Coronavirus Support

The Government has used the Spring Budget to announce financial support for freelancers and small businesses in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Many freelancers are concerned about the impact of Coronavirus on their businesses, so the support announced in the Government’s Spring Budget should offer some reassurance.

Here are the main takeaways:

Universal Credit / Employment & Support Allowance

The government has removed the minimum income floor for Universal Credit, making it easier for the self-employed to quality for Universal Credit.

They have also opened access to the Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) from the first day of illness, rather than the eighth. This amounts to £73.10/week for those over 25 or £57.90/week for those under.

Financial support

In a series of packages aimed at supporting a range of business sizes and cirumstances, the Government has also announced:

  • Loans for businesses with a turnover below £41m
  • Businesses with <250 employees will be eligible to have the cost of 14 days sick pay per employee refunded in full
  • A £3,000 cash grant will be made available to 700,000 small businesses, accessed through Local Authorities
  • Business rates for properties with a rateable value under £51,000 will be reduced to zero for 2020–21

Tax leniency

The Government has also set-up a helpline (0800 0159 559) for businesses who are worried that the impact of COVID-19 might affect their ability to pay outstanding tax bills.

The helpline will let businesses arrange a suitable timeline to settle tax liabilities.