Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Advice for businesses

Financial support for businesses due to the impact of COVID-19

The Chancellor announced a number of reliefs in order to support residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during March. In total, the government will guarantee £330bn of loans to businesses, as well as a range of other support.

You can find out more about the different types of financial support available, below.


  • Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund - Second round now closed.

    Test Valley Borough Council is launching a second round of applications for its discretionary grant fund. The scheme is now open for applications and will close at 23:59 on Friday 31 July. All applications will be processed after the closing date.

    The authority has paid out grants of more than £1M following the first round of applications that closed last month. However, there is still funding available, so anyone who did not apply first time round has another chance to apply for a grant. Grants are available to support businesses that have ongoing property-related costs and have seen their income affected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Council’s policy allows for grant payments of £2,500; £5,000; £7,500 or £10,000 to small businesses with fixed ongoing property-related costs but which fall outside the eligibility criteria for the existing business grant schemes. Details of the eligibility criteria for the grants is contained in the policy which can be downloaded from this page.

    Any grant payments will not need to be paid back (unless fraud is later discovered), but will be taxable.

    Government guidance is available to download here.
    Download and view the policy and check eligibility here (pdf, 233kb)

  • Coronavirus Business Support - GOV.UK

    A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.

    The Business Support page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

    You can visit the website here:

  • Retail relief

    In the Budget address from the Chancellor, it was announced that Retail Relief would be increased to 100 per cent for all retail businesses in 2020/21, and that the relief would be extended to include all hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

    This was further extended in his announcement on March 17 to ensure that all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses would receive a 100 per cent rate relief in 2020/21, irrespective of their rateable value.

    The council has awarded £6 million of Retail Relief to more than 500 businesses in the borough since this announcement was made.

    This updated announcement effectively removes the increase in Pub Relief that had initially been announced in the Budget, with all pubs now qualifying for the 100 per cent Retail Relief.

    Further information can be found here:

  • Hardship fund

    As part of its response to COVID-19, the government announced in the Budget on 11 March that it would provide local authorities in England with £500 million of new grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area.

    For more information please visit:

  • Small Business Grant - Closed

    The government has confirmed that businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief on the 11th March 2020 will be eligible to receive a business support grant of £10,000.

    Grants will also be available to businesses that were eligible for the expanded Retail Relief on 11th March. For properties with a rateable value of up to £15,000 the grant will be £10,000; for properties with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £50,999, the grant will be £25,000.

    Grants will be available per property and will subject to State Aid de minimis rules.

    A copy of the official guidance is available here: Small Business Grant Fund and Retail guidance