We know that many of our members working in private practice or for small organisations remain anxious about how their business will cope over the next few months.

We'll continue to provide you with information about financial and other support you may be able to access, as well as working to represent our members' interests to Government, to help minimise the impact on your businesses.

Support schemes

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary measures to support public services, people and businesses through the initial period of disruption caused by COVID-19. They include:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Employers can claim for 80% of employees' wages, plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you've put them on furlough because of coronavirus.

You can now submit claims for periods starting on or after 1 July.

The last day for submitting claims for periods ending on or before 30 June is 31 July.

A Job Retention Bonus was announced on 8 July. You can find more information in the government’s Plan for jobs.

More about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Statutory sick pay

If you're an employer, you may be able to use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online. If you live with someone who has symptoms, you can get a note from the NHS website.

More about the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Small business grant funding

The Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) supports small and rural businesses in England with their business costs during coronavirus. Small businesses in England, which pay little or no business rates, are entitled to a one-off cash grant of £10,000 from their local council.

More about Small business grant funding

Local Discretionary Business Grant Fund

The Discretionary Grant Fund aims to support small and micro businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes in England. Administered by Local Authorities, the grants range from £25,000 to £10,000 and less, depending on your circumstances.

Some local authorities are publishing application forms for the LDBGF, which can require a fair amount of supporting documentation. Check our list of business support pages on local authority websites – or search the web for Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund and the name of your local authority.

More about Local Discretionary Business Grant Fund

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.

The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

How to access the scheme
There are over 50 lenders participating in the scheme including all the main retail banks. You should approach a suitable lender yourself via the lender’s website.

More about Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the outbreak. The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

More about Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

Support for businesses paying tax

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to defer self-assessment payments on account. You have the option to defer your second payment on account if you’re registered in the UK for self-assessment and finding it difficult to make your second payment on account by 31 July 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus.

More about  Support for businesses paying tax

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, you may be able to use this scheme to claim a grant. If you’re eligible, you must make your claim for the first grant on or before 13 July 2020. If you’re eligible for the second and final grant, and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim from 17 August 2020. You can make a claim for the second grant even if you did not make a claim for the first. 

More about Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Mortgage repayment holidays

Mortgage lenders are offering payment holidays for people in financial difficulty as a result of the virus.

More about mortgage repayment holidays

Self-employment and Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with living costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.

Find out if you’re eligible for Universal Credit

If you live in Northern Ireland, go to Universal Credit in Northern Ireland

Council Tax support

A £500 million Hardship Fund was announced in March, to provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households affected most by coronavirus.

All councils have their own schemes providing support to working age council tax payers. The level of support is decided by the council, taking account of local circumstances, but will provide a reduction on council tax bills to lower income households. Contact your local authority for information.


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.

COVID-19 business support across the nations

Most of the business support and tax advice applies across the UK. However, different schemes have been established on a national basis to better meet local needs: 



Northern Ireland

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.

We’ve contacted the FSB about how the Government can help protect self-employed people from the business impacts of coronavirus and are working with others to increase support and reduce the financial impact on our members.