Supporting your business throughout the Covid-19 pandemic
28 May 20  /  Covid-19

Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions in England, there’s still a long way to go in the global fight against Covid-19. We’re right at the beginning of the journey back to some form of normality (and who knows whether we’ll revert to our historic norms or society will drastically change) and while our consumer-driven economy is suppressed, the challenges to business owners remain.

The Government has announced a whole raft of measures to help businesses of all sizes through these difficult times, with details constantly evolving and changing. With so much ‘noise’ coming from the press, however, it’s sometimes difficult to find accurate and reliable information. 

We wanted to give clients and friends of Mathews Comfort access to the various business lifelines that have been implemented by the Government to help business people, and have  

listed the main schemes below, with relevant website links:


1. VAT payment deferred 

VAT payments for firms have been deferred from 20th March until 30th June 2020, which means no VAT registered business will pay VAT from now until the end of June, and there is up until the end of the financial year to repay bills. (Direct debits must be cancelled, or payments will continue to be collected.) Details can be found here.

2. Closure of tax audits

Some tax audits have been suspended or closed as they are not ‘in the public interest’ at this time, and others are being carried out remotely. Details can be found here.

3. Extensions to file accounts

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help avoid incurring penalties as they deal with impact of COVID-19. Details can be found here.


A good overview of what’s available for small businesses and the self-employed can be found at Simply Business.


A wide range of schemes is available, with the situation continually evolving. Check Government website for latest information at We list the main schemes here:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS):

This is a grant to employers to pay the salaries of furloughed employees. CJRS payments will be 80% of the salary, up to £2,500 per month an employee. Initially running for 3 months, the scheme is evolving and is now extended to October. Details can be found here.

Increase in Employment Allowance

Employment Allowance Will Increase from £3,000 to £4,000 from April 2020: only available to businesses which have a Class 1 Secondary NICs bill of £100,000 or less in the previous tax year. Details can be found here.

Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for SMEs

Interest-free for 12 months, with 40+ accredited lenders and partners, providing up to £5m for smaller business across the UK experiencing lost or deferred revenues leading to disruptions in cashflow. Repayment term of up to six years. Details can be found here.

Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) - for Large Business

Provides a Government guarantee of 80%, enabling banks to make loans of up to £25m to firms with an annual turnover between £45m and £500m who are facing significant cashflow difficulties. Available through commercial lenders. Details can be found here.

COVID Corporate Financing Facility - for Large Businesses

Supports larger businesses, typically plc’s or Government-backed companies with low gearing. The Bank of England has stated it will buy Commercial Paper issued by investment grade companies at prices existing on 1st March 2020. Details can be found here.

Small Business Rate Relief

This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund  (SBGF) for £10,000 and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) for £10,000 & £25,000.There is also a £3k grant for businesses eligible for small business rates relief or rural rates relief. Most grants will be paid automatically, but some Local Authorities have launched application processes. For details contact your Local Authority website. General details can be found here.

Additional funding for business who didn’t qualify for Business Rate Grants

Additional funding is available to those businesses that have fixed property costs but did not qualify for the Business Rates Grants. Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures. There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum is £25,000,

other grants are £10,000 and amounts under £10,000 are available at the Local Authority’s discretion. For details see your Local Authority’s website. Details can be found here.

Bounce back loans for small businesses

This measure is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet and offers loans from £2,000 up to £50,000 (up to a maximum of 25% of your turnover) over a Fixed Year loan term, with no early repayment fees. 12 month capital repayment holiday is automatically applied at the start of the loan and interest for the first 12 months is paid by the government, and then by you for the remainder of the loan term. Applications are made online with your bank, and are very straight forward and appear take  about 5 to 10 minutes on average. Details can be found here. Links to major banks: 

Mathews Comfort – here to help

We hope that you find these sources of information helpful. If you know of any other Government backed support schemes or local support hubs that we have not highlighted, please let us know.

If this article has highlighted your need for an accountant, legal or financial support, or assistance with corporate finance or banking, we are happy to introduce you to our connections. Please call 01865 208 000 or email us at:

Safe wishes to all of our clients and friends.

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HR support during the Covid-19 pandemic
29 May 20  /  Covid-19