Help for your business during Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Support for businesses through Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Business support

Find out how to run your business safely and any financial support you may be eligible for on the Government's business support pages.

How we’re helping

Buy Local

We've launched a new website to support North Yorkshire businesses and tradespeople as well as help people find local services available to them during coronavirus.

We're urging all eligible traders and businesses to register on the Buy Local website as soon as possible to help create a comprehensive one-stop shop for North Yorkshire residents.

Instant payments

To help businesses we’re now paying small and medium sized suppliers (SMEs) instantly, subject to bank clearing times, instead of the standard 30-day period.

We’ll review this approach in August but intend to keep the arrangement in place for the rest of the year.

To help us do this we’re asking all suppliers to now email their invoices to their named contact rather than sending them by post. If you already send your invoices via email to then please continue to do so.

If you don’t have a named contact then you need to get in touch with the relevant service or department before sending the invoice. As a minimum, invoices need the name and contact number of the individual who place the order or they won’t be paid.

To protect from fraud we will not be making any bank account changes throughout the next 6 month period.

We also appreciate that some suppliers may struggle to fully meet their contractual obligations due to the current crisis. If you feel this is the case you should contact your normal contract manager or

Free trading standards advice

Our trading standards team is offering free advice for the next three months to help support businesses based in North Yorkshire. The team can provide advice on all aspects of trading standards law, including helping businesses to diversify into different product areas or to move their business online or to a takeaway service. 

Businesses that would like to use the service can contact the team on 01609 780780 or at for more details or for advice on a specific query.

Government help for businesses

The Government has launched a business support finder tool for employers and the self-employed so you can see what support you can claim, including loans, tax relief and cash grants. 

You can find a full list of the types of businesses that still need to remain closed from the Government. 

The Government has set out a package of temporary and targeted measures to provide additional support to businesses:

  • A top-up grant scheme has been launched to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme
  • a £6.1 million funding boost to help high streets and town centres through pandemic 
  • a Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan - This scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for loans of up to £50,000. The York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub have published a quick guide to the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan scheme
  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - HMRC will pay employers a grant worth 80% of an employee’s usual wage costs, up to £2,500 a month plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions. Applications can be made through the HMRC portal
  • deferring VAT and Self-Assessment payments - VAT registered businesses will not need to make a VAT payment between now and 30 June
  • a Self-employment Income Support Scheme – Self-employed workers can get up to 80% of their wages which average a maximum £2,500 per month. Applications can be made through the HMRC portal
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) covering up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England - a 100% discount on Business Rates for 20/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief and this is administered by your District or Borough Council.
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business 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 (CBILS) offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank – this will support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
  • the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) offering loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million
  • the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) - a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • Planning rules around change of use will be relaxed so pubs, restaurants and cafes can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak
  • Arts Council England will offer individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis, totalling £160 million. Find out more and check eligibility for support from Arts Council England on their website
  • Cultural and heritage organisations will be protected with a £1.57 billion support package, read more about the Government's announcement about support for culture and heritage.

Help from district councils

District Councils are responsible for administering the business rate relief, business rates holiday and grant funding packages.

You do not need to take any action if you have a retail, hospitality, leisure or nursery business that qualifies for the 12-month business rate holiday. The discount will be applied to the next council tax bill from your District Council in April 2020.

You also do not need to take any action about the grant funding. District Councils will be directly contacting businesses that are eligible. 

Each District Council has set up an information page about their support for businesses:

Government help for employees and people who are self-employed

The Government has launched a business support finder tool for employers and the self-employed so you can see what support you can claim, including loans, tax relief and cash grants. 

The Government is providing the following support to individuals:

  • Support for self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by Covid-19 is available through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • HMRC now have a dedicated helpline for employers or self-employed workers. The number to call is 0800 024 1222
  • Self-assessment income tax payments (for the self-employed) due in July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021
  • Minimum income floor for self-employed suspended – so benefits are assessed on actual earnings if below the floor

The Covid-19 guidance for employers and businesses has more information about support available for people who are self-employed, on zero-hours contracts and employees working from home. Including whether you may be eligible for statutory sick pay, employment and support allowance and universal credit and housing benefit. 

Government support for individuals

  • If you're not able to be furloughed or will not qualify for Self Employment Income Support but become unemployed, you can apply for Universal Credit which has been enhanced by £1,000 a year
  • Nearly £1 billion of additional support has been announced for renters, through increases to housing benefit and Universal Credit
  • From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area
  • Mortgage lenders will offer a three month payment holiday to borrowers who find they are unable to pay their mortgage, without effecting their credit rating
  • A ban has been introduced on evictions and protection increased for renters
  • A hardship fund for economically vulnerable households will be used to provide council tax relief, alongside existing local council tax support schemes. District councils will provide all recipients of working age local council tax support (LCTS) during the financial year 2020-21. They will also use their discretionary powers to enable a further reduction, outside of the normal LCTS, of £150.  Eligibility will be assessed by the billing authority and applied accordingly
  • The Department for Work and Pensions has issued guidance on coronavirus and claiming benefits

Help from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

There is guidance on the LEP website to give business clarity in find and applying for support

A regional Local Authority Forum has been created to ensure we can make support clear and accessible for the region’s businesses.

Businesses can continue to access existing sources of finance as well as a number of useful webinars on the Growth Hub.