Support for businesses - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus business support FAQs

What business support is available to myself?

The Government has extended the existing business support of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme), Bounce Back Loan and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Extension

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical 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.

The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. This therefore increases the total level of the grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2020.

More information

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme)

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.

The Job Support Scheme will commence after the Job Retention Scheme has ended.

More information

Bounce Back Loan

The scheme helps 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 government 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.

The scheme is open to applications until 31 January 2021.

More information

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.

The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

The scheme is open until 31 January 2021.

More information

Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG)

The Government has recently issued guidance to local authorities concerning further covid related support grants that will soon be available to businesses across Lichfield district.   

Businesses that are eligible under the LRSG scheme in Lichfield district are initially those that have been mandated to close by Government and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.

The value of grants payable under that LRSG scheme are linked to the Rateable Value (RV) for occupied properties. These are:

  • RV - £15,000 and below = £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period
  • RV – above £15,000 and below £51,000 = £2,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period
  • RV – £51,000 and above = £3,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period

More information will be available soon.

Additional Restrictions Grant (ASG)

Under the Additional Restrictions Grant, local authorities will receive a one-off lump sum payment to fund additional business support now that widespread national restrictions have been imposed.

We envisage this will primarily take the form of discretionary grants to businesses that don’t qualify for help under the LRSG schemes, but we could also use this funding for wider business support activities. The aim is to provide appropriate support for the financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22 and we will publish further details about this scheme soon.

Further business support

Other business support packages announced, such as the Kickstart Scheme shall continue to operate.

If you have a specific business support enquiry, please contact our Economic Development team or keep informed about the latest business support by signing up to our Business News e-newsletter.

Can my workforce come into the office?

To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers.

Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work.

Is my business able to remain open during the lockdown?

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks, theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect
  • Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals

These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:

  • education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that it part of their normal provision)
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
  • blood donation and food banks
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios)
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • for the purposes of professional film and TV filming

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods or services, including:

  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences.
  • Petrol Stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.
  • Banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical and dental services
  • Vets and pet shops
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.
  • Outdoor playgrounds

Public services

The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:

  • the NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists. We are supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help
  • Jobcentre Plus sites
  • Courts and probation services
  • Civil Registrations Offices
  • Passport and Visa Services
  • Services provided to victims
  • Household waste recycling centre