Covid-19 News

20/10/20- Hospitality & Leisure Support Grant open for applications

The Hospitality and Leisure Grant opened for applications at 10am on Friday 16 October. More information and how to apply can be found here In response to the variety of business restrictions that are currently impacting upon the Liverpool’s hospitality... More

20/10/2020- Job Support Scheme Extended

The Chancellor has confirmed that the Job Support Scheme will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses that are required to close due to coronavirus restrictions. Eligible businesses will receive grants to help pay the wages of staff who... More

20/10/2020- Businesses urged to prepare for end of Brexit transition

The Department for Business has urged firms across the UK to take action as soon as possible to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. Businesses have been encouraged to use the Government’s online... More

20/10/2020- The University of Liverpool Made Smarter “Leadership” programme

The Made Smarter Leadership Programme is a four month “pilot” programme and as such is free.  The programme starts on the 4th November so if interested, you need to act quickly! Made Smarter Leadership (MSL) is part of the Northwest... More

20/10/2020- Stream 3 for the Community Environment Fund has now officially launched!

The Community Environment Fund (CEF) complements the Mayor’s vision to “Build Back Better”, and will contribute to a green recovery in the Liverpool City Region (LCR) by assisting organisations to expand their good work and to support communities to engage... More

14/10/2020- InvestSefton Webinar – Protecting Your Business from Cyber Attack

COVID19 has seen an increase in businesses asking their employees to work remotely.  This has brought a new set of threats from cyber attacks targeted at insecure network connections and unpassworded mobile devices, leaving systems open to attack.  On Thursday... More

13/10/2020- Are you ready for our new relationship with the EU?

There will be guaranteed changes from 1 January for businesses as we start our new relationship with the EU, and there are many actions you can take today to prepare. Find out what you need to do by visiting More

12/10/2020- The Prime Minister confirms new three-tier alert system, with Liverpool City Region ‘very high’

The Liverpool City Region will be on the “very high” Covid alert level from Wednesday, Boris Johnson has announced. Confirming new three-tier restrictions, the PM said pubs, bars and betting shops will close on Merseyside.  Most areas of England will... More

9/10/20- UK workers to get 67% of pay if firms told to shut

Employees who work for UK firms forced to shut by law because of coronavirus restrictions will get two-thirds of their wages paid for by the government. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it was an “expansion” of the Job Support Scheme, which... More

8/10/20- Nominations open for the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture & Creativity Awards

The Culture & Creativity Awards recognise and celebrate the incredible contribution that culture and creativity make to the city region. COVID19 has had a massive impact on the cultural & creative sector and it is still challenging, however, despite this,... More

06/10/2020- The Community Environment Funds has now been launched.

The Year of the Environment in 2019 was a success for the Liverpool City Region. As you may recall at the Summit last November, the Metro Mayor vowed to continue the momentum by pledging a pot of £500,000 for community environment projects... More

30/09/20- The Good Business Festival (Act 1) now open for registration

Registration for Act 1 of the Good Business Festival is now open. The Good Business Festival is a free digital event taking place on Thursday 8th October. In March 2021, The Good Business Festival itself will take place as a... More

30/09/20- Sefton businesses need to create and display test & trace QR codes

Sefton Council’s Environmental Health Team is reminding some of the Borough’s businesses that they need to create a QR code for their premises which people can use to check in on the national COVID-19 app. Businesses required by law to... More

30/09/20- Launch of the second round of the Future Innovation Fund (Pilot)

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, launched the £3m LCR Future Innovation Fund (Pilot) to support businesses in the region to adapt and innovate in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivered through Growth Platform, the Pilot... More

24/09/20- Rishi Sunak unveils emergency jobs scheme

The Jobs Support Scheme, which will replace the furlough scheme, will see workers get three quarters of their normal salaries for six months. It aims to stop mass job cuts after the government introduced new measures to tackle a rise... More

22/09/2020- Important Information for Businesses from The Director of Public Health

Sefton Council is fully committed to supporting its communities and businesses to help control the spread and manage the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes enabling our economy to operate safely under restrictions. This can only happen if residents and... More

