Financial help for businesses

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is proving a difficult time for businesses across the world. In the UK there are financial schemes available for businesses to access as the government has put contingency plans in place in preparation for emergencies.

The Government business support finder webpages include a wealth of information available for businesses and you will find it beneficial to review this material. Support is available to employees and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors.  Whether your business is open or closed during this pandemic, you may be eligible for loans, tax relief and/or cash grants.

Government Business Grants

Restart grants

In the Budget, Government announced that grants would be available to support businesses as Coronvairus restrictions are eased. Businesses will be able to apply for one of two grants from 1st April 2021.

Restart Grant 1 – to support businesses classified/defined as Non Essential Retail

Restart Grant 1 - Non Essential Retail - RV £15,000 & Under will receive £2,667

Restart Grant 1 - Non Essential Retail - RV £15,001 to £50,999 will receive £4,000

Restart Grant 1 - Non Essential Retail - RV £51,000 & Over will receive £6,000

Non Essential Retail is defined as a business that is open to the public and is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services, where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and well-being of the public.

Restart Grant 2 – to support businesses classified/defined as Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gyms:

Restart Grant 2 - Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gyms - RV £15,000 & Under will receive £8,000

Restart Grant 2 - Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gyms - RV £15,001 - £50,999 will receive £12,000

Restart Grant 2 - Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gyms - RV £51,000 & Over will receive £18,000

Hospitality - a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.

Leisure - a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events, days and nights out, betting and gaming.

Accommodation - a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes.

Gym & Sport - a commercial establishment where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis, using exercise equipment or open floor space with or without instruction, or where individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities are participated in competitively or recreationally.

Personal care - a business which provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and wellbeing.

How to Apply

Please note that as part of the application process you will be required to upload copies of the following:

  • Proof of ratepayer identification (Passport / Driving Licence / Financial Accounts)
  • Evidence of business trading as at 4th November (Delivery Note / Expenses Receipt / Purchase Order / Sales Receipt)
  • Evidence that the ratepayer is named holder of bank account (Bank Statement)
  • Evidence of company occupying the property as at 4th November (Electric Bill / Gas Bill / Landline Bill / Water Bill).

You will also need to supply both your property reference number and account reference number (you will find these on your bill)

In addition, you may be required to supply your national insurance number dependent upon your trading status.

Please upload your most recent documents to support the application. The bank statement provided must be your most recent one and dated no earlier that 1st February 2021.


If you feel you are eligible for one of these grants and the application process will not accept your request, please contact the business rates team at

Local Restrictions Grant for businesses forced to close 

Please note there is only one current opportunity open to apply for these grants. If you have already received this payment you will not be eligible to apply again.

These grants are only for certain businesses who have business rates liability AND have been instructed to close by Government.  Local Restrictions Grant for businesses forced to close

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

ARG Round 1 and 2 schemes are now CLOSED to new applicants. 

Please note we are currently processing a high volume of applications and will be in touch with applicants via the portal.

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) 


Bounce back loan scheme (BBLS)

This scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access loan finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak. 

It helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.


Business rates relief:

Retail, hospitality, leisure and private nurseries businesses

Government announced on the 3rd March 2021 that eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will continue to be provided with 100% business rates relief from the 1st April 2021 to 30th June 2021, followed by 66% relief until the 31st March 2022, capped at £2 million per business that were required to be closed on the 5th January 2021 or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.  Nurseries will also quality for relief in the same way.

Important information - at present we are working through the implications of the above and as yet no business rates bills have been issued.   Please check this page for updates as when we know more we will provide further information.


Coronavirus Small Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CSBILS)

This scheme has been extended and provides financial support to small and medium sized businesses (up to £5 million) affected by Covid 19, by putting businesses in touch with potential lenders. Loans can be up to three years for overdrafts and invoice finance facilities or up to six years for loans and asset finance facilities. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays, interest and any fees, for the first 12 months.


Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

This scheme has been extended and provides financial support to medium and larger businesses (up to £200 million) affected by Covid 19, by putting businesses in touch with potential lenders. Loans can be taken for periods of between three months and three years. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender.


COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

This scheme helps large businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) through the purchase of their short-term debt. 

Under the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from large companies.  This scheme will support your company if it’s 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.

The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Bank of England. It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.


Culture recovery fund

The culture recovery fund provides a fund to support the UK’s performing arts, heritage sites, independent cinemas, music venues and museums.


Future fund

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.


Self-assessment payment deferment

If you are interested in self-assessment payment deferment - check what you need to do after 31 July 2020 if you chose to defer your second payment on account for the 2019 to 2020 tax year.


Self-employed income support scheme

The UK Government recognises the continued impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the self-employed and has taken action to provide support.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

  • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:

- are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus

- were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

Visit their website to find out more.


Statutory sick pay (SSP)

If you run a small or medium sized business (of less than 250 employees), you can reclaim any statutory sick pay (SSP) incurred due to Covid 19, for up to two weeks per eligible employee.

Visit the government website to find out how to claim.


Tax: unable to pay on time

If you find that you cannot pay your tax on time, you must contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible. How you contact HMRC depends on what you need to pay.  Visit the government website to find out more.


Tourism and hospitality

Tourism and hospitality sectors have a temporary government 15% cut to VAT until the end of March 2021.

Those businesses who have deferred their VAT bills are also able to pay back in smaller instalments – 11 smaller interest free payments during the 2021-22 financial year, instead of March 2021.

Talk to your finance team if you wish to take up this scheme.


Other resources

We urge you to seek advice as soon as possible if your business is affected.  As well as the Government website, you might find the Money Advice Service useful as they provide free, impartial money advice:

  • Advice and guides to help improve your finances
  • Tools and calculators to help keep track and plan ahead
  • Support over the phone and online

You may also find it beneficial to get in touch with The Federation of Small Businesses.  They provide advice and guidance to small businesses and the self-employed on reducing the risks from coronavirus.  


News Releases

Government extends Furlough to March and increases self-employed support

Businesses in England to receive £2.2 billion to see them through national restrictions