• Southend BID

Business Support Measures from the Government

Updated: Apr 1

Published 28 March 2020. Updated 1 April 2020.


The below provides more detailed information about the measures the Government has implemented to support businesses. You can always find the latest detail here.


Job Retention Scheme

In many cases your business will have had to stop employees working which would have resulted in them being laid off during this crisis.

Support details:

· If employees are kept on the pay roll then HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages up to £2,500 per month.

· This can be backdated to 1 March and is initially open for 3 months but will be extended as necessary.

· This temporary leave is known as “furlough”.

To be eligible your business must have a PAYE scheme and employees cannot work during this period that the support is in place.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

Deferring VAT payments

Many businesses have a VAT payment due between 20 March and 30 June 2020.

Support details:

· You can defer the payment until a later date.

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

All UK VAT registered businesses are eligible.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

Deferring Income Tax payments

Payments of Income Tax Self Assessment are due on 31 July 2020.

Support details:

· The 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 .

You are eligible if you are due to pay your second self-assessment on 31 July. You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

Paying sick pay to employees

Employees may be off absent due to sickness from COVID-19. Legislation will be brought forward to allow businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Support details:

· It will cover up to two weeks SSP for employees that have been off work due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

· Employers can reclaim expenditure for any employee that claims SSP as a result of the virus.

· Employees will not need to provide a GP sick note but can get a NHS 111 online isolation note if an employer requires this.

· Employers should maintain a record of staff absences and payments of SSP.

· The eligibility of the scheme will be from the day after the regulations come into force.

You are eligible if you are a UK based business with less than 250 employees.

CLICK HERE to find out more. A rebate scheme is being developed and will be updated at the link when in place.

Business Rates – Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Government have introduced a business rates relief for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses which means no rates will have to be paid for the 2020-2021 tax year.

Eligibility details:

· Business is based in England.

· Business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.

· Property is 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.

No action is required from you. However Southend Borough Council may need to reissue your bill to provide this support and they will do so as soon as possible.

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

Cash Grants – Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Government have introduced a cash grant of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value up to £51,000.

Support details for those businesses in the mentioned sectors:

· If your business has a rateable value of up to £15,000 you may be eligible for a grant of up to £10,000.

· If your business has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 you may be eligible for a grant of up to £25,000.

· You can estimate your business rate charge HERE.

Eligibility details:

· Business is based in England.

· Business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.

· Business has a rateable value of under £51,000.

· Property is 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 see more information and complete the applicable form on Southend Borough Council's website. They will be making payments as soon as possible after receipt of an application.

Business that pay little or no business rates

A one off £10,000 grant will be provided to small businesses that already pay little or no business rates due to small business rate relief (SBRR).

Eligibility details:

· Your business is based in England.

· Your business occupies that property.

· You are receiving small business rate relief as of 11 March 2020.

CLICK HERE to see more information and complete the applicable form on Southend Borough Council's website. They will be making payments as soon as possible after receipt of an application.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Support will be provided 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.

Support details:

· The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan.

· The scheme will be delivered through 40 accredited lenders which includes all the major banks.

· Business Interruption Payment will also be available to cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

Eligibility details:

· Your business is UK based.

· Business turnover is less than £45 million per year.

· Your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

Applications are now open for you to discuss your business plan with one of the 40 accredited lenders. You can find out the best way to contact them on their websites.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

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.

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.

Businesses are eligible if they pay tax to the UK Government and have outstanding tax liabilities. The arrangements will be agreed on a case by case basis

If you have missed a tax payment or might miss your next payment due to COVID-19 then please call HMRCs helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Commercial Insurance

The Government has ruled for a number of different businesses to temporarily close.

Most businesses insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics such as COVID-19.

Businesses may however have cover for Government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases and therefore should be able to make a claim.

Check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy and contact your provider.

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

Some businesses may be unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Should a business be unable to make a payment due to this, then they will be protected from eviction up until 30 June 2020. It may be extended should the Government deem it necessary.

This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will be still be liable for the rent.

The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent. No action is required.


Southend Borough Council has a COVID-19 coronavirus business advice and support page which can be accessed HERE. If you need to contact the Southend Borough Council business rates team you can email them direct at BusinessRatesEDRMS@southend.gov.uk.



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