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COVID-19 support package for business announced

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Growth Platform have compiled a suite of resources and support for businesses and employers in Liverpool City Region who may be affected.


Advice and Guidance for small businesses and Federation of Small Businesses and the self-employed



The Chancellor has announced a £330 billion package of support measures to ensure the impact of COVID-19 on business is minimised. The measures are in addition to those announced in the Budget and include:


  • A local authority cash grant of £10,000 for businesses that are currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.
  • Grants of £25,000 to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.
  • Employers will be refunded by the Government for the cost of providing 14 days’ statutory sick pay for employees who need to self-isolate.
  • A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme that will provide loans of up to £5 million to support and protect small businesses. The first 6 months of the loan will be interest free. The scheme will temporarily replace the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme.
  • A dedicated HMRC COVID-19 helpline to allow businesses and self-employed people who are in financial distress and have outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs


  • An increase in the Business Rates Retail Discount to 100% in 2020-21. The relief will also apply to the hospitality and leisure sectors.


  • A 75% rates relief for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £69,000. Pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will receive a fixed rates relief of up to £5,000.


  • A 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less. Pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill.

Northern Ireland

  • The Northern Ireland Executive is considering how best to support businesses. No decision has yet been made on the Small Business Rate Relief scheme.

Read more about the support at:

Pubs and restaurants allowed to trade as takeaways

The Ministry of Housing and Communities & Local Government has announced that planning rules will be relaxed to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak. The relaxed rules will be introduced as soon as possible and will last for up to 12 months. The relaxation will apply to hot food and drinks only. Serving or supplying alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to existing licensing laws.

Read more about the planning rules at:

IR35 reforms put back until 2021

HM Treasury has announced that the extension of IR35 rules to the private sector will be delayed until 6 April 2021. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Treasury has confirmed that the rules have been deferred to help protect hundreds of thousands of contractors’ livelihoods.

Read more about the delay at:

Free childcare to continue during coronavirus closures

The Chancellor has confirmed the Government will continue to pay local authorities the free childcare entitlements for two, three and four-year-olds. The Department for Education has also stated that it expects local authorities to pass the entitlement funding onto childcare providers if they are advised to close by Public Health England or if children are unable to attend due to coronavirus.