Lockdown 2.0 – What support is available to businesses?

Revisions to Coronavirus Business Support

As we prepare to enter Lockdown for a second time, the government’s economic priority continues to be to protect jobs.

In order fulfill this, the government has announced:

  • An extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until 2nd December (It has since been announced that the scheme will until March 2021)
  • More generous support for the self-employed and paying that support more quickly
  • Cash grants of up to £3,000 per month for businesses which are forced to close
  • Plans to extend existing Loan Schemes to the end of January and an ability to top up Bounce Back Loans

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extension for Lockdown 2.0

CJRS will be extended until 2nd December 2020 with eligible employees receiving 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Businesses will have the flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full time.

Employers are required to pay National Insurance and employer pension contributions and can choose to top up employees’ wages above the grant if they wish to.

Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under CJRS to make a claim under the extended scheme.

Employees notified by RTI submission to HMRC on or before 23:59, Saturday 30th October will be eligible.

Employees employed as of 23rd September (day of Job Support Scheme announcement) and notified to HMRC by RTI on or before that date, who have since been made redundant can be rehired and placed on the scheme.

Claims cannot be made until next week, the date of which is yet to be confirmed.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has since been extended until March 2021, read our article on the 8 things you need to know about CJRS for more details.

Additional support for the self-employed

The government is increasing the support for self-employed from 40 per cent of trading profits to 80 per cent for November. As Self-Employed Income Support Scheme grants are calculated over 3 months, this increases the total level of the grant to 55 per cent of trading profits for November to January and the maximum grant will increase to £5,160.

Claims can be made as of 30th November, two weeks earlier than initially planned.

Financial support for businesses

The application deadline for loan guarantee schemes has been extended to the end of January 2021. This will give businesses two extra months to make loan applications to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Adjustments to the Bounce Back Loan scheme will allow business who have already made use of the BBLS and borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. less than 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan. This will be available from next week.

Businesses that are forced to close due to the national restrictions will receive up to £3,000 per four weeks.

Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors who had previously been placed in tiers 2 and 3 that have been suffering from reduced demand for a while will receive backdated grants at 70% of the value of closed grants up to a maximum of £2,100 per four weeks for this period.

Existing economic support measures

  • Reduced VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attractions until the end of March 2021
  • Business rates relief for hospitality, retail, leisure and nurseries until the end of March 2021
  • Extensive tax deferrals for general tax, VAT and Income Tax Self-Assessment


Published: 4th November 2020

Last Updated: 13th November 2020

All information correct at the time of publishing.