Covid-19 Financial Support

As and When New Initiatives Are Launched – We Will Update This Page

InvestSefton Growth Hub is part of the City Region Growth Platform.

In addition to what InvestSefton can offer – the Growth Platform is offering help & support to Sefton Businesses – to find out more click on the following link:

InvestSefton COVID 19 will be updated regularly to see the latest updates from Government please click on the following link;

Restart Grants

The Government has announced that grants of between £2,667 and £18,000 will be available to businesses re-opening after national lockdown restrictions. Grants will be payable to eligible non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses that are also registered business ratepayers on 1 April 2021. Full details of the eligibility criteria will be posted here before the applications window is opened.

Applications will be required via an online form, the link can be found here under Restart Grants. COVID-19 Business Support for 2020/21 (

The closing date for applications will be 30 June 2021. Due to the requirements to obtain more detailed information from applicants, and a requirement to conduct detailed pre-payment verification, it is expected that it will be between 4-6 weeks from the date of application until payment can be made. We will aim to reduce this time depending upon the number of applications received.

We cannot respond to enquiries regarding the Restart Grants at this time and further updates will appear as soon as possible.

£20 million SME Brexit Support Fund opens for applications

The fund will help smaller businesses with changes to trade rules with the EU.

This is part of the Government’s £20m SME support package announced on 11 February that will help small businesses who trade with the EU or move goods between GB and Northern Ireland.

The grant can be used for training or professional advice about customs, rules of origin and VAT aspects of imports and exports.

More information can be found at

Liverpool City Region Local Business Support Grant – Round 3 February 2021  – This grant is now closed

Update: 30th March 2021

Since the grant scheme closed we’ve been working as quickly as possible to review all applications in line with strict financial protocols, and distribute grants to businesses across the Borough.

Applications are being processed in strict order of when full evidence has been received. Over 50% of all applications received have been reviewed to date and a proportion of these have been paid. However, we have had to contact a significant number of applicants as they have supplied incorrect or incomplete information causing delays.

We will endeavour to contact all remaining applicants by the end of April 2021.

We have a small, dedicated team ensuring that business enquiries and grant applications can be reviewed as quickly as possible during this unprecedented period of demand. Please do not  call or email for updates unless you think you have made an error on your original application. You will be contacted directly as soon as your application is processed. Thank you once more for your patience.

The Local Business Support Grant will be administered by each of the six local authorities that form the Combined Authority, namely Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

An initial application window will open for the Local Business Support Grant at 10am on Wednesday 10 February 2021 and close at 5pm on Friday 26 February 2021

Full details, guidance and checklists can be found on Sefton Council’s Website 

Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grant (Expanded Scheme)

This scheme opened on Monday 30th November 2020 by 11am. The application window will close on Friday 11th December 2020.

Full details, guidance and checklist can be found on Sefton Council’s Website.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses)

A Local Restrictions Support Grant will be available to eligible businesses instructed to close following the implementation of localised restrictions (Tier 3) or National Lockdown. The level of grant paid will depend on the rateable value of the business premises. Information, guidance and eligibility criteria can be found on Sefton Council’s Website.

Business Recovery Grant Round 3

This fund is now closed.

Businesses in Sefton can apply for the grant if they have been trading since before 1st March 2020 and have been impacted by COVID19. Applications should only be made for grants to assist with COVID19 recovery and not ‘business as usual’. More information on this grant including FAQ’s can be found on the Recovery Grant page of the Growth Platform website

Hospitality & Leisure Support Grant

This fund is now closed

The Hospitality and Leisure Grant opened for applications at 10am on Friday 16 October.

In response to the variety of business restrictions that are currently impacting upon the Liverpool’s hospitality and leisure businesses, Sefton Council , in conjunction with neighbouring local authorities and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority are launching the Liverpool City Region Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant. More information and how to apply can be found here

Discretionary Business Grant Fund

This fund is now closed

Small Business Grant Fund

This fund is now closed

Future Innovation Fund

The £3m Future Innovation Fund pilot programme has been established by the Metro Mayor to support Liverpool City Region’s (LCR) small and medium sized enterprise (SME) community. The fund aims to incentivise SMEs to innovate, adapt and diversify in response to the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic and its associated impacts on the economy and society.

To find out more go to

Social Enterprise Support Fund

Social Enterprise Support Fund reopens for applications after delivering £5.6m of urgent grant funding to social enterprises. The Social Enterprise Support Fund provides grants to support social enterprises during COVID-19.  It was established in partnership by The National Lottery Community Fund and five social enterprise support agencies.

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-employed invited to get ready to make their claims for coronavirus (COVID-19) support

HMRC will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

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:

A step by step guide for employers

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.

Coronavirus sick pay scheme opens for applications

Small businesses and employers across the UK who have paid statutory sick pay to staff taking coronavirus-related leave will be able to claim back the money from today.

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.

Funding for Community Pharmacies

£300 million in funding will ensure community pharmacies can continue to carry out essential services during the COVID-19 outbreak

Enterprise Relief Fund

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund is available to entrepreneurs aged 18-30, who can apply for grants and tailored support from today. Grants can be used to maintain core business operations during the crisis, as well as meet any existing financial commitments, such as paying for essential equipment or settling invoices from suppliers. In conjunction with these grants, the initiative will also offer one-to-one support and guidance to applicants who need it.

Funding to keep bus routes running during the coronavirus pandemic

England’s buses will continue to serve those who rely on them thanks to a funding boost totalling £397 million for vital bus operators.

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

Financial support for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government has pledged £750 million to ensure VCSE can continue their vital work supporting the country during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including £200 million for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, along with an additional £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts.

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

Useful Links