2021 SME Financial Support


Here at OneUp we’ve been so proud to help so many small businesses through almost a year of National Lockdowns and business uncertainties. But, with the end still not fully in sight and a few more months of no trading for some companies, we’re here with some vital funding information. 


We spoke to Tony Ryan from Smorgasbord and Paul Grant from The Funding Game about what schemes and loans were still available for small businesses and start-ups to help navigate an ever changing business environment. So, without further ado, here’s Tony Ryan with all the information you need. 


What funds, grants, schemes and loans are still available?


Tony Ryan, has spent his whole working life advising companies, and for the past 18 years has specialised in working with startups and SMEs. Tony has emerged as one of the top experts in the UK on the rapidly-changing portfolio of Government business support initiatives and is a specialist advisor on the Government-backed Startup Loan Scheme.


SEISS Grant - Opens Late April 2021 - May 31st 2021

Key points:

  • Set up for the around 600,000 new self-employed people in Britain
  • This fifth grant covers Feb 2021 - April 2021 
  • You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.
  • You've had continued impact to your business between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021
  • You have to prove you plan to carry on operating exceeding April 2021
  • Can claim 80% of profits up to £2,5000 cap

Apply for SIESS here

“When the scheme was launched, the newly self-employed couldn’t qualify

because they hadn’t all filed a 2019/20 tax return." 

- Rishi Sunak

The Chancellor also confirmed that there will be a fifth payment, which will open to claims from late July and cover May - July 2021. 


CBILS - Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • Extended until at least March 31st 2021, may get extended further
  • Made for Small & Medium-sized businesses to access from £50,000+ to £5million
  • The Government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender
  • The Government pay any interest and fees for first 12 months
  • You are still 100% liable for the debt

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Key features to remember:

  • Extended until at least March 31st 2021
  • For Smallest Businesses who started trading before March 1st 2020
  • Can borrow up to 25% of turnover to a maximum of £50,000
  • Loans are interest free for 12 months and no repayments are due in the first year, after this interest is fixed at 2.5%
  • Businesses self-certify via a two page application form and can repay the loan over 6 years or 10 years
  • Can re-apply if already applied for this loan, as long as the amount remains up to 25% of turnover
  • You are still 100% liable for the debt


Start-Up Loans

You don’t need to be a trading company to apply for a start-up loan, these are tailor-made for entrepreneurs with a business idea and a strategy of how to make it work. 

Key features to remember:

  • You can apply for up to 100, 000 per company, but each person involved can only apply for 25,000. 
  • You don’t need to have been a trading company before March 1st 2020
  • You will get a range of free support to walk you through applications and setting up your business
  • Tony Ryan will be on hand as one of the advisors available for advice and coaching
  • You are able to apply for other schemes such as the ones mentioned above

Lockdown Loans & Grants

If you’ve been required to close during the local or national restrictions you are eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme. Discretionary grants may be given by local councils for businesses who have been affected by local lockdowns.

Businesses in hospitality, leisure and accommodation who have suffered in 2 and 3 areas will receive backdated grants at 70% of the value of closed grants up to a maximum of £2,100 per four weeks. 


Main points to consider:

  • Local Authorities are still deciding what they’re offering, so look at your local area’s grants
  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants of £1,334 per month (£667 per two weeks)
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15,000-£51,000, grants of £2,000 per month, (£1,000 per two weeks)
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants of £3,000 per month (£1,500 per two weeks)
  • The Government has provided another £1.1bn for councils in England


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Launched in April last year, the scheme has been extended until at least 30th April 2021. The government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to £2,500. 


Main points:

  • You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. 
  • Claims are open for pay periods in Jan 2021. 
  • Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.

For information on Furloughing employees see the Government support page.


Time To Pay Tax Deferral Schemes

This gives businesses a a 12 month extension to self-assessment taxpayers which means payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, don't need to be paid until January 2022.


Main Points:

  • VAT deferrals don’t need to be paid in a lump sum at the end of March 2021
  • Businesses are able to make 11 interest-free payments during 2021-2022 financial year
  • Businesses need to opt-in, but all are eligible


Tony’s Top Tips

R&D Tax

R&D tax is not limited to bio tech and labs, many SMEs claim back on new product development etc. Tony advises looking into this as you may still be eligible to claim back on any research and development you’ve done. Tony is available to answer any questions you have on this. 


Contact information: 

HMRC’s COVID-19 tax support helpline on 0800 0159 559.


Follow Paul Grant and The Funding Game for more funding and start-up support webinars.

Paul Grant also spoke to us as part of our start-up funding panel, you can watch or listen on demand here.

Start-Up Funding Expert Advice Panel



Written by Sophie