Advice and support for local business
Financial support for local business
Please note: the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until Thursday, 30 September 2021.
Furlough claims must now be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, unless this falls on a weekend in which case the deadline is the next weekday, and employers will need to remember to get their claims in on time.
This means the online application must be complete before one minute to midnight.
Available business support grants
Applications are open for the latest round of our Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG).
The scheme is open to:
- businesses who have not previously received an additional restrictions grant
- taxi drivers licenced by us
- businesses in the travel, tourism and events sector who previously received a Restart Grant
- businesses that would have qualified for a Restart Grant, but didn’t apply during the application window (6 April 2021 to 30 June 2021)
Any business that has already been allocated funding under the ARG scheme, will not be eligible for any further funding at this time.
The application period is from 1 September 2021 to 28 September 2021 and all applications will be decided at the end of the 4-week application period. You will not receive a decision about your application until the application period has ended.
Wider business support
We are partnering with local organisations to deliver a comprehensive package of support to business:
- Cranfield School of Management: we are working in partnership with Cranfield School of Management to offer 90 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to apply for a scholarship place on Cranfield’s leading businesses growth courses Ready for Scale and Business Growth Programme.
Other advice and guidance
The government has advice and guidance on financial support for businesses and employers and a range of support measures to help the business community, including:
- paying your employees
- paying sick pay
- paying tax
- business rates relief
- support for the self-employed
- support for small and medium-sized businesses
- support for large businesses
Use the business support finder tool to determine what financial support is available to your business during the coronavirus pandemic.
Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) extension
The government has extended this scheme until 30 September 2021 with a fourth and fifth grant (read more about the extension).
What to do if your business has an outbreak of COVID-19
We have produced guidance for management of COVID-19 in workplaces, which outlines the steps you should take as an employer, if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your workplace / premises / establishment.
Government advice on working safely during the pandemic
The government has produced both general and sector-specific advice on working safely during coronavirus. There are also many free or cost effective resources to improve staff wellbeing.
Business Rates Relief
Revised bills have now been issued to all eligible businesses. If you haven’t heard from us, please get in touch:
Telephone: 0300 300 8011
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. The full details are available on the British Business Bank website.
COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
Under the new COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.
More information is available from the Bank of England.
Paying our suppliers
We are committed to paying our suppliers to ensure service continuity both during and after the outbreak. We are trying to make outstanding payments as quickly as possible regardless of the payment terms in contracts. Our general approach will therefore be to pay approved invoices submitted by suppliers immediately on receipt wherever possible.
Find out what you need to do, if you're one of our suppliers.
New scheme to get young people into work
You can use the government's Kickstart Scheme to create new six-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme. You need to create a minimum of 30 roles, but can do so in partnership with other companies or organisations.
Further business support
SEMLEP’s Growth Hub is a government-funded local business support service, providing information, advice and support to business directors. Its business advisers can help you to navigate the current COVID-19 financial support measures and official guidance, and help you to work through options if you are not eligible for the government schemes. It can support you directly on your business continuity planning and overall business resilience.