COVID-19 Support For Businesses

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15 June 2020

COVID-19 help for businesses

More than 2400 grants have now been made to eligible businesses. If you have a business rate account, and meet the criteria, you could be eligible. You register using this formThere is more information about the qualifying criteria at our business rates page.

Registering with us will enable you to claim one of the following two grants, assuming you meet the eligibility criteria which are very simple – you need to be an active business, and either in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors; or you are a small business in any sector and in receipt of small business rate relief.

Cllr. Richard Morris.

Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for economic growth and tourism.

Discretionary fund – deadline for applications 19 June

The Government has provided Local Authorities with a small additional fund to support some businesses that are not eligible for either the small business grant or the retail grant. However, the pot is extremely limited, and the Government has set very clear criteria for eligibility. Local Authorities have been told to prioritise:

  • Businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

Click here for more information and to apply. Upon completion, you will get an acknowledgement screen that confirms your application. Please note this is the only application method and the deadline is the 19 June. If you have any questions about this fund, please email

Business support available

There is a range of business support available including business loans, and help with business rates, tax, and wages. Please see the links below to support from the Government, the Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and from Worcestershire Business Central.

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

The Government has recently launched the Coronavirus Business Support Finder which is a new tool to help businesses and self-employed people quickly and easily determine what financial support is currently available. Fill out a quick and simple online questionnaire and you will be directed to a list of all the financial support you may be eligible for. You can find out more about the tool here.

You can also sign up to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin and get notifications straight to your inbox. Get email alerts here. You can watch the helpline video here, and get answers to business questions in their FAQs or over the phone, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm 0300 456 3565.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce have a Coronavirus Support Hub. 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 Job Retention Scheme key dates

10 June - Last date to furlough employees for the first time, to be eligible until October.

12 June - Guidance on changes to CJRS available on GOV.UK.

30 June - CJRS closes to anyone who hasn’t been furloughed for three weeks before this date.

1 July - Flexible furlough begins – businesses can bring back employees as needed. CJRS will cover usual hours not worked.

31 July - Final date to submit claims for staff furloughed before 30 June.

1 August - Employers now pay pension contributions and National Insurance for furloughed employees.

1 September - Employers now pay 10% of furloughed wages, plus NI and pension contributions.

1 October - Employers now pay 20% of furloughed wages, plus NI and pension contributions.

31 October - Scheme closes.

Full guidance and further support is available at here.

People on paternity and maternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be eligible for the Government’s furlough scheme even after the 10 June cut-off date.

Find out more here.

Everything online

The Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and Worcestershire Business Central are just two of many business support organisations that are providing online advice to support current business needs and future recovery plans. They both have a series of webinars available in place of events, training courses and face to face meetings to inform you on the latest government updates, business support, HR and legal advice, mental wellbeing and much more.

Here are links to book the latest Chamber webinars:

H R focus webinar

Cost control & reduction in a challenging environment

B2B grant funding opportunities

Risk control

Lunchtime networking

You can view all past webinars on their YouTube Channel. To find out about their virtual training days for the recovering business head straight to the training calendar for upcoming courses from June through to July.

WBC offer free business support webinars to help your business during the COVID-19 pandemic they are listed here - upcoming events.

Test and trace service

The NHS test and trace service forms a central part of the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery strategy, which seeks to help the nation return to normal as soon as possible for as many people as possible, in a way that is safe and protects the NHS and social care sector.

Guidance on the NHS test and trace service for employers, businesses and workers can be found here.

Scale up club

If you have never been to a Scaleup Club event before and are ready to scale up your business, now is your chance. The next event is on 17June 2020.

ScaleUp Club is a monthly event, delivered by BizSmart in partnership with Worcestershire Business Central. The theme this month is Effective Teams. If you haven’t been before, it's a chance to share opportunities, issues, experiences and resources in order to help each other to scale and build a valuable business virtually!

Please click here to book.

Worcestershire's Tech Accelerator BetaDen virtual showcase

BetaDen would like to personally invite you to attend the Cohort 2.0 Showcase, taking place virtually on Thursday 18 June 2020 at 10.30 a.m. This will be live streamed via YouTube followed by a live Q&A with all founding companies. 

This celebration is to mark the successful completion of the second tech accelerator programme for the six BetaDen cohort 2.0 founders and to pitch their development, join them for pitches on; Cyber, Identity Biometrics, Drone Technology, Remote Working Solutions, App Technologies and Proximity Solution Technology. 

Developing this exciting new technology ecosystem for Worcestershire’s future economy was never more important, these game changing early stage emerging products and solutions are really starting to promote this vision. 

Register your place for the virtual showcase here.  

Town Centre businesses re-opening

From today, more businesses can re-open in the town centres. However, it’s important to adhere to the guidelines. For more information on all health and safety matters, please visit the Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) website here. If you have particular concerns, you can also contact the  WRS team via the website.

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

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