Businesses and employers

The government has announced the closure of cinemas, theatres, leisure centres, cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars for the foreseeable future.

Businesses need to be aware that employees should follow the latest guidance from government on self isolation (staying at home).

    Support for businesses

    Support for the self-employed

    The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

    This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

    Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

    Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    On Friday 20 March the government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

    It has full details on the support the scheme provides, how to access the scheme on their website and support for people who are self-employed.

    The government has set out a package of measures to support businesses including:

    • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
    • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
    • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses 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 to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
    • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

    Find more information about guidance to support businesses on GOV.UK. 

    Read our Business Support FAQs to see how this affects your business.

    If you think your business qualifies for these measures of financial support and would like more information when it is available from government, or would like to know when the council is in a position to process applications for these, send an email to with the name of your business and a contact email address.

    We'll keep your records on file and update you when this information is available.

    Find information about hotels staying open for vulnerable people from GOV.UK.

    The situation is changing all the time and businesses are advised to check information on the government website for the latest update available. 

    Nursery discount

    If you are nursery provider who appears on Ofsted’s Early Years Register, and your property is wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage, you will qualify for a nursery discount.
    The discount is 100% of the bill for the current rate year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 and will be applied directly to your business rates account for 2020/21.  The April bill will confirm the discount and we have stopped all Direct Debit payments for businesses covered by the 100% nursery discount.

    Safety advice for businesses

    Find advice on decontamination for businesses, where a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case has spent time while symptomatic.

    Businesses can also download and print the government’s coronavirus posters to display within their work spaces.

    The government has issued guidance to assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:

    • the coronavirus, COVID-19
    • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
    • what to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting

    Food safety information

    Find advice for food businesses looking to offer takeaway and deliveries, as well as the latest guidance on premises that need to close.