Extending furlough until the end of April. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – known as the furlough scheme – was extended last year, with employees receiving 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to £2,500 a month. Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time.
Providing more support for self-employed people. Support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500. A further grant will follow, covering February to April.
Extending the application deadline for loan guarantee schemes – that is, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme – to the end of March 2021. Businesses using Bounce Back Loans who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. less than 25 per cent of their turnover) can top-up their existing loan.
Extending mortgage holidays. Mortgage holiday will be extended to reassure homeowners. These were due to end on 31 October, but borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.
Supporting businesses forced to close. Retail, hospitality and leisure business premises which are legally forced to close can claim a one-off grant of up to £9,000. This one-off grant is in addition to the existing monthly closed grants of up to £3,000 per month that businesses continue to be eligible for. Businesses can receive multiple grants, as they are eligible on a per premises basis.
Supporting businesses hit hard by restrictions. On 5th January 2021, the Chancellor announced that councils in England will be given an additional £500 million of discretionary funding to support their local businesses. This builds on the money provided to councils through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) since November 2020. For more details, visit Exeter City Council's website here https://exeter.gov.uk/clean-safe-city/community-safety/coronavirus/covi… or East Devon District Council's website here https://eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/businesses-employers-and-…