Skip to main content

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.

The plan includes:

  • A Job Retention Bonus that will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.
  • A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.
  • A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. Young people, who are amongst the worst hit by the crisis, will benefit from this.
  • The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.
  • A temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 will be introduced until 31 March 2021. This will drive growth and support jobs across the housebuilding and property sectors.
  • The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will be cut from 20% to 5%.
  • To encourage people to safely return to eating out at restaurants, the Government has introduced a new Eat Out to Help Out discount. The scheme will support over 129,000 businesses in the hospitality industry. Diners can get 50% off meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, at participating restaurants, bars and cafes when they eat in. The scheme is valid all day every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during August. Participating restaurants and establishments will be reimbursed for the discount they pass onto customers. Detailed guidance and registration details for restaurants and establishments will be published on 9 July and restaurants and outlets can register for the scheme from Monday 13 July

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-led innovation in response to global disruption (de minimis)

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million in innovation projects. 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

Coronavirus Bill

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:

  • August: The Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will need to pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.
  • 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.

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.

Future Fund

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.

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.

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.

Insolvency Framework

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.

Kickstart Scheme

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.

If you would like to be kept informed please email localgrowthhub@growthplatform.org Subject: Business Grants, with your Name, Business Name, Postcode, Telephone Number and Email, and we will contact you when more information is available.

Kick Starting Tourism Package

The Government has confirmed that £10 million of new funding will be made available to boost tourism in England for renewal and recovery.

Funding will help small businesses in tourist destinations to access support of up to £5,000, to help them adapt their businesses following the coronavirus pandemic.

More information can be found here.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor has also announced that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will also be extended, with applications opening in August for a second and final grant. This will be paid out in a single instalment, covering three months’ worth of average monthly trading profits. The final grant will be 70% of average monthly trading profits up to a total of £6,570.

Full details can be found here. Please note that there has not been an announcement for support for people whose business is structured as a registered company.

Small Business Advertising Fund

FSB and Mail Metro Media to give small businesses who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis a chance to receive a £3000 tailored advertising packet for free. Will enable showcase of businesses to millions of consumers who engage with these brands. 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. 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.

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund

The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support. 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.

VAT Deferral

Government to support businessess by deferring VAT payments from 20th March to 30th June . This is an automatic offer with no applications required. 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 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

Agent

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.

Gather

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sustain

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.

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

Media

  • UNICEPA – Sign up for daily updates

Finances

  • 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

Webinars

  • 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.

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.

Recovery Readiness – Workplace Advisory Service

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.

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.

 

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.