Covid-19 support for charities

This is a particularly worrying time for the sector and we want to provide you with the most latest guidance and advice; we are in this together and we will assist you wherever we can. Things are changing by the day and our weekly round up brings together all key areas for the sector.


Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) available to all UK entities. The government has pledged to pay 80% of all furloughed employees wages up to £2,500 per month for an initial three months (which may be extended if required). For more information on the scheme, please refer here:


Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders. This scheme is intended to provide financial support to charities and SMEs across the UK that are seeing a shortfall in income and disrupted cashflows due to the outbreak of COVID-19.  To participate for the loan, the charity must have at least 50% of tradable income. This does not necessarily constitute trading in normal charity terms (i.e. non primary purpose activity) but rather, where good or a service is being provided for in direct exchange of income. For more detail and links to the relevant information website, please refer here:


Arts Council England

The Arts Council England has also created an emergency £160m fund to help support both organisations and individuals during the COVID-19 crisis. Their statement, published 24 March 2020: “Ensuring the people and organisations that make up our arts, museums and libraries are protected during the Coronavirus crisis is our number one priority.” Applications for these funds will be open soon. A direct link to The Arts Council Statement can be found here:


VAT Deferral Scheme

For all charities worrying about paying their VAT on time, HMRC have announced that any payments due from 20 March 2020 are automatically deferred until 30 June 2020. All VAT returns must however be submitted in time and the Direct Debit cancelled. For more information, please refer our VAT specialist Naveen Sahney who has summarised the VAT deferral scheme here:


SSP Recoverable

Charites can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. This covers employees who cannot work as a result, even if they are not themselves sick. The eligibility criteria for the scheme is employers with fewer than 250 employees as at 28 February 2020 and the refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per employee.. For more information on this, further guidance can be found here:


Business Rates Relief

For any charities that pay business rates presumably in the retail sector, the government have announced a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. There is also small business grant funding available of £10,000/£25,000 for all charities in receipt of the small business rate relief. For more information on this, please see the following:


The UK government has set up a specific webpage for the coronavirus financial support available, which can be found here:


Additionally, Garbutt & Elliott are here to support you during these difficult and unprecedented times. We have created an overview of support that is available, including cash flow management, communication with funders, information on the HMRC COVID-19 helpline, and other specific issues. This can be found here, and we will be updating our website daily for new and emerging coronavirus developments:


We are here to help you through these uncertain times, please get I touch with our specialist charity team.