COVID-19: Support for businesses

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy COVID-19 guidance for businesses

Detailed government support for businesses can be found at

Detailed government guidance for businesses can be read here.

***Please find below a summary of the key points from government guidance. However, be aware this information was last updated on Friday 27th March. While it will be updated as and when there is new information, please bear in mind that it may be out of date by the time of reading and you should always check the government's live guidance.***

HM Government announced £30bn of initial support in the Budget in March. This has since been ramped up to £330bn, with £20bn of tax cuts and grants.

The government will support businesses - big and small - including extending the loans available to SMEs from £1.2m to £5m, with no interest for six months. This will be up and running by the start of the week commencing 23rd March.

For the smallest businesses, who get business rates relief already, HM Treasury have increased grants available from £3,000 to £10,000.

The government will help businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors specifically too, by scrapping business rates for 12 months, and providing small businesses in these sectors with a grant of up to £25,000. All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will receive 100 per cent rate relief in 2020/21, irrespective of their rateable value.

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • The Self-employment Income Support Scheme, providing a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of profits up to £2,500 per month
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme


HMRC is ready to help all businesses, and self-employed individuals, in financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Any business affected by the outbreak can find detailed guidance on GOV.UK. If you are concerned about not being able to pay an overdue tax bill or a bill due in the near future due to COVID-19, you can contact their new dedicated helpline on:

HMRC dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559

HMRC's telephone lines are operating on reduced hours of 8am until 4pm Monday to Friday, while they have fewer advisers available due the measures put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus. If you are worried about missing your next tax payment, please call now. If it’s about a future payment, please call HMRC nearer the time.


Page last updated 27th March 2020.