Additional information on support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

The London Borough of Bromley's Business Support team has published the following additional information below on support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  For more information, please also visit their page on the Bromley Council website:

The packages of financial assistance announced by the Government to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic are being continually reviewed with additional guidance being provided on the government’s webpages regularly.  Business can use the government’s helpline to find out more about the measures that have been introduced.

The Council has summarised the support available and identified a range of additional sources of advice and support on our webpage dedicated to support for businesses during COVID-19.  This includes information about the Self Employment Income Support Scheme that had not been announced at the time of the last e-bulletin.

We are responsible for administering business rate relief and the small business grant and retail relief grant schemes.  We have now contacted around 4000 businesses that we believe are eligible for a grant.  Businesses can expect to see payment of the grant within 10 working days of having submitted an accurate and complete form confirming their eligibility.  If you think that your business is eligible but you have not heard from the Council, please complete the online form to request payment. 

The Council is also convening a Business Support Task Force with our partners including the borough’s Business Improvement Districts to coordinate support for businesses in navigating through the immediate crisis, and planning a business-led approach for the reestablishment of the local economy.  You can find out more by emailing

This e-bulletin provides businesses with additional information about accessing government assistance, provides information about sector specific advice, guidance and funding, and identifies ways in which businesses can contribute towards the effort to fight the virus.

Information in this e-bulletin is accurate at 14th April 2020.

Additional information about accessing government support

The government’s package of support for businesses now includes:

The government are regularly updating information relating to the range of support that is currently on offer.  A couple of updates to note:

  • The rate relief and grants available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses has been extended to include estate agents, betting shops and bingo halls with a ratable value of under £51k.
  • The government has updated their advice about Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  The online service that businesses will use to claim is not yet available but is expected by the end of April 2020.

Webinar Events

The UK Government’s Business Support website has a list of upcoming webinar events from Government and non-government partners about the packages of support that are available.  This includes useful webinars from the Federation of Small Businesses. You can find more information here.

HMRC are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. You can watch a video of the recorded webinar on the HMRC YouTube channel Coronavirus – (COVID-19): helping employers to support employees

Sector Specific Advice, Guidance and Funding

Social distancing in the workplace – new guidance

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published guidance for a range of sectors on social distancing in the workplace during Covid-19. The guidance covers a range of sectors including construction, waste management, transport, fishing and many more. Read more here.

Guidance for food businesses

Guidance for food businesses on COVID-19 has been published. You can also find a summary of the latest news and guidance from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Advice for Publicans

HMRC has introduced a temporary measure to help brewers and publicans in the destruction of spoilt beer during the coronavirus outbreak.

Website for businesses providing home delivery

A new website has been launched to help people find out which small businesses are providing vital supplies during the coronavirus lockdown. The site has been set up by a London couple behind the Local Buyers Club, which has been championing independent businesses for the past two years. The website highlights local businesses offering home delivery of essentials (and treats).

Advice for freelancers

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed has advice for freelancers and the self-employed during the pandemic. Read it here.

Small Businesses: Pay It Forward

Through the Pay it Forward campaign, small businesses can set-up a campaign to pre-sell their services and diversify trading now to ensure continuous cash flow. Crowdfunder is covering all platform and transaction fees making it free to small businesses.

Advice on employment issues

There are many employment issues arising out of the COVID-19 outbreak.  ACAS have produced a helpful guide for employers and employees that covers a range of issues:

Funding for the Arts and Heritage Sector

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has launched a £50m Heritage Emergency Fund to support those organisations in the UK heritage sector that most need support with cost pressures caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.  Applications open on 15th April 2020.  Find out more here.

Arts Council England has announced emergency funding to support arts organisations, museums and libraries through COVID-19

Support for Charities

In addition to the business support packages which are also available to the charitable sector, the Chancellor has announced an additional £750m funding for frontline charities.  This includes £360m of direct cash grants for charities providing vital services and helping the vulnerable people through the current crisis.  Another £370m will be made available to small and medium sized charities that are making a big difference to their local communities through the outbreak; some of this funding will be delivered through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund.  More here.

London Community Response Funding

London Funders are working in collaboration with a number of grant funding bodies to coordinate the London Community Response Fund.  Charitable and community organisations can apply for funding to help them to meet the immediate needs of the community, and to help them to deliver their services differently at this time.  More information here.

Other sources of grant funding for community organisations

Grants online are coordinating a regularly updated list of funds available to support charitable and community based organisations through the pandemic.

Ways to help fight COVID-19

Providing essential equipment and services

The government are interested in hearing from businesses that can support with the provision of the following:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement or engineering
  • social care or childcare

Tell the government how your business can help by completing the online form.

Personal Protective Equipment sought for care homes

The Council is seeking medical PPE for use in our care homes, including but not limited to:

  • masks
  • gloves
  • aprons
  • hand sanitizer

If you can provide this equipment, please email

Thank you to the Borough’s volunteers

Thousands of residents and businesses have offered their time and resources to support the Council’s efforts to support our most vulnerable residents.

The Council would like to extend their thanks to everyone involved in this effort.

Find out about how you can help and register to volunteer here.

Local Business Networking Groups

With over 3,500 members, the South East London Business Network (SELBN™) runs the region's largest LinkedIn group.  Engaging online with local business owners and professionals is an effective way to keep in touch and avoid feeling isolated, especially during these times.  There are no mandatory joining and membership fees.
More information may be found here, where you may also subscribe for their email updates.Follow @SELBN_UK via Twitter.  #SELBN

The Business Doctors Webinars

Are you a business owner feeling confused, helpless and in need of guidance due to coronavirus?

Business Doctors are here to help Bromley businesses with 2 x 40 mins free webinars to help them make the right decisions during the crisis.

Topics covered include:

  • Where to go for information
  • Stages of a ‘crisis’ and how I should react
  • What options are available to me at each stage
  • Making the most of unexpected opportunities
  • Best practices to protect my business, staff and customers
  • How to get ready for normality & growth
  • Ask questions relevant to your business

Webinar 1: Critical Operational and Cash Flow Actions (Mon 20th April 11am - 12pm)

Webinar 2: Stabilisation, Recovery and Growth (Tues 21st April 11am -12pm)

A list of local networking groups can also be found on our website

The next e-bulletin is scheduled for distribution on Wednesday 10th June. If you would like to contribute an article or information please contact Nina Terry on by the 29th May.

Bromley Business Support Team

Town Centre Management & Business Support,
London Borough Bromley B42a St Blaise, Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley BR1 3UH

Disclaimer: Please note the editor has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this e-bulletin, but we cannot always verify the authenticity of information that we receive from other organisations or individuals contained in the notices that we circulate within the Bromley Business e-bulletin. Readers should therefore independently satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of any information set out in such notices, as the London Borough Bromley will not accept any liability for inaccuracies contained in the information provided.