During these unprecedented times it is important for small and medium enterprises to know that they are not alone, and there is support out there to help keep their businesses going. Here we aim to bring a summary of all the existing resources, as well as announced resources.

Please note: this page is continuously updated as more support is always getting announced. Last updated: 16th April 2021

COVID-19 financial support for businesses

The Government has set out a package of targeted measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. We are working with partners to support local businesses and to ensure that we come through the Coronavirus pandemic, we have a dedicated business support team to help.

There are many schemes available to provide support, if you are unsure what COVID-19 support you are eligible for you can use the business support finder on the GOV.UK website.

To go directly to the page, click here

Access the COVID-19 business support finder

Gumtree Launches COVID Recovery Fund to Boost Small Firms

The deadline for applications is 16 May 2021

The Gumtree Small Business Blast-Off competition is supporting Britain’s small businesses to recover from the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its resulting lockdowns, which have restricted normal trading practices.

As lockdown eases, it is accepted that financial pressures on companies will remain burdensome for some time. This scheme aims to help firms on their way back to profitability and help them make the most of new opportunities where they exist.

A range of prizes will be awarded, including £10,000 in cash for the first prize winner and £5,000 for to runners-up. Various supplementary prizes are also provided, including advertising campaigns worth £3,000, free business masterclasses and free Gumtree Pro Accounts.

Small and micro businesses with no more than 15 employees may apply. Businesses must be registered and established in England, Wales or Scotland.

To enter, business owners need to record a two-minute video explaining how they have coped over the past year and what plans the prizes will help them achieve in 2021. The judging panel will be looking for examples of community spirit, resourcefulness and innovation.

Applications are made online at the programme website

Restart Grant

The £5 billion Restart Grant scheme has been designed to support businesses in the non-essential retail sector which plan to reopen and help them through until 21st June when it is hoped the last of the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The Restart grant is a one-off grant to support Businesses as they reopen when Covid-19 restrictions end. The following categories of businesses, which are also registered to pay business rates on 1 April 2021, are eligible –

  • non-essential retail
  • hospitality
  • accommodation
  • leisure
  • personal care
  • gym business

The primary principle of the Restart Grant scheme is to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors. Local Authorities are responsible for determining whether businesses are entitled to a grant under the non-essential retail thresholds, or under the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business thresholds.

You can find out more about the grant and make an application using the link below.

Find out more about the Restart Grant

Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021

If you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough. Find out if your business is eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave or furlough due to COVID-19 using the link below.

Find out more about the Job Retention Scheme


Claim for furlough days in Claim must be submitted by
April 2021 14 May 2021
May 2021 14 June 2021
June 2021 14 July 2021
July 2021 16 August 2021
August 2021 14 September 2021
September 2021 14 October 2021

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The fourth grant covers 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021.  The online service to claim the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021.  You must make your claim on or before 1 June 2021.

This scheme provides grants for those experiencing reduced demand due to COVID-19 but are continuing to trade, or temporarily cannot trade.  To be eligible for the fourth grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.

You must have traded in both tax years:

  • 2019 to 2020 and submitted your tax return on or before 2 March 2021
  • 2020 to 2021

Find out more using the link below.

Find out more about the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

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.

Find out more about RLS

Support for exporters

Help is available from UK Export Finance (UKEF) for businesses facing disruption due to coronavirus (COVID-19) through an existing range of tried and tested products.

Find out more about financial support

Statutory sick pay

You can get  £96.35 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.

If you cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

You could get SSP if you’re self-isolating because:

You cannot get SSP if you’re self-isolating after entering or returning to the UK and do not need to self-isolate for any other reason.

You can find out more using the link below.

Find out more about statutory sick pay

Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

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.

If you deferred VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 you can:

  • pay the deferred VAT in full now
  • join the VAT deferral new payment scheme – the online service is open between 23 February 2021 and 21 June 2021
  • contact HMRC on 0800 024 1222 by 30 June 2021 if you need extra help to pay

You may be charged a 5% penalty or interest if you do not pay in full or make an arrangement to pay by 30 June 2021

Join the VAT deferral new payment scheme

The VAT deferral new payment scheme is open to and including 21 June 2021.

The new scheme lets you:

  • pay your deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free
  • choose the number of instalments, from 2 to 11 (depending on when you join)

For further information click here

Business rates relief

You can check if your retail, hospitality or leisure business or your nursery is eligible for business rates relief due to COVID-19 by using the links below.

Find out more about retail, hospitality or leisure business rates relief

Find out more about business rates relief for nurseries

If you need further advice or support you can contact a business advisor by –

Business toolbox

Hull City Council has been working to offer support and advice to our city businesses to ensure that they can reopen confidently and in the safest manner possible, as part of this we have created a business toolbox with helpful information and posters that can be displayed in local businesses.

Access our business toolbox for coming out of lockdown

Preparation is vital for a smooth transition from lockdown across the UK. Hull City Council has been working to offer support and advice to our city businesses to ensure that they can reopen confidently and in the safest possible manner.

We have therefore produced a Business Toolkit to assist businesses in line with the latest government guidelines. These assets can be downloaded and displayed within your business to advice customers of their responsibilities in adhering to this guidance, as well as giving your customers confidence that you are complying with the governments advice.

The latest COVID-19 data for Hull is available using the link below.

Find out Hull’s latest COVID-19 data