21/09/2020- Local lockdown measures

On Friday 18th September 2020 it was confirmed that Merseyside will now adhere to a series of new local measures to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  As of Tuesday 22nd September 2020, the following measures which will... More

21/09/2020- Digital Manufacturing Business Pitch Event

The event will benefit the following organisations: Developers of digital technology, products and solutions for the manufacturing sector Manufacturing companies looking for novel digital products and solutions to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of their operations North-West SMEs looking... More

14/09/2020- Time is running out to access CBILS funding

Time is running out to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme New applicants only have until the 30th September 2020 to apply for the CBILS-backed guarantee. MSIF through the delivery of its fund manager subsidiary, Alliance Fund Managers [AFM]... More

14/09/2020- Preparing for Trade in a Post EU Exit World

Liverpool Chamber have a number of international and EU Exit related events/advice to help prepare you and your business for the future. More details here (Source: Liverpool Chamber) More

14/09/2020- Export trade measures for online retailers

A package of trade measures for online retailers has been announced to help support businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The new measures include a Consumer and Retail Export Academy that will provide retailers with the knowledge, skills and networks... More

11/09/2020- Venues required by law to record contact details

Premises and venues across England must have a system in place to record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff in the latest move to break the chains of transmission of coronavirus. More details here (Source: Gov UK) More

10/09/2020- LCR4 Start now ready to offer support to SMEs

Are you considering digital adoption, or investing in new technology? Is COVID-19 changing customer requirements or requiring you to work in different ways? Do you want to move forward that innovation that has been ‘in the pipeline’ for years? LCR4... More

09/09/2020- Business Recovery Grant – Guidance and FAQs now live

LCR Growth Platform have announced today that applications for the recovery grant will open on Wednesday 16th September.  The grant is open to all SMEs based in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, and Wirral, who have been trading since... More

09/09/2020- Bounce-back plans launched for consumer and retail industry

A ‘bounce-back’ plan of trade measures for the consumer and retail industry has been announced today to help support businesses impacted by Coronavirus. (Source: Gov UK) More

08/09/2020- Grants for innovative R&D projects

Innovate UK has launched a new £25 million grant funding competition to support smaller businesses to deliver R&D projects that will have a positive impact on the UK economy. Funding is available for projects with eligible costs of between £25,000... More

07/09/2020- Funding to help employers take on apprentices

Employers can now apply for cash incentives to help them take on new apprentices as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs. Under the plan, employers will receive £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25,... More

04/09/20- Kickstart Scheme now open

New £2 billion Kickstart scheme opened this week and will create thousands of new jobs for young people. youngsters on Universal Credit aged between 16-24 will be offered six-month work placements – with wages paid by the government launch comes... More

02/09/2020- Discretionary Business Grant Fund- closed to new applications

Due to Government guidance received on August 27, 2020, the Grant Application Portal closed to new applications for the final time from Midnight (12.00am) on August 28, 2020. PLEASE NOTE – All new applications are being put on a RESERVE... More

26/08/2002- Essential financial support for social enterprises

The Social Enterprise Support Fund provides grants to support local enterprises during COVID-19.  It was established in partnership by The National Lottery Community Fund and five social enterprise support agencies.  To find out more click here (Source: Social Enterprise Support... More

26/08/2020- Last chance to apply for the Sustain programme

Sustain is fully funded and is an online course you need to stabilise your business, adapt your strategy and grow sustainably.  It is designed to help ambitious leaders stabilise, adapt & grow sustainably through change. Find out more & apply... More

20/08/2020- Discover Clean Growth Innovation

Clean Growth Innovation is the development of any new or improved product, process, business model or service that reduces your impact on the environment. It reduces your impact on the planet and can drive down costs, increase profits, improve employee... More

19/08/20- Claims open for second self-employed support grant

Millions of self-employed people whose trade has been hit by coronavirus can now apply for a second support grant from the government. More than three million people may be eligible for the payment of up to £6,570 each, which Chancellor... More

