Financial Support for Businesses, Employers and Employees

Local Businesses & Members of the British Chambers of Commerce: Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce has opened a new Covid-19 Helpline for any members needing support or advice, on 01604 490414.

You can also contact the Government's Business Support Helpline for free advice on 0300456 3565, or visit this page.

For advice on how to practice and implement social distancing in the workplace, visit this page. Sector specific guidance about this is available here.

General information about the forms of financial support available to businesses can be found here.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a package of measures to support businesses affected by coronavirus, as well as taking new legal powers, to ensure that any further necessary support can be provided. A summary of these measures can be found below. 

Job Retention Scheme

Any UK employer with a PAYE system who agrees to retain staff during the outbreak (despite those staff being unable to undertake their ordinary work) will be able to apply directly to HMRC for a grant. This will cover 80% of salaries, up to £2,500 a month per worker. The scheme is expected to be in place before the end of April, and will be open for a minimum of three months. More information about claiming employee wages through the JRS is available on the Government website here.

If you are an employee, and you wish to find out more information about the JRS (including eligibility), you can do so here.

Tax Deferrals

To help businesses with cash flow in the short run, VAT payments due between now and the end of June will be delayed until the end of the financial year. For self employed people, Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due in July 2020 will be deferred until January 2021. If you find yourself in financial distress, you can contact HMRC’s dedicated helpline to get practical help and advice on 0800 0159 559.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

A temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch in April to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts, providing loans of up to £5 million with interest-free repayments for an initial twelve month period. Information about the CBILS and the application process can be found on the British Business Bank Website here.

The CBILS now serves to benefit all viable small businesses which have been impacted by coronavirus, rather than just those unable to access commercial finance. The Chancellor has also prevented banks from offering personal guarantees on loans under £250,000, and limited guarantees on loans above £250,000 to 20% of the loan, not backed by the Government. This, combined with operational changes to the loan application process, will free up funds for businesses to access more quickly and easily as part of the CBILS.

Business Rates

The Business Rates retail discount will be raised to 100 per cent for one year and expanded to cover all businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.

To support around 700,000 businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief, local authorities in England will be able to provide grants of up to £10,000 to small businesses. 

Takeaway Licensing

If you own a pub that serves food or a restaurant in England, you will be able to operate a hot food takeaway to serve people staying at home, without going through the usual planning process. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will shortly legislate to bring forward a temporary Permitted Development Right to allow for change of use from A3 (Restaurant) and A4 (Pub) to A5 (Hot Food Takeaway).


The full contents of the Chancellor's letter, and a fact sheet for businesses affected by coronavirus, are available in PDF format at the bottom of this page. 

Further information about financial support for businesses can be found on the Government website here.

Further information about financial support for employers can be found here.



Attachment Size
Chancellor's Letter_2.pdf 107.44 KB
Fact Sheet.pdf 197.68 KB