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.

Sign up for the Eat Out To Help Out scheme

You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to offer a discount to diners and encourage them to eat at your restaurant.

You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:

  • all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020

  • to offer a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in

  • to claim the money back from the government

Read more about the scheme and eligibility here.

Guidance for paying your employees

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 until August 2020.

Support for small and medium-sized businesses

Helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.

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

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 

Helps medium and large-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200 million

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 Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP

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

If your business is, or will be, affected by the current outbreak of COVID-19 please get in touch by emailing, or call them on 0800 032 3488. Advisers will listen and discuss with you how the LEP's services may be able to help your business throughout this period.

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.

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).


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:

  • Department for International Trade (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.


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HM Treasury Fact Sheet for Business.pdf 181.34 KB