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

City of York Council is offering support to local businesses during the second national lockdown period:

Business grants now open for applications 

Updated 24 November - City of York Council is offering support by urging eligible businesses to register for government grants as the application process has now opened. The government-prescribed grants cover the lockdown period, the brief period whilst York was in Tier 2 and are available for sectors which have received no previous government support. Find out more and apply 


Lockdown Local Restriction Scheme - businesses forced to close by law under national lockdown from 5 November will receive grant support according to their rateable value.  


Tier 2 Local Restriction Scheme - businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors, B&Bs and hotels will receive a proportion of the following monthly grants to reflect the 19 days spent in Tier 2. 


Sector Support Grant - a new government grant aimed at businesses which have not previously received support, including nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques was introduced from 1 November 2020. However, this will be superseded from 5 November by the lockdown restriction scheme. 


Additional Restrictions Grant - even more York businesses impacted by the latest lockdown can benefit from financial support with the launch of City of York Council’s discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant.   


Businesses now have until Monday 7 December to apply for the grants, which are open to 

  • Businesses effectively forced to close through lockdown but don’t qualify for government grants, whether they are liable for business rates or not.  
  • Businesses where trade is impacted by more than 75% due to lockdown, whether they are liable for business rates or not.   

Applications must be from York-based businesses which have fixed premises in York (note - fixed premises is not a market stall or pitch), or businesses run by a York resident and trade is at least 75% in York (note - this could be a market stall or pitch).   

The council is also preparing a voucher scheme for local businesses to access support such as training from local providers. More information to follow.   


Check eligibility for all grants and apply here


Government guidance for businesses:

Updated 2 November 2020 - New restrictions came into place on Thursday 5 November across England, requiring people to stay at home (except for specific purposes) and closing certain businesses and venues until Wednesday 2 December.

There is a new guidance page on with more detail on these changes.

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close:

  • Essential retail such as supermarkets will remain open, but all non-essential retail and indoor and outdoor leisure facilities will close. 
  • Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services (takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed).
  • Hotels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

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

Customer logging toolkit for businesses - Public Health England has published a Customer Logging Toolkit which contains a variety of template materials for businesses to display, as well as guidance on how the policy works.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

Updated 6 November - the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has now been extended until the end of March 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. Find out more at

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st 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, for the period November to January. The window for claiming a grant will open on 30 November, two weeks earlier than previously announced. Find out more here


Funding Support:

The package of measures to support businesses includes:

    • an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (see above).
    • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
    • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
    • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
    • applications to government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund have been further extended until 31 January 2021.
    • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank. Please click here for full details.
    • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
    • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • 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 30 July 2020 - the SME grant funding and Kick-starting Tourism £20 million fund to support the recovery of small and medium-sized businesses in England was announced. The £1,000-£3,000 grants will support SMEs and tourism businesses to access access technology, equipment or professional advice as they plan for recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stage 1 applications opened on Wednesday 30 September at 10am via York and North Yorkshire LEP. Due to the expected high demand for the grants, the closing date for Stage 1 applications is 10am on Monday 5 October 2020. A total of £260,000 for visitor economy and £250,000 for wider SME’s is available across York and North Yorkshire. 
    Find out more here 
  • 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 9 November 2020 - existing loan schemes are being extended until the end of January 2021. This will give businesses two extra months to make loan applications, replacing the current deadline of 30 November. 

  • 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. The scheme has now been extended until January 2021.  Read the CBILS SME Factsheet here.
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been expanded to cover all viable firms. Read more here and see the accredited lenders here. The scheme is open for applications and has also been extended until 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


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. 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.


Further Advice and Guidance:

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. 
  • Cash for Kids Appeal: Basic Essentials Family Grants are available to organisations seeking to help the individual families they work with affected by poverty due to the Covid-19 virus. £35 per child is available for children up to and including the age of 18 as soon as funds are available. Read more 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