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Business Support in Budget

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a range of new support measures for businesses in the Budget on 3 March, including new grants, extending the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (Furlough) to September 2021, an extension of the business rates holiday for three months for retail, hospitality and leisure, and an extension on the VAT reduction for hospitality and tourism. Find out below how the changes will affect your business and any actions you will need to take to claim further support.

New Restart Grants
New grants will be available for small businesses owners in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors of up to £18,000, while non-essential retail reopening on 12 April can apply for a grant of up to £6,000. These grants will be administered by Westminster City Council and we will pass on details of the application process when we know more.

Recovery Loan Scheme
The new Recovery Loan Scheme will replace the Bounce Back loans, and will offer loans of £25,000 – £10 million with the government guaranteeing 80% of the finance to the lender. These schemes will launch through accredited lenders from 6 April and will run until 31 December, subject to review. Details will be published on the GOV.UK website and helpful information can be found on the British Business Bank website.  

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough)
The level of furlough grant available to employers under the scheme will remain the same until 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021 the grant will be reduced and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible, employers must continue to pay employees 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they spend on furlough. Click here to see how the government contribution will change between 1 July and 30 September 2021.

Business Rates Holiday
The business rates holiday for hospitality, leisure and retail will be extended by three months, until 30 June, with 66% relief for the rest of the 2021/22 tax year. There is no need to contact the council about this, as your accounts will be amended automatically and businesses will receive a confirmation.

VAT Reduction
There’ll be an extension of the VAT cut to 5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions until the end of September, followed by a 12.5% rate for a further six months until the end of March 2022.

Cultural Recovery Fund
An additional £300 million has been announced to support museums, galleries and other cultural organisations in England through the Cultural Recovery Fund, which will be administered by Arts Council England.

 Apprenticeships Incentive Doubled
The apprenticeship hiring incentive in England will be extended to September 2021 and the payment doubled to £3,000. To use this scheme, you will need to set up an apprenticeship service account via the GOV.UK website.

For the full list of measures announced in the Budget, visit the GOV.UK website.

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