government support

Last updated: 11/09/2020

find the latest information about the government support measures

The below provides more detailed information about the measures the Government has implemented to support businesses. You can always find the latest detail here or use this support finder to quickly identify what is available to you.

A link to read some of the key national statements made by the Government can be found below:

9th September 2020 // 13th August 2020  // 

31st July 2020 // 17th July 2020 // 9th July 2020 // 8th July 2020  // 23rd June 2020 // 29th May 2020 // 

25th May 2020 // 10th May 2020 // 16th April 2020 // 23rd March 2020 // 20th March 2020


non repayable grants

The Government have introduced three types of cash grants:

1. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses with a rateable value up to £51,000 will recieve a £25,000 

2. Any business receiving Small Business Rates Relief with a rateable value below £15,000 will receive £10,000.

3. Discretionary Relief Grant: Southend Borough Council have been given over £1.94m to provide grants to businesses not eligible for grants 1 and 2. 

4. £1,,000 - £5,000 will be available for small and medium sized businesses to help them access new technology and other equipment.

In Southend you must complete an application form from the council in order to receive any grant.

CLICK HERE to apply for your 1 or 2 grant

CLICK HERE for grant 3

Details on applying for grant 4 have not been released yet.

job retention

Under the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme HMRC will reimburse a business 80% of an employees wages up to the value of £2,500 per month. 

Employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on or before 19th March. Or if they have stopped working for you before that date but were on your payroll as of 28th February then you can reemploy them so they can be furloughed.

  • Until the end of July - workers cannot have undertaken any work for, or on behalf, of the organisation whilst furloughed.

  • August - employers will be asked to pay National Insurance and employer pension contributions for furloughed staff.

  • September - the Government will pay 70% of furlough with employers contributing 10%

  • October - the Government will pay 60% and employers will contribute 20%.  

Flexible furloughing will be allowed from July so staff may return part-time.

Applications for reimbursement launched on Monday 20th April and the scheme has now been extended until 31st October.

CLICK HERE to claim and read more. Latest releases HERE. and HERE.

business rates

All Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses will pay no rates for the 2020-2021 tax year.


No action is required from you.  This will automatically apply to properties that are wholly or mainly being used as:

o As a shop, restaurant, café, drinking establishment, cinema or live music venue.

o For assembly and leisure.

o As a hotel, guest house, boarding premises or self catering accommodation.

CLICK HERE to check if your business falls into the categories mentioned above.


Businesses will now be eligible for a Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 per employee as an incentive to keep on their furloughed employees and introduced them back into the workplace.


The Government will provide UK employers with a one off payment of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed to the end of January 2021..

Emplyees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit of £520 per month on average between the end of the Job Retention scheme and the end of January 2021.. Payments will be made from February 2021.

CLICK HERE to read the statement. Further details will follow at the end of July. 


The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme  (CBIL) provides support to small and medium sized businesses through access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.


The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan which can be delivered through one of 40 acredited lenders including all the major banks.


Applications are now open for you to discuss your business plan with one of the lenders. You can find out the best way to contact them on their websites.


CLICK HERE to find out more.

bounce back loan

As an extension to the CBIL package, small businesses can benefit from the new fast track scheme providing loans between £2,000 and £50,000 with access to the cash within days.

These loans are 100% Government backed and are interest free for the first 12 months. These scheme are available through a list of acredited lender and are designed for small businesses that need an immediate cash injection to survive. 

CLICK HERE to read more.

supporting jobs


Funding available for high quality 6-month work placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding to cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.


Employers who provide 16-24 year old trainees with work experience will be supported at a rate of £1,000 per trainee. 


Employers will receive £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021.

CLICK HERE to read more on these schemes. 


Businesses unable to pay their full rent during this pandemic will be protected from aggressive debt recovery practices. and eviction.

The Government have temporarily banned the use of statutory demands (made between 1st March and 30th June) and winding up petitions (presented between 27th April and 30th June). As of 19th June these measures were extended until the end of September.


A new code of practise has been developed to provide clarity for businesses when discussing rental payments which you can read HERE.

Tenants must pay rent in the cases where they can afford it. All tenants will still be liable for the rent missed.


CLICK HERE to find out more. about the initial announcement and HERE for the follow up.

eat out to help out

To support approximately 130,000 businesses and protect 1.8 million jobs the Government will introduce this new scheme to encourage the public to dine out.


Every diner will be entitled to a 50% discount of up to £10 per head on their meal at participating restaurants, cafes, pubs and other food establishments. This will be in place for all of August 2020 and valid Monday to Wednesday on any eat in meal.

CLICK HERE to read more and find out how to register. 

income tax

Payments of Income Tax Self Assessment are due on 31 July but payment can be deferred until 31 January 2021. 


This is an automatic offer with no applications required.  No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer.

If you can make payment on the due date as normal then you should do so.


All businesses and those that are self-employed can access support with their tax affairs through the HMRCs hotline on 0800 0159 559.

Businesses may be able to make arrangement with HMRC if they are having difficulty paying outstanding tax liabilities. They may also waive late payment penalties and interest but each arrangements will be agreed on a case by case basis.

CLICK HERE to read more.


This is available to larger firms and involves the purchasing of short term debt by the Bank of England to allow your business to finance short term liabilities.


All non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible.


CLICK HERE to find out more.

vat payments

Businesses are able to defer paying their first quarter VAT payments until the end of the financial year (31st March 2021). due between 20th March and 30th June 2020.

If you can pay the VAT on the due date as normal then you are able to do so.

vat cuts

Food and Non Alcoholic Drinks

New 5% VAT rate for supplies from 15th July 2020 - 12th January 2021 to support businesses and jobs in the hospitality sector.


Accommodation and Attractions

New 5% VAT rate for supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions from 15th July 2020 - 12th January 2021.

CLICK HERE to read the details.

The Government also has a Business Support Helpline:

0300 456 3565 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

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