The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered the Autumn Budget and Governmental Spending Review on 27 October 2021. His focus was delivering strong and innovative public services, supporting people and private sector businesses by raising living standards and investing for growth in the economy, including capital investment for the Government’s Net Zero Strategy.

Despite the fact that some of the initial coronavirus funding schemes have now closed, the Government has extended some measures and introduced new initiatives to encourage economic growth and provide ongoing support to people and businesses.

Here we take a look at some of the financial support schemes that are available.

Recovery Loan Scheme

This loan scheme enables businesses, of any size, to continue to access loans through a series of accredited lenders.

The scheme has been extended and will remain open for applications until 30 June 2022.

Lenders are able to provide finance as either a term loan, overdraft, invoice finance or asset finance.

  • The maximum amount of a facility provided is £10m per business (£30m per group);
  • Minimum facility sizes vary, starting at £1,000 for asset and invoice finance and £25,001 for term loans and overdrafts;
  • The term length for loans and asset finance is from three months up to six years;
  • The term length for overdrafts and invoice finance is from three months up to three years; and
  • Businesses must cover the costs of interest payments and any fees associated with the RLS facility.

How to apply

The RLS is available through a number of British Business Bank accredited lenders.

Businesses should approach the lender themselves, through their website. The amount of finance offered varies between lenders and not every lender can provide all of the different types of finance available through the scheme.

Click here to find an accredited lender.

Help To Grow

This programme from the Government offers small and medium-sized businesses access to new skills and digital expertise. The purpose of the Scheme is to help small and medium sized businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits.

The scheme is divided into two parts – Help To Grow: Digital and Help To Grow: Management.

Help To Grow: Management will give 30,000 businesses the opportunity to take part in a 12 week-programme delivered by business schools across the UK.

  • Fifty hours of tuition will provide strategic skills including financial management, innovation and digital adoption; and
  • The programme is 90% subsidised by the Government, with participants charged £750.

Who is it for?

UK businesses from any sector that have been operating for more than one year, with between 5 to 249 employees are eligible.

The participant should be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business e.g. Chief Executive, Finance Director etc.

Charities are not eligible.

Help To Grow: Digital will enable businesses to access free advice, via an online hub, on the technologies that can help save time and money, whilst encouraging growth.

  • Eligible businesses will be given vouchers, entitling them to 50% off the purchase of approved software;
  • It is expected that this will be software to help build customer relationships, optimise online sales and manage finances digitally;
  • The voucher is expected to be available to UK businesses that have been trading for more than one year and are purchasing discounted software for the first time; and
  • Full details of eligibility will be published this summer.

Who is it for?

All businesses will be able to benefit from free online advice on the platform.

The voucher is expected to be available to UK business that

  • Employ between 5 and 249 employees and are registered at Companies House;
  • Have been trading for more than 12 months; and
  • Are purchasing the discounted software for the first time.

You can register in your interest in both schemes by clicking here.

Business Rates Holiday 

A series of reforms to the business rates regime were announced within the Autumn Budget 2021.

  • From 2023, property revaluations will take place every 3 years instead of every 5 years;
  • The retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be given a 50% discount on business rates for one year, up to a maximum of £110,000 per business;
  • From April 2023, businesses will be able to make property improvements and not have to pay additional business rates for a period of 12 months following the completion of the improvement works;
  • Relief will be given for green technologies, including energy generation (e.g. solar panels) and storage as well as eligible heating networks; and
  • Finally, the planned increase in the business rates multiplier has been cancelled and will instead be frozen for 2022-23.

Self Assessment Payment Plan

If you owe Self Assessment tax and your bill is less than £30,000 you may be able to pay in monthly instalments.

  • This arrangement enables the cost of your tax bill to be spread into monthly payments, up to a 12-month period;
  • The online service can be used once your 2019-20 tax return has been completed;
  • The online Time to Pay facility was previously available for paying tax liabilities up to £10,000; and
  • From 1 October 2020, the threshold to use the online service has been increased to £30,000.

Click here to set up a Self Assessment payment plan

VAT Reduced Rate

The temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions ended on 30 September 2021.

A new reduced rate of 12.5% has now been introduced which will end on 31 March 2022. The scope of the relief will remain unchanged.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme closed on 30 September 2021.

Employers have until 31 December 2021 to submit any final claims, or to amend claims they have already submitted.

The scheme is for employers that have paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to employees for sickness or self-isolation due to coronavirus.

Further details on the scheme can be found here.

Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

The Government has announced a new Mortgage Guarantee Scheme to increase the availability of 95% loan to value mortgage products. The scheme will provide a guarantee to lenders across the UK who offer mortgages to people with a deposit of just 5% on homes with a value of up to £600,000.

Under the scheme, all buyers will have the opportunity to fix their initial mortgage rate for at least five years should they wish to.

The scheme is intended as a temporary measure and will be open for new mortgage applications from April 2021 to December 2022.

Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) extension

The Government is extending the temporary £1 million level of the AIA to 31 March 2023. This will provide unincorporated businesses with more upfront support.

The extension, combined with the super deduction available for corporates, should encourage all businesses to bring forward investment.

With these measures due to end on 31 March 2023 and corporation tax rates increasing to 25% on 1 April 2023 for companies with profits in excess of £50,000 (or even lower where there are associated companies), careful consideration should be given to the timing of future expenditure to ensure capital allowances are claimed in a tax efficient manner.

Local Business Support Grants

Local councils offer a range of different business support grants and training opportunities.

Click here to find out what support is available through your local council.

Please be aware of fraudulent schemes

You will access Government support schemes only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

Should you have any queries on the support measures outlined on this page then please either get in touch with your usual M+A Partners contact or email enquiries@mapartners.co.uk and we will be happy to help.