Support for businesses

To combat the impact of coronavirus COVID-19 the government announced certain businesses should close with immediate effect. The list of businesses which should remain closed is changing all the time, inline with the alert level. To help businesses reopen the government issued safety advice for safe working practice, which allows for social distancing. The government has also provided financial help for businesses, we have tried to include as much of this information on to this page.

See business support on GOV.UK. Government guidance on what you can do now and a link to sign up to email alerts when new coronavirus business support information is added.

Business closures

See closing certain businesses and venues in England on GOV.UK. For government guidance that applies to which businesses in England, can open and which have to remain closed. This information does not apply if local restrictions are in place.

Reopen your businesses

Reopen your business safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK. Government guidance and support for employers.

See business advice on opening after lockdown, for practical tips, checklist and links to further advice on reopening.

Reopening and adapting food business

Claim money back on the website through the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

See reopening and adapting your food business during COVID-19 on the Food Standards Agency website. Food Standards Agency guidance on hygiene and food safety requirements for food businesses to reopen and operate safely during COVID-19.

See our guidance for food businesses / caterers on providing a takeaway service as an alternative way to trade during the lockdown.

See our guidance for businesses on Legionella in hot and cold water systems for how to avoid this potentially fatal disease.

Safety advice

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure on GOV.UK, for 5 steps to working safely. Also Government guidance for Close contact services, Construction and other outdoor work, Factories, plants and warehouses, Heritage locations, Hotels and other guest accommodation, Labs and research facilities, Offices and contact centres, Other people's homes, Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, Shops and branches, Vehicles and the visitor economy.

Find out about maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace on GOV.UK. Government guidance for organisations in certain sectors on collecting details and maintaining records.

Safer transport guidance for operators

Read Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators on GOV.UK. Government guidance to help organisations, agencies and others, such as self-employed transport providers, understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers across all modes of private and public transport.

Fraud and cyber crime

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cyber crime on GOV.UK. This government guidance suggests simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your business.

Read about a genuine HMRC contact and recognising phishing emails on GOV.UK. Government guidance showing the current list of digital and other contact issued from HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs).

Business rates relief and grants we look after

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The business rates holiday is for 12 months for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England. Businesses who are eligible will automatically have business rates relief applied to their accounts.

Check if your retail, hospitality or leisure business is eligible for business rates relief due to coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK.

Check if your nursery is eligible for business rates relief due to coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK.

Read about business rates revaluation being postponed on GOV.UK. This government news story announces the revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus.

Small business grants fund (SBGF) and retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund (RHLGF)

Closed 28 August.

Further government financial support

Find coronavirus financial support for your business on GOV.UK lets you search for available financial support for employers, self-employed, sole traders and limited company directors. Businesses may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether they are open or closed.

Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK lists a range of support measure which are available to UK businesses.

See help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK. To watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

See the funding available through the Culture Recovery Fund on GOV.UK.

Coronavirus job retention scheme (furlough)

Read about the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on GOV.UK and Government guidance on the date when this scheme will close.

Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on GOV.UK. Government guidance to help you find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Find out what to do if you've claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on GOV.UK.

Find out about the penalties for not telling HMRC about Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant overpayments - CC/FS48 on GOV.UK.

Statutory sick pay

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK. Government guidance on finding out if you can use the coronavirus statutory sick pay rebate scheme to reclaim employees' coronavirus-related statutory sick pay (SSP).


Coronavirus (COVID-19): what to do if you’re already getting benefits on GOV.UK. Government guidance for people who were receiving benefits before the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


See Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19)on GOV.UK. The government's temporary changes to the VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 to help businesses manage their cash flow.

Defer your Self Assessment payment on account due to coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK. The government is allowing you to choose how and when you can delay making your second payment on account for the 2019 to 2020 tax year.

See what to do if you cannot pay your tax bill on time on GOV.UK. Government advice is to contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible if you have missed your payment.

Go to coronavirus (COVID-19): tax support for businesses and self-employed web chat on GOV.UK. To contact HM Revenue & Customs through webchat if you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Find out about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline on GOV.UK available Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm or telephone 0800 024 1222.

Check which expenses are taxable if your employee works from home due to coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK. Government guidance to help you find out what equipment, services or supplies are taxable if your employees are working from home due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Find out how to treat certain expenses and benefits provided to employees during coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK. Government guidance to help you find out about taxable expenses and benefits when they are paid to employees because of coronavirus and how to report them to HMRC.


Read coronavirus guidance for Companies House customers, employees and suppliers on GOV.UK. To find out how to send your documents to Companies House, how to get the company authentication code, more time to file accounts, changes to strike-off policy and late filing penalties and more.


Read about the millions of self employed to benefit from second stage of support scheme on GOV.UK.

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme on GOV.UK. The government's guidance to help you find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant, if you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

Find out about Self-employment and Universal Credit on GOV.UK. Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs.

See mortgages and coronavirus: information for consumers on the FCA website. To find out how they expect mortgage lenders and administrators to treat you during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and read about the steps they’ve taken to support you.

Support for small and medium sized business

Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan on GOV.UK. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

Apply for the Coronavirus Future Fund on GOV.UK. This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak..

Apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme on GOV.UK. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Support for large businesses

Apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme on GOV.UK. This scheme helps large businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access loans of up to £25 million.

Apply for the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility on GOV.UK. This scheme helps large businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) through the purchase of their short-term debt.

Farmers, landowners and rural businesses

Find out about the Dairy Response Fund 2020 on GOV.UK. The Government Fund 2020 provides support to eligible dairy farmers in England who produce cows’ milk. Farmers can apply for a one-off payment. The deadline has been extended to midnight, 11 September 2020. 

See Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses on GOV.UK. The latest government information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

See the Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people in England with animals on GOV.UK. Government advice for pet owners and livestock keepers on looking after the welfare of animals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This advice applies to England only.

Accommodation providers

Read Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for accommodation providers on GOV.UK. This government guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in England.

Other sources of business support and guidance


See Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees on the ACAS website, including simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff.


Read about Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) on the CLEP website . Local Resilience Forum has established BERRG as one of the sub-groups to support people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) are chairing BERRG. BERRG is keen to hear from businesses that want to provide intelligence, or need support, interested businesses are invited to email:

Business Growth Hub

See Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Business Growth Hub website, which has a suite of resources including 10 steps to take now, a series of webinars, and guidance on keeping your business operating and managing cash flow.

Chamber of Commerce

See keeping you up to date and supporting your business on the British Chambers of Commerce’s website. Find out about the steps that Chambers and members can implement to minimise impact on local communities and support the UK government's strategy.

See Coronavirus: What businesses need to know on the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce website for a range of resources (toolkits, webinars, links, one-to-one professional advice) that's being constantly updated.

See Chamber Connect: our database of talent on the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce website, which brings together those available for work in the current situation with those businesses looking for staff.

See Coronavirus: Access our toolkit for business on the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce website. Cumbria Chamber of Commerce's toolkit is to help businesses mitigate the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak.


COVID-19: Guidance for employees, employers and businesses on the CLEP website for Government, National and Local resources and guidance collated Cumbria LEP.


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.

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