In addition to Government measures to contain the spread of the virus, there are a number of initiatives being established to help support businesses and employers who are impacted.
Below is an outline of these initiatives. As more are added and updated we will update this information for you.
Need support? Speak to our #HereToHelp team on 0151 705 1985.
A Plan for Jobs
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, presented his ‘Plan for Jobs’ to Parliament on Wednesday 8 July 2020, to outline how the government will boost job creation in the UK.
Arts Council England Emergency Funding Package
3 types of funding, £90 million available for National Portfolio Organisations, £50 million for organisations outside of the National Portfolio, and £20 million available to individuals. Find out more here.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) provides financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and that can benefit from £50,000 or less in finance. Find out more here.
Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries
Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Find out more here.
Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
Government to increase the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year and expand it to the leisure and hospitality sectors and increase the planned rates discount for pubs to £5,000. Find out more here.
Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
Businessess in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector will receive a cash grant. For businessess with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000 the grant is £25,000 per property. For businessess with a rateable value under £15,000, the grant is £10,000. Find out your rateable value here. Local Authorities will write to all eligible businesses with information on how to claim this grant. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant Local Authority. To find your local authority, use this search tool.
Please click your Local Authority Area below to start the process
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. No businesses will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. Find out more here.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
SMEs can apply for a loan of up to £5m, terms up to 6 years to cover term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance. Interest and fees paid for by Government for the first 12 months. Government can get guarantee of up to 80% against the outstanding facility balance. Find out more here.
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25m to firms with an annual turnover of between £45m and £500m. Find out more here.
Coronavirus 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.
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.
A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November.
COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies to help companies that are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by COVID-19. Find out more here.
COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant
£3.25 million of government funding to help food redistribution organisations across England cut food waste and redistribute surplus stock during the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more here.
Discretionary Grant Fund
The Discretionary Grant Fund, which supports small and micro businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes, is now open for applications.
Small and micro businesses with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Scheme. You can get a grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000.
Local councils have discretion about how to prioritise this funding. Please check with your council for details of their scheme.
Find out more here.
DIT support for UK businesses trading internationally
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has issued guidance for UK businesses trading internationally. Find out more here.
Extensions for filing accounts with Companies House
If companies accounts are filed late due to COVID-19, an automatic penality will be imposed. Action can be taken before the deadline, and companies can aply to extend the period allowed for filing by 3 months. Find out more here.
The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.
These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Find out more here.
Guidance for the Charity Sector
The Charity Commission have produced guidance to help running your charity during the outbreak. Read more here.
Heritage Emergency Fund
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Find out more here.
A dedicated helpline has been set up by HMRC to support businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you run a business or are self employed you can call HMRC on 08000 241222.
Income Tax Deferral for the Self-Employed
If you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. Find out more here.
The UK’s Insolvency Framework will add new restructuring tools to give companies breathing space and keep trading while they explore options for rescue. The proposals will also include key safegards for creditors and suppliers to ensure they are paid. The Insolvency Act will be temporarily suspended to give confidence to directors to continue trading without the threat of personal liability, should the company ultimately fall into insolvency. Find out more here.
Job Support Scheme
A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus. Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.
Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work – but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary. In order to support only viable jobs, employees must be working at least 33% of their usual hours. The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month. The Job Support Scheme will be open to businesses across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme, with further guidance being published in due course.
More information can be found here.
The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions.
This scheme will cover businesses that, as a result of restrictions set by one or more of the four governments in the UK, are legally required to close their premises. This includes businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises, or food and drink outdoors from their premises.
- The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
- Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions. Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
- The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.
- In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December. Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for the CJRS.
- The scheme is UK wide and the UK Government will work with the devolved administrations to ensure the scheme operates effectively across all four nations.
- Further guidance on the scheme will be set out by HMRC in due course.
In addition to expansion of the JSS, the government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks, compared to the up to £1,500 every three weeks which was available previously.
- Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 30 or more job placements: If you are an employer looking to create 30 or more jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.
- Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 29 or less job placements: If you are an employer looking to create 29 or less jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.
New guidance for organisations who want to be a Kickstart gateway and help employers apply for the Kickstart Scheme is available. Find out more here.
