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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.

Additional Restrictions Grant

The Additional Restrictions Grant will be provided by councils on a discretionary basis.

Local authorities will receive a sum of money equivalent to £20 per head of their local population to distribute to businesses which have been severely impacted by restrictions. For example, a council covering an area with a population of 100,000 would receive £2 million for this purpose. Those likely to be in receipt of these grants include large employers with significant fixed costs such as seaside attractions or local manufacturers, as well as sole traders, tour operators and market traders who do not have a rateable value and have not been covered by other grant schemes.

Visit your local council website to find out how to apply.

Find out more here.

Business Evictions Ban

Business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2022.

This final extension to protections from the threat of eviction will give landlords and tenants three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. The Government is clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so.

Find out more here.

Coronavirus Bill

Businesses who are struggling to pay their rent due to the impact of COVID-19 are protected from the threat of eviction until the end of the year in order to help businesses over the coming months and protect people’s jobs. A Code of Practice has also been published by the government to encourage commercial tenant and landlords to work together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. From 1 July 2021, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

From 1 August 2021, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

For claims from 1st July 2021, employers must top up employees’ wages to make sure they receive 80% of their wages (up to £2,500) for the hours they are on furlough. The caps are proportional to the hours not worked.

Please note that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be ending on 30 September 2021. Claims for September must be submitted by 14 October 2021 and any amendments must be made by 28 October 2021.

Full details can be found 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.

Guidance for the Charity Sector

The Charity Commission have produced guidance to help running your charity during the outbreak. Read more here.

HMRC Helpline

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.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding that covers:

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months.
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions.
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

A Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. Kickstart gateways can help employers with 29 or less job placements by applying for funding on their behalf.

Find out more here.

Local Connections Fund

The Local Connections Fund – made up of £2 million from the Government and £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund – will be used for hundreds of small grants worth between £300 and £2,500.

These investments are designed to help local organisations bring people and communities together as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Local Connections Fund will be split into two rounds of funding – each with its own application window, one in January 2021 and one in the summer 2021.

Find out more here.

Recovery Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period.

Find out more here

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Claim the fifth grant if you think that your business profit will be impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021.

You’ll need to confirm that you meet other eligibility criteria when you make your claim.

You should make your claim on or after the personal claim date HMRC has given you.

Find out more here.

Start Up Loans Programme

Loans (£500 to £25,000, at 6% interest, with 1-5y repayment term) and 12 months of free mentoring to individuals who are starting a new business or who have been trading for less than two years. Find out more here.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees.

You can claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP if:

The online service to claim back Statuary Sick Pay is now available.

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.

VAT reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

Businesses cab apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to:

  • Hospitality
  • Hotel and holiday accommodation
  • Admissions to certain attractions

The temporary reduced of VAT of 5% will apply until 30 September 2021. Prepare for a new rate of 12.5% from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. Find out more here.

Alternative Finance

If you are seeking finance from banks and cannot find a suitable lender, there are three online finance platforms designated by Government that can seek out suitable providers. Find out more here.


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

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

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 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.

Halton Chamber

Advice for businesses in Halton and resources for Chamber members. Contact on 0333 358 3480 or find out more here.

Halton Council

Information on Halton Borough Council’s response to COVID-19 outbreak. Contact on 0303 333 4300 or find out more here.

Knowsley Chamber

Advice for businesses in Knowsley. Contact 0151 477 4000 or find out more here.

Knowsley Council

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.

Liverpool Chamber

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 Council

Call centre lines are open 8am-6pm seven days a week 0151 233 3001. Or contact online here. Find out more here.

Marketing Liverpool

Information for business with particular focus on the Visitor Economy sector. Find out more here.

Mersey Maritime

Information and online events with particular focus on the Maritime sector. Find out more here.

Sefton Council

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 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.

Wirral Chamber

Advice and support for business in Wirral. Contact the support line on 0151 650 6982 or find out more here.

Wirral Council

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

Advice for employers

Guidance on government schemes

Business continuity


  • 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

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.

Maintaining Cash Flow

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.

Employee Management and Support

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.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources

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.

Working safely during COVID-19

The latest guidance from Government to safely return to the workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak.


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.