COVID-19: Support for businesses and workers
Along with the government, we continue to support businesses and workers affected by COVID-19.
- Support for businesses
- Support for the self-employed
- Support and advice for workers
- Safety measures guidance for businesses and employers
Funding and support for businesses is available from a number of programmes and initiatives.
Recovery Loan Scheme
The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) is a government-backed loan scheme open to small and medium sized enterprises. The maximum amount of finance available is £2 million per business, with the government providing a guarantee to lenders of 70%. The scheme will end on 30 June 2022.
Help to Grow programme
The government has launched a new Help to Grow programme, designed to help small and medium sized businesses learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits. To be eligible, businesses need to have been operating for more than one year and have between 5 and 249 employees.
Businesses such as restaurants, pubs, cafes, bars and ice cream parlours, can apply for a pavement licence which will permit them to place removable tables and chairs on highways adjacent to their premises to sell or serve food or drink.
Further information and support for your business:
- Richmond Business Hub
- London Business Hub
- The Federation of Small Business (FSB)
- Business Support Helpline
Sources of help and support for self-employed workers.
Further information and support for self-employed workers:
- Federation of Small Businesses
- The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Working for yourself (GOV.UK)
- Self-employment and Universal Credit
- Guidance for people who are self-employed (GOV.UK)
Ways to access financial support and courses to build skills and boost job prospects.
You may be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) at £99.35 per week if you are too ill to work. This is paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. To check your sick pay entitlement, talk to your employer. View Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) (GOV.UK) for more information.
If you are not eligible for SSP, for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or New Style Employment and Support Allowance.
Whether you are currently in or out of work, if you are on a low income and affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, you will be able to access the full range of the welfare system, including Universal Credit.
The government has recently produced a new online Skills Toolkit which provides easy to access, free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help build up skills, progress in work and boost job prospects. The platform offers a range of courses at all levels from introductory to advanced and is open to everyone, whether you want to learn new skills, are out of work or are just keen to keep busy during time spent at home.
- Citizens Advice
- Acas (Advice for employers and employees)
- The Money Advice service
- Hospitality Action (Grants for employees of the Hospitality Industry in hardship)
- Coronavirus (GOV.UK)
- Work and financial support during coronavirus
Guidance to help keep workers and the public safe.
- Coronavirus (GOV.UK)
- Reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace
- Further guidance for workplaces
- Managing risks and risk assessments at work
Up to: Services for business
Updated: 17 May 2022