Business support

The government has set out a range of support schemes for businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.

Havant Borough Council will lead on the administration of some grants and business rate relief. Other support can be accessed through the HMRC, the British Business Bank and the Bank of England.

There is also a lot of information on the government’s business support website.

Below is the latest information we have on the support available. Details of some schemes are still to be finalised.

This page was last updated on Tuesday 7 April 2020.

Small business grants

Lead: Havant Borough Council

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.

This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Please confirm your details to access a small business grant here.

Further information on this scheme is available on the business support website.

Retail, hospitality and leisure grants

Lead: Havant Borough Council

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000. For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly from central government.

Please confirm your details to access grant funding here.

Further information on grant funding is available on the business support website.

Havant business rates

Lead: Havant Borough Council

In response to the coronavirus, in the Budget on 11 March the government announced that it would increase the already proposed Business Rates Retail Discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors.

This relief will apply to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020-21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief.

If this discount applies to a business, there is no action for them as this will apply to their next council tax bill in April 2020.

Further guidance for businesses can be found on the business support website.

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

Lead: Havant Borough Council

The government will be introducing a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020-21 tax year.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be rated property:

  • occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

This will apply to their next council tax bill in April 2020, however, Havant Borough Council may have to reissue their bill to exclude the business rate charge.

They will do this as soon as possible.

Further information for nurseries can be found on the business support website

Employee Support

Lead: HMRC - support for businesses through the coronavirus job retention scheme.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

To access the scheme, businesses will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

If businesses need short term cash flow support, they may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (see below).

For more information and guidance, please visit the website.

Support for self-employed people

Lead: HMRC

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000.

The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

More information on eligibility and the process for claiming are on the business support website.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Lead: HMRC

The government will bring forward legislation to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus.

Eligibility criteria can be found on the business support website.

HMRC Time to Pay Service

Lead: HMRC

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If businesses are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to coronavirus, then call HMRC's dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

Deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, income tax payments due in July 2020 under the self-assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Lead: British Business Bank

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch in a matter of weeks to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) 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.

Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as the government will cover the first six months of interest payments.

Support for larger firms through the Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility

Lead: Bank of England

Under the new Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. The scheme will be available early in week beginning 23 March 2020.

More information is available on the Bank of England website.

Support from Solent Growth Hub.

Lead Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

The Solent Growth Hub has a dedicated page to provide the latest government advice.

To speak with a business support advisor, please email or call 023 9268 8055.

More information is available on the Solent LEP website.

General enquires from businesses

If you would like further information on the schemes detailed above, you can contact the Economic Development team by email: