COVID-19 Supporting Businesses

Latest news from UK and local government

There are lots of resources and initiatives being established to help support businesses and employers who are affected by COVID-19. We have tried to answer some of your questions below:


What is the Government’s latest advice and support package for businesses?

The Government has today (03/04/20) extended the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time. 

A new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will also ensure that more firms are able to benefit from government-backed support during this difficult time. 

The Business Support Grant funding website has been updated (31/03/20), adding information on state aid, monitoring requirements, post payment checks, and the eligibility of charities.

New Government support package launched 23/03/20.

The new Government Covid-19 – Business Support Hub provides all the latest information on business support direct from the Government.

The Government has also launched a new webinar series to help businesses navigate the complexities of the crisis.

There is also a detailed paper available on business rates information and a page on the website to help businesses that need to defer their VAT payment.

There is also a new tax helpline to support businesses.


Can you tell me more about the Business Interruption Loan Scheme?

NGI partner, UNW has a really useful FAQ document on this issue.


I’m self-employed, is there any help available for me?

The Chancellor has announced a new package of support for people who are self employed. More information can be found here. There is also a FAQs section to help you.

As a non-essential business, we need to shut down. How can I support my staff?

ACAS (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) has a page dedicated to employer information to provide guidance in the event of a temporary shut down. Additionally, NGI partner, UNW has provided a great FAQ document on this issue.


How can my business offer Coronavirus support to the Government?

The Government is asking businesses if they can offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support. The support needed includes:

    • medical testing equipment, medical equipment design, protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
    • hotel rooms, transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
    • manufacturing equipment
    • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
    • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
    • social care or childcare
    • Businesses can share the areas they can offer support through the online portal.

We are close to the end of our holiday year. What is the guidance on staff carrying over annual leave?

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma announced on Friday (27 March) that employees would be able to carry over annual leave under new measures.

NGI partner Ward Hadaway has a range of helpful FAQs on employment (as well as other legal issues). 

I run a food business, what’s the latest guidance for our sector?

New guidance for food businesses has been added to the Government website including information about coronavirus and food, food hygiene guidance, managing employee sickness, social distancing and maintaining social distancing in specific food business settings.


What business advice and support is available in my local area?

Many local authorities have dedicated pages where they have brought all of their Covid-19 support information together in one place. Click on your local authority area below to access the relevant information:

Newcastle City Council

Please note: Newcastle City Council has today (27/03/20) launched its new online web form to enable businesses to register their details for the Covid-19 business grant scheme. Please click here. For more general information, please click the Newcastle City Council link at the top.

Gateshead Council

Durham County Council

Northumberland County Council


Who is defined as a key worker? 

Please find Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision


Is there any guidance available for charities?

The Government website has charity-specific information available here.


I work in arts and culture, is there any specific support available to me?
Arts Council England have made £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of their funding. Find more information here

Arts Council England have also made £50 million available to organisations in the cultural sector, who are not National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) or Music Education Hubs. They can apply for a maximum of £35,000.

NGI Partner information:

To find out more about how we are supporting our partners, including ways to contribute to intelligence gathering and how to update your information for our leisure visitor channels, please visit our dedicated partner page.


Resources: Blogs, podcasts and webinars

Webinar: Join experts from NRG and Ward Hadaway to hear about Maintaining Employee Engagement and Furlough.

Virtual Inspiration North Meet UpHow can we stay sane during the Coronavirus crisis?

Podcast: We chatted to Colin Hewitt from Ward Hadaway about the implications of event cancellations

Blog: A practical guide to the office shut-down

Podcast: We chatted to Siobhan Mckeown of Human Made to get tips and advice on remote-working

Webinar: How to Host an Online Event or Webinar That Live Event Attendees Will Love

Webinar: Coronavirus, an advisory webinar for employers. 
Multiple dates available. Register to attend