COVID-19: support for businesses

There is support available for businesses at this difficult time. Scroll down this page for more information.

The Chancellor announced on 21 December 2021 that additional support will be available for businesses impacted by the Omicron variant. Local Authorities will receive funding to provide one-off grants of between £2,700 for small businesses and up to £6,000 for larger businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors.

Applications for grant funding will open shortly. For the latest updates, visit your Local Authority website via the links below. 

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Support for businesses

LEP Business Support Service

Businesses can benefit from investment to develop new products and process, save money on their energy bills through more efficient use of energy, water and waste. For more information, please contact the LEP Business Support Service or visit to learn about the support available.

The Employment Hub

Whether you need to recruit quickly to keep up with the demands of COVID-19 or you have employees at risk of redundancy, the Employment Hub can help your business through free impartial support.

If you need help with either of these issues, please book a free introduction call with a business engagement officer who will discuss your needs and offer you a tailored package of support. Find out more and book a call today.

Kickstart Scheme

As part of the government's 'Plan for Jobs', the Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The first placements are likely to be available from November. Find out more.

Supply chain support 

The University of Huddersfield has a team of supply chain experts who can help businesses to get more out of their supplier arrangements and enhance their positions within existing supply chains. This can include a deep dive analysis of current supply chains and supplier capacity, the introduction of new supply chain models to reduce risk and enhance quality, and the sourcing of more local suppliers. Email for more information.

Help to Grow management programme

The government’s Help to Grow management programme offers senior business leaders the chance to take your business to the next level. Join the practical 12-week management training programme, with one-to-one mentorship, delivered across the UK by leading business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter. The programme costs £750 and is 90 per cent subsidised by the government as part of its 'Plan for Jobs'.

Find out more and register your interest now

Cyber security support

The North East Business Resilience Centre (NEBRC) to help SMEs address the risks of cybercrime and to secure their online systems, critical data and information, Intellectual Property, and other important business assets against the threat of cyber-attacks. Find out more.

What impact has COVID-19 had on your business?

We recognise there is a lot of uncertainty and challenges facing businesses in dealing with COVID-19. Let us know in our 5-10 minute survey what the key issues are for your business and how you are responding.

Government support for businesses


For all the latest up to date government guidance on Coronavirus support for businesses, please visit the hub on GOV.UK.


Not sure which financial support schemes you may be eligible for? Use the business support finder to find out.

New Local Authority business grants

The government has introduced a new grant scheme to support businesses that are experiencing difficulties due to the Omicron variant and the dual impact of staff absences and lower consumer demand.

Hospitality and leisure premises will benefit from targeted grant support. The Additional Restrictions Grant will also be topped up so Local Authorities can continue to use their discretion to support other businesses in their area, based on local economic need.

Find out more

Applications for grant funding will open shortly. For enquiries, please contact your Local Authority. You can find the email addresses you need below. Please include your name, contact details, business name and district in your email. 






Recovery loan scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme is currently open to businesses of any size to support them to access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period.

Up to £10 million is available per business. The actual amount offered and the terms are at the discretion of participating lenders.

The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender. As the borrower, you are always 100% liable for the debt.

Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders, listed on the British Business Bank’s website.

Find out more.

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The government is reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS). This will be a temporary scheme to support employers facing heightened levels of sickness absence due to Covid-19. The SSPRS will refund small and medium-sized
employers COVID-related SSP costs for up to two weeks per employee.

Find out more about this scheme.

Guidance for working safely

Fourteen guides covering a range of different types of work are available to help you make your workplace Coivd-secure. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Priority actions are outlined at the top of each guide.

Coronavirus tests for your employees

You can choose to:

  • Buy your own tests and set up your own workplace testing
  • Pay an approved provider to provide tests or run a test site for you

If you cannot set up testing, you can ask your employees to check if they can get a rapid lateral flow test at home or at a test site on NHS.UK.

Do not use a rapid lateral flow test or go to a test site if you or your employees have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should order a PCR test and stay at home.

Support for businesses paying tax

Businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period. Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free. 

All business and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay service. Those concerned should contact HMRC via the helpline on 0800 024 1222 or via webchat. Arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Contact HMRC.

Defer self assessment payments

Self-assessment taxpayers can benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. 

Find out more.

Sustainable Innovation Fund

Announced on 27 June.

Government has announced a £200 million package to help innovative businesses bounce back.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help companies across the UK recovering from the impact of coronavirus keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive. The Fund will help power the UK’s economic recovery and develop new sustainable opportunities for businesses in any sector following the coronavirus pandemic while helping the UK meet its ambitions to cut carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. Businesses can apply for support through the Sustainable Innovation Fund by visiting the Innovate UK website. Find out more.

Support for university research and innovation during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Research jobs and ground-breaking projects impacted by coronavirus are to be protected by two new government support packages: 

  • A new research funding scheme opens this autumn to cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from a decline in international students
  • Around £280 million in government funding will be made available to enable universities to continue their cutting-edge work, such as research into antibiotics resistance and the effects of coronavirus on society

Find out more.