COVID-19 guidance for businesses

Last updated: 26 March 2020 at 4pm

We understand that many of you are worried and might be confused about what help is available, how you access it and how you should conduct your day-to-day business going forward. This page provides you with the latest information on business support being offered through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Government support

The Chancellor has set out a package of measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This support includes:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs

  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure, estate agents, lettings agencies, bingo halls and nursery 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 to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance

  • 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

  • protection from eviction for commercial tenants who miss rent payments

  • businesses can get a three month extension to file accounts with Companies House

You can find out more by visiting the Government’s guidance page.

The council has now received guidance from the government and will be contacting all eligible businesses in regards to how they will receive the grants.

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to COVID-19, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222.

Council support

As the owner of a number of properties across the borough, the council will also be introducing measures to support small businesses with annual rents of up to £50,000. An automatic three-month rent and service charge holiday will be applied. Tenants can still make payments during this period if they wish.

Business advice

To make it easier for you to find quick answers to the key questions you may have, the Government has provided answers to some frequently asked questions and help on business closures.

Other sources of support

Other support can be found via The Federation of Small Businesses, Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and IncuHive.

Please follow the council’s business Twitter channel to be kept up to date with the latest developments. If you have any urgent or specific questions or concerns, please get in touch via

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    8.30am to 4.30pm
Give us feedback