Coronavirus Business Support

Here is the latest business support advice, guidance and links to more information in relation to COVID-19. This page is updated on a regular basis. To find out more about any of the below areas of support, please click on the menu title to expand it.

For the latest City of York Council updates on Coronavirus click here

For all the latest government updates please visit The Department of Health and Social Care Twitter page is updated daily at 2pm. The government has updated its guidance to assist employers and businesses in providing advice on coronavirus, COVID-19.

Public Health England have produced advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing.

See the latest COVID-19 information relevant to our area from City of York Council to support residents and businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


Updated 5 January 2021 - To help control the spread of coronavirus, from 00:01 on 5 January, national lockdown rules apply in England and you must stay at home. View the stay at home guidance for England

City of York Council continues to offer support to local businesses in response to tier restrictions and periods of national lockdown:

Business grants now open for applications: 


Updated 11 January 2021 - In response to the varied restrictions which have been in place during the coronavirus pandemic,  City of York Council is supporting many York businesses with the different government grants which have been made available for different business sectors, and to cover different periods.  Any businesses which have already been approved for a grant under previous national lockdowns or since the tiers scheme was introduced do not need to reapply. The council is working through databases to make sure businesses get all the money they are entitled to, as quickly as possible.


The grants include: 

  • a standard grant scheme for the period of national restrictions between 5 November and 2 December 
  • payments for the period from 2 December onwards, covering Tier 2 and then Tier 3 restrictions - an appropriate grant is available depending on whether your business is still open and severely affected by the restrictions, or if your business has been mandated to close in either tier 
  • payments for business sectors which have received no previous government support before 1 November 
  • a single Christmas Support Payment on top of the above grants for Wet-Led pubs (that is pubs which receive less than 50% of their income from food sales) 

Payments cover different periods and types of business. You must apply for each grant separately. Ineligibility for one grant does not necessarily mean you will not qualify for another - the application process will guide you, or suggest an alternative grant where appropriate. You may be eligible for up to 3 grants (1 from each period), plus the wet led pub grant if appropriate. 


Check eligibility for all current grants and apply here 


Updated 5 January 2021 - the Chancellor has announced new lockdown grants to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a one-off grant worth up to £9,000. The one-off top-up grants will be provided on a per property basis to businesses closed as a result of the latest restrictions as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities. The new one-off grants are in addition to the existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.


Government guidance for businesses:


Updated 5 January 2021 - To help control the spread of coronavirus, from 00:01 on 5 January, national lockdown rules apply in England and you must stay at home. To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. View the guidance over which businesses and venues must close here.


Businesses can find out more about updated guidance specific to their sector here:


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:


Updated 21 December - the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has now been extended until the end of April 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Employers will need to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked, this accounts for just 5% of total employment costs or £70 per employee per month. The extended CJRS will operate as the previous scheme did. Claims can be made from 8am Wednesday 11 November. The CJRS extension will be reviewed in January to examine whether the economic circumstances are improving enough for employers to be asked to increase contributions. 


The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to begin on Sunday 1 November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends. The Jobs Retention Bonus will not be paid in February and the Government will redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time. 


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme:


Updated 6 November 2020 - the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will increase from 50% to 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500. To make a claim for the third grant your business must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021.


The online service to claim the third grant is open. Find out more here


Funding Support:

Use the Government's coronavirus business support finder tool to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

In additional to the business grants outlined above, the package of measures to support businesses includes:

  • Updated 24 September - the VAT reduction from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors will be extended until the end of March 2021. Guidance is available here following the Government’s earlier announcement that VAT registered businesses may apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions. Find out more about which attractions are eligible for the reduced rate of VAT.
  • Updated 2 September 2020 - the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme opened for applications to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training. Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements via gov.​uk. If you are unable to offer this many job placements, you can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number. A list of partner organisations is being collated by your local York Jobcentre team –
  • Updated 3 August 2020 - two new leadership programmes were announced to help small business leaders with management, productivity and problem-solving. The Small Business Leadership Programme will focus on strengthening decision-makers' leadership skills, supporting senior leaders to enhance their business’s resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19. It helps small and medium-sized businesses to develop their potential for future growth and productivity. The Peer Networks Programme will help business owners improve their problem-solving skills through a series of guided exercises.
  • Apprentices and Trainees - the Government is offering to pay for businesses to hire apprentices, with a payment of £2,000 for those aged 16-24 and for apprentices aged 25 and over it will be £1,500. Employers will be paid £1,000 to take on trainees. More details to come, in the meantime contact

Loan schemes:

Updated 21 December 2020 - existing government-guaranteed Covid-19 business loan schemes are now being extended until the end of March 2021, to ensure firms can access the support they need through continuing economic disruption.

  • Bounce Bank Loans - businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days under the 100% government-backed loan scheme for small businesses. The Bounce Bank Loans will be interest-free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form. Find out more here.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)  - delivered through 40+ British Business Bank accredited lenders and partners, the scheme is designed to support the continued provision of finance to UK small businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the CBILS SME Factsheet here.
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) -helps medium and large sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender. Read more here and see the accredited lenders here. The scheme is open for applications.
  • Future Fund scheme - issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies with good potential, that typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by Covid-19.  It is open for applications until 31 January 2021.


To support you and your business through this difficult time, Garbutt + Elliott have created a number of articles and useful resources which give you detailed information on how to access loans and finance this challenging time. Access here


Recovery Advice for Business scheme - free services for small firms:

Thousands of expert professional and business services advisers have signed up to offer free online advice to help small businesses bounce back from coronavirus. The Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the government and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, will give small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery. Find out more here.  


‘We’re good to go’ - new industry standard launched:

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place. VisitBritain will be outlining the details of next steps for 2021 as soon as possible.


Further Advice and Guidance:

  • Level up your business with digital knowledge - Digital Enterprise is a business support programme offering businesses in the Leeds City Region access to funding to invest in digital technology and opportunities to develop their digital skills. Register now and you will receive notification about the funding opportunities which are relevant and suitable for your business. Businesses can register their interest in accessing Digital Enterprise support between now and August 2022. Registering now will also help speed up the application process if you apply for this assistance in the future.
  • AD:VENTURE provides fully funded expert help to take your business from start-up to scale-up. Their programme of events will add value to your business, giving you the tools needed to improve performance and helping you access the practical business advice and support you really need to scale up and grow.
  • Free expertise, support and resources to help your business grow at the York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub website.

Make It York offers growing, established, and relocating businesses access to a wealth of information, advice and support, including growth, access to finance and funding, skills and training, property search, international trade and much more.

Find out more here


Click here for the latest updates and advice from City of York Council to support residents, visitors and businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 


Here is some useful advice and guidance available to the creative and cultural sector regarding the status of sector funding, resources and online events, in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. 


Guidance for the Creative and Cultural Sector: 


 Funding – various updates: 

  • Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy: As part of their response to COVID-19, Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy are offering a free ‘Power Hour’ of consultancy support every day, to any arts organisation needing help with income generation, fundraising strategy, or donor management. Find out more: 
  • York CVS have a COVID-19 Funding Information page where they’ve collated local and national funding opportunities that are currently accepting applications, as well as funding specific to social enterprises and charities. 
  • Restriction and Support Grants: In response to the varied restrictions which have been in place during the coronavirus pandemic, City of York Council is supporting many York businesses with different grants made available for different business sectors, and to cover different periods. Check eligibility for all current grants and apply here 


Health and Wellbeing: 


We’ll also be sharing links to ways people can support their wellbeing during this time. Find out more oour Twitter feed. 


For the latest tourism and hospitality advice, see here