Updated on 30 March 2020

The Government has announced a package of financial measures to support businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Businesses will be able to access some of this support through the council. Please read the information below to find out how to access support.

Cash grants support

The process to claim one-off cash grants from Government is now open.

Find out more about the grants and how to claim them

Business rates support

A 12-month business rates holiday has been confirmed for nurseries occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID19 should be treated as occupied for the purposes of this relief. Government guidance can be found on the GOV.UK website.

A 12-month business rates holiday has been confirmed for retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England during the 2020-2021 tax year. Government guidance on the business uses in properties that will and will not benefit from the business rates relief can be found on GOV.uk

Local authorities, including Wirral Council, are working to issue revised 2020/21 bills as quickly as possible to qualifying ratepayers, in order to confirm that they will not need to pay any rates for the year.

Support for self-employed workers

Self-employed workers can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits, up to £2,500 a month, to help them cope with the financial impact of coronavirus.

People will be eligible if at least half their income has come from self-employment, as registered on the 2018-19 tax return filed in January. The scheme is open to self-employed people earning under £50,000 a year and payments will start in June.

HMRC will contact those that are eligible directly.

Find out more about support for self-employed workers

We will circulate new Government guidance as soon as it becomes available. Meanwhile we are making every effort to enable payment to be as quick and simple as possible. 

Other measures, to be administered through Government agencies

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where any employer will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover up to 80% of a worker’s wages who remains on payroll but is temporarily not working, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month. These will be backdated to 1 March and will be initially open for three months, to be extended if necessary.

Helpline for Wirral businesses

Further information is available from Wirral Chamber of Commerce which has opened a Business Support Helpline on 0151 650 6982 or by email to policy@wirralchamber.co.uk.

For the latest Government updates on these measures, visit the COVID-19 support for businesses site.

Other useful sources of information