We are accredited under the Recovery Loan Scheme. Find out more.

Business support - Coronavirus

We want to reassure our customers that we are here to help.

We are committed to supporting businesses with their funding needs, so if you are a business seeking finance please contact us. Likewise, if you are an advisor and want to know how we can assist your clients with their funding requirements, please get in touch.

If you are an existing customer and wish to discuss your loan and how we might be able to help you at this difficult time, please contact your designated Portfolio Executive.

We are working closely with the government and business support organisations to keep up-to-date with developments during this challenging period.

Schemes and initiatives

A new debt finance programme, the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), was announced by the Government in the Budget on 3 March 2021. The new Scheme, which will open on 6 April 2021, aims to support businesses affected by Covid-19 as they recover and grow following the pandemic. RLS supports a maximum facility size of up to £10m with minimum facility sizes starting at £1,000 for Invoice and Asset Finance and £25,001 for Term Loans and Overdrafts. Further information can be found on the British Business Bank website.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now closed to new applications.

Please note, applications received by 23.59 on 31 March 2021 can still be processed through to 31 May 2021.

If you have a query about CBILS or wish to discuss an outstanding application, please contact us in the usual way.

Aimed at larger corporates who are strong credits (investment grade) but experiencing liquidity pressures due to the impact of Covid-19. The Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility will allow large corporates to access short term financing through issuing Commercial Paper. The fund is managed and administered by the Bank of England on behalf of HM Treasury. Find out more.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme closed to new applicants on 31 March 2021.

Small businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan will now be able to repay borrowings over ten years, rather than the original six year term, cutting monthly repayments by nearly half. Businesses will also be able to make interest-only repayments for up to six months and apply for payment holidays. Find out more.

The Future Fund scheme closed to new applicants on 31 January 2021. The online portal remains open for investee companies with legally completed convertible loan agreements (CLAs) to submit information.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of September 2021. Under the currents scheme rules, employers can claim up to 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500, but they must pay National Insurance and employer pension contributions. From July, employers will be expected to pay 10% towards the hours their staff do not work. This will increase to 20% in August and September.

Find out more.

HMRC is offering flexible solutions to help businesses in the face of disruption caused by COVID-19 and has a helpline for businesses concerned about paying their taxes.

The Job Retention Bonus is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to the employer, for each eligible employee that you furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021. Find out more.

Statutory sick pay will be available for eligible individuals who have been diagnosed with coronavirus or who are self-isolating. SMEs (businesses with fewer than 250 employees) will be able to reclaim the cost of 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee.

Businesses who deferred VAT due from 20th March to 30th June 2020 and still have payments to make now have the option to spread their deferred VAT payment over a longer period. The VAT deferral new payment scheme is open till 21st June 2021. It allows you to pay your deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free, and to choose the number of instalments, from 2 - 11 (depending on when you join). Find out more.

The VAT cut to 5% for the tourism and hospitality sectors has been extended to the end of September 2021. There will then be an interim rate of 12.5% till 31st March 2022.

Businesses might be able to set up a Time to Pay Arrangement with HMRC if they are unable to pay any other taxes in full. This lets them pay what they owe in instalments. Find out more.

Some of the high-street banks have announced measures such as payment holidays to help their customers manage the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The below are general helplines or dedicated numbers for coronavirus support:

Natwest - Speak to your Relationship Manager or contact 0345 711 4477

Barclays - Speak to your Relationship Manager or call 0800 1971 086. 

Lloyds - Promoting up to £2 billion of finance without fees to small businesses. Speak to your Relationship Manager

HSBC - Helpline 08000 121 614

RBS - Speak to your Relationship Manager or Call 0345 600 2230

In addition, assistance and advice is on offer from the many Growth Hubs across the North of England:

Cheshire & Warrington


Greater Manchester


Liverpool City Region

North East

Tees Valley