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Government Support Update for Business

Good morning all,

Not unexpectedly so, we will be entering into another national lockdown (England only) on Thursday for four weeks. This brings with it, amongst the health worries, plenty of financial anxieties too. Whilst the following information with regards to Government support is welcomed, is it perhaps not the level of support you would be expecting.

I have heard plenty of speculation and conjecture over the past 48 hours, but the below is information released from the Government so far. I would suggest that fine-tuning and additional measures would be available in due course, and I will update as I know more.


SEISS - The Self Employed Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.


1. Who Can Claim


To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

  • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)

  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:

  • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus

  • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus


2. What the Grant Extension Covers

The extension will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 55% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months' worth of profits, and capped at £5,160 in total.

The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. This therefore increases the total level of the grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2020.

The Government are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November due to its extension. And then the Job Support scheme in December and January.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions.


3. How to Claim

The online service for the next grant will be available from 30 November 2020. HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course.


Furlough Scheme


Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month.

The flexibility of the current CJRS will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can.

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November – making this more generous than support currently on offer.

The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help through the:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Job Support Scheme (from 1st November)

  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance

Business Closures


To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:

  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.

  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,

  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;

  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

Playgrounds can remain open.

Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

A full list of the business closures will be published and set out in law.

Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.

A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:

  • the NHS and medical services like GPs. We are supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.

  • Jobcentre Plus sites

  • Courts

  • Civil Registrations Offices

Thought of the Day


Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Corinthians 16:13

Stay well, stay safe, and do the right thing.

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