18/08/2020- InvestSefton Webinar- Winning more Business from your Website

Thursday August, 20th 2020,  10:30 AM Getting potential customers to your website can be expensive. If your website isn’t converting visitors into customers, then a significant portion of your advertising spend will be wasted.  On Thursday, 20 August InvestSefton is... More

13/08/20- New temporary pavement licence to support Sefton Businesses

Sefton Council appreciates that the hospitality sector has been particularly hard hit by the restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As businesses are now starting to re-open, due to limited space and to implement the Government’s social... More

30/07/2020- MSIF increases Coronavirus Recovery and Resilience Fund to £3million

Following the recent launch of their dedicated Coronavirus Recovery and Resilience Fund [CRRF], Liverpool-based funding provider MSIF has reinforced its support for North West SMEs impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic by increasing its commitment to the CRRF to £3million. The... More

28/07/2020- Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

What childcare services early years settings, childminders and local authorities need to provide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. More details here (Source: Gov UK) More

24/07/2020- VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

If you’re a VAT registered business, check if you can temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions. More details here (Source Gov.Uk) More

17/07/2020- Digital security following Covid-19 and keeping your business secure online

Join a free webinar on Wednesday 22 July at 11am to find out more about the most common cyber threats faced by businesses and how to mitigate being the victim of a cyber incident. A representative from the National Cyber... More

14/07/2020- HMRC invites hospitality industry to register for Eat Out to Help Out

Restaurants and other establishments serving food for on-premises consumption can now sign up to a new government initiative aimed at protecting jobs in the hospitality industry and encouraging people to safely return to dining out. Read more here (Source: Gov.UK)... More

08/07/2020- Bespoke Support for you as a Business Leader

Sustain is a 6-week online course to help you and your business to stabilise, adapt and sustain through Covid-19 and beyond. Plus, it’s fully funded so no cost to you. I know it is a really busy time, this support... More

08/07/2020- Chancellor gives diners 50% off on eating out

Diners will get a 50% discount off their restaurant bill during August under government plans to bolster the embattled hospitality sector. Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the “eat out to help out” discount as part of a series of measures to... More

08/07/2020- Chancellor unveils ‘job retention bonus’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a plan to keep furloughed workers in their jobs when the scheme ends in October.  If employers keep workers in their jobs until January 2021 they will get a £1,000 bonus per employee. The scheme... More

07/07/20- Government announces £10 million for small businesses to kickstart tourism

Communities that depend on tourism will receive a major boost from a new £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package. Read more here. (Source: GOV.UK) More

02/07/2020- How Will Your Business Meet the Net Zero Carbon Commitment?

Join Clean Growth UK and Liverpool John Moore’s University for an online discussion.  Designed to suit businesses in the construction sector and accompanying supply chains, this event will explore the daunting challenge of net-zero for the sector.  Providing advice on... More

30/06/2020- Support for businesses and self-employed people during coronavirus

These 12 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides... More

24/06/20- New advice for businesses in England on how to reopen safely

Updated guidance has been published on how hairdressers, hotels, pubs and other businesses in England can reopen safely from 4 July. Read more here (Source: BBC News) More

22/06/2020- Sefton Discretionary Business Grant Fund

The Discretionary Business Grant Fund is now open for applications. The guidance document and the FAQs are on Sefton Council’s website, along with the application form. (Source: Sefton Council)       More

22/06/2020- Working Safely Tool

To help employers reopen their businesses safely, we have launched a new tool to identify the most relevant guidance for your business. The guidance highlighted will help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site... More

18/06/2020- Future Innovation Fund

Our whole economy is experiencing extraordinary changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. While this is a very challenging time, these changes can also drive innovation, create opportunities, and make businesses stronger and more resilient. Following consultation with industry representatives, the... More

16/06/2020- Sefton’s Planning team push ahead to keep building up borough

Innovative practices, dedicated staff and new technology has allowed Sefton Council’s Planning team to remain working seamlessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: Sefton Council) More

11/06/2020- Sustain is now open for businesses

The Sustain course is free to access as all course fees are covered by the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor’s Business Growth Package, elements of which are being redirected to support the local business community to recover from the negative... More

