COVID-19 Business Update 18/03/2020

This email is part of a regular update I send out to businesses in Scunthorpe. If you have not received this email directly from me please click here to subscribe to my COVID-19 Business newsletter. 

Update - 18/03/2020 

Yesterday the Chancellor announced a further £330bil worth of measures to support businesses. This includes: 

  • A COVID-19 Business interruption loan scheme of up to £5m for businesses, with no interest for the first 6 months 
  • The Government has negotiated and secured from the insurance industry the understanding that the Government's action (advising residents to not go to out) will satisfy the requirement for business interruption cover for pandemics in place. Your insurance broker should give you an update. Please let me know if they are still refusing claims and I will be on their case. 
  • All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England  will benefit from a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months, regardless of rateable value. 
  • Increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000. (see below for application details) 
  • £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.

I understand that he is currently consulting unions and business leaders for direct support on cash flows and fixed costs - he is very aware of the fixed cost element of businesses and is keen to ensure that businesses can retain as many employees as possible. More updates to follow in the coming days.

I have heard concerns regarding the current state of Statutory Sick Pay. I have raised it with the Treasury team and I am working with my colleagues to secure more Government support on this matter. The Government will also be in contact with the Council to provide more support for social care and local services. 

Business grants 

Having worked with NLC and the Treasury team for the past few days, I am pleased to say that North Lincs Council has set up a support line for business grants, with more guidance to follow tomorrow.  Please get in touch with for more information, and their hotline 01724 297330 will be available from tomorrow.  

As usual please do not hesitate to contact me via my email if you need any further help. If you know of any other businesses that will appreciate future updates please get them in touch via my email or my website's contact form quoting "COVID-19 business support mailing list".

Yours sincerely,  


Useful links and contacts: 

General outline of planned support by the Government in light of COVID-19. COVID-19 Guideline for employers COVID-19 Guidance for businesses


Contact Business Support Helpline


You can contact the government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice.
You can also find free support, advice and sources of finance through your local ‘growth hub’.
Business Support Helpline (England)

Telephone: 0300 456 3565
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges
The Business Support Helpline for England is also on:

Other business support helplines:

Support from banks

Barclays has in place to help businesses and customers that could find themselves affected by COVID-19.
They currently have have lending policies and products which allow them to support businesses with supply chain disruption, or any other impact.
They are offering:

  • Access to Funding – 360,000 SMEs have pre-assessed lending limits which can be accessed via the Barclays app or online banking.
  • 12-month capital repayment holidays on existing loans over £25,000.
  • Increased or new overdraft facilities and other working capital solutions.

They have asked for any business that wants to access this support, or just talk though the options, to reach out to their Barclays Relationship Manager.
For their personal customers, they are:

  • Encouraging customers to speak to our specialist teams who can help those facing financial difficulty.
  • Removing penalty charges to access fixed savings accounts early.
  • Enabling customers to apply for a temporary increase on their credit card limit.

Any customers suffering hardship as a result of COVID-19 can contact Barclay’s specialist support team if they are experiencing problems making repayments to their mortgage, overdraft, personal loans or credit cards.
These customers can also access their fixed savings accounts early without paying any penalty charges.
Similar announcement by NatWestHSBC and Lloyds Banking group