Covid-19 - Help and support for businesses

Posted on: 26/03/2020
KTN has pulled together a list of schemes and organisations to contact or visit online for further information.

The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting families across the UK, and on top of the obvious health concerns you have for your family and friends, we know businesses are feeling worried.

KTN is all about collaboration and working together to solve problems. As an innovation network, it is more important than ever that we do everything we can to both tackle the virus and its knock-on effects, and to help shore up the economy and drive forward innovation for good.

It is unlikely you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for from one source. That’s why we’ve pulled together a list, in no particular order, of schemes and organisations you may want to either contact, or visit their website to find further information. Something to add to our list? Email

A wider variety of funding can be found at our Covid-19 funding round-up page.

Coronavirus business innovation support package (for Innovate UK award holders):

  • Continuity loans: Up to £210 million is available in continuity loans to SMEs and third sector organisations that have a challenge in continuing a live project for which they are have an award from Innovate UK. Loans are for organisations that that find themselves facing a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funds resulting directly from the COVID-19 pandemic. This innovation continuity loan may be suitable if you need funding of between £250,000 and £1,600,000. These will be open until all the funds are allocated or until 31st December 2020, whichever is sooner.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – a new scheme delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable small and medium sized businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5m, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses and with no interest due for the first 12 months.

£10,000 cash grant to small businesses – there will be a £10,000 cash grant to small firms eligible for Small Business Rate Relief. This will be delivered by Local Authorities. Your local authority will have more information on this. In addition, a £25,000 cash grant will be available for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Increased Business Rates Relief – the UK government is temporarily increasing the Business Rates discount to all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors to 100% for 2020-21, irrespective of rateable value. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to your relevant local authority.

Time to Pay upscaled – a dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. Contact number 0800 0159 559.

Envestors Unprecedented is the hub for businesses directly engaged in the fight against Covid-19 and those helping to minimise its impact. A single place to find mentors, partners and investment, Envestors Unprecendented has been built to help these businesses get the support they need to minimise the global impact of this pandemic.

The Silicon Valley Bank COVID-19 Global Impact & Innovation Fund – Its mission is to mobilize the innovation community to fund direct relief and long-term resilience in the face of COVID-19.

Other sources of information

The Government Business Support services for England, ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

Impact of Coronavirus on UK Research and Innovation-supported research can be found here.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has a FAQ section which is particularly useful for small businesses and the self-employed.

The CBI has collated guidance for business based on evidence from the government, trade associations and the business community. They also have a daily webinar with insight and analysis (membership not required).

The Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) coronavirus support can be accessed here.

The European Commission has built a Covid-19 webpage on their funding and tender portal, which captures all the latest updates on current extensions of H2020 calls.

Need further help?

Try speaking to your local Growth Hub if you’re in England, which may be able to provide free tailored advice by phone. Find yours here.

Scottish Enterprise – Scotland’s business advice, support and funding agency.

Welsh Government’s Business Wales – Supporting businesses in Wales.

Invest NI – Support for businesses in Northern Ireland.

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