Support for local businesses 

Measures to support businesses 

The Chancellor has set out a package of targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. These can be found below.

Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Chancellor has set out a package of targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. For further information, the government is providing a Business Support Helpline for any queries at 0300 456 3565.


Guidance for paying your employees

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Some employers may claim for employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Check if you can claim here.


Guidance for paying sick pay

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees. Employers are eligible in certain circumstances covering a range of contracts, detailed here.

You can also use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.


Guidance for paying tax

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to:

  • defer the payment until a later date
  • pay the VAT due as normal
  • pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June

HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount deferred, however there are certain conditions detailed here.

Furthermore, there has been an extension for paying your Self Assessment tax bill. Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can delay making your second payment on account, which previously was due on 31 July. You’ll not be charged interest or penalties as long as you pay before 31 January 2021


Guidance regarding business rates relief

  • Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. If you are eligible there is no action needed; your local council will apply the discount automatically.
  • This is also applicable to nurseries in England.


Guidance regarding business support grant funds

The Government has issued a package containing a small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

Furthermore, a grant funding of £25,000 is available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

If you are eligible there is no action needed; your local council will apply the discount automatically. You can check to see if you are eligible here.


Guidance for the Self-Employed

The package includes a scheme scheme currently allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

If you are eligible, make a claim here. This scheme is being extended until 19 October 2020. If you are eligible, you’ll be able to claim a second and final grant from 17 August 2020 when the online service will be available.


Support for small and medium-sized businesses

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.

Coronavirus Future Fund
Issues convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
Helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.


Support for Large Businesses 

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
Helps medium and large-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200 million

Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
Helps large businesses affected by coronavirus through the purchase of their short-term debt.


Read more about the government’s business support package here


Support from the Solent LEP

The Solent LEP Growth Hub remains open for business to provide a business support service to any business seeking assistance and we have taken steps to ensure that the service will continue to operate throughout this
challenging period. You can contact the team using the contact forms available on our website, get in touch via email at or via phone on 023 9268 8055.

They have established a Coronavirus hub on our website (available here), to provide free, easy to access information for businesses on support available across the Solent area from a range of sources including HM Government,
our Local Authority partners and the private sector.

Support from Facebook

Facebook have launched a small business resource hub a few weeks ago to provide SMEs with information, advice and resources for managing the COVID-19 outbreak, including a business resilience toolkit and a quick action guide. They also run online training through that hub, this will include industry-specific videos to support broader sectors.

Facebook have also announced a Facebook Small Business Grant, which will be supporting 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.

Preventing spread in the workplace

While advice is for non-essential staff to work from home, guidance for employers offering advice on preventing the spread of the virus in the workplace can be found here.

Business Closures

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolationstaying at home and away from others, and asked that schools only remain open for those children who absolutely need to attend.

On 23 March the government, stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. All businesses and premises outlined on this website must now close.

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with guidance on Friday 20 March. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

Support from Solent Growth Hub

The Solent Growth Hub has a dedicated page to provide the latest government advice.

To speak with a business support advisor, please email or call 023 9268 8055.

More information is available on the Solent LEP website.


Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

UK businesses trading internationally

This advice is for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It includes:

  • DIT support for UK business trading internationally
  • financial support for business trading internationally

DIT can support businesses by:

  • providing assistance with customs authorities to ensure smooth clearance of their products
  • offering advice on intellectual property and other issues with business continuity British businesses that may face disruption due to the spread of coronavirus can contact DIT’s dedicated business support team by emailing

This team will discuss the challenges faced by UK businesses that trade internationally to understand how best the department can support them.

Further guidance for UK businesses trading internationally can be found here.

This page was last updated on 4th September 2020.


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HM Treasury Fact Sheet for Business.pdf 181.34 KB