Coronavirus – Help for Businesses
We recognise our local businesses are facing a challenging and uncertain time as we all consider the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
We are extremely proud of our local economy and value all the businesses that make Wakefield the unique, vibrant place it is.
We are supporting our businesses in the following ways:
Business grant application
- Businesses in receipt of small business rate relief / rural rate relief, and businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors may be eligible to apply for a COVID-19 business grant. Apply here.
- On 01 May 2020 the Government announced the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund, designed to provide grant support to small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund. Apply here.
Help with cashflow problems
To support SME's with cashflow issues, the Coronavirus Business Interruption loan Scheme has been introduced and is live now. Businesses can apply for loans up to £5 million, interest free for 12 months. Talk to your bank or one of the
40 accredited finance providers. The government has provided lenders with a guarantee of 80% of each loan to improve availability of cash. The full rules are available at the
British business Bank website.
We recognise that there are self-employed individuals out there who are concerned at how Covid-19 will affect their income streams. Where you do not qualify for any of the above grants, and / or are not able to take on additional lending, the government has introduced steps to increase access to Universal Credit. In addition, the minimum income floor has been suspended for the self-employed and the standard allowance will rise over the next 12 months. This means self-employed people can access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay. For more information, see the
Universal Credit page. There is also Mortgage support, following discussions with industry, for those in difficulty due to coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer mortgage holidays of 3 months.
Help for small businesses
The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders. Eligibility You can apply for a loan if your business:
- is based in the UK
- has been negatively affected by coronavirus
- was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019
Who cannot apply
The following businesses are not eligible to apply:
- banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
- public-sector bodies
- further-education establishments, if they are grant-funded
- state-funded primary and secondary schools
If you’re already claiming funding You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
If you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020. How to apply The Bounce Back Loan scheme will launch on 4 May 2020. More information about the scheme will be published shortly
- For information on
small business grants
You can only access the small business grants scheme through this link. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from Wakefield Council, HMRC or any other government department, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.
For those paying income tax through self-assessment, payments on account due on 31st July 2020 this will be deferred until January 2021.
Help for employers
A Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebate scheme is being developed for SME's based in the UK, allowing them to reclaim SSP for sickness absence due to Covid-19. Employers should maintain records of absence, and employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required, employees with symptoms of Covid-19 can get an isolation note from
NHS 111 online. Those who live with someone with symptoms who are self-isolating can get a note from the
What if my staff are not able to work from home?
Can my business remain open or does it have to close?
The list of businesses and venues that must remain closed are on the government
In England, Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations and help businesses who wish to open in a different way to which they normally would, for example food businesses wishing to create a delivery service. If you would like to talk about how this applies to your business please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org
(including for non-food business queries) or on 0345 8 506 506 and ask to speak with someone from Environmental Health.
My business is open but I need help with the social distancing guidelines
Advice for employers on social distancing during Coronavirus can be found on the government
If you would like help regarding a specific business in Wakefield on interpreting the guidelines and how you can best fit them into your workplace please email
(including for non-food related businesses) or call us on 0345 8 506 506 and ask to speak with someone from Environmental Health
Who can I talk to?
Step up support
Our Step-Up team are on hand to provide businesses and staff with help with recruitment, training and redundancy advice.
To contact the team please contact 01924 303334 or email