Coronavirus: measures to help businesses

In the Budget (11 March 2020)  the Chancellor announced a number of measures to help businesses cope with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, including:

  • Statutory sick pay – SMEs (businesses with fewer than 250 staff) will be refunded in full the cost of statutory sick pay for up to 14 days for an individual.
  • Business rates – 100% discount for retail, leisure and hospitality sectors for properties valued under £51,000 and a £5,000 Business Rates discount for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 in England for one year from 1 April 2020.
  • Small business grants – businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rate Relief (RRR)  will be provided with a £3,000 grant to help meet their ongoing business costs.
  • Businesses and self-employed – individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities will be able to access support to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. HMRC has agreed to waive late payment penalties and interest where a business experiences administrative difficulties due to COVID-19.  Businesses need to contact HMRC to access this.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme -a new, temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is being introduced to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per lender cap on claims) to give lenders confidence in providing this finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value.

Details on how to access this support will be updated here Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Further information is available for businesses on the Federation of Small Businesses website through the links below and we will update on other measures being put in place locally to support businesses


Advice and Guidance for SME

25 March – 11am – a free webinar hosted by UpSkill Digital on remote working and setting up Microsoft teams

Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – information via British Business Bank

Government support for businesses affected by COVID-19

Pay it Forward initiative A joint Crowdfunder and Enterprise Nation initiative in support of small businesses