11/06/2020- Merseytravel launch ‘Rethink Travel’ Campaign

Merseytravel are asking everyone to rethink how they travel, considering if your journey is necessary and, if so, when and by what means you travel. The full details and advice can be found on their website. (Source: Merseytravel) More

08/06/2020- Coronavirus support schemes extended

The Chancellor has announced that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been extended and individuals will be able to claim a second grant in August 2020 worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits. The Chancellor has also provided... More

08/06/2020- Government to publish code of practice with commercial sector to boost high street

High street businesses and landlords are set to benefit from a new code of practice, to provide them with clarity and reassurance over rent payments. Read more here (Source: Gov UK) More

08/06/2020- Reopening checklist for food businesses during COVID-19

The Food Standards Agency have published a checklist to support food businesses to reopen safely during COVID-19 after a period of inaction. (Source: The Food Standards Agency) More

08/08/2020- Trade Credit Insurance

Trade Credit Insurance, which provides essential cover to hundreds of thousands of business-to-business transactions, will receive up to £10 billion of government guarantees. (Source: Cabinet Office)   More

08/06/2020- Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak

What childcare services early years settings, childminders and local authorities need to provide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. More details here (Source: Gov UK) More

08/06/2020- Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for accommodation providers

Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in England. More details here   (Source: Gov UK) More

05/06/2020- Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for their normal hours... More

05/06/2020- Mandatory Face Coverings on Public Transport

The Transport Secretary announced yesterday that wearing face coverings on public transport will be mandatory in England from Monday 15 June. The full statement can be read here. (Source: GOV.UK)   More

26/05/2020- Working Safely During Coronavirus – Shops and Branches

Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments. (Source: Gov UK) More

13/05/20- Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October, the Chancellor announced yesterday. In a boost to millions of jobs and businesses, Rishi Sunak said the furlough scheme would be extended by a further four... More

13/05/20- Self-employed grant scheme to open to applications

Millions of self-employed people whose business has been affected by coronavirus can apply for grants from the government from today, Wednesday 13th May. The Self Employed Income Support Scheme is designed to match the support being given to furloughed employees.... More

12/05/2020- Closing certain businesses and venues in England

All businesses and venues outlined in the table below must not open to the public. Failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the individuals responsible for the business being issued a prohibition notice, a fixed... More

12/05/2020- Coronavirus: What should my employer do to keep me safe?

The government has issued new guidance on how different workplaces should be made safe for staff during the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: BBC News)   More

04/05/2020- Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

This scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access loans of up to £50,000. (Source: Gov.UK) More

04/05/2020- Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. Sefton Council is awaiting further guidance, we will update this page when this has been received (Source:... More

01/05/2020- New service launched to connect suppliers of PPE with those who need it most

A new website has been launched to connect suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) with those who need it most during the coronavirus crisis. The PPE Exchange service allows key and frontline workers across the independent, voluntary and public sectors... More

30/4/20- Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme Webinars

HMRC are running a series of webinar giving guidance on the Job Retention Scheme The next available webinars are today (Thursday 30th April) at 2.45pm, or tomorrow  Friday 1st May at 10.45am. Each webinar will last for 45mins and will... More

28/04/2020- New measures to protect UK high street from aggressive rent collection and closure

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: More

20/04/2020- Millions to claim as UK furlough scheme goes live

A government pay scheme to keep staff on the payroll despite not working due to coronavirus has gone live. (Source: BBC News) More

17/04/2020- Metro Mayor announces £15m Coronavirus business support

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced plans to redirect £15m from existing Combined Authority projects to support businesses and the community and voluntary sector through the Coronavirus crisis. This support will include: £5m to support businesses to access national government... More

16/04/2020- Growth Platform online events and Webinars for Businesses

Growth Platform are running a series of weekly, free, online events, to help support businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Full details on all of the events including how to join can be found on the Growth Platform Website: (Source:... More

15/04/2020- £14m in small business grants has been processed to businesses in Sefton

To date, grants worth £14 million have now been processed to businesses across Sefton who qualify for the support. This is a priority for the Business Rates Team and they continue to process over 200 claims a day, worth an... More

