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Supporting our Sectors

Our Sector Champions are here to support your business with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

From speaking to our business community we are aware that different sectors are being affected in different ways and different support is needed for each.

Below we have outlined what support is available in specific sectors.


Guidance for Manufacturers for working safely during COVID-19

Read the latest guidance from Government here.

Letter from Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Alok Sharma MP, has written a letter paying tribute to the manufacturing sector and its contribution to the Covid 19 fight and the economy. Read the letter here.


The Manufacturing Training Centre are offering access to free training courses. Find out more here.

Make UK

Make UK are also providing 1 hour of free HR advice here.

Made Smarter

Maintaining Manufacturing Continuity through COVID – find out more here.

Made Smarter and engineering skills organisation Enginuity have worked together to launch a unique platform which delivers digital engineering skills in one place. Find out more here.


Structured Decision Making in Uncertain Times: An IFM Approach – find out more here.


Guidance for Businesses Manufacturing High Volumes of PPE – find out more here.

The Manufacturer Magazine

Coronavirus online community for help and advice find out more here.

The Manufacturer’s Recovery Toolkit – Your ultimate guide to surviving during COVID-19 – read it here.


Resilience in Manufacturing webinar series. Find out more here.


Managing a manufacturing plant through the coronavirus crisis – read more here.


COVID-19: Automotive Business Support. Read more here.


Coronavirus COVID-19 Hub. Advice for the Aerospace industry.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Institute for Manufacturing (IfM)

Trade Union Congress


News and Support

Cars, motorcycles and vans to be granted MOT exemption to allow people to carry on with essential travel. Find out more here.

Regulatory status of equipment being used to help prevent coronavirus. Find out more here.

Calls for action

Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) open call for Rapid Sanitising Technology. Find out more here.

Manufacturing SMEs urged to have their say on COVID-19 impact in Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) Spring 2020 Manufacturing Barometer. Find out more here.



Build UK

Information for the construction industry. Find out more here.


Information on what CITB is doing to support construction employers through the coronavirus crisis and beyond. Find out more here.


Information and tools to navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Find out more here.

Creative Industries Federation

Creative Industries Federation is also offering 3 months free membership for freelancers to join their network and receive the latest news and information on how COVID-19 is affecting the sector.

Navigating Uncertainty

Form – a growth consultancy for creative and tech businesses – has produced a series of three videos on ’Navigating Uncertainty’, focusing on how companies in the sector can survive, stabilise and sustain during this global crisis. They are available to watch for free via the link below.

They will help you to:

  1. Get control of your numbers
  2. Manage your cash
  3. Plan for growth beyond the storm


Professional Liverpool’s Creative Digital & Tech group is organising a number of webinars/ online conversations to support the sector. Find our more here.

Tech Nation

Tech Nation Founders’ Network – peer to peer network. Find out more here.

Tech Nation has also pulled together a series of blogs, advice and free products for the tech community. You can access them under ‘Useful community resources’ here.


Supporting the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry has set up a contracts hotline with Sheridans. Find out more here.


BIMA are running daily virtual meet ups covering a range of topics and for different people all related to the pandemic.

These events are free for anyone to join. Right now it’s their members who are running them and their expert speakers are breaking things down and clearly explaining some of the Govt’s measures but they are opening up attendance to anyone in digital as a way of support for the industry. You can find more info about this weeks events here.

The Princes Trust

Enterprise Relief Fund from The Princes Trust Natwest for 18 – 30 year olds. Find out more here.


Gather, a place for the digital, creative and tech community to connect, unite, and grow.
Feel supported. Get advice. Stabilise your business. Find out more here.


The Young Innovators programme, which includes annual awards for young people with creative and ground-breaking business ideas and a high-profile #IdeasMeanBusiness campaign, is a partnership between Innovate UK and the Prince’s Trust. By 2023, the Young Innovators programme will award up to 100 young people from diverse backgrounds with a £5,000 grant, one-on-one business coaching and an allowance to cover living costs. Find out more here.

Liverpool City Region Film & Development Fund

Liverpool City Region Film & TV Development Fund is now live and open for applications. The Fund has been created in response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. Find out more here.

Youth Music Network Funding

A national charity supporting young people’s lives in music. Find out more here.

Call outs

There is an urgent call out to the life sciences sector to help increase the supply of antigen testing kits for COVID-19 any organisations that can supply for sale the above should email as soon as possible.

Any business capable of producing Rapidly Manufactured Ventilation System (RMVS) should go to this new portal as soon as possible with and complete:

NIHR Surgical MedTech Co-operative COVID-19 PPE Challenge. Find out more here.

