Coronavirus information for businesses

This is an unprecedented and extremely challenging time for our businesses and employers as the impact of COVID-19 coronavirus continues to have an effect on our communities.

  • All the latest business support information from Government can be found on a dedicated website here. It covers how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
  • You can speak to a member of the business support team on the following single contact line 01952 383838 - Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or you can also complete this form and a member of the business support team will contact you with the information you need.
  • You can also sign up to our newsletter to receive updates.


The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – latest info here including how to apply

  • To support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19
  • It will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
  • HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant.
  • Open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000.
  • It will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

Self-Employed – more info here

  • Increased tax credits to help with hardship
  • Employment Support Allowance at the rate of statutory sick pay
  • Self-assessment payments for the self-employed deferred until 2021
  • All self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. Call 0800 0159 559

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – latest info here:

  • all UK employers with a PAYE scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020 will be eligible
  • Grants via HMRC to cover most of the wages (80% of a wage up to £2,500 a month) of staff who are not working but kept on payroll otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’
  • Backdated to 1st March and measure open for at least 3 months – no time limit on the scheme
  • Guidance for employers can be found here
  • Guidance for employees can be found here

Business Rates Relief and Cash Flow:

  • 12 month business rates free period for all occupied retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery / childcare provider businesses – latest info here
  • Business rates relief for pubs of £5,000 where the pub does not qualify for the 12 month rate free period above
  • Next quarter of VAT payment has been deferred – no business will pay VAT until end of June and will have until the end of the financial year to pay those bills – latest info here
  • Commercial tenants unable to pay rent will be protected from eviction – latest info here


  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs managed by the British Business Bank and delivered through 40 accredited finance providers – latest info here
  • 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 – latest info here


We have received a high volume of emails and calls from businesses enquiring about when government grants to support small businesses will be distributed.   Those grants are:

  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a ratable value between £15,000 and £51,000

All eligible businesses will be contacted soon by the Council’s Revenue Service who will need you to provide some simple information in order for the grant payments to be processed.   Government have indicated to Local Authorities that funding should be available by early April.   In the meantime there is no need for you to take any action.

If you have any urgent queries please call 01952 383838.


  • Small and medium-sized businesses can reclaim up to 2 weeks Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. Latest info here
  • All businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. Call 0800 0159 559

FAQs on the Government Business Support can be found here


  • Advice on redundancy, distance learning, promotion of job vacancies and an alternative employment matching service. Call 01952 382888 or for more information visit the Council’s Job Box website here.


  • We are also offering SMEs (not entitled to the 12 month rate free period) a two month business rate holiday in April and May; so you can spread your instalments over June 2020– March 2021. If business owners want to take up this opportunity they can access the business rates delayed payments form here.


  • In recognition of these challenging circumstances, we are also suspending most legal and enforcement action to help our businesses deal with the consequences of the coronavirus. Until further notice, except for matters related to the protection of the public, no new legal summonses will be issued and there will be no new action or contact by enforcement agents relating to business rates and all other debts to the local authority.  Where court action has already commenced, we will try and seek agreement from the court to suspend matters where it is appropriate to do so.


  • If you are a business tenant that pays rent to the Council you can contact us to discuss any implications of the coronavirus for your business and we will tailor a package of support. We will be encouraging other landlords to follow suit.



  • Business Continuity
  • ACAS has also produced a workplace specific guide for employers on policies and procedures relating to COVID-19, available here.
  • Advice for travelling overseas on business or otherwise is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 
  • For advice relating to the coronavirus illness, symptoms and information about when to self-isolate, you should visit the NHS information website
  • The Department for Health and Social Care publish up to date information on their web pages.