Coronavirus (COVID-19): Support for businesses

The COVID-19: support for businesses (external link) and the Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19) (external link) is the best place to find the most up to date information. These pages outline the support available to public services, people and businesses through this period and is continually being updated.

The Government Business Support website (external link) has a helpful FAQs page which answers the questions and concerns businesses have raised.

Business Grant Funding

The Government announced that they will provide additional support to businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19 and outlined two types of cash grants to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs. To check what businesses are eligible for these grant funding schemes please check the Coronavirus (COVID-19): business support grant funding guidance (external link).

Small Business Grant Funding

  • A one-off grant of £10,000 to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR).

For more information please visit the Small Business Grant Funding (external link) page.

Cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure

  • Eligible businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • Eligible businesses and premises in retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
  • Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not included in this scheme.

For more information please visit the Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rate (external link) page.

How to Apply 

To submit an application you will need to provide your Business Rates Account Number and Property Reference Number which can be found on the Non-Domestic Rate Bill (where can I find this information?) which you receive from West Lancashire Borough Council. If you do not have access to this information please contact the Business Rates Team on Business.Rates@westlancs.gov.uk as applications cannot be processed without these details.

Once the team have received your application they will perform their verification checks and if you are eligible, they will process your grant payment. If anymore information is required the Business Support Team will be in touch with you directly.

Businesses to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19

On 25 March a joint initiative between the government and Companies House was launched to give businesses an additional 3 months to file accounts, to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.

Please visit the full guidance on applying for an extension (external link) for more information on how to ask Companies House to extend your filing deadline.

Tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Community Interest Companies (CICs)

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CICs) has robust plans in place to maintain services for CICs and protect the welfare of employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For more information please visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Community Interest Companies (CICs) (external link).

COVID-19 advice to food businesses

The Council understands that businesses may look to change their business model and diversify in order to maintain their business during this time. We have prepared a guide (PDF, 254Kb) for businesses that are looking to make provision for food takeaways and deliveries where they have not done so before.

Further advice is also available from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

The Food Standards Agency has also produced a general guide for food businesses at COVID-19: guidance for food businesses (external link).

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. Please visit the British Business Bank website (external link) to find out more information and to apply.