Funding sources for businesses

National grants and schemes available to small businesses and the self-employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New lockdown grants

On 5 January 2021, the Chancellor announced new lockdown grants of up to £9,000 per property, to support retail, hospitality and leisure businesses forced to close across the UK.

More details are expected soon on how to access the new lockdown grants, which are scaled according to the rateable value of the business.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG)

Deadline: To be confirmed
Available in: Check with your local authority

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses that:

These grants are administered by local authorities.

Coronavirus Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

Deadline: To be confirmed
Available in: Check with your local authority

The Additional Restrictions Grant supports closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as those businesses still trading but severely impacted. 

Eligibility and funding levels are decided by local authorities - contact your local council for details.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Deadline: Extended until April 2021 
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now remain open until April 2021. For further information see:

The Government will pay at least 80% of employee wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. Employers will be required to pay the National Insurance and pension contributions for each employee. 

Claims for December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021. You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

Job Support Scheme

Starts: May 2021 (expected)
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be introduced when the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme ends. The Government will support employers with wages, allowing employees to work shorter hours rather than being made redundant. There are two types of support available for businesses to help cover employment costs.

  • JSS Open – if your business is operating but facing decreased demand
  • JSS Closed – if you’re legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions in the UK.

All SMEs are eligible, even if you haven’t used the furlough scheme.

Job Retention Bonus

Starts: To be confirmed
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

The Job Retention Bonus was announced in July 2020 as part of the Chancellor's 'plan for jobs’. The bonus will now not be paid in February as planned, and a retention incentive will be redeployed at the appropriate time. 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Deadline: 30 April 2021
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is open to those who are self-employed or a member of a partnership that has been adversely affected by (COVID-19). It has been extended to 30 April 2021 for those currently eligible who are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand. The taxable grant will be paid in two lump sum instalments, each covering a three-month period.

The first instalment will cover November to January with HMRC paying 80% of three months' average monthly trading profits, capped at £7,500 in total. You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021.

Limited companies or trusts cannot claim the grant. The government has extensive advice for the scheme, including an eligibility checker on its business support website.

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

Deadline: 31 March 2021
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

The Bounce Back Loan scheme allows SMEs to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. Businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum under the scheme will be able to top-up their existing loan.

See Bounce Back Loan for further details and how to apply.

VAT deferral payments

Deadline: 31 March 2022
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

Businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 now have the option to pay over 11 payments up until the end of March 2022. 

You will need to opt-in to the payments scheme, which will open early in 2021.

Deferral of self-assessment payments on account

Deadline: To be confirmed
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

Self-assessed income taxpayers can spread their outstanding tax payments over a 12-month period from January 2021. Payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, do not need to be paid until January 2022.

If you owe less than £10,000, you might be able to set up a Time to Pay Arrangement online. This lets you pay your self-assessment tax bill in instalments.

Other discretionary grants and funding

Other business grants are being administered by local authorities - you should contact them directly with any queries. All businesses can speak to their local council about business rates payment deferrals.


Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19.

Businesses that have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics, or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease, should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy). 
Guidance is available on the Association of British Insurers (ABI) website.

Income protection insurance

With an income protection plan you could be covered if you’re unable to work as a result of infection by coronavirus, as you would be for any other viral infection, provided you don’t have applicable personal medical exclusions on your insurance certificate.

If you have a policy, contact your provider for information. If you’re thinking about taking out a policy but not sure, get impartial consumer advice from Citizens Advice.

Working on your behalf

We'll continue speaking with other professional bodies and stakeholders to ensure that the right support is available to enable our members to carry on working and providing your services to anyone who needs them.