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Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to businesses from the Government

Last updated 23.11.20.

  • Loans, tax relief and cash grants are available
  • Employers can apply for staff to get up to 80% pay if they can’t work
  • Self-employed people can receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least 3 months

What you can do now


Guidance and support
1) Funding + Support

3) Your responsibilities as an employer

4) How to run your business safely

5) What businesses should be closed


How to claim funding & grants for your business

  1. Business Coronavirus Support Finder
  2. Business Support Grant Fund (updated 6.11.20)
  3. Local Restrictions Grant Scheme (updated 6.11.20)
  4. Support for Self-Employed (updated 6.11.20)
  5. Business Loan Scheme
  6. Claiming wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (updated 6.11.20)
  7. Business rates holiday and tax relief
  8. Local Restrictions Support Grant (updated 23.11.20)

1) Business Coronavirus Support Finder

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants.

Use this simple business support finder tool to see what support is available for you and your business.

2) Business Support Grant Fund

  • What is it
  • Who can apply
  • How to apply
  • Support for the self-employed

The Government has announced some grant funding schemes to help support small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. 

The Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) is available to all businesses in England that are in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR); these businesses will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.

The Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) is available to all businesses in England that have a rateable value of less than £51,000. Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. 

The Local Restrictions Grant scheme, announced in November 2020, with more information below.

Please use the Business Coronavirus Support Finder Tool to find out what support your business is entitled to. Business owners must apply to Birmingham City Council directly to receive the grants.

If you have not applied to BCC for a business support grant yet, please do so here:

You will need: 

  • Business rates account number
  • Name of person that appears on the business rates bill
  • VAT number, if applicable
  • Companies House number, if applicable
  • Rateable value of your property

If you can not find your business rates account number, please e-mail and request it from them.

[Note: Does your business not qualify for a grant because your rateable value is above £50k? Join the ‘Raise the Bar’ campaign – a petition urging the government to raise the £25,000 grant rateable value threshold from £51k to £150k to ensure that these crucial businesses survive through COVID-19.)

3) Local Restrictions Grant Scheme

The government has announced it will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus.

Additional funding has been approved to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions, and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for Local Authorities moving into Tier 3 which, if scaled up across the country, would be worth more than £1 billion.

  • open businesses which are experiencing considerable difficulty will be given extra help to keep staff on as government significantly increases contribution to wage costs under the Job Support Scheme, and business contributions drop to 5%
  • business grants are expanded to cover businesses in particularly affected sectors in high-alert level areas, helping them stay afloat and protecting jobs
  • grants for the self-employed doubled to 40% of previous earnings
  • furlough system paying 80% of employee wages will be extended until March 2021.

All local authorities are waiting to be issued with Guidance on the Local Restrictions Grant schemes.

According to the website, we can expect to receive this by Friday 6 November.

Once received,  Birmingham City Council will aim to have full details of each schemes eligibility criteria, and how to apply, available for you as quickly as possible. We have put together a Business Support page on the Harborne Village website here and will continue to update this regularly to let you know what support is available for you and your business.

In the meantime, see the latest news story about the LRSG on GOV.UK

4) Support for the self-employed

If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership in the UK and have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19) you are entitled to a support grant from the government.

If you are entitled to the grant, HMRC will contact you. We are monitoring the situation daily, and should an application mechanism be released online we will let you know how to claim and what information you will need to process your application.

In the meantime, we would recommend that you:-

  • Check you are entitled to this grant using the Business Support Finder tool
  • Make a note of your Unique Tax Payer Reference
  • Ensure you have copies of your tax return for 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 (if available)

For more information, please visit:

* Updated 6.11.20 –

A recent announcement increases the amount of profits covered by the forthcoming self-employed grant from 20 per cent to 40 per cent, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750.

This is a potential further £3.1 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April.

5) Business Loan Schemes

  • What loan schemes are available
  • Who can apply
  • How to apply

There are currently two loan schemes available for businesses that have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic:

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

If your small to medium-sized business (SME) is affected by coronavirus, you may be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 through a Bounce Back Loan scheme.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and for the first 12 months you will not have to pay any fees or interest, or make repayments.

You may be eligible for this scheme if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019

This includes self-employed people.

This scheme was announced on 27 April 2020 and will be available from 4 May 2020.

Apply for a Coronavirus Bounce Back loan

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

If you are a small to medium-sized business (SME) you may be able to apply for a temporary loan, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million, for up to 6 years.

You may also be eligible for Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender fees. The government will give lenders 80% guarantee on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims).

Self-employed people are also eligible for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

You may be eligible for this scheme if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • your business is UK-based, with a turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • you have a borrowing proposal which would be considered viable by the lender, if not for the current pandemic
  • you can self-certify that coronavirus (COVID-19) has adversely impacted your business

Apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

6) Claiming wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

You can claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19). You will need to apply directly to the Government to make a claim.

To make a claim for furloughed employees wages, click here:

You will need:

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK bank account number and sort code
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amount you’re claiming for including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You also need to provide either:

  • your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent)
  • your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
  • your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
  • your company registration number

Alternatively, your Accountant can make the claim with HMRC on your behalf.

* Updated 6.11.20 –

The scheme is now open until 31 March 2021.

For claims up to January 2021, HMRC will pay 80% of employees’ usual salary, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

In January the amount you can get from January to March will be announced.

7) Business rates holiday and tax relief

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

You do not need to do anything. If you are eligible, Birmingham City Council will apply the discount automatically.

You’re eligible if your property is a:

  • shop
  • restaurant, café, bar or pub
  • cinema or live music venue
  • assembly or leisure property – for example, a sports club, a gym or a spa
  • hospitality property – for example, a hotel, a guest house or self-catering accommodation

Check if your retail, hospitality or leisure business is eligible for business rates relief due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Deferring VAT

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer payment until 31 March 2021.

Check if you are eligible to defer your VAT payment

Support for businesses paying tax: Time To Pay Service

If you cannot pay your tax bill on time because of coronavirus, you may be able to delay it without penalty using HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

You may be eligible if you are a UK business that:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

Click here if you cannot pay your tax bill on time.

8) Local Restrictions Support Grant (LSRG)

In response to the impact that local and national COVID-19 restrictions have had on Birmingham’s economy, the Government has provided Birmingham City Council grant funding to help businesses which have been most affected.

The following grants are available:
·         Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)
·         Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)
·         Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)
·          Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

In order to simplify the process for applicants, BCC will be using one application form which will include questions relevant to all four grants. This information will then be used to determine what grant(s) businesses are eligible to receive.

Applications will open from Wednesday 25 November 2020.

Businesses will need to register for a BRUM account to apply for a grant, which can be done in advance. Create an account if you don’t already have one.

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