09/04/2020- Over £10m in small business grants has already been processed to support over 800 businesses in Sefton

Over £10m in small business grants has already been processed to support over 800 businesses in Sefton at this time. Sefton Council’s Business Rates Team are working hard to process the remainder of the grants.  For more information visit More

09/04/2020- The Prince’s Trust and NatWest launch £5million grant fund for young entrepreneurs affected by coronavirus

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... More

09/04/2020- PPE call to action for businesses

The Growth Platform are working together with the Merseyside Resilience Forum to support their key role in coordinating the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers. InvestSefton is working closely with Growth Platform ( They have asked us... More

08/04/2020- Sefton Council rolls out business support funding and support to local businesses during COVID-19

Businesses in Sefton are being offered a series of support packages, as measures are taken and developed to tackle the impact of COVID-19.  The response is being driven by Sefton’s Business Rates team with support from InvestSefton, which leads on... More

07/03/2020- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – Update and Q&A

To find out more about the upcoming scheme, register for this webinar with British Business Bank about the CBILS: (Source Barclays Eagle-Lab Liverpool) More

03/04/2020- Free business advice from the Professional and Business Service community

Growth Platform is co-ordinating a panel of accredited Professional & Business Services specialists willing to provide informed pro bono business advice and support to companies in the Liverpool City Region in response to the challenges they are currently facing during... More

03/04/2020- Changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

A revamped loan fund for ailing firms hit by the coronavirus lockdown will have an immediate impact, RBS has said. RBS chairman Sir Howard Davies admitted there had been problems but expects to see a “sharp increase” in lending to... More

02/04/2020- Call for Action – Help from Businesses

The Government have provided a list of goods, items and support that are urgently needed. This includes things such as: Medical testing equipment Medical equipment design Protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser Hotel rooms Transport... More

02/04/2020- HMRC Employer Support Webinar

HMRC are offering a series of three half hour live webinars to provide information on business support. The next one is Thursday 2nd April at 4pm. Follow this link for more information on our useful guides and information page. The... More

30/03/2020- The Chancellor’s bailout ignores many self-employed

Actors and other artists in sole-person limited companies not covered (Source: The Guardian) More

27/03/2020- What help will self-employed get from government?

Employees kept on by struggling businesses during the coronavirus outbreak will have 80% of their wages subsidised by the government, but ministers were criticised for not going so far for the self-employed. Read more here (Source: BBC News) More

26/03/2020- Estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls to pay no business rates this coming financial year

Many high street businesses that have closed due to Covid-19 restrictions will now be exempt from business rates. Read more here (Source: More

25/03/2020- Fraud and Cyber Crime

  Experts from the National Cyber Security Centre have revealed a range of attacks being perpetrated online as cyber criminals seek to exploit Covid-19. Read more here (Source: National Cyber Security Centre) More

25/03/2020- Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of Coronavirus will be protected from eviction

Extra protection for businesses with ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments. Read more here (Source: More

24/03/2020- How will the Government New Job Retention Scheme Work?   More

24/03/2020- How is £94 a week going to pay anyone’s bills?

Freeland gig economy workers say they cannot survive on the support offered by the government. BBC News More

23/3/20- Job retention scheme announced

The Chancellor has announced a job retention scheme to support UK businesses to continue to pay the salaries of employees who would otherwise have been laid off due to the coronavirus outbreak. To access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, employers... More

20/3/20- Self-employed? Here are your rights during the coronavirus crisis

You may not be able to get sick pay and redundancy pay, but other benefits may be available. Read more (Source: The Guardian) More

20/3/20- Seven essential tips if you have to work from home

You may find yourself regularly working from home over the coming weeks as employers attempt to limit staff exposure to the coronavirus outbreak. Read more (Source: Sky News)     More

20/3/20- UK urged to pay for workers wages

The government has been urged to step in immediately to pay firm’s wage bills to prevent mass unemployment. Read more   (Source: BBC News)     More

20/3/20- UK interest rates cut to lowest level ever

The Bank of England has cut interest rates again in an emergency move as it tries to support the UK economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more (Source: BBC News) More