COVID-19 help for businesses

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2 April 2020

COVID-19 help for businesses

Register for grant support now

Good progress has been made in the huge task of setting up a system to make the grant payments. The first grants should be made to eligible businesses early next week. Businesses that have registered do not need to take any further action. The grant will be paid directly into the bank account registered. 

If you have not yet registered for business grant support, don’t miss out. Please complete this form. There is more information about the qualifying criteria at our business rates page

Hundreds of businesses across the district have registered so far, and we encourage you to register for support too.

Registering with us will enable you to claim one of the following two grants:

Other support available

There is a range of other business support available including business loans and help with business rates, tax, and wages.

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses. You will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Business Rates Holidays for Nurseries. Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Job Retention Scheme. All UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will pay employers a grant worth 80% of an employee’s usual wage costs, up to £2,500 a month.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate. The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to COVID-19. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.

Self employed income support. The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to COVID-19.

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Please note that you cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online. Please see here for more information about the scheme. Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.You should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers offering the scheme (and not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible to discuss your business plan with them.

In addition to VAT and self assessment deferral there is support for businesses paying tax. All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

The Government have also announced extra protection for businesses with ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments.

Advice and guidance

For all business support enquiries and information about the Government’s COVID-19 measures please visit

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce have published additional advice and support for employers on such issues as the HR and legal implications of COVID-19, and the global impact of the pandemic on international trade. Please visit

If you need to talk to one of the team at Worcestershire Business Central, please call them on 01905 677888 or email They are ready to help you navigate your way through the information and support that is available.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

Can your business help others?

Help with recruitment

In the current crisis many local businesses, particularly in the horticulture and care sectors, are struggling to recruit staff. In these unprecedented times we are helping to spread the word by including details of exceptional recruitment needs via our newsletter to residents. If you are struggling to recruit please send details of vacancies to and we will do our best to help.  You can find details of businesses who are currently recruiting here on our website.

Please do use your own communication methods to share this message widely and to encourage people to take up employment with them. 

Can your business help support Government?

he Government is looking for business that can help with the response to COVID-19.  The support includes the following:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • social care or childcare

Find out more here

The Government is also looking for businesses that can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the UK as part of the response to COVID-19.

As well as manufacturers, they are looking for businesses with the following skills: design/specification, rapid prototyping, contract/product assembly, certification/regulation/testing, logistics, medical training, to offer support with existing ventilator stock, please complete this online form.

The Edge4Health

NHS organisations are now using The Edge4Health to view available products to support the Covid-19 crisis. In order to support the NHS at this time and in response to the demand from providers, The Edge4Health, the NHS marketplace, has now been made available to all their clients.

If you supply products to the NHS, your are encouraged to register immediately on The Edge4Health. Your entire catalogue of products including list price will then be available to sourcing teams across the country, who are in urgent need of a wide range of products at this time. The NHS is asking for your support by registering at, clicking the “launch” button and uploading your products and list prices immediately.  

If you have any enquiries, please contact

The information available to businesses is changing regularly. We will continue to actively provide a regular information service as soon as we receive information.

Businesses can receive these updates by signing up to our business e-newsletter