Financial & Legal News

Business Support in Economic Emergency

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Whilst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the UK its impact will no doubt be having an effect on your business. Our Commercial Team here at Pearson Solicitors are here to steer you through these unprecedented days of disruption.

Government Business Support

The Chancellor set out a package of financial measures in the budget last week which were further strengthened earlier this week reassuring businesses that the Government will do what it takes to get through this economic emergency.  These temporary measures have been introduced to support small and large businesses throughout this period.

  • Statutory Sick Pay refund
  • Business Rate Relief available for small businesses and pubs
  • For those businesses receiving Small Business Rates Relief ( SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief there is a small grant funding of £10K
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme ( for those businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures or seeking additional finance)
  • Time to Pay Scheme

    Statutory Sick Pay Relief

    Businesses with less than 250 employees will be refunded by government for the cost of providing 14 days SSP for eligible staff.

    Business Rates

    A business rates retail holiday will be introduced for retail, hospitality and leisure business in England for 2020/21 tax year.  For those businesses operating from smaller premises (with rateable value between £15 - £51K rateable values. Those that received the retail discount in 2019/20 will be rebilled by the local authority soon but you may need to apply to your local authority to receive that discount.

    Further guidance on the business rates holiday will be published on 20 March and we will be updating clients as necessary.

    Businesses who pay little or no Business Rates

    The Government will provide funding to local authorities to support small businesses who fall into this category through the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR). This will provide a one off grant of £10K to help these businesses meet their ongoing business costs.

    You don’t need to apply - if you are eligible your local authority will contact you.

    Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

    This temporary new scheme delivered by the British Bank will launch next week.  It’s being introduced to support businesses access bank lending and overdrafts.

    The Government is guaranteeing 80% on each loan to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.  This scheme will support loans of up to £5million in value and the Government will not be charging businesses or banks for this guarantee. Initially it will support up to £1 billion of lending on top of current support offered through the British Business Bank.

    Business can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free as the Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.

    Time to Pay Scheme

    All those in financial distress, be it businesses or self-employed people, with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs.  Agreed on a case by case basis, these arrangements are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

    HMRC have a dedicated help line for those who are concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to COVID-10 which is 0800 0159 559.


    Check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered.  Insurance policies differ greatly so it best to check terms and conditions of your specific policy. Many businesses are unlikely to be covered as most business interruption policies are dependent on damage to a property so this will exclude pandemics. 

    However, some businesses may have cover for pandemics and government-ordered closures, the Government and insurance industry confirmed that advice on 17 March 2020 to avoid pubs, theatres etc. is sufficient to make a claim.

    Some businesses may have purchased add-ons relating to notifiable diseases and some may have purchased supply chain or denial of access cover.  In any of these cases it is worth checking with the insurance provider.

    Further advice can be obtained from our Commercial team here at Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers.  Please call us on 161 785 3500.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Christopher Burke


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