Most businesses will be temporarily closed as we fight this virus. 

This includes following businesses:

  • Food & drink venues (food delivery and takeaway can remain operational)
  • Cinemas, theatres, concert and bingo halls
  • Spas, indoor leisure and gyms 
  • Casinos & betting shops 
  • Museums & galleries
  • Hairdressers, barbers, and beauty salons
  • All retail with notable exceptions

A full list of businesses that must close and exceptions can be found here


  • The Chancellor will make available £330bn of Government guaranteed business continuity loans – equivalent to 15% of our GDP.
  • FOR BIG BUSINESSES: a new lending facility will be established to produce LOW COST commercial loans.
  • FOR SMEs: the Business Interruption Loan Scheme announced at the Budget will be extended, allowing loans of up to £5m with NO interest for the first 12 months. Those loans will now be available on Monday.
  •  VAT payments for the next quarter have been deferred. No business will pay VAT from now to mid June. You'll have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.
  • If demand is greater than the £330bn, more will be made available.


  • ALL businesses in the retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors will pay ZERO business rates for 12 months.
  • Businesses with rateable values under £51k will be provided with a cash grant of up to £25k per business.
  • For businesses that DO have pandemic cover within their insurance, the Government has said categorically that they will be eligible to make claims against their insurance for Coronavirus.


  • For the smallest businesses in any sector who are already business rates exempt, the Chancellor announced grants of £3k at the Budget. This will be extended, providing grants of £10k.



  • Anyone, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities, with a UK payroll can apply to furlough staff and claim 80% of your employees’ monthly wages
  • This online service is expected to be running by 20th April
  • Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and can continue to train whilst furloughed. They must be paid at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage
  • You will still need to pay National Insurance and pension contributions on behalf of your furloughed employees, these too can be claimed
  • Employees can be on any type of employment contract, and foreign nationals are also eligible to be furloughed
  • Employees redundant, or those who have stopped working for you on or after 28 February 2020, can be re-employed and furloughed with their wages paid through the scheme
  • If your employee is on sick leave or self-isolating, they’ll be able to get Statutory Sick Pay.
  • Those shielding in line with public health guidance or caring for a family or vulnerable peoples can be furloughed, and if they are unable to work from home and you would otherwise have to make them redundant

Find details on what you will need and how to claim for employees here:

With the link below you will also find guidance for employees with more than one job, those on a fixed-term contract, eligible individuals who are not employees, office holders, company directors, agency workers, employees undertaking training and leave pay.