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 updates please visit, who are advising people to stay at home. 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.

Government guidance for re-opening of businesses:

From 4 July more businesses have been able to reopen if their premises can be made COVID secure. From 1 August the next phase of reopening and government pilots will take place, enabling the planning for events of all types, including business events and conferences, to resume from 1 October, provided rates of infection remain at current levels. Businesses can find out more about guidance specific to their sector online:

Customer logging toolkit for businessesPublic 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.

Retail reopening:

City of York Council has developed a business recovery toolkit to help businesses reopen safely, as lockdown restrictions are lifted. The toolkit includes guidance on practical measures for your premises, to help keep staff and customers safe, and posters, stickers and other resources to support the changes you have to make.

‘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.

Download new toolkit for licensed premises:

For licensed premises preparing to reopen, City of York Council’s comprehensive guidance and toolkit of resources to support you to reopen safely is now available! Businesses can register for a FREE pack of floor stickers and posters, with more resources available to download, to help you make the necessary changes.

VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions:

Guidance is now available following the Government’s 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. The temporary reduced rate may be applied between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021. 

Eligible attractions for the temporary reduced rate of VAT include shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and other cultural events and facilities, but do not include admission to sporting events. Live performances that charge a fee to view online may be eligible, depending on circumstances and assuming they are not already covered by a Cultural VAT exemption. Find more information about which attractions are eligible for the reduced rate of VAT

Eat Out to Help Out:

More information has been released on the new Eat Out to Help Out Scheme including information for businesses on how to register your business for the Eat Out to Help Out 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. Find out more at:

Funding Support:

  • 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
  • COVID-19: Micro grants scheme – The Government is providing additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses (with high fixed property-related costs) that aren’t eligible for other ‘Small Business Grants’ or ‘Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants.
  • 100% government-backed loan scheme for small business. Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. The loans will be interest-free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form. Read more here.
  • There are a growing number of funding options available to York businesses during the current situation. This document provides an overview of the current support available.
    • The package of measures to support businesses includes:
      • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
      • 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
      • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
      • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
      • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 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
  • Read the CBILS SME Factsheet here – The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered through 40+ British Business Bank accredited lenders and partners, is designed to support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses (SMEs) during the Covid-19 outbreak.
    • More businesses set to benefit from government loan scheme. Changes to state aid rules as a result of UK Government and industry lobbying mean that more small businesses can now benefit from loans of up to £5 million under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), it was announced today (30th July 2020).
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been expanded to cover all viable firms. Read more here. See the accredited lenders here. The scheme is now open for applications.
  • 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

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

  • A Guide to making a claim via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It has been confirmed that employers will be able to make claims on behalf of their furloughed employees from Monday 20th April.
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance updated. Guidance has been published outlining the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme following the Chancellor’s announcement on 29 May. These include:
    • From 1 July employers can only claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks between 1 March–30 June.
    • Flexibly furlough employees, meaning employees can come back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern.
    • Still be able to claim the furlough grant for the hours your flexibly furloughed employees do not work, compared to the hours they would normally have worked in that period
    • From 1 August, the level of the grant will be slowly reduced. No grant will be available for Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions from 1 August although these contributions will remain payable by the employer.
    • From 1 September, you will also be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages to ensure they continue to receive at least 80% of their wages for the time they’re on furlough. Find more information on how the amount of grant available through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.
  • A new template is available for employers who will be claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The new form is for claims on or after 1 July.
  • Job retention bonus – employers will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who has previously been furloughed under Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) if they remain continuously employed to the end of January 2021. HMRC announced further details on 31 July regarding eligibility requirements and how employers can claim the bonus.
  • A previous update to the scheme on 17 July clarified that notice periods being served by furloughed employees include contractual notice periods.

Further Advice & 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.

Culture updates:

  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund is setting up a Digital Heritage Lab to support small and medium heritage organisations seeking to develop their digital capabilities and capacity:

Funding updates: 

  • This page from Arts Council England features the latest guidance from government on the COVID-19 outbreak for ACE’s funded organisations and projects, as well as individuals and the wider cultural sector. ACE is updating this as the situation develops:
  • 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:
  • Aviva has changed their criteria during Covid-19: Aviva have broadened the criteria of their Community Fund to include applications for projects that enable causes to adapt or continue their vital services by covering core running costs, so they can help their beneficiaries and communities during this time of need.
  • Screen Yorkshire has set up a new Indie TV and Film Development Fund offering flexible financial support to independent production companies. With an overall value of £200,000 it is funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership through the Creative Catalyst programme. 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.

Health and Wellbeing:

  • MARCH Network: As a mental health network focused on the power of bringing people together with social, cultural and community assets, MARCH Network are sharing some home-based, creative ways to support mental health during the pandemic:
  • 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.
We’ll also be sharing links to ways people can support their wellbeing during this time. Find out more on our Twitter feed.

For the latest Tourism and Hospitality Advice, see here