Business and Employers

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The government has announced a number of schemes to help businesses in this difficult time. Below we have listed some of these with the relevant links if you wish to apply.

For more information on the support available for businesses, see the government website, or click here.

There are also a number of local schemes set up to help businesses in the area. Please scroll down if you would like to skip right to them.


New job support scheme (postponed)

The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on 1 November 2020, has been postponed as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until December.

Deferral of VAT payments

On 24 September 2020, the Chancellor announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period.

Please click here for more info.

Reduced VAT rate for hospitality

The government made an announcement on 8 July 2020 allowing VAT registered businesses to apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to:

  • hospitality
  • hotel and holiday accommodation
  • admissions to certain attractions

The temporary reduced rate will apply to supplies that are made between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.

Please click here for more info.

Statutory Sickness Pay (SSP)

If you cannot work for the following reasons, you are eligible for SSP:

  • you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
  • you’ve been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that you’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus
  • someone in your ‘support bubble’ has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
  • you’ve been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery
  • you live or work in an area with local restrictions in place, including advice to ‘shield’ (take extra precautions to reduce contact with others)
  • you’ve been advised to shield because you’re at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus

Please click here for more info.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.

The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

Please click here for more info.

Bounce bank loans

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

Please click here for more info.

Business rates holiday – retail relief

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

You’re eligible if your property is a:

  • shop
  • restaurant, café, bar or pub
  • cinema or live music venue
  • assembly or leisure property – for example, a sports club, a gym or a spa
  • hospitality property – for example, a hotel, a guest house or self-catering accommodation

Please click here for more info.

Business Rates


Boost; Supporting Lancashire Businesses

Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. The #BoostYourRecovery service is available to all Lancashire business owners.

Businesses can access the helpline by ringing 0800 488 0057 to discuss all business issues related to the coronavirus outbreak. The team will advise where possible, as well as directing businesses to expert advisers across Lancashire.

Please click here for more info.

Skills for Work

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Skills and Employment Hub has, in partnership with over 50 organisations, created to help the people of Lancashire gain the skills they need to succeed as we begin to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please click on the website link for more info.