Government Covid support schemes: overview and updates

Follow us on: Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linkedin Subscribe to YouTube

An archive of government startup and small business updates from GOV.UK.

Read time: 2 minutes

  • Official URLs can be found in description
  • Updated weekly or fortnightly
  • Contact us with suggestions, details below

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Announced on 26 March 2020, SEISS is aimed at self-employed businesses owners who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the scheme you can still work in your business, seek new employment or volunteer. Click here for the official landing page.

29 January 2021
SEISS is now open for applications for the third grant. The third grant is stricter than the previous two and you must satisfy three new criteria, but if you employ freelancers or contractors or you own a company, you may be eligible to claim. To see how others are using SEISS, take a look at new statistics for November 2020.

14 January 2021
A new YouTube video explaining how to claim the SEISS scheme has also been added to the Covid-19 help and support page.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

An effective 80% state subsidy for wages in the private sector, also known as the ‘furlough’ scheme. Click here for the official landing page.

4 February 2021
Those looking to claim employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can find new guidance on the inclusion of non-monetary benefits, such as pension contributions under salary sacrifice schemes. There are also new examples for calculating wages for different types of pension schemes here.

27 January 2021
New guidance for those claiming Employment Allowance as well as examples on how to calculate your employees’ wages. On GOV.UK see sections 3.14 and 3.15.

1 December 2020
Furlough guidance has also been updated now that the 30 November claims deadline has passed. You can find out how it impacts the employees you can put on furlough by clicking here. The furlough step-by-step guide has also been updated to reflect these changes.

The Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply. Click here for the official landing page.

3 February 2021
The government has made it easier for businesses to apply for the Kickstart Scheme. You no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply directly for a grant, making it easier to apply. You can apply for the Kickstart Scheme here, find updated promotional materials here and an employer resource pack here

Bounce Back Loans

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

8 February 2021
Businesses that took out government-backed Bounce Back Loans to get through Covid-19 will now have greater flexibility (of six months) to repay their loans, the government announced here. Pay as You Grow will be available to over 1.4 million businesses, which collectively took out nearly £45 billion through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. 

Apprenticeship and work placements

Miscellaneous guidance around apprenticeships, work experience, placements and more. 

2 February 2021
Find out how to conduct apprentices during the coronavirus outbreak with updated guidance. It provides details on temporary flexibilities applied during the pandemic, along with guidance on how and when apprentices can safely train and undertake assessments at work. 

Covid Guidance

Miscellaneous guidance, information, tutorials and resources for startups and SMEs.

14 January 2021
A new YouTube video has been posted exploring the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension, and there’s also updated guidance for business closures following the latest lockdown.

2 December 2020
To reflect the new local tier system implemented on 2 December 2020, there is updated guidance on how to request and record customer details to break the chain of transmission. Public Health England has also updated its Commercial Workplace Action Cards, a selection of documents designed to be printed or downloaded to keep on-hand in case your business is impacted by coronavirus. Cleared for use in England only, the Action Cards are aimed at the owners and managers of single or multi-floor offices. 

Data and Analysis

The latest data, statistics and news relating to startups and small businesses affected by the pandemic. 

18 January 2021
The government has released a data-rich news article providing a summary of economic support given to businesses, with a regional breakdown on CBILS and the Bounce Back Loans.

13 January 2021
Here you can find out how the regions are allocating the business support packages to those impacted by the January 2021 lockdown.



The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing. We recommend that you carry out your own independent research to understand how exporting after the end of the transition period will affect you and your business.

We have pulled the resources on this page together for you to help with your independent research and business decisions. This page contains [link(s) to third party websites and resources that we (Barclays) are not providing or recommending to you.

Barclays (including its employees, Directors and agents) accepts no responsibility and shall have no liability in contract, tort or otherwise to any person in connection with this content or the use of or reliance on any information or data set out in this email unless it expressly agrees otherwise in writing. It does not constitute an offer to sell or buy any security, investment, financial product or service and does not constitute investment, professional, legal or tax advice, or a recommendation with respect to any securities or financial instruments.

The information, statements and opinions contained in this content are of a general nature only and do not take into account your individual circumstances including any laws, policies, procedures or practices you, or your employer or businesses may have or be subject to. Although the statements of fact on this page have been obtained from and are based upon sources that Barclays believes to be reliable, Barclays does not guarantee their accuracy or completeness.

Share this page

Go back to the top of the page