Last updated: 9:15am 3rd April 2020 (local authority application forms)


The Government has set out a package of targeted measures to support people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.  Full details about each of the schemes can be found on the Government website.

Outlined below is a brief overview of each of the schemes, how they will be administered and other support available.


Financial support administered by your local authority

The following schemes will be administered by the local authority you pay your business rates to.

Business Rate holidays for nurseries and the retail, leisure and hospitality sector

Nurseries and businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors will not pay any business rates during 2020-21. Eligibility will be determined by your local authority and applied to your council tax bill in April 2020.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Your local authority will determine whether your business is eligible for this grant and deal with enquiries. Further guidance can be found here.

Cash payments

Local authorities will also be administering one-off cash payments of £10,000 to businesses in receipt of small businesses rates relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief (RRR). Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Your local authority will determine whether your business is eligible for this grant and deal with enquiries. Further guidance can be found here.


Please use the contact details in the table below to contact your local authority: (Click on the table below to access the links)

(please be aware that your local authority is receiving a high volume of calls and enquiries at this time. If you are unable to get through and wish to speak to someone, you can always call us and we will do our best to help and support you).



Financial support administered by HMRC

The following schemes will be administered by HMRC.

Job Retention Scheme

The scheme covers 80% of the wages (up to £2,500) of workers who have been “furloughed”. While staff are furloughed you will not pay PAYE tax / or national insurance contributions.  You need to have a PAYE scheme qualify and there are a few actions you need to take to access the scheme.  It is expected that the scheme will be live by the end of April. Further guidance can be found here.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Self-employed workers can claim a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month for the next 3 months. This will be paid in a single lump sum in June 2020. Further guidance can be found here.

VAT and Tax payments

Businesses can defer VAT payments which would have been due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 until 31 March 2021. Self-employed individuals with income tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system can defer payment until January 2021. Further guidance can be found here.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.


Financial support from the Banks

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million and is for SMEs with turnover of no more than £45M per annum.  To apply, you need to talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers to discuss your business plan. Details on how to apply and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

Corporate Financing Facility

This involves the Bank of England buying short term debt from larger companies. To qualify you need to meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website.


Other support

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

SPP has been extended to businesses that employ fewer than 250 employees.  Businesses can reclaim statutory sick pay (SSP) for up to two weeks per employee if they are off sick with coronavirus or advised to self-isolate. Further guidance on the scheme is available here.

Growth Hubs

You can also find free support, advice and information on sources of finance through your local Growth Hub.

The EM3 Growth Hub have a dedicated helpline for business and can provide one to one support and advice, access to information, webinars and other sources of support for businesses in the EM3 region.

The Solent Growth Hub are working with several partners to identify additional support for businesses in the Solent region including additional funding and advice. On the Coronavirus Support Hub you will find a page dedicated to the support being offered.

Trade associations

There several Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations in the UK offering sector specific guidance and are happy to hear from non-members and members alike, so do get in touch to find out more.


If you have a query that isn’t covered by this guidance you can contact the Government Business Support Helpline or visit their FAQ section on their website.