James Trowell
Accounting Lead
Posted 4 weeks ago

Lockdown 2.0: Updates to government support for the self-employed community

Image credit: Christin Hume 📸

As the second lockdown begins, existing support measures are being extended to help people through the next few months. To help you to navigate your way through the piles of information, we’ve created a summary of the latest updates to each of the support schemes. We’ll cover:

  • Self-employed income support scheme (SEISS)
  • Business loans
  • Furlough scheme continues
  • Mortgage holidays extended
  • Universal credit

Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The SEISS was originally extended through to January covering 40% of average trading profits, but this has now been increased to 80% for November, December and January. This means that the maximum grant size will increase to £7,500. There’s more information on the specifics on the UK Gov website.

To make sure those that need support get it as soon as possible, you’ll also now be able to claim the grant much earlier – applications will now open at the end of November. You can claim this grant even if you haven’t claimed either of the first two, and the eligibility is the same as the first two, which we know is frustrating for so many.

Remember, you need to declare that your business has been impacted by Covid-19 and that you intend to continue trading (where possible).

Business loans

If you were looking for a business support loan due to Covid-19, the deadline for applying was set to expire at the end of October but this has been extended.

You now have until 31st January 2021 to apply for a Bounce Back Loan (BBLS) or the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS). 

If you’ve already taken a Bounce Back loan and borrowed less than 25% of your turnover (up to £50,000) you can apply for a top-up under the new rules.

This will be available from next week. But it’s important to note – you can only top-up your loan once.

Furlough scheme continues

The furlough scheme has been extended for UK small business employees (this includes sole director companies).

The extended scheme will run until the end of March and will continue to cover 80% of an employee’s salary, up to a maximum of £2,500 for the hours not worked.

You’ll only be asked to cover national insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5% of the total cost.

Mortgage holidays extended

The mortgage holiday period was due to end 31st October, however, this has now been extended a further 6 months. If you haven’t taken one, you can still apply and will now be entitled to a six month holiday. If you have already taken a payment holiday, you’ll be able to top this up for a further 6 months without it affecting your credit rating.

Universal credit 

The minimum income floor (MIF) suspension was due to end next week, but the DWP has now confirmed the suspension will continue until April 2021. This is good as many have been left out from schemes like SEISS and are having to rely on things like universal credit to get by, and this would have left many people facing a huge drop in the financial support that they received.

Looking for more info?

If you’d like to know more of the nitty-gritty, then we recommend you take a look at this article by  Money Saving Expert. They’ve covered many of the same topics that we have, but this article drills down into the finer details of the schemes and how you can apply. 

We also know that things can be stressful in times of uncertainty, so if you do have any questions or concerns feel free to get in touch with us on Coconut Bite, message us in the in-app chat, or drop us an email at [email protected]

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