Business News: Business support finder & more

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Business support finder

The government has launched a new tool to help you find coronavirus financial support for your business. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants – this support finder will help you to see what support is available for you and your business.

Business grants

grant funding

We've issued central government grants totalling more than £16 million to 1,400 businesses to support them through this difficult period. Grants of up to £25,000 are available to eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, and a grant of £10,000 is available to small businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

We’re advising those businesses which have not yet registered that this is not a loan – it is grant and does not need to be paid back.

Get details on the grants, check your eligibility and complete the online application form

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500, paid in a single instalment.

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Furlough scheme extended

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.

The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August.

Find out more

Working safely during coronavirus

There are eight workplace guidance documents available to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The documents cover a range of different types of work.

Read the guidance

Coronavirus testing for essential workers

The government is rolling out a programme of coronavirus testing for essential workers who are self-isolating. Find out who can be tested, how it works and what you can do as an employer.

► Read more

Online skills training

skills toolkit

A new online platform giving people easy access to free digital and numeracy courses to help them build their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.

The Skills Toolkit offers a range of courses at all levels. It's open to everyone, whether they have recently been furloughed and want to learn new skills and build up their CV, or if they're just keen to keep their mind healthy and skills sharp during this time.

Find out more

Free webinars for the business sector

Transport and Logistical Efficiencies is hosting a series of free webinars on leadership, operations and cyber security.

Business Continuity Management Toolkit


Business continuity is about understanding and managing risks of events that could disrupt your business and impact upon you and and anyone who works for you. It can help you to plan how to deal with different situations so that you can continue to operate your business.

The government has put together a toolkit which has step-by-step guide on how businesses can put theory into practice.

See the toolkit here

Bounce back loans

This is a finance scheme designed to enable businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak. Under the new ‘Bounce Back Loan’ scheme:

  • Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000
  • The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won't be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months
  • The loans will be easy to apply for through a short, standardised online application

Find out more

Loans, support and advice

The British Business Bank has a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs.

The Bank of England has launched a COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.

Because of coronavirus you may be able to delay (defer) some tax payments without paying a penalty to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).


The BEST Growth Hub is one of 39 growth hubs across England providing support services to Essex businesses of all sizes – from registered start-ups to well-established companies.

Visit the BEST Growth Hub website

Relief for child care providers

Nurseries will not have to pay businesses rates for one year commencing April 2020.

Contact us to find out if you're eligible or you can your check eligibility for the retail, hospitality and leisure scheme and eligibility for the nursery scheme on the government website.

If you're eligible, you could get 100% off your business rates bill for the 2020 to 2021 tax year (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021).

You can get the retail discount on top of any other business rates relief you're eligible for.

Grant funding, advice and support for your business


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