Local Restrictions Support Grant
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.
Grants will be based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of local lockdown restrictions.
Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply:
Find out more
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.
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
The scheme allowed you to claim a first taxable grant. Applications for the first grant closed on 13 July 2020.
The second taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
Applications for the second grant are now open. Make your claim from the date we give you. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.
An extension to the scheme will see an initial taxable grant provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS and are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus. The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875. An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April. Find out more here.
Small Business Grant Funding
Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businessess that already pay little or no business rates. They will provide a one-off grant of £10,000. To find and check your business rates click here.
Please click your Local Authority Area below to start the process
Sport England Community Emergency Fund
This new fund aims to help community sport and physical activity organisations who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This fund is currently paused for new applications. Find out more here.
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate
For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave. Find out more here.
The Pension Regulator
The Pension Regulator has published Automatic enrolment and DC pension contributions: COVID-19 guidance for employers. Find out more here.
Time to Pay
All businessess and self-employed people in financial distress, with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs. Arrangements agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. If you run a business or are self employed you can call HMRC on 08000 241222.
On 24 September 2020, the Chancellor announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period.
Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.
You will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022.
Those that can pay their deferred VAT can still do so by 31 March 2021.
Find out more here.
If you are seeking finance from banks and cannot find a suitable lender, there are three online finance platforms deignated by Government that can seek out suitable providers. Find out more here.
Growth Platform #HereToHelp helpline
We have created our helpline made up of our dedicated team, ready to support you during this crisis. Call us on: 0151 705 1985
Are you a well-established business to business SME with ambition to grow even more by increasing your turnover or creating new jobs with marketing support?
Agent Accelerator will help you achieve these ambitions!
An ERDF-funded programme led by Agent – a full service marketing agency located in Liverpool’s, Baltic Triangle. People-powered, and values-led, Agent helps brands and businesses to grow, flourish and thrive.
Find out more here
Be the Business Mentoring
2 fully funded programmes to support businesses to survive, thrive and hopefully grow out of this period of uncertainty. Find out more here.
Downtown in Liverpool
DIB is providing businesses with free business support and advice in the Liverpool City Region area via European Regional Development Funding, which provides eligible SMEs with £2,400 worth of free support. DIB can provide you with a minimum of 12 hours of support for any desired outcomes and use it to ensure the growth of your company. Find out more here.
Enterprise Hub supports individuals and businesses across the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral & Halton) to develop their enterprise skills, providing advice and guidance, virtual one to one support, training and access to resources and networks.
They are currently offering remote services to help business adapt through these difficult times.
If you are running a business based in Liverpool City Region that has been registered and trading for 42 months or less, you can receive advice on how to grow your business such as:
- Developing a business growth strategy
- Evaluate your marketing and develop further marketing skills
- Review your finances and access development funds
- Adapting the business to run online
This support is funded and available to any business registered within the Liverpool City Region under 42 month. To find out more contact email@example.com or 0151 706 8113
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.
Advice for businesses in Halton and resources for Chamber members. Contact on 0333 358 3480 or find out more here.
Information on Halton Borough Council’s response to COVID-19 outbreak. Contact on 0303 333 4300 or find out more here.
High Performance Consultancy
HPC is providing businesses with free HR support and advice in the Liverpool City Region via European Regional Development Funding, which provides SMEs with £2,400 worth of FREE HR and Employment Law advice. HPC will provide you with up to 12 hours of support for any related project you may need or use it to ensure you have everything set up right. Find out more here.
Advice for businesses in Knowsley. Contact 0151 477 4000 or find out more here.
Information on Knowsley Council’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact freephone freephone 0800 073 0043 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm at weekends or find out more here.
Liverpool BID Company
Information and news for Liverpool businesses. Find out more here.
Members of Liverpool Chamber are offering advice and support for other members. Find out more here.
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region has announced an initial package of measures aimed at easing the Coronavirus burden on local people. Find out more here.
Liverpool City Region Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the six City Region Local Authorities, are launching the Liverpool City Region Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant in response to restrictions impacting hospitality and leisure businesses in the region.
