National grants and schemes available to small businesses and the self-employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.This guide contains information regarding national grants and schemes available to small businesses and the self-employed.
Grants and funding are also available at local authority level to help support businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. To find out what help and support is available in your area, we strongly recommend you contact your local council.

This information is updated regularly and is correct to the date shown above. We always recommend checking with your Local Authority for sources of local funding in addition to those mentioned here. 

FSB members should log into their dashboard to find details of their local FSB contacts, who can outline local support available.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Deadline: Extended until March 2021 

Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)  has been extended until the end of March 2021, and will continue to pay up to 80 per cent of wages. Read our update to furlough to learn more.

The Government will pay at least 80 per cent of employee wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. Employers will be required to pay the National Insurance and pension contributions for each employee. 

Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 (the day before the Job Support Scheme announcement) who were made redundant or stopped working afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made an RTI submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.

Job Support Scheme

Starts: April 2021 (expected)
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will now not be introduced until the CJRS scheme ends. 

This will follow the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme. The Government will support employers with wages, allowing employees to work shorter hours rather than being made redundant. 

The Chancellor also announced that the
Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

There are two types of support available for businesses to help cover employment costs.

  • JSS Open – if your business is operating but facing decreased demand.
  • JSS Closed – if you’re legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions in the UK.
  • All SMEs are eligible, even if you haven’t used the furlough scheme


The Job Retention Bonus

Starts: Unconfirmed.

Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

The Job Retention Bonus was announced as part of the ‘plan for jobs’ announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak in July 2020.

The bonus will now not be paid in February, and a retention incentive will be redeployed at the appropriate time. 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Deadline: 30 April 2021

Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme has been extended to 30 April 2021. The grant extension is for self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum installments each covering a three-month period.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. HMRC will provide a taxable grant covering 80 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single installment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is open to those who are self-employed or a member of a partnership that has been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

To claim you must:

  • Have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (Even if you did not claim)
  • Be currently actively trading and intending to continue to trade but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • Have been unable to trade due to the impact of coronavirus

Limited companies or trusts cannot claim the grant. The Government has extensive advice on eligibility for the scheme which includes an eligibility checker on their website .

The online portal for the next grant will be available to access from 30 November 2020. 

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

Deadline: 31 January 2021

Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

Businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum will be able to top-up their existing loan. Details on how to access this are expected shortly.

If you meet the following criteria: 

  • UK based business
  • Negatively impacted by coronavirus
  • Existed by 1 March 2020
  • Not ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019
  • Have a tax return or business tax account

You may be eligible for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, which allows SMEs to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

 However, the following businesses are exempt:

  • Insurer or re-insurer (but not insurance broker)
  • Bank
  • Public-sector body
  • Grant-funded further education establishment
  • State-funded primary and secondary school

Loans are capped at 25% of turnover, but there is no turnover limit. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan, with no fees or interest in the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 10 years, and no repayments will be due in the first 12 months. If you do decide to pay back in the first year, there is no penalty.

The Pay As You Grow scheme will extend repayments of the Bounce Back Loan:

  • Extended loan terms are estimated to halve the average monthly repayment
  • Option of interest only repayments
  • No impact on credit rating
  • Those in financial difficulty can suspend repayments for up to six months

Further details on the scheme are expected shortly.

VAT Deferral Payments

Deadline: 31 March 2022

Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

On 24 September 2020, the Chancellor announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay over the course of 11 payments up until the end of March 2022. 

This scheme will require you to opt-in, we will update on how you can do this when details are published.