Support and Guidance for Businesses

Advice, updates and support to help businesses plan and respond to COVID-19 have been collated below. Through the following links, businesses can find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

The West Midlands Growth Company will continue to monitor and update this page, based on the latest Government guidance and resources.

Support on offer for businesses and employees in the West Midlands, including free, online resources can be accessed here.

Business Support and Schemes 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan

  • This scheme will help businesses affected by coronavirus to access bank lending and overdrafts if they need to. For loans up to £5 million, the Government is providing a guarantee of 80% for each loan.
  • Update: Access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS.  Find out more here.

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

  • Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Find out more here.

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

  • Small businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector with a rateable value of £15,000 and £51,000 will receive £25,000 each. Find out more here.

Small Business Grant Funding

  • The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. 
  • Most small businesses outside of the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive £10,000 each. Find out more here.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

  • The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus. Find out more here.

Time to Pay

  • 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. Find out more here.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

  • The new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. Find out more here.

VAT Deferral 

  • The Government is allowing businesses to defer their Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for three months. Find out more here.

Income Tax Deferral for the Self Employed

  • If you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. Find out more here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. Find out more here.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

  • 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. Find out more here.

West Midlands Growth Company Partners

Our priority at the West Midlands Growth Company is to continue working with our partners through this difficult time. 

We want to support the needs of your business and employees as much as we possible can, and ask that you continue to liaise with our Business Growth team on how we can best do this. From raising general awareness of the region, to sharing your insights and intelligence,  or promoting the remote services or products you’re offering – please share your ideas and updates with us.

Ongoing dialogue with our Partners will also help us to better understand and communicate the changing economic landscape of the region to our public partners.

Please contact our Business Growth team on the usual numbers or Sian Roberts, Head of Business Growth via sian.roberts@wmgrowth.com.

West Midlands Combined Authority and Growth Hub COVID-19 portals

Further advice and guidance

Businesses can sign-up for GOV.UK COVID-19 alerts here.

There is also a Government business support hotline to answer COVID-19 calls from businesses here.

Last updated: 3 April 2020