What support is available for my small business during coronavirus?

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Running your own business is challenging - and current events have made it a whole lot harder.

The government has announced a range of initiatives to support small businesses throughout the coronavirus pandemic - including loans, grants and support paying staff. We've summarised and explained what's available, to help you understand the best options for your business. We'll keep our blog updated when we know more.

You can also find our summary on how the government is helping the self-employed specifically here.

If your business is an early-stage company, you might be eligible for the Future Fund. We've explained more about that here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

Small and medium-sized businesses can access loans of up to £5 million, for up to 6 years, backed by the British Business Bank. The government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees from the lender, so you'll benefit from lower early repayments. The scheme is being made available through over 40 lenders.

While Monzo's not able to lend to businesses directly, we've teamed up with Funding Xchange, a credit broker.

Funding Xchange is a lending marketplace that could give you access to a wide range of funding solutions for your business. They're currently partnered with 13 of the CBILS lenders, as well as dozens of other lenders. You won't be charged a fee for going through them, and getting a quote usually takes just a few minutes.

If your business is a limited company, you'll be able to access Funding Xchange straight from your Monzo Business account.

Tap here if you're on your mobile - or tap your profile picture in the app, and tap "Business loans".

The Bounce Back Loan scheme

On 27th April, the government announced the Bounce Back Loan scheme, to fast-track support for small businesses who’ve been negatively affected by coronavirus.

The scheme gives small and medium-sized businesses access to loans of between £2,000 and £50,000, for up to 6 years. The loans are 100% backed by the government, and they'll be made available through a network of lenders.

For the first 12 months, you won’t be charged any fees or interest, or have to make any loan repayments. Once the first 12 months are up, the government has said that they’ll work alongside the lenders to ensure a low interest rate for the remaining period of the loan.

The Bounce Back scheme will open for applications on 4th May. Applications will take place online, and if you’re approved, you should receive the loan within days. 

Who's eligible for the Bounce Back Loan scheme?

To qualify, your business will need to be based in the UK, and have been negatively affected by coronavirus.

And if any of the following apply to your business, you won't be eligible for the Bounce Back Loan scheme:

  • you've already been granted a CBILS loan (if you want to transfer a CBILS loan to a Bounce Back Loan, you'll need to get in touch with your lender before 4th November 2020)

  • your business was an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019

  • your business is a:

    • bank, insurer or reinsurer (but not an insurance broker)

    • public-sector body

    • state-funded primary school or secondary school

There'll be more information about the scheme published on the government's website shortly, and we'll update this blogpost when we know more.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If you're worried about how you'll pay staff, there's help at hand. If you're an employer under a PAYE scheme, and you'd otherwise need to let staff go because of coronavirus, you can get help paying part of your employees’ salary. HMRC will reimburse you for up to 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month (whichever is lower).

It'll be backdated to 1st March. You'll need to let the employees know, place them on furlough (keeping them on payroll, but without them working) and let HMRC know through a new portal (which'll be created soon). Learn more about how to claim here.


These grants are for businesses based in England. Depending on your business, you could be eligible for a government grant.

  • The Small Business Grant Scheme: businesses who get small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) or tapered relief are eligible for a £10,000 cash grant.

    You'll be contacted by your local authority if you're eligible.

  • The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme: businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure will be eligible for a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property, depending on its rateable value.

    If your business has a rateable value under £15,000, you'll receive a cash grant of £10,000.

    If your business has a rateable value between £15,000-£51,000, you'll receive a cash grant of £25,000.

    You'll be contacted by your local authority if you're eligible.

Business rates holiday

The following businesses based in England won't have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year:

You won't need to do anything - this will be reflected in your next council tax bill in April 2020.

Tax deferrals

Businesses and those who are self-employed are being given more time to make tax payments.

  • Value Added Tax (VAT) payments have been deferred for 3 months (between 20th March to 30th June). This means your business won't need to make a VAT payment for this period, until the end of the 2020/2021 tax year.

  • If you're self-employed, Self-Assessment Income Tax payments that would have been due in July 2020 will be deferred to January 2021. You won't be charged penalties or interest for late payment in the deferral period.

Support for paying sick pay to employees

If you've got an employee who's had to take time off work because of coronavirus, you'll be able to claim 2 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) back. Your business is eligible if it had fewer than 250 employees on 28th February 2020.

The government's developing a rebate scheme to process the refunds - until then, keep a record of staff absences and SSP payments.

HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

If you've missed a tax payment or you think you'll miss your next payment, you may be eligible for support from HMRC. This could be longer time to repay what you owe, and they'll make a decision based on your individual circumstances.

To access the Time To Pay scheme, you'll need to call HMRC directly on 0800 0159 559.

3-month extension to file Companies House accounts

If you need more time to file your accounts with Companies House because of coronavirus, you can apply for a 3-month extension to avoid penalties for late filing.

The application process takes around 15 minutes. If coronavirus (or health issues related to coronavirus) are the reason for your application, your 3-month extension should be approved immediately.

You can apply for your extension here.

The government has ordered certain businesses to close to prevent further spreading of coronavirus. You can see the guidelines, including which businesses are affected, here.

If you're affected by coronavirus, it could also impact your income, your finances, and how you're able to manage your money.

That's why we want to reassure you that we're well-equipped to support you and keep Monzo running, even if we can't make it to the office. Here's how we can support you during the coronavirus outbreak.

This information has been taken from the government website, gov.uk. Learn more here. This blog post was last updated on 29th April and if any new information is released, we will update this post.