COVID-19 Support for Businesses

Kent Vorland,  March 19, 2020

Dear Business Owner,

At SmartTrade we continuously try to do what we can to help businesses get through these tough times which are affecting the entire global population, perhaps more than anything, small business owners. The UK government has moved quickly in rolling out emergency packages targeting COVID-19 business support in an attempt to help you get through these next months of uncertainty and retain as much as possible of the economy.

Our dear friends at Capital Plus Partners have been so kind as to share a short summary they’ve put together so you can quickly get an overview of what offers are out there and what you could do in the short term to get help for your business. Also, don’t forget to have a look at our letter from our CEO on how SmartTrade can help you accept payments from the comfort of your own home or office, while completely avoiding interactions and further exposure to COVID-19. Please see the summary below:

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and business through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.


In summary:

  • Statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £ 10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £ 25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £ 15,000 and £ 51,000
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption loan scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
  • HMRC Time to Pay Scheme


Businesses paying sick pay to employees

  • SME’s and employers will be able to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.


Eligibility criteria:-

  • Refund will cover up to 2 week’s SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible
  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP
  • Eligibility period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension to SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • Employees do not have to provide a GP sick note


Businesses that pay business rates

  • A business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will be introduced for the 2020-2021 tax
  • Businesses that received the retail discount in 2019-2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority
  • A £ 25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises with a rateable value between £ 15,000 and £ 51,000
  • Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of reliefs should be directed to the relevant local


Businesses that pay little or no business rates

  • Government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support SMEs that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £ 10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBBR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business
  • Businesses eligible for SBBR will be contacted by local authority – you do not need to


Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by British Business Bank, will launch next week to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee and the scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.



  • Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17th March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a


  • Insurance policies differ significantly so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policies and contact their Most businesses are unlikely to be covered as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.



Support for businesses paying tax

  • All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s time to pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and


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Kent Vorland,  March 18, 2020

Dear SmartTrade Customer, We are proud to serve businesses such as yours all over the UK and always look to champion small business owners and sole traders, with the intent of making sure you can always run your business efficiently and get paid. During these times where COVID-19 is sweeping the world and the nation, […]

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