On Monday, the Prime Minister told the people of Britain to avoid social settings, including eating out at pubs and restaurants, or visiting theatres and cinemas – in a bid to slow down the spread of Covid-19. 

Yesterday, the government announced a £350billion package of financial measures as a lifeline to help the economy during these unprecedented times.  

Will the package benefit your business?

The entire hospitality and retail sectors will be given a year-long business rates holiday. The prime minister also clarified that the government’s intervention was sufficient for venues to claim insurance against a pandemic. Cash grants of up to £25,000 will be made available for businesses with a rateable value under £51,000, while others will have access to grants of up to £10,000. The tax cuts combined with grants will provide £20 billion in support. 

This means that “any business who needs access to cash to pay their rent, their salaries, suppliers or purchase stock will be able to access a government-backed loan or credit on attractive terms,” Sunak said.

The government has also relaxed planning permission measures that mean pubs, restaurants and hotels will be able to offer hot food takeaways without planning permission during the coronavirus outbreak.

Many businesses will look to diversify in a bid to maintain a revenue stream through the crisis. See our top 5 tips for how to adapt your business during this time. 


This week, the government announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses to attempt to decrease the impact of Covid-19. 

The measures include expanded business rates reliefs; a business interruption loan scheme and grant scheme for small businesses; an extension of statutory sick pay (SSP) to employees advised to self-isolate or caring for others who are self-isolating; and a dedicated helpline for businesses looking for a deferral on tax liabilities. Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be refunded up to two weeks of SSP for each affected employee.

Tens of thousands of England’s retail, leisure and hospitality firms will not pay any business rates in the coming year. For one year from 1st April 2020, the business rates retail discount for properties with a rateable value below £51,000 in England will increase from one third to 50% and will be expanded to include cinemas and music venues.

In response to COVID-19, to support small businesses, the retail discount will be increased to 100% and expanded to include hospitality and leisure businesses.

The government previously committed to introducing a £1,000 business rates discount for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 in England for one year from 1 April 2020. To further support pubs, the discount will be increased to £5,000.

Affected businesses should receive amended rates bills for 2020-21 from their local authority. 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The government will launch a new, temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.

The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value. This new guarantee will initially support up to £1 billion of lending on top of current support offered through the British Business Bank.

One-off grant for small businesses

The government will provide a £3,000 grant to businesses that qualify for the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.