Covid - 19 Business Support and Advice


Roadmap out of lockdown Step 3 on 17 May – Businesses

Indoor areas of hospitality venues will reopen. As outdoors, table service will be required. Venues will be prohibited from providing smoking equipment such as shisha pipes, for use on the premises.

Read more here 

Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions will reopen. This will include:

  • cinemas (outdoor cinemas will also be permitted to open)
  • theatres (outdoor cinemas will also be permitted to open)
  • concert halls
  • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
  • bingo halls
  • casinos
  • bowling alleys
  • snooker and pool halls

Indoor as well as outdoor attractions will also reopen at the following:

  • museums and galleries
  • adventure playgrounds and activities
  • skating rinks
  • games and recreation venues, including laser quest, escape rooms, paintballing and recreational driving facilities
  • play areas (including soft play centres and inflatable parks)
  • model villages
  • trampolining parks
  • water and aqua parks
  • theme parks and film studios
  • zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions
  • botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes
  • sculpture parks
  • landmarks including observation wheels or viewing platforms
  • stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites



There is guidance on reopening businesses and venues which explains which business will be permitted to open at each step of the roadmap.

The following businesses must remain closed:

  • nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  • sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars


Business support toolkit

The retail toolkit provides helpful guidance on how to reopen shops safely for your staff and customers.



Hospitality support toolkit

To help hospitality businesses reopen and be Covid-19 Secure, we have created a tailor made toolkit which provides helpful guidance on how to reopen safely for your staff and customers.



GOV.UK:  Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

It is essential you take the time to read through the following guidance to ensure you are prepared to reopen your business. The Government has produced guidance to working safely during the coronavirus for specific work sectors along with practical steps for business to take.

Find out more here


HSE: Coronavirus (COVID-19): working safely

Our guidance on making your workplace COVID-secure gives an overview of the steps employers can take to protect people in the workplace.

Find out more here

Recovery Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme is to help businesses of any size 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.
  • The scheme is open until 31 December 2021, subject to review.
  • Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders, listed on the British Business Bank’s website.

          Apply here

VAT Tax cuts and deferrals

The government also announced at Budget plans to extend the 5 per cent reduced rate of VAT for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sector for a further six months until the end of September 2021. The rate will then increase to 12.5 per cent from October until the end of March 2022, before returning to the normal 20 per cent rate from April 2022.

Read more here

Find out how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020. You can pay now or join the VAT deferral new payment scheme.

Read more here


Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme 

If you’re an employer, find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees’ coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

The online service you’ll use to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is now available.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees.

Read more here


Coronavirus job retention scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. Find out more about how the scheme is changing.

  • Claims for furlough days in February 2021 must be made by 15 March 2021.
  • You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

Read more here


Self-employment income support scheme

On 3rd March 2021, the Chancellor announced an extension of the UK-wide Self Employment Income Support scheme to September 2021, with 600,000 more people who filed a tax return in 2019-20 now able to claim for the first time.

  • Claims for the third SEISS grant have now closed.
  • The last date for making a claim for the third grant was 29 January 2021.
  • The online claims service for the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021.

Find out if you’re eligible for the fourth grant which will cover the period February 2021 to April 2021. Also find out information about the fifth grant.

 Find out more about the fourth grant


Kickstart scheme

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.

Funding will cover for each job placement:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • the associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart Scheme funded job.

Find out more here



COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

The CCFF closed to new purchases on 23 March 2021 as planned


Pay it forward – Mayors Back To Business Fund

Pay It Forward is part of the London Growth Hub’s wider support offer for London’s businesses. This includes an online hub of essential resources and free one-to-one telephone and virtual support. Find out more here

Closed loan schemes

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes and Future Fund were designed to support UK businesses that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. All schemes are now closed for new applications.

  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
  • Business Interruption Loan scheme
  • Future Fund Scheme

Read more here


London Business Hub support London’s businesses to start, sustain and grow. 

The best of the capital’s huge business support offering in one convenient place.  

Free to use, easy to navigate, personalised to suit your needs and instantly at your fingertips the second you  join our thriving community of like-minded business owners.  London Business Hub is part of the national network of Growth Hubs delivered across England. 


Recover & Grow 

A Leadership development programme to make the right pivot for your business. 

Find out more here 


EU Post-Transition Business Resource Hub 

Support for firms to prepare for new rules for business and trade. 

Find out more here 


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Support for Businesses and Employers 

Support to help businesses and employers respond to COVID-19. 

Find out more here 


Boosting Community Business London 

Pilot programme supporting London-based community enterprises 

Find out more here 


Other Useful links

Business Support Helpline

West London Business

HMRC Helpline

Growth Hubs

Business Services