COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Support for Businesses and Employers
We’re here to support you through COVID-19
Here at London Business Hub, we understand the impact that COVID-19 can have on all aspects of your business.
To help you through, we’ve launched a series of free, dedicated webinars delivered by expert speakers that have been carefully designed to answer your questions and to help guide London’s small businesses through the many challenges presented by COVID-19. We have also brought together a range of resources and information to help you through these difficult times and to help you find the right support. This includes access to funding, including our own grant funds for businesses, as well as support to help you reopen your business safely.
We know these are challenging times. We don’t want this to be any more difficult than it already is for you or for your business.
The Prime Minister announced a new national lockdown on 4 January 2021, and we will continue to make sure your business has access to the latest information and support.
Current Government support for business
Learn more about the support currently available from the Government.
UK COVID-19 alert level moves from level 4 to level 5
- Outdoor sports venues, such as golf courses, tennis courts and outside gyms, must close.
- Non-essential retail, indoor leisure (such as swimming pools and gyms), indoor entertainment (such as cinemas and casinos), and personal care sectors must all close.
- Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes must close except for takeaway, click-and-collect and drive-through. However, takeaway alcohol is banned.
- Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs and guest houses must close and can only open for a guest in limited and specific circumstances.
- Rules on support bubbles and childcare bubbles will remain as currently, and communal worship can continue to take place.
- Residents must not stay overnight away from home unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so.
- Residents must not leave or be outside of their home or garden except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’, such as for work, to buy essentials, for education and care, for exercise, or to visit people in your support bubble.
The restrictions are expected to last until at least mid-February.
Find out more about the restrictions.
New lockdown grants announced
The Chancellor has announced that businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000. The grants will be provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions.
Find out more about the grants.
London Business Hub has brought together previous Government announcements on COVID-19 restrictions. Find out more.
Business organisations across the UK have published a range of resources to support businesses to navigate the impact of coronavirus restrictions. That’s why London Business Hub has brought together an overview of the sector-specific guidance available to support your business in one place.
Grants for businesses impacted by coronavirus restrictions
The Government has allocated additional funds to local authorities to enable them to provide grants to businesses that have been severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions, or have been unable to access other COVID-19 government support.
London Business Hub webinars
London Business Hub is running numerous webinars to support businesses during COVID-19.
London Business Hub has launched the COVID-19 Business Help Series, bringing you highly informative, free webinars delivered by expert speakers. The webinars have been carefully designed to guide London’s small businesses through various problem areas as they navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
Looking after yourself and your employees
As a result of stressful and uncertain times that coronavirus has presented, the need to consider the mental wellbeing of you and your employees has never been more important.
Our guides include information on business support and the latest guidance to help you manage this, by signposting the best resources to help you manage this important issue during the crisis.
Drawing upon resources from the NHS, Mind and other recognised bodies and organisations, our guides will help you navigate the support that is available as well as detailing preventative techniques that individuals use to manage their mental health.
Match-funding from the Mayor of London through 'Pay It Forward London'
We are offering free fundraising to help businesses to secure trade by pre-selling vouchers, goods and services. Find out more.
Back to Business Fund
The Mayor’s £1m Back to Business Fund will offer up to £5,000 in match funding to small and independent businesses through the Pay It Forward London crowdfunding platform. Find out more at https://payitforward.london.gov.uk/fund.
London Business Hub has published a series of guides to support businesses across London to reopen and work safely during COVID-19:
- The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy
- Working safely and managing social distancing
- Reopening a retail business safely
- Guidance on the use of face coverings
- NHS Test and Trace – Advice for employers
- Case study on reopening a retail business
Travel guidance for employers
To support businesses with employees returning to work, the Department for Transport has developed resources for employers, which you can find here.
Wherever possible, businesses should encourage and allow employees to work from home. If your employees must travel to work, please encourage them to walk or cycle when they can. Transport for London (TfL) has issued guidance around how businesses can support staff to walk or cycle, rather than utilising public transport. If it is essential for them to use public transport, it is mandatory that they wear a face covering for the entirety of their journey.
Mandatory face coverings in shops
The Government has announced that face coverings are mandatory when shopping. This is to protect those who work in shops and to give people more confidence to shop safely. Shops can refuse entry to someone not wearing a face covering and can call the police if someone fails to comply. You can make face-coverings at home. The key thing is it should cover the mouth and nose. Retail workers have been required to wear face coverings since 24 September.
Guidance on face coverings at work
The UK Government has published guidance on the use of face coverings. It outlines the settings in which face coverings are required and how they can be used safely. Retail and hospitality staff have been required to wear face coverings since 24 September.
Due to the wide variety of work environments, there is no universal guidance on the use of face coverings in the workplace. Employers should follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines to manage and reduce contact between employees.
Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace
Since 18 September, it is mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days.
NHS COVID-19 app
The NHS COVID-19 app launched in England on Thursday 24 September.
The app allows customers and visitors to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.
Businesses across England that are required to collect Test and Trace data (like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas) are being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.
In England, using QR codes will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.
The government is supporting businesses and venues to display the QR codes, which can be downloaded via a website to display as posters in premises.
London Business Hub COVID-19 guides
Guides brought to you by London Business Hub to help your business respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furloughing employees
- Mental health and wellbeing resource pack – support for individuals and businesses
- Lease obligations and lease reviews
- How to engage in discussions with your landlord
- Rent reviews
- How to negotiate a rent holiday
Managing your business during COVID-19:
- Working safely during COVID-19
- Transport for London briefing for retail businesses
- Managing existing commercial contracts
- Business and continuity planning
- Directors, insolvency and personal liability
Funding for businesses
- Frequently asked questions about financial support
- Government support for business
- Applying for COVID-19 small business grant schemes in London
Funding for the self-employed
COVID-19 Grants for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
The London Business Hub COVID-19 Recovery Grants are now closed.
However, we have several programmes open that support businesses across a wide range of issues, such as accessing funding, negotiating property agreements and building business strategy.
Further advice and support
The following London Business Hub pages provide advice and information to help businesses and the self-employed navigate the coronavirus pandemic:
- Government support for business
- Discretionary local business grants
- Government support for the self-employed
- Financial support from banks and lenders
- External resources, support and webinars
- Guidance about commercial insurance
- Early years sector business support
- Cybersecurity and working safely
- Sector-specific support
- Because I’m a Londoner campaign
- News and updates
Early Years Sector Business Support – Business Support FAQs
Advice and FAQs regarding business and employment issues for providers during COVID-19.
Early Years Sector Business Support – Latest News
Find recent updates to government policies with regards to COVID-19 and the Early Years