Coronavirus support

Business support

This page features the latest advice for businesses in light of the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic.

The Government has announced a range of measures designed to help businesses while the UK and countries around the world are affected by Coronavirus.

Read the joint statement from Somerset's Local Authorities

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants.

Visit the Government website to see what you are eligible for

We will regularly update this page with the latest information, so please use the dropdowns below for further advice. Keep up to date with Government advice here

  1. Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund UPDATED 28 MAY

    Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund - the scheme is currently closed because we believe that from the applications received so far, we have reached the maximum amount of grant that Government will allow us to pay.

    We have a large number of grants still to consider. If we have received applications that are invalid or that do not meet the qualifying criteria, we will re-open the scheme, details will appear on social media and our website.

  2. Heart of the South West Growth Hub - including business reopening toolkit UPDATED 29 May

    The Heart of the South West Growth Hub gives businesses information on supporting them to grow or start and operate within the Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay area of South West England. 

    Reopening your Business - updated 29 May

    The Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership has used their knowledge and expertise to bring together resources from trusted organisations to help guide you through the main considerations for restarting your business safely. They have developed a Covid-19 toolkit with useful documents including a risk assessment template and action plan, business checklists and useful guides to help you.

    The Heart of the South West Growth Hub team have specific Covid-19 guidance on their website and are on hand to help businesses in Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay navigate the business support landscape and put you in touch with the right schemes to meet your business needs and aspirations.

    General enquiries 
    Telephone 03456 047 047 

  3. Government Grant Funding Schemes

    Small Business Grant fund

    If you are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief as at the 11 March 2020 and your rateable Value is below £15,000 then you may qualify for a Small Business Grant of £10,000.

    Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

    If your Business has a Rateable Value of below £51,000 and you are eligible for the expanded Retail Discount as at the 11 March 2020 then you may qualify for a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant of £25,000.


    The Grant will not be payable where the business is used for personal use, ie private stables.  Carparks and parking spaces are excluded.  For the avoidance of doubt, businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquidation or were dissolved will not be eligible. 

    Apply for the Business Support Grant

    Note: Internet Explorer is no longer supported by our online forms, please open the link in a supported internet browser, for example Google Chrome. 

    View our Business Support Grant FAQs

  4. Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

    On 16 April, the Government announced that the loan scheme for large businesses affected by coronavirus has been expanded to cover all viable firms. 

    • all viable businesses with turnover of more than £45m will be able to apply for government-backed support
    • firms with turnover of more than £250 million can borrow up to £50 million from lenders

    This complements existing support, including the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

    View more information on the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  5. Government support for the self-employed

    The Government has announced measures to support self-employed individuals. They will pay a taxable grant of 80% of average annual profits over the last three years, up to £2500 a month, if affected by Covid-19. 

    The scheme will be open for at least three months, backdated to 1 March 2020. 

    View full guidance on the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

    View Self-employment Income Support Scheme FAQs

  6. Government Job Retention Scheme UPDATED 17 APRIL

    Under the Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme, that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020, will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

    This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. 

    View full guidance on the Government Job Retention Scheme.

    On 17 April, the Government extended this furlough scheme by one month - to the end of June - to reflect continuing social distancing measures. 

    This extension will:

    • allow firms from across UK to continue to protect millions of jobs
    • continue to be monitored to ensure people and businesses can get back to work as soon as it’s safe to do so to drive UK economic recovery

    View further information on Job Retention Scheme extension

  7. Business support and stay at home FAQs

    The Government has produced FAQs for business owners. These should hopefully answer any queries relating to business closures, site working and stay at home measures for employees. 

  8. Business owner signs and resources

    We want to do all we can to help enforce the government's social distancing measures. Therefore, we have produced downloadable signs for shopkeepers, and other business owners, to use in their shop fronts and throughout their premises

    View and download signs and resources

  9. Guidance on food safety for community cooking and food banks

    The Food Standards Agency have released guidance and information on food safety for individuals and groups wishing to prepare meals for their community.

    View food safety guidance

  10. Sport England Community Emergency Fund

    Sport England are offering funding to help community sport and physical activity organisations who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due coronavirus. 

    This funding may be particularly helpful for small leisure trusts and clubs who may not be eligible for funds from other sources. 

    If your sports clubs of leisure trust is concerned about meeting ongoing running costs during the Covid-19 crisis, then Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) is available to support South Somerset sports organisations access emergency funding. 

    View Sport England Community Emergency Fund

  11. New funding to support dairy farmers

    The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs yesterday (06 May) announced that England’s dairy farmers will be able to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income over April and May due to coronavirus disruptions will be eligible to access this funding for those qualifying months, with no cap set on the number of farmers who can receive this support or on the total funding available.

    More details on the fund will be issued in due course.


  12. Advice for accommodations providers

    The Government has recently updated its guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK. This is to allow hostels, hotels and B&Bs providing support for key workers, vulnerable groups and rough sleepers to remain open. 

    View full Government guidance for accommodation providers

    View letter from Luke Hall MP

  13. Guidance on the admission and care of people in care homes

    The Government has published guidance for care homes, local health protection teams, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and registered providers of accommodation for people who need personal or nursing care. 

    It sets out how to admit and care for residents safely and how to protect care home staff. 

    View Government guidance on the admission and care for people in care homes

  14. Guidance for care of the deceased

    The Government have published new guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus. This guidance will help ensure members of the funeral, pathology and other related professions can keep themselves safe and prevent the risk of infection. It will also guide and advise mourners on safely organising and attending funerals. 

    View Government guidance for care of the deceased

  15. Guidance for animal businesses

    The Canine & Feline Sector Group (CFSG) have published guidance for businesses involving animals.

    View guidance using the links below:

    Advice for animal related businesses

    Advice for rescue and rehoming organisations

    Advice for animal shelters and vets

    Advice on walking someone else's dog

  16. Managing Legionella in building water systems and leisure facilities

    Our Environmental Health team would like to draw attention to the following guidance posted up by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease on how to best manage Legionella in building water systems during this COVID-19 outbreak.

    It is very important that while many buildings, offices and leisure facilities are shut down due to the pandemic, that water systems and leisure facilities, such as spa pools, are still well maintained to prevent future health issues like Legionella outbreaks. The procedures outlined below will help maintain water systems during this outbreak.

    View guidance for managing Legionella

  17. Help and support for businesses webinars

    The Government are delivering a programme of webinars to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption. 

    Watch the first recorded webinar and register for future webinars

  18. ACAS advice for businesses and employees

    For Coronavirus information for employers and employees that is updated daily, visit this link

  19. Other finance options

    Businesses can access a range of finance through the Government-owned British Business Bank, visit the Bank's Finance Hub for further information.

    A number of private lenders and banks are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

  20. COVID-19 Helpline

    If you are a business owner and concerned about not being able to pay your taxes due to coronavirus, you can call the HMRC COVID-19 hotline. 

    0800 0159 559

  21. Future fund launched to support technology, life science and creative industries

    UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.

    The government has made an initial £250 million available for investment through the scheme and will consider increasing this if needed.

    For further information, USE THIS LINK

    • The Future Fund is open to UK-based firms, that have previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third parties in the last 5 years. They will also need to have investors to provide funding to be matched by tFhe government, and have half or more of their employees based in the UK or generate at least half of their revenue through UK sales. The loans will convert to equity if not repaid.
    • Companies can check they meet the criteria for funding by going to the British Business Bank website. If they have secured private match funding, one of their investors can register online to start the application process.

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