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Coronavirus Business Support Hub

Government Support for Businesses

The government has announced a number of measures and packages to help support businesses through unprecedented times.

After pledging £12bn to soften the impact of COVID-19 in the budget, the government confirmed that they would be giving businesses the tools to get through the crisis. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £350bn financial support package for businesses, which included but is not limited to £330bn in loans, £20bn in other aid, business rates holiday, VAT deferral, sector specific grants and the job retention scheme.


Below are some of the measures put in place to help you.

Job Retention Scheme

The government will pay wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic, paying 80% of furloughed workers salaries, in a radical move aimed at protecting people’s job. The BCC and Quest have also put together a series of FAQs.

Find out more.

VAT Payments Deferred

The government will defer Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

Find out more. 

Self-Assessment Income Tax Deferral

If you’re self employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assesment system wil be deferred to 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. 

Find out more.

Statuatory Sick Pay

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the cost of large-scale sick leave.

Find out more.

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses

A 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months for all retail, hospitality and leisure business, no matter what their rate-able value is, will be available.

Find out more.

Cash Grants for Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Businesses

Businesses with a rate-able value over £15,000 and below £51,000 can access an additional £25,000 grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from small premises. Businesses can access this grant through their local authority.

Find out more.

Small Business Rate Relief

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs. If you think you are eligible but have not yet been contacted, get in touch with your local authority.

Find out more.

Extended Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme has increased loan borrowing from £1.2million to £5million, with the first 12 months of finance interest free. This funding can be accessed through British Business Bank, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees.

Businesses must have turnover of less than £45million and meet eligibility criteria. Under new rules, small businesses affected by COVID-19 will be eligible (not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing). The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000.

Find out more.

New Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme has been created. This new scheme for large busineses will provide a government gurantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25million to firms with an annual turnover of £45million to £500million. Loans backed by this gurantee will be offered at commercial rates of interest and further details of the scheme will be announced later this month.

Find out more.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Find out more.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The Cash Grant will be made available in June for self-employed people for at least 3 months. In the meantime self-employed individuals are advised to apply to universal credit. This scheme covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment. To qualify, more than half of your income needs to come from self-employment. Only those who are already self-employed will be eligible.

Find out more.

Time to pay

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.

Business Helpline: 0800 024 1222

Self-employed Helpline: 0300 456 3565 

Find out more.

£20million technology fund

Businesses to help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of coronavirus and similar future situations as a result of £20 million government funding.

Find out more.

Changes to Insolvency Laws

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma has announced changes to insolvency laws to give businesses who have felt the impact of COVID-19 greater flexibility. The government had said they are working to implement this as soon as possible. The changes to the legislation will apply retrospectively from the beginning of March.

Find out more.

Fastershire Grant for Community Groups

Herefordshire Council’s Fastershire Broadband Project has launched a Keep Connected grant to help support groups and organisations to adapt and continue to deliver their services remotely

The grant, of up to £500, is available to any not-for-profit groups or organisations, including charities, community groups and Parish/town councils.

Find out more.

Additional advice & support

HR & Legal Advice

mfg Solicitors provide some essential HR and legal advice for employers to assist them in dealing with this unprecedented situation

Find out more.

Insurance Advice

Association of British Insurers (ABI) have produced a Coronavirus Q&A on insurance related queries.

Find out more.

Companies House Guidance

Companies House has produced guidance if Coronavirus has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts.

Find out more.

Small Business Support Loans

A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small busineses impacted by coronavirus, including £2billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5billion from NatWest.

Support for HSBC customers

HSBC has released details of how they are helping their customers and mathe guidance  and support they need for those feeling the impact of coronavirus.

Find out more.

IR35 Delayed Until 2021

The government has ruled that incoming IR35 regulations will not come into effect until 6 April 2021. The government has decided to delay the incoming IR35 rules due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Find out more.

Support for Employees and Employers

ACAS has published information for employees and employers, including information on simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff, sick pay and absence from work.

Find out more.

Advice for Businesses Trading Internationally

The Department for International Trade have established a dedicated team to support British businesses facing disruption due to the spread of the virus.

Find out more.

Avoiding Crime Against Your Business

The National Business Crime Centre represents police forces to work in partnership with the business community to tackle crimes against businesses.

Find out more.

Closing Certain Businesses & Venues

On 23 March the government stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. Here the government lists the businesses and venues which now must close.

 Find out more.

Travel Advice

Guidance for British people travelling and living overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Find out more.

Funding for the Arts Sector

Arts Council England has announced the cash injection to help artists, venues and freelancers in the cultural sector. The package includes £20m for individuals (made up of grants of up to £2,500 each), £90m for National Portfolio Organisations – venues and others that get annual funding – and £50m for organisations outside that scheme.

Find out more.

Financial support opportunity for Charities

Martin Lewis has pledged to release £1million from his ‘personal charity fund’ to provide grants between £5,000-£20,000 to small or local charities across the UK to help with coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.

Find out more.

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction if they miss a payment up until 30 June.

Find out more.

Suspension of Levy Bills for Construction Sector

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has suspended the issue of its levy bills (which ususally takes place in April) for at least 3 months. This is aimed to ease financial pressures for businesses affected by COVID-19. CITB will not seek collection on the suspended bills until August, or later.

Find out more.

BCC FAQs on UK Government support measures

The British Chambers of Commerce has produce a series of FAQs in conjunction with the official guidance from the UK government. 

Find out more.

BCC and Quest FAQs on Job Retention Scheme

The Government has announced that 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.

The BCC has sought clarification from Ministers on the detail of the scheme and will update these
FAQs as further information is obtained.

Find out more.

How we can support you

We have a host of ways in which we can support you and your business in navigating through these uncertain times.

We are here to help every business, whatever size or sector.

Here are a few Chamber Services for you to use that might be helpful at this time.

As a Chamber Member you get access to the 24-hour advice and information line and up to 6 face-to-face counselling sessions with Westfield Health.

Find out more.

A service free to Chamber Members providing professional advice and documentation to help your business implement good HR practices. Benefit from our free 24/7 advice line and access to online HR documents.

Find out more.

Continue to market your business for free by sending us your news, opinions and industry insights. Now more than ever, it is essential to keep your products and services infront of people.

Find out more.

Talk to us, we’re here to help

General Enquiries

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International Trade

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PR & Marketing

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Corporate Services & Finance

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Worcestershire Business Central

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Coronavirus Updates

For more information about how the Chamber can help your business during the coronavirus pandemic


Please contact the Team

Call our policy team today

 01905 673600

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