The Defense and Security Accelerator has a COVID-19 challenge out for Rapid Sanitizing Technology for Ambulances. Find out more here.

The European Space Agency is releasing a funding call: Space in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak. Find out more here.

The UK’s Central Laser Facility based at Harwell Campus is inviting rapid access proposals to its Octopus imaging facility for research relevant to COVID-19. Find out more here.

BSAC is launching a COVID-19 funding call to support researchers in better understanding and addressing COVID-19 outbreak. Find out more here.


NHSX have launched Techforce19– a new tech challenge to combat the effects of social isolation. Funding available for digital solutions to help provide social care or mental health support during COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Therapeutics: £10 million call for rapid deployment. Fudning available for the development and testing of therapeutics to treat COVID-19 find out more here.

Offer COVID-19 support from your business

Use this service to tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus. Find out more here


The MHRA has provided an update on the Regulatory status of equipment being used to help prevent COVID-19. Find out more here.


Support from the PBS sector

NWRS carried out a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on Visitor Economy business in Liverpool City Region. Read the report here.

To help Visitor Economy businesses to reopen safely, we have produced a fact sheet with the latest guidance. This can be found here.

New Restrictions

A summary of what has changed as of 22nd September can be found here, including face coverings, working from home, businesses and meeting people safely. This also includes confirmation that food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table licensed premises.

Further clarifications on these rules have come through from DCMS:

Coach operators:

  • If it is possible to ensure that groups of more than six do not mingle on a tour, coach tours of over six people on the coach can go ahead. People must stay in their groups of up to six (or larger if they are from one household) on all parts of the tour – for example whilst in hospitality settings and when visiting attractions as well as whilst on the coach.
  • Legislation does not place any capacity constraints on public transport services, private hire vehicles or leisure tours. Operators should continue to provide COVID-secure transport services which can accommodate multiple groups of six people.

Business meetings of up to 30 remain permitted:

  • Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
  • If permitted venues have multiple, separate meeting facilities, these can be hired out simultaneously for separate meetings/events if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.

Face coverings:

  • Businesses will be asked to promote the wearing of face coverings by staff and customers and compliance through signage and other appropriate means in order to be COVID-secure.
  • There is no obligation on businesses to enforce these new measures. Rather than simply refuse entry to someone not wearing a face covering, a business may instead ask that individual to put one on, bearing in mind that some people are exempt.
  • If an individual is acting anti-socially or against the rules, staff will be able to ask them to leave, or call the police if necessary. This is a matter for the police, who can take measures if people do not comply with this law without a valid exemption. The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence.


  • Hospitality services within hotels, such as hotel dining rooms and bars will need to follow the new requirement to close to the public between 10pm – 5am. Hotels will still be able to provide food and drink through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.

Chancellor’s Statement

Key components of the Chancellor’s Winter Economy plan include:
New job support scheme:

  • To be eligible, an employee must work 33% of their normal hours. For the other two thirds of the hours, the Government will pay a third and the employer will pay a third. This means that, in total, an employee will receive 77% of their full pay.
  • The scheme will run from 6 months from 1st November.
  • Large businesses will have to prove that they have been adversely affected by COVID to be eligible for the Job Support Scheme.
  • The scheme will be available to all businesses and employers, regardless of whether they have been part of the Job Retention Scheme in the past.


  • The Self Employment Scheme will be extended on similar terms, covering 20% of average months trading profits via a Government grant.

Government backed loans:

  • The application deadline for all coronavirus loan schemes – including the Future Fund – has been extended until 30th November.
  • Bounce Back loans can be extended from 6 to 10 years under a Pay as You Grow scheme.
  • Business also move to interest only payments or suspend payments if they are “in real trouble” for up to 6 months.
  • A new successor loan scheme will be launched in January.


  • The reduction in VAT to 5% from accommodation, hospitality and attraction is being extended to the end of the financial year.
  • Businesses who deferred their VAT will no longer have to pay a lump sum at the end of March next year. They will have the option of splitting it into smaller, interest free payments over the course of 11 months.

Tech Solutions for the Visitor Economy Webinar Series

Join us for a Growth Platform webinar series to discuss what tech solutions are emerging to support the Visitor Economy following the global pandemic.

Catch up on our first webinar here, and our second webinar here.

VAT: Reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

Guidance is now available follow the Government’s announcement that VAT registered businesses may apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions.

The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors will be extended to the end of March 2021.

Eligible attractions include shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and other cultural events and facilities, but do not include admission to sporting events. Find out more about which attractions are eligible for the reduced rate of VAT here.

‘We’re Good To Go’

VisitEngland have launched of a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism as the sector works towards reopening.

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.

