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Covid-19 – Update on government support for rural businesses

2 mins

The government continues to develop its package of support for businesses suffering business disruption as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

It is not too late for rural businesses to apply for this support if they have not already done so and are currently facing cashflow difficulties.

Some of the key options include:

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses who have

seen their cashflow disrupted as a result of Covid-19. For example, dairy farmers who have experienced falling prices and losses because of milk not being picked should be eligible (depending on circumstances they may also be eligible for dairy hardship funding).

The scheme is being delivered through accredited lenders and is a loan of 25% of annual turnover up to a maximum of £50,000. The length of the loan is 6 years and the interest is fixed at 2.5%. No repayments are due during the first 12 months.

There is a simple online application process, with banks releasing funds within days, and in some cases hours, of a successful application.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

This is the grant for self-employed people, or a member of a partnership, whose income has been adversely affected by Covid-19.

The first phase of the scheme pays a grant worth 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

However, where annual profits are over £50,000 individuals will not be eligible for this grant.

Anyone wanting to claim the first grant must make a claim on or before 13 July 2020.

It was announced at the end of May that the scheme would be extended, allowing self-employed workers to make a claim for a second and final grant in August 2020.

This will be a taxable grant worth 70% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (England)

Additional funding is being made available to local authorities to try and close the gap in support for small businesses ineligible for the Small Business Grant Funds (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funds (RHLGF).

The funding is aimed at small and micro businesses with fixed property costs.

Local authorities have been given the option to pay grants to the value of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000.

When awarded assistance via this measure, the government has asked local authorities to prioritise:

  • businesses in shared spaces
  • regular market traders
  • small charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
  • bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

Job Retention Scheme

For the latest information on the Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) see our latest update https://rural.struttandparker.com/article/covid-19-five-key-considerations-for-rural-businesses-using-the-job-retention-scheme/

Alistair Cochrane
Director, Rural
Morpeth
441670897148
Send a message to Alistair Cochrane
2 mins

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