Support for businesses

Screenshot of support for business video

The information below pulls together the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses.  

The council is working together with national government and the business support organisations, including the Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses to ensure our borough is kept up to date with developments and to help businesses link to and access the available national business support.

If you would like to register for our business newsletter for the latest updates please sign up to our business email

  • Safe reopening business advice and toolkit           
    Find everything you need to know about how to safely reopen your business with advice and guidance from Surrey Trading Standards.  
    More information is available on the Surrey Trading Standards website


  • Temporary business rates retail discount           
    The government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality, nursery and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. 
    More information is available on our business rates page (updated regularly).

  • Grants
    The Government has announced two support schemes:

    • small business grant fund
    • retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund.

 More information is available on our business rates page (updated regularly).            

  • ACAS information for employees and employers
    ACAS has published information for employees and employers, including simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff during this time.
    Find out more on the  ACAS website.  

  • Statutory sick pay
    For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be available from the Government in due course once the legislation has passed.    
    Find out more about the government support for statutory sick pay on the GOV.UK website. 

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
    A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as the Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.
    Find out more from the British Business Bank.  

  • HMRC Time to Pay and helpline            
    A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 or visit the HMRC website

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
    Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees' salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during the crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Please note HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement.
    Find out more from the support for business pages on the GOV.UK website. 

  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax Payments
    Businesses will be able to defer Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you're self employed, income tax payments due in July 2020 under the self assessment system will be deferred until January 2021.   
    Find out more from the support for business pages on the GOV.UK website.            

  • Support for larger firms through the 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. This will support larger firms if they have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze and allow them to finance short term liabilities. The scheme will be available in the week beginning 23 March 2020.
    More information on the Corporate Financing Facility can be found on the Bank of England website. 


  • Insurance
    Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met. Businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. 

  •  Protection from eviction for commercial tenants
    If Commercial tenants who cannot pay rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. No business will automatically forfeit their lease if they miss a payment up until 30 June 2020. Please note this is not a rental holiday - all commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent.

  • Out of hours deliveries
    To support the community and local retailers providing essential products, Elmbridge Borough Council will be taking its lead from Government and not enforcing any breaches in planning conditions related to out of hours deliveries.
    Further information on the government's advice is available on the GOV.UK website.     

  • Surrey Chambers of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses support guides    
    Surrey Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses have produced guides for businesses with links, checklists and background. The latest updates can be found on the Surrey Chambers of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses support pages.


  • Frequently Asked Questions
    Frequently asked questions for businesses and employers, on business closures and stay at home, and on the self-employment income scheme, are available on the government's business support website.

If you have any further questions about the support available to businesses, please contact the Government's free Business Support Helpline on: 0300 456 3565.  

Updated: 2 April 2020

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