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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Support

This page details the support that is available for businesses.

See also:

Register for Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

Businesses looking to claim the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Grants, can now submit their information below.

Businesses are advised to read the eligibility guidance thoroughly and review the FAQs prior to starting the form (see below). If you have access to a copy of your business rates bill this will prove useful for your registration but is not compulsory.

First: Please read the eligibility guidance:

Then: Please read the FAQs relating to the grants:

Then: Once you have read the eligibility guidance and FAQs click on the button below:

We have been made aware of a scam that is going out at the moment about "Action Required: Problem with rate account details" requesting that you reply to a rating @ email address and to use an online registration form that they provide to resubmit your details with the correct Ratepayer ID and Occupancy ID - this is a scam. Please only respond to correspondence relating to an account. If in any doubt please contact us on

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Discretionary Business Fund (Top Up Fund)

Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 who have not already received a government grant may be eligible for support in a new discretionary fund.

Adur & Worthing Councils have been working with neighbouring local authorities to apply a fair and standardised approach to this discretionary fund to ensure our area can bounce back from the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Adur & Worthing Councils have received a significant number of requests to date and unfortunately it is already clear this fund won't fully meet local demand. Businesses that were eligible for the Small Business Rates Relief Grant or the Retail Hospitality & Leisure Grant are not able to apply to the Discretionary Grant.

Adur & Worthing Councils have adopted the West Sussex Councils' Discretionary Fund Guidelines. Please review the full eligibility criteria before making an application:

Eligible businesses that can evidence support to Adur & Worthing Councils' Economic Strategy - such as those in creative and digital industries, manufacturing or skills - are particularly welcome.

You will need to supply evidence to support your application, therefore you may find it useful to have the following documentation to hand; bank statements, signed lease/rental agreements, business rates bill, council tax bill (Bed & Breakfast properties only), insurance and/or evidence of other business related financial liabilities.

The application closing date is Sunday 14th June 2020. Any applications after this date will not be considered.

The Councils aim to assess all applications within 2-3 weeks of the closing date with all applications receiving notification of the decision. Please note, there is no appeals process for this grant and the decision of the Councils is final.

All businesses requiring financial support due to COVID-19 can make use of the government's Bounce Back Loans system.

Information and files submitted will be stored securely and only accessible to staff as part of processing your application. All documentation, including applications will be destroyed as and when the grants schemes become void.

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Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool

A new 'support finder' tool to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic has been launched.

A simple questionnaire takes business owners under a minute to complete and will signpost them to relevant government financial support.

Find out more about the new business support finder tool - on the GOV.UK website

Fill in the form to find coronavirus financial support for your business - on the GOV.UK website

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Support for Businesses through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders. The scheme launched on the 4th May 2020.

To find out more see:

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BEIS working safely webinars

Following on from the government's recent publication of workplace guidance, produced in consultation with industry, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be hosting a series of free webinars to help businesses make their workplace COVID-secure.

The webinars cover a range of types of workplace settings that are allowed to be open. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of the guides/webinars as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

Webinars start from Wednesday 27th May and will run until Tuesday 2nd June.

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Future Fund launch

The government's £500 million Future Fund opens for applications today with innovative and high-growth British businesses able to secure investment to help them through the Coronavirus outbreak.

UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.

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Fast Start Competition - £40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups

In addition to the Future Fund, Ministers have allocated £40 million through the Fast Start Competition to drive forward new technological advances, and to support innovative start-ups, including a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers' market platform.

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Pick for Britain

As you may have heard the Environment Secretary launched a new 'Pick for Britain' website to address the fact that we are likely to only have about a third of our normal labour force for this year's harvest.

As such, we will need to rely on British workers to lend a hand to help bring that harvest home. Opportunities are available across the UK for those seeking a second job, particularly those that are furloughed.

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New measures to protect UK high street from aggressive rent collection and closure

The Government are to introduce temporary new measures to safeguard the UK high street against aggressive debt recovery actions during the coronavirus pandemic. High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic.

Find out more:

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Financial Support for Businesses

The government has introduced a range of financial measures, initially to help businesses meet their fixed costs.

Sign up for .GOV.UK Covid-19 email alerts

Businesses that experience financial difficulties are urged to talk through their situation with the following institutions and organisations BEFORE implementing redundancy and business closure:

  • Local Authority
  • HMRC
  • Local bank

Adur & Worthing Councils are actively engaging with the government and are tracking and monitoring the situation with regards to the publication of guidance and the receiving and giving of funds.

The following details the financial support available and how to access it:

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furloughed employees)

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees' salaries for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

If you cannot maintain your current workforce because your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions (up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution) on that subsidised furlough pay.