This fund offers grants to help leisure and hospitality businesses retain staff and meet operational costs during this difficult period of trading.
Applications for this Liverpool City Region fund will be managed via a centralised portal.
You can apply from 10am on Friday 16th October 2020 when the link to the online application form will be published 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.
Information for business with particular focus on the Visitor Economy sector. Find out more here.
Information and online events with particular focus on the Maritime sector. Find out more here.
Sector Specific Support
Our Sector Champions have outlined what support is available in specific sectors, we will update this as and when more information becomes available. Find out more here.
Information on Sefton Council’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Find out more here.
St Helens Chamber
Advice and support for businesses in St Helens. Contact 01744 742444 or 01744 742087 or find out more here.
St Helens Council
Information on St Helens Council’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Find out more here.
The online course you need to stablise, adapt and sustain during Covid-19.
Stabilise your business. Adapt your strategy. Grow sustainably. Apply here.
The Women’s Organisation
Local Growth Hub partner supporting business in Liverpool City Region. Find out more here.
University of Liverpool
Growth Catalyst is an innovative seven-month leadership development programme designed specifically for owners and senior managers of SMEs in the Liverpool City Region, to help the business grow. The programme is uniquely designed to provide both personal and business growth. Find out more here.
Advice and support for business in Wirral. Contact the support line on 0151 650 6982 or find out more here.
Information on Wirral Council’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact 0151 666 5050 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or find out more here.
General business advice/support
- Beauhurst – Advice for SMEs
- Be the Business – Business advice
- Cabinet Office – Pandemic influzena checklist for businesses to prepare
- Chartered Management Institute – Resource portal for managing teams through coronavirus
- Confederation of British Industry – Coronavirus Hub
- Department for International Trade – Guidance for businesses who export
- DLA Piper Coronavirus Resource Centre
- DSG – Business Advice and updates
- Federation of small businesses – Advice for small business and self employed
- ICAEW – Overview of business support and advice
- Institute of Directors – Business advice
- Law Society – Advice and updates
- Scale Up Institute – Advice for scaling businesses
Advice for employers
- ACAS – Guide for employers
- Be the Business – Guide – how to reduce your workforce in a controlled way
- Chartered Insitute of Public Relations – Tips for communicating with employees
- CIPD – Guidance on how employers should respond
Guidance on government schemes
- Confederation of British Industry – Guidance on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme
- Confederation of British Industry – Job Retention Scheme factsheet
- Deloitte – Overview of Government Support
- Institute of Directors – Job retention scheme factsheet, including what to do if you are the director
- UK Hospitality – Detailed advice and FAQs on Job Retention Scheme
- Federation of Small Business – Guidance for small businessess on creating a businesss continuity plan
- Institute of Directors – Factsheet on business resilience
- UNICEPA – Sign up for daily updates
- British Business Bank – guide to support businesses experiencing financial challenges as a result of COVID-19.
- Companies House – Guidance for filing accounts during the COVID-19 outbreak, including what to do if you cannot file your accounts on time
- Crowdfunder – Free fundraising for businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Financial Reporting Council – advice to companies and auditors on Coronavirus risk disclosures
- Sifted – Advice for Start-ups
- For a list of webinars which may be useful for your business click here.
Although we aim to provide you with the highest quality information, Growth Platform does not endorse or guarantee third party advice. Growth Platform cannot attest to the accuracy of the advice and information offered on third party sites. Linking to a website does not constitute endorsement by Growth Platform.
Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business and is critical to sustaining your business through this difficult period. This tip sheet has been put together to help identify areas which may help you in your efforts to free up cash.
Download our cash flow template here.
Employees are a business’s most valuable assets. This tip sheet has been assembled to help advise, support and manage your staff during this turbulent period.
In preparation for the eventual stabilisation of the Covid-19 pandemic and the easing of the stay at home restrictions, the following tips have been assembled to help advise, support and manage the safe re-opening of your business. Please note this tip sheet is for guidance only and will be updated as and when more information becomes available.
It is important to remember that people deal with things in different ways. This tip sheet has guidance and advice to support mental health and wellbeing.
Government guidance on staying at home
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19 you also must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, you must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms.
For full details please click here.