COVID-19 Financial Support

20 March 2020

Author: Lynsay Black
Practice Area: Banking & Finance, COVID-19

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The UK Government has announced an unprecedented financial package worth £350bn to help support businesses and tackle the economic impact of COVID-19. Although proposals are still evolving, the current position is outlined below:

UK Wide

  • Facilitated by The Bank of England (BOE) The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) is aimed at large businesses that usually access funding through money markets. The BOE will grant access to the CCFF for at least 12 months and security will take the form of commercial paper which will be acquired by the BOE. Stipulations include that the business must have been in sound financial health before the onset of COVID-19. Further information to be published on the BOE website on Monday 23 March 2020, in the meantime, current details of scheme to be found at: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/news/2020/march/hmt-and-boe-launch-a-covid-corporate-financing-facility
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which is aimed at smaller companies with a turnover of up to £41m. It will be provided by the British Business Bank (BBB) through participating providers. The scheme provides the lender with a government backed guarantee against the outstanding facility balance (up to a maximum of £5m) with the government covering the first 6 months interest payments. Please speak to your Bank for further information or alternatively see the BBB website, which also lists those Banks in NI who are partners: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/
  • Delay in the issuance of rates bills (from April to June).
  • Rates holiday for 3 months for all businesses in Northern Ireland (meaning no rates bills in April, May and June 2020) in comparison to a full 12 months in England for the most heavily affected sectors retail, hospitality and leisure.

Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish Executive has received an additional £640m from the Government to fund COVID-19 action. So far, the following measures have been announced.

Business support grant scheme consisting of:

  • A grant of £10,000 available to all small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme; and
  • A grant of £25,000 available to companies in the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors with a rateable value from £15,000 to £51,000.

Republic of Ireland

In the ROI there has also been a wide variety of measures already put in place to back businesses during the COVID-19 impact, including:

  • A €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Working Capital scheme for eligible businesses providing loans of up to €1.5m available at reduced rates;
  • A €200m Package for Enterprise Supports available for viable firms that need to restructure;
  • Microfinance Ireland are increasing their loan capacity from €25,000 to €50,000 available to sole traders an firms with up to 9 employees;
  • The Credit Guarantee Scheme operating through the Pillar Banks will be offering loans of up to €1m for a term of up to 7 years; and
  • Local Enterprises Offices will be providing vouchers from €2,500 to €10,000 to support business continuity preparation, innovation and productivity.

If you have any queries please contact Sinead McGrath at Carson McDowell for further information.

*This information is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute, nor should be regarded, as a substitute for taking legal advice that is tailored to your circumstances.

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