Employers can furlough anyone they employ, provided that on or before 19th March they were on PAYE payroll and HMRC has been notified of payment via the RTI system.

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Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

The government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for three months. If you're self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period. HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

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Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

This will be accessed through a rebate scheme; this is currently being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

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Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will receive a 12 months business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

There is no action for you. This will apply to your Business Rates bill for 2020/21 and revised bills have now been issued. If you haven't received an updated bill and believe that you qualify for Expanded Retail Relief please see retail discount on our Business Rates page.

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Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

A grant of up to £25,000 will be available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,000.01 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Any businesses that believe they are eligible for this grant can register for the claim by clicking on the link below. Adur & Worthing Councils will be completing due diligence checks to ensure compliance.

Please note: Adur & Worthing Councils are anticipating a high volume of requests to access these grants. Businesses will be notified by email on the progress of their claim.

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Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

The government will introduce a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be hereditaments:

  • Occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register
  • Wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

There is no action for you. This will apply to your Business Rates bill for 2020/21 and revised bills have now been issued. If you haven't received an updated bill and believe that you qualify for Nursery Relief please see nursery relief on our Business Rates page.

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Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

Small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR) will receive a one-off grant of £10,000 to help meet their ongoing business costs

Any businesses that believe they are eligible for this grant can register for the claim by clicking on the link below. Adur & Worthing Councils will be completing due diligence checks to ensure compliance.

Please note: Adur & Worthing Councils are anticipating a high volume of requests to access these grants. Businesses will be notified by email on the progress of their claim.

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Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value and for up to six years.

The government will pay to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will not face any upfront costs and will benefit from lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.

This scheme is being delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the British Business Bank. Full information can be found on the British Business Bank website

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Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

More information will be available here shortly, or please review the Bank of England website.

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Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC's Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC's dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. If you're worried about a future payment, please call HMRC nearer the time.

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Support for the Self-Employed through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Self-employed people who are eligible for the new scheme will receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. The cash grant will be paid directly into your bank account. This is a taxable grant. The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering 3 months from March, April & May, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.

Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.

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Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17th March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc. is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

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UK Export Finance (UKEF)

UK Export Finance (UKEF) works with banks and insurance brokers to help companies of all sizes fulfil and get paid for export contracts. It provides guarantees, loans and insurance on behalf of the government that can protect UK exporters facing delayed payments or transit restrictions. Help from UKEF:

To find out if UKEF covers your region, email

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Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants

The Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants is a £2 million fund that has been set up to provide grants to small businesses and social enterprises in our area who have been affected by COVID-19. Applications opening soon. See the Coast to Capital website for details of their Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants.

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Businesses required by Government to shut down until further notice

The following businesses are now required not to sell food or drink for consuming on the premises:

The following businesses must remain closed:

These businesses and other venues must close as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chances of infection spreading.

Takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational

This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers. Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. This will be clearly communicated by the government when in effect.

Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their license does not already permit.

Food delivery and takeaway guidance

Following new Government restrictions placed on public houses, restaurants and cafes during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may be considering diversifying your food business to provide food from your normal menu or new dishes for delivery or takeaway.

This can be a great service to the community.

After working long hours, key workers may want access to quick hot food, and those who are self-isolating may seek alternative ways to access the food they enjoy in their own homes.

This guidance will help ensure you trade safely:

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General information, advice and guidance

Got a query relating to employees? Join an ACAS Webinar:

This ACAS webinar provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace. It will cover topics such as:

  • steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus
  • effective ways of communicating with employees
  • self-isolating, time off, sickness certification and sick pay
  • altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements
  • remote working and the use of technology

Register now for webinars on the ACAS website

Businesses that trade internationally:

For businesses that trade internationally, the government has provided guidance on additional support available. This includes assistance from DIT, to help you find alternative suppliers if your supply chain has been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have questions on international trade and coronavirus (COVID-19) email or call the Business Support Helpline 0300 456 3565.

Measures put in place by the government:

The effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact all businesses on an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future. To minimise the impact on the economy, individuals and organisations, the government has implemented a range of measures from tax relief and cash grants to increased bank lending and specialist support helplines. Businesses are advised to follow GOV.UK guidance. The information and weblinks below provide key information, advice and guidance.

The government has a dedicated web resource, providing advice to employees, employers and business.

Commercial tenants:

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction, the government has announced.This means no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months.

Other sources of information include:

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Key Helplines and Email addresses

HMRC Specialist Advice Line: 0800 024 1222 - open from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

Business Support Helpline: Backed by the UK Government, the Business Support Helpline provides free, impartial business support and signposting services to businesses in England. For details of how to contact them see Business Support Helpline - on the GOV.UK website

ACAS Employers Advice Line: 0300 123 1100

Questions on International Trade & Coronavirus email

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