Support for businesses

For businesses advice and guidance on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak see:

Government support for businesses

The Chancellor has announced a range of measures related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). These measure are intended to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses to ensure the impact of the disease is minimised. They include:

  • A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments.

  • A Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

  • A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England

  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

  • A Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses of £10,000 for businesses with a property of a rateable value up to £15,000; or a grant of £25,000 for businesses with property of a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank.

  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.

  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme.

See Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses on GOV.UK for information on healthcare advice for employers and support for businesses.

Read grant funding schemes FAQs and small business grant fund and retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund guidance from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Apply for small business grant fund and retail, hospitality and leisure grant.

Government support for self-employed individuals

The Chancellor has announced that millions of self-employed individuals will receive direct cash grants though a UK-wide scheme.

Those eligible will receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month for at least 3 months. The scheme covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-2019 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment.

HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.

Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme, but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes.

Read about the Chancellor gives support to millions of self-employed individuals on GOV.UK.

Find out how to claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) self-employment income support scheme on GOV.UK.

Government's business closures

See business closures, to find out which businesses should remain closed and which businesses are classed as exceptions.

Local resilience

The Local Resilience Forum has established a number of sub-groups to support people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG), which is being chaired by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

See BERRG on the Cumbria LEP website to find out more.

BERRG is keen to hear from businesses that want to provide intelligence, or need support, interested businesses are invited to email:

KPMG (accounting organizations) provides a quality-assured checklist that enables you to understand the impact of COVID-19 on your organisation, crisis manage and plan business continuity. See Understanding the impact of COVID-19 (PDF) on the KPMG website.

More help for businesses:

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