To obtain the mark businesses must complete a self-assessment through our online platform including a check-list confirming they have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark for display in their premises and online.

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector.

Reopening Guidance

In order to be able to obtain the ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark detailed above, businesses are required to follow the national guidance and align with the UK Government’s official guidance for the sector.

From 14th September, new measures are in effect, including restriction on social gatherings of more than 6 people. The guidance on working safely during COVID-19 has been updated with priority actions to take, including steps for collecting information for the Test and Trace system and rules on gatherings of more than 6 people. Sector-specific guidance is available for the following:

Advice has also been published on accessing green spaces safely.

To compliment these guidelines, UKHospitality have published COVID-19 Secure advice and risk assessments for hospitality businesses, which has been created through consultation with members, Government and hospitality organisations. The document has consolidated advice and good practice from many parts of the hospitality and visitor sector into one guidance document, to help businesses make their workplaces COVID-19 secure, in line with Government guidelines.

To comply with the Government’s COVID-19 Secure guidelines, businesses must undertake a risk assessment. The UKHospitality document gives detailed advice on how to complete this risk assessment, as well as providing a COVID-19 Secure risk assessment template.

New NHS COVID-19 app to support track and trace

Launching on 24th September, the new NHS COVID-19 app will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.

Once the app is launched, customers and visitors in England will be able to check-in on entry with their phone, which will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice if there is a COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. An alternative check-in method must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app, for example, a handwritten register.

You should create and display a QR code if you are:

  • A business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public
  • An event which is taking place in a physical location

A video explanation of the app can be found here.

Once you have registered for your QR code you are encouraged to display the NHS QR code posters in a place that is visible on entry. Find out more here.

Other Guidance

Liverpool BID Company, in consultation with Public Health, Liverpool City Council, blue light services and other public bodies have developed guidance to support businesses with external queues as lockdown is eased. Read more here.

The Government has announced that there will be a simpler licensing process for outdoor seating for pubs, restaurants and cafes. They will simplify and reduce the cost of the licensing process for outdoor seating and stalls, which will allow more licensed premises to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises. More information on this can be found here.

The National Museum Directors’ Council have published Good Practice Guidelines on the Reopening of Museums, to help those in the museums sector understand how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be found here.

Early Outbreak Management

The following PHE Action Cards provide advice for businesses on what to do if you have been alerted to one or more positive cases in your workplace. They explain what information will be required by the local infection control team to help you manage a potential outbreak in your workplace, and include a reminder of the key things to do to help prevent further spread of the infection.

Action cards are provided for the following businesses:

Technology Solutions

Now more than ever is the time to boost your digital business skills. LCR START is a new initiative to support Liverpool City Region SME business develop their digital strategy. Find out more here.

What3words is a free tool to help visitors find attractions/places with more specific location tagging than coordinates, to avoid people getting lost/wasting time.

TXGB is an integrated booking platform and can even be used to start a new booking channel if business don’t have one.

If you’re interested in more technological solutions for your business and to provide the ultimate visitor experience – check out this latest digital technology with Attractions.IO.

Qbunk allows your customers to enjoy every minute of their night out, even at the busiest times. With this app, they can place an order from their phone and send it straight to your team. Find more information on the Qbunk website here.

As the novelty of going out post-lockdown wears off, customers may become put off if they have to stand in the cold or rain to enter a venue. Yooqoo can help venues plan for their customers and help customers plan for their nights out. Find out more here.

Draw & Code offers various immersive tech options that can be useful both in day to day situations as well as one off showpieces. Enhancing your customers’ experience through the use of augmented reality will appeal to a certain clientele and leave your customer with a memorable experience they will want to share. Find out more here.

Evoke Create (a Wirral based company best known for their touch screen technology in the likes of McDonalds and JD Sports) have been looking at touchless temperature checkers for entry points of venues, which incorporate hand sanitisers. While this new screening technology is not mandatory, it gives consumers faith that the venue is operating in their best interests and keeping them safe. Find out more here.

DATP collect GDPR compliant data in order to provide businesses with insights into their customer profiles. They are keen to develop their NEO product by working closely with the hospitality industry – if you are looking for a data solution or to understand how this technology can help you, or to be one of five companies to trial this for free during Q3 2020, then visit here.

Zooniversal are developing technology to be trailed in Liverpool music venues, which will give musicians a chance to survive and gain traction using QR code technology. This will give consumers the opportunity to ‘tap to pay’. Find out more on this technology here.

VisitEngland’s ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign

VisitEngland’s Escape the Everyday domestic autumn campaign is now live, inspiring Brits to travel and enjoy the country’s amazing tourism offer from this autumn.

For the launch, they are encouraging businesses to share their top three favourite ways to ‘escape the everyday’ on social media.

