Coronavirus (Covid-19) information for businesses and employers

GIN @ The Boat House Cafe business networking club Thurs 19th March 0930-1200
February 10, 2020
Don’t miss out on coronavirus cash
April 24, 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) information for businesses and employers

Update 11/05/2020: The UK Government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces in England are as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of the guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Each guide has specific actions for businesses to take based on 5 steps to working safely.

Update 02/05/2020: Top-up to local business grant funds scheme. A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures. N.B. Further guidance is awaited from Central Government before local authorities can implement the scheme. Therefore please check back here for updates.

Update 28/04/2020: New 100% government backed loan scheme for small businesses. The new Bounce Back Loans scheme, will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and from Monday 4 May, businesses can apply online through a short and simple form. 

Update 23/04/2020: Don’t miss out on free money to help you through the coronavirus crisis. That’s the message from the Council to eligible businesses and organisations in Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent who haven’t yet received a grant to help them survive the current situation. So far Gosport Borough Council has paid out £8.5 million in total, to 735 local claimants. To find out if they’re eligible for a grant, and to apply, businesses and organisations should go here or call 023 9254 5470.

Update 20/04/2020: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for applications. Employers can now claim online for a grant for 80% of their furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee. Click here to make a claim. HMRC have produced this step by step guidance on how to make a claim. There is also a calculator to help you work out your claim.

Update 15/04/2020: Over £7.2 million in grants paid to Gosport based businesses/organisations to date. More than 600 Small Business and Retail, Hospitality & Leisure grants have already been paid by Gosport Borough Council to eligible businesses and organisations. If a business or organisation believes it is eligible and has not yet been paid please check the Council’s website for details of the criteria and payment process.

Update 09/04/2020: Crisis volunteer service launches cash appeal. The Gosport Community Response volunteer service, set up by the council and GVA, needs to raise money to buy food for those in need, along with supplies including PPE, phones and computer kit. It also needs to cover volunteer checks, and expenses including petrol and equipment. Funding is also needed to cover running costs as it recruits more staff and volunteers to meet demand.

Update 06/04/2020: Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants are now being paid to eligible businesses and organisations by Gosport Borough Council. As at 04/04/2020 businesses in Gosport have been given a total of more than £2.6m in grants, to help them through the coronavirus emergency. See related content below for more details about the eligibility criteria and the grant payment process.

Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality & Leisure (RHL) Grants

These Government funded grants are being implemented via Local Authorities and the business rates system. They are as follows:

  • Small Business Grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses and organisations in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief as at 11/03/2020.
  • RHL Grant funding of £10,000 for eligible businesses/organisations in those sectors occupying premises as at 11/03/2020 with a rateable value of up to £14,999.
  • RHL Grant funding of £25,000 for eligible businesses/organisations in those sectors occupying premises as at 11/03/2020 with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000.

RHL businesses in the eligible sectors will also qualify for a business rates payment holiday during the 2020/21 financial year.

For more information about these grants, including sector eligibility please see the Government’s Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance.

For more details of its implementation locally, including the payment process please see the Business Rates section of Gosport Borough Council’s website. Grant payments are already being made to eligible businesses.

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s ‘Pay it Forward’ Grant (£2,000 or £5,000)

The Solent LEP’s ‘Pay it Forward’ fund is seeking projects that can demonstrate how they will help a business cope with current challenging trading conditions. There is a maximum pledge of up to £2,000 per micro business (fewer than 10 staff) and up to £5,000 per small business (fewer than 50 staff) available, contributing up to 50% towards the total target.  For more details please see the Solent LEP website.

Government provided business advice and support information

Please see the following links for the information and latest updates provided by the Government:

This includes specific information on:

Gosport Borough Council provided information

General service related information and advice

Processing invoices for payment of goods and services provided

All council suppliers are advised to email scan copies of invoices to

Other locally provided business advice and support information

Both Enterprise South and WSX Enterprise are offering free 1-2-1 advice to local start-up and small businesses, see:

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and its Solent Growth Hub are offering business advice and financial support, including the Crowdfunder’s Pay it Forward grant scheme for the self-employed, micro and small businesses :

Plus from the Federation of Small Businesses and Hampshire Chamber of Commerce: