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

COVID-19 Package

The government 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:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Self-Assessment payments
  • a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure 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 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

More information is available at GOV.UK - about the government guidance to employers, employees and businesses.

There is also a new Business Support Helpline Number 0800 998 1098

The Government Business Support helpline provides free, impartial business support and signposting services to businesses in England - which currently includes business advice on Covid-19.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.  

Employers will be able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. 

HMRC and GOV.UK has published online guidance on if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Now Open For Claims 

You can now claim online (HMRC) for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees' salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This scheme will be open until the end of June 2020*.

*The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October as announced by the Chancellor on 12 May 2020.

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until end of October
  • furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500
  • new flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost economy

From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.

The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.

Before you make a claim

After you've made a claim

  • keep a note or a print-out of your claim reference number - you won't receive a confirmation SMS or email
  • retain all records and calculations for your claims, in case HMRC need to contact you about them
  • expect to receive the funds six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme - please do not contact us before this time
  • to receive payment by 30‌‌ April, you will need to complete an application by 22‌‌ April
  • please ask your furloughed employees not to contact HMRC directly - they will not be able to provide them with any information on individual claims.

HMRC expects to be very busy so please only call them if you can't find what you need on GOV‌.UK or through their web chat service - this will leave  lines open for those who need our help most.

Chamber of Commerce Toolkit

The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce has produced a toolkit to help businesses with the coronavirus pandemic.

The FSB advice and guidance

The National Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses Limited (FSB) also has advice and guidance on the coronavirus.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership website will be updated regularly to provide information on the support packages available and how to access them.

Boost Business Lancashire

The #AskForHelpservice from Boost Business Lancashire is available to all Lancashire business owners.

Please call them on 0800 488 0057 to discuss all business issues related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Their team will advise where possible, as well as directing businesses to expert advisers across Lancashire.

Small Business Grant Funding

If you are a business rates payer and wish to apply for the small business grant funding please visit our Business Rates page and complete the online form.

Grant Fund request for information form

Other COVID-19 Finance Support 

The Government has announced a number of loan schemes and support to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please visit our Business Finance and Grants Section for more information on these and other sources of help.

  • Bounce Back Loans
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Prince's Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • New Future Fund

You can also fill in this online form if you need signposting to general business support from the Government and we will do our best to help.

General business support enquiry