COVID-19: Support for businesses

Support for businesses during lockdown

The Council is in the process of working on other discretionary grant schemes for businesses which may not qualify for the below grant. We will publish details here and on social media as soon as possible. We will not be able to respond to individual queries at this time.

In the meantime, please keep monitoring our website and social media for updates. We will not be able to respond to individual queries around eligibility at this time.

The Chancellor has announced support measures for businesses forced to close from 5 November to 2 December due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the Council is supporting businesses

It is a priority that we do everything to enable the business sector to bounce back following this period of immense uncertainty. The Council will continue to advocate with a strong voice for the needs of businesses in Wandsworth to ensure we get through this situation as a cohesive and enterprising community. Key sources of support from Government and others are set out below. 

For a full range of Government support offers please head to the Government's business support website. To keep up to date with local business news, sign up to receive the Council's business newsletter and to find out more about business support programmes and events provided by the Council and its partners, visit the Wandsworth Enterprise Hub.

Available support

See guidance on how to manage your business safely.

Additional guidance

Further information on COVID-19 support for your business can be found on the following websites:

If you have a query that isn’t covered by this guidance, please contact the Business Support Helpline.

Commercial tenants

In March 2020, the government announced that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. These measures included in the emergency Coronavirus Bill will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they have missed a payment from 23 March 2020. On 16 September 2020, the Government announced that commercial tenants will continue to be protected from the risk of eviction until the end of 2020. 

Coronavirus sick pay scheme

The scheme allows small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 members of staff, to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay for two weeks - worth nearly £200 per employee. Find out more and apply.

Financial support and cashflow

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

On 4 May 2020, the Government launched a new scheme for those in need of smaller business loans. Businesses can apply for the new Bounce Back Loans between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. The Government will pay the interest for the first 12 months and support lending by guaranteeing 100% of the loan. 

The deadline to apply for a Bounce Back Loan has been extended to 31 January 2021. Find out more and apply.

On 10 November, the British Business Bank announced that participating lenders in the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) are able to offer smaller businesses across the UK a ‘top-up’ to their existing Bounce Back Loan if they originally borrowed less than the maximum amount available to them.

A borrower can apply for a top-up that is for the lesser of £50k or 25% of the annual turnover the borrower certified in their original successful BBLS application form, minus the value of their original loan. Read more

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is available for SMEs through more than 40 accredited lenders across the UK. The scheme, which offers loans of up to £5 million, is being delivered by the British Business Bank and will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan.

Large businesses with an annual turnover of over £45 million per year can apply for up to £25 million of finance from the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

Lenders will be given the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years. Applications for the CBIL scheme have been extended until 31 January 2021. 

Corporate Financing Facility

The Corporate Financing Facility helps large businesses affected by coronavirus through the purchase of their short-term debt by the Bank of England where the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

Pay as you grow scheme

The Pay as You Grow scheme will support businesses with loans to repay.

By extending the repayment of the Bounce Back Loan from six to ten years, it almost halves the average monthly repayment and will allow businesses to make interest-only payments or suspend payments entirely for up to six months. Read more

Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (known as the furlough scheme), will remain open until 31 March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Read more on GOV.UK.

Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses

Businesses that are eligible are those that are subject to Business Rates only and have been mandated to close by government, including non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.

Businesses that, as a result of the lockdown restrictions, are now operating 'click and collect' and takeaway will still be eligible for the grant unless that is the main business. For example, a restaurant which has started up a takeaway service is still deemed to be closed but a food delivery kitchen which only does takeaway would not be eligible.

For more information view Business rates grants.

Tax cuts and deferrals

The temporary 15 per cent VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors is extended until the end of March 2021. Businesses unable to pay the full amount by this date, can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.

Businesses that have deferred their VAT bills and unable to pay the full amount by this date, can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.

Rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end March next year, they will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year. 

Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the 'Time to Pay' self-service facility. This means that payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

Transport for London tenant rent relief

TfL are offering their tenants help including financial support – so that their tenants can maintain their business during and after the pandemic.

More information on TfL  tenant support.

Support for businesses trading internationally

Advice for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of coronavirus can be found on GOV.UK.

Support for the self-employed

Read about how the self-employed can access help.