Covid-19 Financial Support

There are a number of initiatives being established to help support businesses and employers who may be affected by Coronavirus.

UK Government Funding Response UK Government funding response to Covid-19 20.03.20

Business grant funding – This guidance sets out details of eligibility and delivery of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Below is an outline of some of the Government initiatives. As more are announced and revised we will update this information for you.

Government Support

The Chancellor has announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by Covid-19. For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is however there is also a Business Support Helpline on 0300 456 3565.

Small Business Grant Fund

There will be a £10,000 cash grant to our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities.  Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be contacted by their local authority – they do not need to apply.  The funding will be provided to local authorities in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly. For more infomation about the Small Business Grant Fund go to

Business Rates

HM Government have introduced a business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Sefton Council Business Rates Team have issued a letter to businesses in the borough who are potentially eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.  The letter clearly explains the next steps and the information that you must provide for the grant to be issued to your business.  

To read the letter click here. If you think you are eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, then click here to complete and submit the online form.

Self-Employment Income Scheme

Use this scheme if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus. This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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. Find out more

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Delivered by the British Business Bank, this will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan of up to £1.2m, with the Government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses.

Statutory Sick Pay

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

Grant funding for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses

Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on Business Support Grant Funding

This guidance sets out details of eligibility and delivery of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund (RHLGF)

HMRC Helpline

A dedicated helpline has been set up by HMRC to support businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you run a business or are self employed you can call HMRC on 0800 0159 559.

Bank of England Measures

The Bank of England have also announced a comprehensive package of measures to help UK businesses and households bridge across the economic disruption that is likely to be associated with COVID-19.

Private Lenders

A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.

Sector Specific Support

From speaking to our business community we are aware that different sectors are being affected in different ways and different support is needed for each. Our Sector Champions have outlined what support is available in specific sectors, we will update this as and when more information becomes available. Find out more here

Companies House

Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts. Find all the information here.


Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closures may 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. Some businesses may not be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

Deferring VAT Payments

The deferral will apply until the end of June. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Deferring Income Tax Payments

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Notices to Exporters

The Department for International Trade’s Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) has issued two Notices to Exporters concerning the impact on training and licensing activities. For general export control queries please contact ECJU’s Helpline on 020 7215 4594 or email

Guidance for the Charity Sector

The Charity Commission have produced guidance to help running your charity during the outbreak.

Protection for Commercial Tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction, the government has announced. Find out more here.

Guidance from Arts Council England

The latest advice, guidance and emergency funding measures Arts Council England have put in place to address the Covid-19/Coronavirus crisis

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