Business support and advice
Support and advice for businesses affected by COVID-19.

Support from government for businesses affected by COVID-19


Coronavirus (COVID-19) support available to businesses from the Government

  • Loans, tax relief and cash grants are available
  • Help for Employers 

  • Help for Self-employed people 

What you can do now

More information is available at GOV.UK - about the government guidance to employers, employees and businesses.

There is also a new Business Support Helpline Number 0800 998 1098

The Government Business Support helpline provides free, impartial business support and signposting services to businesses in England - which currently includes business advice on Covid-19.

Additional support

Preston has been declared Tier 3 'Very High Alert' area.

We are currently waiting for further information on guidance and financial support that may be available so that we can support affected eligible businesses. 

We will update our website when we have more information

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) 

The furlough scheme will be extended across the UK until the end of March 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed (5.11.20).

Visit GOV.UK to find out:

The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension, that provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of grants, has been extended and made available for 3-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. 

The grants will increase from 55% to 80% of average profits - up to £7,500.  For more information about the scheme please visit GOV.UK - Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension.

Loan schemes

Application deadlines extended to January 31 2021. The application deadlines for the coronavirus Bounce Back Loan, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and coronavirus Future Fund have been extended  until 31 January 2021.

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.

The Job Support Scheme helps individuals and businesses deal with the challenges created by coronavirus (COVID-19) by helping employers retain their employees. This was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 September 2020 and added to on 9 October 2020 and 22 October 2020.

 Self-employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

For further details please visit SEIS Grant Extension.

Tax cuts and deferrals

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

In addition, business who deferred their VAT bills will be given more breathing space through the New Payment Scheme, which gives them the option to pay back in smaller instalments.

Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the "Time to Pay" self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

Giving businesses flexibility to pay back loans

Businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan will be given the option to repay their loan over a period of up to ten years through a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will be given the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.

The government is extending four temporary loan schemes to 30 November 2020 for new applications.

As a result, more businesses will now be able to benefit from the:

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme 
  • Future Fund

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.  

Employers will be able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. 

HMRC and GOV.UK has published online guidance on if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

Latest News: A Job Retention Bonus - a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Guidance has been updated with new information on the maximum number of employees you can claim for.

The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October as announced by the Chancellor on 12 May 2020.

30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims. 

See above for details of new Job Support Scheme.

Kickstart Scheme

As part of the government's Plan for Jobs, a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme aims to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Please see our Recruitment, Training, Skills and Apprenticeships for more details.

Chamber of Commerce Toolkit

The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce has produced a toolkit to help businesses with the coronavirus pandemic.

The FSB advice and guidance

The National Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses Limited (FSB) also has advice and guidance on the coronavirus.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership website will be updated regularly to provide information on the support packages available and how to access them.

Boost Business Lancashire

The #BoostYourRecovery service from Boost Business Lancashire is available to all Lancashire business owners who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please call them on 0800 488 0057 to discuss all business issues related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Their team will advise where possible, as well as directing businesses to expert advisers across Lancashire.

Other COVID-19 Finance Support 

The Government has announced a number of loan schemes and support to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please visit our Business Finance and Grants Section for more information on these and other sources of help.

  • Bounce Back Loans
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • New Future Fund

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