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 here.

The package includes measures to support businesses including:

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank and will be interest free for 12 months
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme - the COVID-19 helpline is available on 0800 0159 559
  • under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month
  • the payment for the next quarter of VAT will be deferred

To read further about the Government's support packages please click here.

All pubs, clubs restaurants and gyms must close. However, the Communities Secretary has announced a temporary relaxation of planning rules so that pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways to serve people having to stay at home. For the Government's guide for businesses and other venues on social distancing measures, please click here.

All non-essential shops and public spaces must also close. The Government has guidance on this here.

When do these measures start?

Government support measures can be accessed now. You can read more about this here.

How to apply? 

For national schemes you should visit the Government website here

Businesses that qualify for grants administered by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council can find out how to apply directly to the council here

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Guidance

The Government has updated the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance to extend eligibility for furloughing of staff.  This means employers can now claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020, rather than the previous cut-off date of 28th February 2020.

To learn more about how to access the various financial support schemes, please visit this site. There is a BEIS Business Support Helpline for any queries on 0300 456 3565

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.

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).


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.

Last updated on Monday 29th May


Attachment Size
HM Treasury Fact Sheet for Business.pdf 181.34 KB