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Borrower Coronavirus Updates

Second Lockdown: How to get business support

Updated: 9 November 2020

With the announcement that England would be going into another national lockdown starting from 5th November 2020, the Chancellor has unveiled further support to help businesses and their employees. Here, we take a look at the latest support provided, and how you can apply.

How long will the second lockdown last?

The second lockdown in England will last until 2nd December 2020, and the bill will expire on that date. MPs will then be able to hold another vote on whether to extend the lockdown.

What are the new rules of the second lockdown?

There are a variety of new rules coming into force during this lockdown. For instance, you can only leave your home for the specific reasons listed below:

  • For childcare or education
  • For work, if you cannot work from home
  • To exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place
  • For medical reasons
  • To escape injury or harm
  • Shopping for food and essentials
  • To provide care for vulnerable people, visit those in your support bubble or as a volunteer
  • To attend an event commemorating Remembrance Sunday
  • Visiting estate agents and show homes
  • Visiting waste disposal or recycling centres

In addition, the following rules apply:

Mixing of households

  • No mixing of different households indoors, except for childcare and other support, such as caring for a vulnerable person
  • No mixing of different households outdoors, except for exercising or visiting a public place with one other person
  • Children under school age who are with parents won’t count towards the limit of two people meeting outside
  • Outdoor exercise and recreation is allowed, with members of your household, or with one person from another household
  • People can sit on park benches and have picnics as long as it’s with their household


  • No overnight stays or holidays away from your home, whether in the UK or abroad. This includes staying in a second home if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with, unless you are in a support bubble with them. Staying at home for work purposes is still permitted
  • International travel out of the UK is banned, except for work
  • You must avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport
  • Work from home if you can, but workplaces should stay open if you cannot work from home


  • Weddings and civil partnerships will not be allowed, except in exceptional circumstances
  • Services in places of worship will be banned but private prayer is permitted
  • Funerals are allowed to continue with a maximum of 30 people, but only close friends and family are advised to attend
  • Linked ceremonial events, like stone settings and ash scatterings can also go  ahead, with up to 15 people
  • Support groups can remain open, with up to 15 participants, where organised to give mutual aid, therapy or any other means of support. This includes support to victims or crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement

Which businesses have to close during the lockdown?

Under the new rules, a number of businesses will have to close during lockdown. These include:


  • Restaurants, bars and social clubs, including hotels or members’ clubs
  • Cafes, including workplace canteens, except for certain places like schools, care homes and hospitals
  • Cinemas and theatres
  • Nightclubs, concert halls and dance halls


  • Gyms, dance studios, sports courts and swimming pools
  • Bowling alleys, amusement arcades, playgrounds and soft play areas
  • Casinos, bingo halls, betting shops and gaming centres
  • Museums and galleries
  • Skating rinks, water parks and adventure activities

Personal care

  • Spas and massage parlours
  • Nail, beauty salons, hair salons and barbers
  • Tanning salon
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours


  • Sexual entertainment venues
  • Outdoor markets, except for livestock and selling food

Which business can stay open during the lockdown?

Though a number of businesses have to close, there are a number of businesses that can remain open during the lockdown. These include:


  • Supermarkets, grocery stores and corner shops
  • Alcohol shops, including breweries
  • Newsagents and post offices

Home repairs

  • Garden centres
  • Hardware stores
  • Building stores and services


  • Dentists, opticians and audiology services
  • Chiropody, chiropractors and osteopaths
  • Other medical services, including mental health
  • Pharmacies and chemists
  • Vets and pet shops


  • Banks, building societies, credit unions and short-term loan providers
  • Savings clubs, cash points and currency exchange offices


  • Car repair, MOT services and bike shops
  • Taxi and car hire businesses
  • Petrol stations


  • Funeral directors
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Agricultural supplies shops

Lockdown support for businesses

Jobs Retention Scheme (Furlough)

The Jobs Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) has been extended to 31st March 2021. Temporarily laid-off workers on the scheme will receive 80% of their usual wages, paid for by the Government. The maximum payment available is £2,500 per employee per month and employers are expected to pay their employees’ national insurance and pension contributions. 

It also allows employees to work reduced hours, for which they are paid as normal. The Government subsidy then covers the hours not worked.

You can find out more about how to apply for the scheme here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

To continue to offer support to businesses throughout the second lockdown, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has now been extended. The new deadline for applications is 31st January 2021. To learn more about the extension, click here.

You can apply for a CBILS loan here.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

Like the Government CBILS loan scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has also been extended. It will now close for applications on 31st January 2021. In addition, businesses eligible for BBLS loans will be able to top their loan up if they have not yet claimed the maximum available to them (25% of their annual turnover).

If you’re an existing customer of Funding Circle, you can apply for a BBLS loan or a top up by signing into your account.

Support for the self-employed

To bolster the support available for the self-employed, the Self-Employed Income Support Grant (SEISS) has been topped up. Self-employed professionals will now be able to claim 80% of their average monthly trading profits for November, while support for December and January will be 40% of their average monthly trading profits. The payment for these three months will form one single grant that will be equivalent to 55% of trading profits for the whole period, and capped at £7,500.

HMRC will provide full details regarding claiming and applying in due course.

Payment holidays

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced plans to enable more people to be able to apply for mortgage payment holidays, up to a maximum of six months. Those who have already benefited from a six-month deferral are advised to speak to their lender to agree more tailored support. In addition, the FCA has also proposed that no one should have their home repossessed until after 31st January 2021.

Borrowers will also be able to apply for payment holidays on credit cards, car finance and personal loans. Those who have already had a payment holiday can now apply for a second deferral.

Here to help 

We understand that recent developments will present fresh challenges to many businesses. As always, we are here to support you and all our small business customers as best we can, so if you have concerns about your loan or would like other information please get in touch. 

It’s important to remember that when taking a loan your business is liable for the full loan amount. The CBIL and BBL schemes provide a guarantee to the lender, not to the business.

All information is correct at time of publishing. While we want to help as much as we can, the information and documents found here are provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered financial or legal advice. To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained here.If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent legal advice.

CBILS and BBLS are managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. They are not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit

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