Government Support for Business
Paying your staff
Employers that cannot afford to pay their employees’ redundancy pay can apply for financial support. The Redundancy Payments Service makes statutory redundancy payments directly to employees on their employer’s behalf (subject to approval).
Grant funding and business rates relief
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates, as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted by coronavirus restrictions.
Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG.
Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, the Government expects the funding to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions.
How do I apply?
Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply.
Retail, hospitality and leisure relief replaced the retail discount on 1 April 2022.
You could qualify for retail, hospitality and leisure relief if your business is mainly being used as a:
- Restaurant, café, bar or pub.
- Cinema or music venue.
- Hospitality or leisure business – for example, a gym, a spa or a hotel.
Contact your local council to find out if you’re eligible.
What you’ll get
If you’re eligible, you could get 50% off your business rates bills for the 2022 to 2023 tax year (1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023) – up to a total value of £110,000 per business.
You may be able to get retail, hospitality and leisure relief on top of other types of business rates relief you’re eligible for. Contact your local council to check.
If you opt out of retail, hospitality and leisure relief for the 2022 to 2023 tax year you cannot change your mind.
Launched on 6 April 2021, the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) provides financial support to businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can apply to the scheme if COVID-19 has affected your business. You can use the finance for any legitimate business purpose – including managing cashflow, investment and growth.
How much finance is available?
A lender can provide up to £10 million as one of the following facilities:
- Term loan.
- Invoice finance.
- Asset finance.
If your business has already borrowed from any of the other coronavirus loan schemes, such as:
- the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
- the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
RLS is still open to you, although the amount you have borrowed under an existing scheme may in certain circumstances limit the amount you may borrow under RLS.
At Autumn Budget 2021, the Government announced that the Recovery Loan Scheme will be extended by six months to 30 June 2022.
From 1 January 2022, the following changes will come into force:
- The scheme will only be open to small and medium-sized enterprises.
- The maximum amount of finance available will be £2 million per business.
- The guarantee coverage that the government will provide to lenders will be reduced to 70%.
Help with tax
HMRC has introduced a dedicated COVID-19 helpline to support businesses in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive help with their tax affairs. Contact the helpline on 0800 0159 559.
All businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
Call the HMRC COVID-19 helpline on 0800 0159 559 for more information.
Help for landlords and tenants
Measures which protected commercial businesses from eviction during the pandemic have expired. The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 has introduced a legally binding arbitration process for eligible commercial landlords and tenants to resolve certain outstanding commercial rent debts related to the pandemic.
Keeping your staff and customers safe
The Department for Health has launched a toolkit for employers to help ensure employees get reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines.
The toolkit includes a series of resources employers can download, such as factsheets, question and answer videos, and posters.
Public Health England has published downloadable marketing assets to support businesses and their employees who cannot work from home to take part in workplace testing.
Resources include explainer leaflets, posters and videos.
The UK Government has published updated guidance to help businesses in different settings and sectors work safely.
The High Streets Task Force has announced training, expert advice and online resources for high streets in England.
The High Streets Task Force provides access to cutting-edge tools, training, information and advice for high streets across England as part of the government’s efforts to help shops recover from COVID-19.
This support is open to local councils and all organisations involved with high streets and will include free access to online training programmes, webinars, data and intelligence on topics including recovery planning and coordination, public space and place marketing.
Advice on trading
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has published guidance for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad, and have been impacted by the spread of COVID-19. It covers financial support for businesses trading internationally, as well as support available from the DIT.
Other Government advice and information
The Government has launched an online learning platform to help people build their skills.
The Skills Toolkit gives people access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.
Courses on offer cover a range of levels, from everyday maths and tools for using email and social media more effectively at work, to more advanced training.
All courses are online and flexible, so people can work through them at their own pace.
Support from London Business Hub
Specialist programmes and support from London Business Hub.
Patch – Business Mentor and Support Network
Mentoring to help businesses respond to COVID-19.