Support for Businesses/Employers

Information and advice for the businesses and charities

Latest government advice for employers and businesses

Latest advice from the Federation of Small Businesses

Latest advice from Charity Finance Group (CFG)

Latest advice from NCVO: National Council of Voluntary Organisations

Latest advice from ACAS: Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service

Latest government support initiatives for businesses

Updated 11/05/20

Government Support for Employers and Businesses

Latest advice from GOV.UK
Latest government support initiatives for businesses

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme


 £10,000 or £25,000 grants available now.

Back in the March the government announced a cash grant scheme for small businesses as well Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses, including museums.  The grants will be administered by the local authority which issues your council tax and business rates.  As there has been no uniformity in the roll out of these grants YOU may need to contact your local authority despite GOV.UK advice implying otherwise to access these grants.

What is it?

  • Small business with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • For Retail, Hospitality & Leisure (RHL) businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.


You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied and are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Charities which would otherwise meet this criteria but whose business rate bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award should still be considered to be eligible for the RHL

 How to access?
In some instances your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Other local authorities have set up online application forms for businesses to access these grants.  If in doubt it is worth contacting your local authority.  This grant is not competitive and is entirely funded by central government, we are aware that some museums have already received cash grants from their local authorities.

If you do experience problems with contacting your local authority or are unable to access this cash grant please do contact your local Museum Development Officer.  We are also keen to hear about successful pay-outs as well.

Updated 10/06/20

Bounce Back Loans Scheme: 27/04

Bounce back loans scheme launched: 04/05
Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan: updated 04/05
Details of Bounce Back loans scheme
Letter from the Chancellor to lenders: 01/05
Webinar on who can apply for scheme, and how to do so

What is it?

  • Gov’t scheme to help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.
  • The gov’t guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
  • You can repay earlier with no penalty.
  • Loans set up to last 6 years (1 interest free and 5 years @ 2.5%).
  • Loans are unsecured. You don’t give security (the Government does) so it’s far more difficult for them to take your assets if you can’t repay.

Who is eligible?

  • Your business must have been established before 1 March 2020.  It must also still be trading as a going concern (temporary cessation due to coronavirus doesn’t matter) at the point of application – and the reason for any issues must be due to coronavirus.

Notes from Good Finance webinar about Bounce Back Loans:

  • The panellists reported that while some charities have accessed – many are having issues, partly as the bank do not understand charities and partly as the charities are not answering the eligibility questions correctly.
  • Barclays apparently have been particularly difficult and HSBC good. Some need you to bank with them, others such as HSBC do not.
  • One of the panelists from Luna Dizon (see below for contact details) is interested to hear and talk to organisations that are having difficulties. They are in touch with British Business Bank and are working with them to make the Loans more accessible to charities. They can also provide advice and support.

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