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COVID-19: Guidance for Businesses

Northumberland workshop

UPDATED - 30 March 2020

COVID-19 Response: Support to Business



Latest Updates from Government

COVID-19: Further Business and Premises to Close Guidance 

COVID-19 Business Closures and Stay at Home FAQs  

COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme  

COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme FAQs  

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme

COVID-19 Deferral of VAT Payments


Please read on for important information relating to COVID-19, and the guidance to employers and businesses across Northumberland. 

Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID-19 

The UK Government has produced guidance for employers about the signs and symptoms and how to treat staff presenting with symptoms. As well as information on the support available. Click here to find out more

Business Rate Measures

Government has announced the intention to increase the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for the 2020 to 2021 tax year for properties below £51,000 rateable value.

Government will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that are eligible for the increased retail discount will receive a new bill from the Council as soon as possible. As this relief will mean that eligible businesses have no business rates to pay in 2020/21 the direct debit payments previously notified for 2020/21 will not be collected.


Small Business Grant Funding

Government is providing funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 (increased from the £3,000 announced in the 11 March Budget) to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Government is also providing £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.

Please complete the online form here if you think you may be eligible.

If you are having difficulty completing the form please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Larger businesses - Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan. The value of this loan was increased by the Chancellor on 17 March from £1.2m to £5m.  Government will ensure businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. For further information please click here to find out more   


Other measures from UK Government 

Statutory Sick Pay - For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the UK Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave. 

Time to Pay - A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress caused by COVID-19 and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement Tel: 0800 0159 559

Support for UK exporters - Other support for export, supply and UK Export Finance impacted by COVID-19 can be found by clicking here  

North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit To keep up to date with the latest updates and guidance visit the North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit – please click here for more information 

Request for UK Industry support The UK Government has issued a call to action to companies who have the capabilities to repurpose their staff and facilities to making ventilators to assist in treating patients affected COVID-19. If your business is able to support this request - please either call 0300 456 3565 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Further background to the request can be found by clicking here 



This page and the external links contained in the page may change regularly so please keep checking our communication channels for further updates along with the Government, Public Health England & NHS websites.

Download this file (24 03 Covid-19 UKVI Factsheets. UK Temp Residents and Visa holders.pdf)Coronavirus (COVID-19) Factsheet: Visa Holders & Short-Term Residents in the UK[Downloadable PDF]374 kB3 Downloads
Download this file (24 03 Covid-19 UKVI Factsheet. International Visa Customers.pdf)Coronavirus (COVID-19) Factsheet: Visa Customers outside the UK[Downloadable PDF]557 kB2 Downloads
Download this file (Special_e-Bulletin_200320.pdf)Northumberland County Council Business Support[Downloadable PDF]631 kB21 Downloads


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