentsCoronavirus Jobs Retention SchemeSelf-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)Insolvency Law Changes

SSP relief

A statutory sick pay (SSP) relief package for businesses, whereby the Government will refund up to 2-weeks’ SSP per eligible employee.

The key facts:

How to apply:

More details will be released in the coming weeks on the timescale around this and how to claim this package. Find out whether your business is eligible here.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

A government-backed temporary loan scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank in partnership with 40 accredited lenders.

The key facts:

How to apply:

Businesses will need to apply via one of its accredited partners. We are currently working with the British Business Bank to help more business through CBILS. You can find out more here.


Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)

Additional funding provided by the Government to local authorities. This is designed to support small businesses that pay little or no business rates due to small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.

The key facts:

How to apply:

Local authorities will be administering these grants, and the Government has stated local authorities will be contacting eligible businesses in due course. You can find more information here.


Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG)

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses of up £25k per property.

The key facts:

How to apply:

Local authorities will be administering these grants, and the Government has stated local authorities will be contacting businesses eligible in due course. You can find out more information here.


Business Rates Holidays

The Government has announced a 12-month business rates holiday for all businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, as well as all nurseries, for the 2020-2021 tax year.

The key facts:

How to apply:

You don't need to do anything - this will automatically be applied. You can find your local authority here.


Time to Pay & VAT Deferments

HMRC have set up a dedicated helpline to those struggling to make payment for VAT under their Time to Pay service. The Government has also announced that the next quarter of VAT Payments (April – June) will now be deferred for all businesses (where required).

The key facts:

How to apply:

You can contact HMRC on Monday – Friday between 8am-8pm and Saturdays 8am-4pm. The dedicated helpline number is 0800 0159 559. You can find out more information here.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Businesses and organisations are now able to apply for a grant from HMRC that will cover the wages of workers that aren’t laid off, but who aren’t able to work temporarily.

The key facts:


How to apply

To access the scheme, you need to designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify employees of this change. You then need to submit information about these employees and their earnings to HMRC. You can find out more information here.

A new dedicated portal will be established for this purpose. HMRC is also working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. We will provide a further update when the system is up and running.


Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The government have set up a Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to support self-employed individuals that have lost trading profits during the coronavirus pandemic.

The key facts:

How to apply:

You cannot apply for the scheme yet. HMRC will contact all individuals that are eligible, using existing information available, to invite them to apply. Those that have not submitted 2018-2019 tax return have until the 23rd April to file their tax return to be eligible for the scheme. 

HMRC are publishing up-to-date guidance on the scheme, available here.


Changes to insolvency law

The government have announced a number of fundamental changes to UK insolvency law designed to remove personal liability from directors and help businesses weather the storm of Covid-19.

The key facts:

How to apply:

These changes will apply retrospectively from 1 March 2020. For more information, click here.


Annual leave allowance

The Government has introduced a temporary law to deal with any disruption to annual leave entitlement for employees due to coronavirus under the Working Time Regulations. This will allow employees to carry over up to 4 weeks of paid holiday over a 2 year period.

The key facts:

How to apply:

You don't need to apply to the Government for these changes, as they should be implemented by your employer. You can find out more information here

Financial support

Banks and lenders like Fleximize are work closely with the Government to support you and your business during the outbreak.

Choose Your Bank

HSBC | Lloyds Bank | Bank of Scotland | Halifax | Natwest |  RBS | Ulster Bank | Barclays

HSBC

HSBC have confirmed they have allocated £5 billion to help businesses affected by coronavirus, and £3 billion to support importers and exporters. They are also an accredited CBILS partner.

What they're offering:

Who is eligible?

All HSBC business customers.

How to contact them:

You can contact the HSBC helpline on 08000 121 614 from 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday. For those looking for a trade finance specialist, you can contact 0800 783 1300 from 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday.

You can also find out more on what they are doing here.


Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds, Bank of Scotland, Halifax)

The Lloyds Banking Group have introduced a £2 billion package to help protect SMEs from the financial impact of coronavirus. They are also an accredited CBILS partner.

What they're offering:

Who is eligible?

Any small business customers of Lloyds or Bank of Scotland Business account with a turnover of up to £25m.

How to contact them:

Speak to your relationship manager, or call Lloyds on 020 7626 1500, or Bank of Scotland on 0345 300 0268.

Lloyds Bank customers can find more information here, and Bank of Scotland customers can get support here.


RBS Group (RBS, NatWest, Ulster Bank)

RBS Group have announced £5 billion of working capital support for SMEs affected by coronavirus. They are also an accredited CBILS partner.

What they're offering:

Who is eligible?

All NatWest Business customers. Normal credit checks might still apply, decided on a case-by-case basis.

How to contact them:

Speak to your relationship manager or call NatWest on 0345 711 4477 or Ulster Bank on 0345 366 5592.

RBS customers can find more information here, Natwest customers can get support here, and Ulster Bank customers should go here.


Barclays

Barclays have announced a number of initiatives to help their business customers through this difficult period. They are also an accredited CBILS partner.

What they're offering:

Who is eligible?

All existing Barclays Business customers.

How to contact them:

Barclays' helpline number is 0800 1971 0861 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm). You can find out more information here.


Help from Fleximize

Our mission has always been to provide support to small businesses where they need it most – cash flow. And during these times of economic uncertainty, keeping your cash flow as healthy as possible is even more important. So we’re not deviating from our mission – we’re here to provide you with quick, flexible capital to support your business if you need it. 

How we can help

At Fleximize, we look closely at the underlying reasons for cash flow issues, recognizing that, like now, they’ll often be out of a business owner’s control. Our flexible business loans are an attractive alternative to traditional forms of cash flow finance. Here are some of the highlights: 

Our flexible lending criteria means we won’t automatically dismiss a company with an inconsistent credit history. Instead, we take the unique circumstances of every business into account, with a view to saying 'yes' wherever possible.

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