Coronavirus Support for Businesses
The Government has asked councils to create and administer some of its funding packages to help businesses impacted by lockdown restrictions. Please also see our Business pages to check eligibility and apply online.
Coronavirus (COVID‑19) support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed.
Please use the Government's online checker tool to see what support is available for you and your business. This is kept up-to-date with the latest Government announcements.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The coronavirus job retention scheme is available to employers during the new restrictions that began on 5 November.
Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month.
The flexibility of the current coronavirus job retention scheme has been retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can.
Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just national insurance and pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November.
The job support scheme (previously announced by the government) will not be introduced until after the coronavirus job retention scheme ends.
Other financial support for businesses
The Government has put together a list of financial support measures for businesses during coronavirus, which is available on the GOV.UK website.
Support is available for:
You can sign up to get email alerts when the Government adds new coronavirus business support information.
While non-essential retail shops must close to the public, they can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.
If you don’t already have an online store for your business, free advice and step-by-step store builders are available, including:
These businesses are not endorsed by the council.
Once you have sorted out your online store, delivery and click-and-collect must be organised in a COVID-secure way. You may need to look at specific guidance for vehicles and other areas if you are changing your business model. Please see Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) webpages on the GOV.UK website.
Coronavirus and Universal Credit
The schemes currently announced by the Government will not apply to every business and every employee.
If you do not qualify, you may wish to consider applying for Universal Credit. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Universal Credit website has provided information on coronavirus and claiming benefits. Please check their website regularly for updates on the arrangements the DWP is making to support those who are affected by coronavirus.
Please also see our Universal Credit page for more information.
Other Business Support
Kent and Medway Business Support Helpline
The Kent and Medway Growth Hub has launched a free Covid-19 Business Support Helpline on 03333 602 300.
The dedicated helpline will be available Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm, and gives you:
- someone to tell you about the type of support you can get
- someone to signpost you to the correct provider of government support measures such as a local authority or HMRC
- a chance to request a call back from a Business Adviser to talk through the measures you can take and help you get support
- someone to talk to you and offer reassurance
- access to a qualified and highly experienced Business Adviser who can offer support and advice
- access to a live chat service that will be manned by Business Advisers dedicated to providing advice about coronavirus
National Business Support Helpline
You can also contact the Government's Business Support Helpline for free advice, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.