COVID-19 Updated Government Support

Summary of the latest Government support packages for COVID19 following the Chancellor's spring budget.

Updated - April 21 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - “Furlough” extended until the end of September 2021

The Government’s Job Retention Scheme which covers up to 80% of an employee's salary for the hours they can't work, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month has been extended.

From July an employer contribution will be introduced toward the cost of unworked hours. With employers asked to contribute:

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The SEISS has been extended until September and will now include those who submitted 2019/20 tax returns. 

Grant details:

Recovery Loan Scheme
- “Recovery Loans”

New government backed loans for businesses from £25K to £10M are available until the end of 2021. The Government will provide an 80% guarantee.

The scheme replaces the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and its larger sibling CLBILS.

Free “Help to Grow" programme - online management courses from top business schools

The programme will help small and medium sized businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits. More information can be found here.

Business schools are due to offer 50 hours of government funded tuition with one-to-one support from a mentor.The scheme will have two streams: 

“Super deductions” on capital investment

Increased tax relief for companies who invest in certain qualifying capital assets from 1 April 2021. This measure will allow a temporary first-year allowance; including a super-deduction of 130% on most new plant and machinery investments which would have ordinarily qualified for 18% relief, and a first year allowance of 50% on most new plant and machinery investments which would have ordinarily qualified for 6% relief.

This will provide not only an accelerated timing benefit but additional tax relief on expenditure incurred.

“Future Fund: Breakthrough” for equity investment for Tech Scale-ups

A £375 million UK-wide initiative will invest in highly innovative companies in life sciences and technology which are aiming to raise at least £20m of funding. The government will take a stake in these scale-ups, with private venture capital matching its contribution.


The government will now offer £3,000 incentive to take on an apprentice, regardless of age. More information can be found here.

Traineeships are designed to get people aged 16 to 24 their first job after education, and can last between six weeks and six months. In addition, there will be a new ‘flexi-job" apprenticeship that will enable apprentices to work with a number of different employers in one sector.

Further information on The Kickstart Apprenticeship programme which Bruntwood is supporting in partnership with The Growth Company can be found here.

Restart Grants for Retail / Hospitality 

Administered by local councils and based on rateable value of property, non-essential retail businesses can apply for up to a £6,000 grant per premise to reopen on April 12, while hospitality and leisure businesses can apply for up to £18,000. 

The closing date for applications for this grant is 30 June 2021.

National Living Wage increase

The National Living Wage will be increased to £8.91 from April 2021, for apprentices £4.30.

The 'Elite' visa for high-skilled workers

A new "fast-track" visa scheme to help start-up and rapidly growing tech firms source talent from overseas. Applicants will no longer need to obtain a "third-party endorsement" or be backed by a sponsor organisation, simplifying the current rules and making it easier for researchers, engineers and scientists to come to the UK.


The 5% reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions has been extended until 30th September, after which it will rise to 12.5% from 1st October for another 6 months before returning to the normal rate in April 2022.

 Business Rates Holiday

Continued 100% business rate holiday until the end of June, then rates are discounted by 2/3rds until the year end. A £2M cap applies.

Other support

For further information on the support available to you and your business, check the Government’s Support Finder Tool.