Northumberland Business Hub

The latest information and advice for businesses affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Northumberland County Council and Government are working together to support businesses through this challenging time. Our businesses are vitally important to our county.

The council has established a Business Hub with a specialist team who will work hard to support businesses and employers. We will support you both during and after the current Coronavirus outbreak.

The Government has recently announced business support measures to provide financial assistance to small businesses.

Here you will find more details about these measures, including how to register for Government grants.
The latest updates in business grant funding and loans as a response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated 27 March 2020

Small Business Grant Fund

Any small business (properties with a Rateable Value less than £15,000) in any sector who were in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief on 11 March 2020 may be eligible for a £10,000 small business grant payment.

Please complete the online form here if you think you may be eligible.  Your details and business bank details will need to be validated by the Council before we can pay the grant.


Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant

Any retail/hospitality/leisure business operating from premises with a Rateable Value of less than £15,000 (and not in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief) may be eligible for a £10,000 grant.

Any retail/hospitality/leisure business operating from premises with a Rateable Value between £15,000 and £51,000 on 11 March 2020 may be eligible for a £25,000 grant.

Please complete the online form here if you think you may be eligible.  Your details and business bank details need to be validated by the Council before we can pay the grant.

If you are having difficulty completing the form please email Please provide a contact telephone number in your email in case we need to get in touch with you.

Further guidance and detail on the criteria for the above grants is available here.

Larger Businesses

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility
The government has introduced a financing facility where the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. Operating initially for 12 months, it’s intended to relieve cash flow pressures.  Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of up to £45m to apply for Government-backed finance up to £5m. The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. 

Please click here for more information about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
If you would like to discuss support available for businesses impacted by COVID-19 please get in touch with us by completing the form below:

One of the team will get back in touch with you within 24-48 hours. 
Changes in business rates as a response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This information was last updated 27 March 2020

Business Rate Relief

The Government has announced the intention to increase the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for the 2020-21 tax year for properties below £51,000 rateable value.

All retail/hospitality/leisure businesses in England will get a 100% retail rates relief discount for the next 12 months.

You will receive a revised bill confirming that no payment is due for 2020/21.  This means that we won’t be collecting any business rates direct debit payments for these businesses in 2020/2021.

PLEASE NOTE: You must not cancel your direct debit, but you won’t pay anything in the meantime.
We’ve heard from lots of self-employed residents who are worried about their current situation.

The government has just announced the new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). If you’re self-employed, your Income Tax payments will be delayed.

The new income support scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. There are some conditions for applications. 

PLEASE NOTE: You cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Find out more about the self-employment income support scheme here.
Find other support for businesses below

This information was updated on 27 March 2020

Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID-19

The UK Government has produced guidance for employers about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and how to treat staff presenting with symptoms. The guide also provides information on support for employers and businesses.

Please click here for the Government’s guidance for employers and businesses.

Deferring your self-assessment payment

If you are due to make a self-assessment payment to HMRC on 31 July 2020, you can now have this payment deferred until January 2021. 

There is no need to apply for this. If you choose to defer, you won’t be charged any penalties or interest.

Find out more about deferring your self-assessment payment here.

Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the payroll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020 and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary. HMRC will set out more details shortly.

Statutory Sick Pay

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the UK Government in full.

This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave. 

Time to Pay

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress caused by COVID-19 and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. 

Your business may be able to agree to a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. Please call 0800 0159 559 for more information.

Support for UK exporters

Export, supply, and UK Export Finance may have also been impacted by COVID-19.

Please click here for support for UK exporters.

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

There is a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, we may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. We will do this as soon as possible.

North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit 

To keep up to date with the latest updates and guidance visit the North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit:

Please click here for more information about the toolkit.

Request for UK Industry support

The UK Government has issued a call to action to companies who have the capabilities to repurpose their staff and facilities to make ventilators to assist in treating patients affected by COVID-19. 

If your business is able to support this request - please either call 0300 456 3565 or email 
Further background to the request can be found by clicking here. 

Useful links for businesses

Enquiries relating to business support measures in Northumberland should be emailed to