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COVID-19: Government Support for Businesses – Timeline

Posted on 18 May 2021

This timeline shows key COVID-19 Government support expiry or commencement dates for businesses in 2021 – please click here to view this as a one page PDF.  More information and detail is available in our Government Support for Business checklist.


31 March 2021

2020 VAT deferral payments due – unless by 21 June 2021, the business opts to pay in instalments to 31 March 2022.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme applications closed - CLBILS (large businesses); CBILS (medium businesses); and Bounce back loans (very small businesses).

Various local authority COVID-19 support grants closed.

1 April 2021

Restart (one off) Grants scheme launched – local authority grants of £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail business, and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality and other sectors reopening.

5 April 2021

Retail, hospitality and leisure sector business rates holiday and Children’s nurseries business rates relief ended – relief applied for the 2020-21 tax year.

6 April 2021

Launch of Recovery Loan Scheme – replaced business interruption loan schemes which closed in March - Loans will be available through a network of accredited lenders with the government guaranteeing 80% of the finance to the lender (expected to be open until 31 December 2021).

30 June 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS or “furlough”) grant reduction – grant reduced from 80% up to £2,500 per employee to 70% up to £2,187.50 per employee (& employer to balance to at least 80% of wages).

Creditor winding up petition suspensions ends – creditors may not: (a) file to wind up on the basis of a statutory declaration filed between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2021; nor (b) unless having reasonable grounds to believe that COVID-19 did not result in the company’s financial distress/debt issues, otherwise file before 30 June 2021 to wind up a company.

Wrongful trading protections for directors ends.

31 July 2021

Further CRJS grant reduction - 70% grant for employees claiming under CJRS ends & new version commences (grant of 60% up to £1,875 and employer to pay at least 80% of wages).

30 September 2021

CJRS ends.

5% VAT reduced rate for hospitality, holiday & attractions ends but a new reduced rate of 12.5% is expected be introduced from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

31 December 2021

Recovery Loan Scheme expected to end.

Other relevant deadlines to consider

Loan Interest holidays end: Depending on when bounceback or CBILs loans were taken, the interest holiday will end after 1 year (unless extended in the case of bounce back loans). Businesses will need an eye on their repayment terms: CLBILS loans were from 3 months – 3 years; CBILs for up to 6 originally (but extendable by lenders for up to 10); and bounce back loans for up to 6 years originally but extended to 10.

Future Fund Loan notes: Some high growth businesses may have issued Future fund convertible loan notes – after 3 years - if a ‘qualified financing’ (issue of equity, sale or IPO) has not occurred - these will become repayable at a premium or convert to equity – the rolled up 8% interest will also become due (or convert).

COVID-19 – Government support with no/uncertain current end date

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay rebate scheme – allows claim back of employee coronavirus related statutory sick pay.

KickStart scheme – 6 month funding of national minimum wage for new jobs for 16-24 yr olds on Universal Credit.

Various lock down and local restriction support grants, via local authorities - depending on COVID-19 measures in place.

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