Find out more and get involved here.

Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas

This fund is part of the £1.57 billion package announced by DCMS. The fund is open to both non-profit and independent commercial cinemas and will be administered by the British Film Institute.
There are two strands of funding, and cinemas are able to apply for grants from both strands which will be structured as follows:

  • £3m for safety grants to enable cinemas (up to £10,000 per cinema) to put the necessary measures in place to ensure the safety of their workforce and the public; and/or
  • £27m business sustainability grants (up to £200,000 per organisation) to support independent cinemas to operate viably under the restricted conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply here.

Recovery Grants

In response to the demand for increased support for SMEs, government has committed an additional £30m from the England European Regional Development Fund. £10m to support visitor/ tourism economy and £20m for the wider economy businesses.
Liverpool City Region have the following funding available for grants;

  • £283,000 for Visitor/ Tourism economy businesses which equates to approximately 94 grants
  • £752,000 for the wider business economy, this equates to approximately 250 grants

More information can be found here.

Arts Council England Funding

Arts Council England have put into place several funding streams to help address the COVID-19 crisis. To support the organisations and people working in arts and culture, they are delivering the government’s emergency funding package, and complementing it with their own grants programme.

Find out more here.

£20 million support for small and medium sized businesses

The Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has announced that £20 million of European Regional Development Fund money will become available to help smaller businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants between £1,000-£5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help get them back on track.

More information can be found here.

Liverpool Without Walls Hospitality Fund

To help Liverpool’s restaurants and cafes re-open safely and serve food outside, Liverpool City Council is offering small grants of between £1,000 and £4,000 for outdoor furniture. The amount awarded depends on the number of additional covers you generate through trading outside.

These grants are for independent SMEs that pay business rates to Liverpool City Council and hold an existing street café license or a free temporary street café license.

More information on the grant can be found on the Liverpool City Council website – please note that, due to the level of demand for this fund, applications are now on hold. When current submissions have been processed, the fund will be reopened if there is money left. Look out for further updates in the coming weeks.

Sector Advice

VisitEngland is continuing to update a page on their Business Advice Hub, offering advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19.

VisitBritain/VisitEngland are hosting a series of business recovery webinars over the coming weeks to help get businesses back on track following the pandemic. Registration details and more information on these webinars can be found here.

The Tourism Industry Emergency Response group (TIER) is holding weekly meetings to discuss the impact of COVID-19. VisitBritain are publishing the latest information from these meetings here.

UKHospitality have a dedicated coronavirus page, which includes the latest advice and guidance for the sector, as well as links to a series of webinars designed to support the industry.

The Meetings Industry Association (MIA) are inviting event professionals to sign up to their ‘Extraordinary Matters’ mailing list, to keep up-to-date with the latest discussions, information and advice regarding COVID-19.

Consumer confidence & perceptions around the impact of COVID-19

Our North West Research and Strategy team has been providing the the latest review of research and intelligence from the Visitor Economy sector. We are currently sourcing further sources of intelligence. Download the reports below.

You can also download the latest Tourism Data for Liverpool City Region here.

Government Support

Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the proposed changes to the Furlough system:

  • September: The Government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions, as well as 10% of wages to make wages up to 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.
  • October: The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions, as well as 20% of wages to make up to 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

The scheme will then end. Full details can be found here.

HMRC are hosting multiple webinars to provide an overview of the changes to the scheme, how employers will be affected, flexible furloughing, key dates and support available. Find out more and register here.

A bonus scheme worth up to £9 billion for firms has been announced to re-employ furloughed workers. An employer who brings someone back off furlough, and keeps them in a job until January, will get a £1,000 bonus. To get the bonus, firms must pay at least £520 each month.

Advice for commercial landlords and tenants

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published a code of practice on how commercial landlords and tenants should seek to resolve disputes regarding rent that arise from the pandemic. The code is voluntary and non-binding but seeks to get both parties to work in a co-operative manner to resolve rent payment problems.”

Job Portal

A free jobs portal has been created by HospitalityUnite, backed by the Scottish Tourism Alliance and UKHospitality, to help workers from the tourism and hospitality sectors who are out of work due to COVID-19.

The portal can only be accessed by businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry. If you would like to send the link to employees whom you have had to let go, please email to request access to the portal.

If you are an organisation with urgent vacancies you would like to advertise, please also email the above address.

If you are worried about the impact to your business please get in touch with us and we will respond to you directly or through one of our partners.

Get in touch by emailing

Whilst we will continue to monitor the situation and update this page when more information is released we advise you visit the Government website for the most up to date and accurate information.

Please be aware the information provided above is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance.