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Coronavirus Business Support

Icon’s recent Coronavirus survey indicated that many conservators are awaiting further clarification of available Government support measures.

This confirms Icon’s view that there is a notable need for further business support advice to help people navigate and access different support options and is a call for action that has featured continuously in our recent lobbying and advocacy work.

To help our members and the wider sector, we have compiled a digest of available support for businesses and freelancers below.

UK Government financial support

Information on key support measures:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be backdated to March 19 and available for at least three months, with the first grants to be paid within weeks.
  • Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to help eligible freelance workers receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.  Those eligible will receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the three years up to 2018/19.
  • Deferral of the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June - representing a £30bn injection into the economy.
  • £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses. The Chancellor has extended the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme so that all viable small and large businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.
  • Grant schemes - Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be eligible for a £25,000 cash grant per property, for each property that has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. These businesses will also have a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year.
  • HMT Future Fund - A package of measures to support pre-revenue firms such as innovative and competitive companies in the tech and creative sectors. These bridging loans, as well as extra support from Innovate UK and the British Business Bank, will bring much-needed aid to businesses across DCMS sectors.


Devolved administrations

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support:


Funding from arms-length bodies

  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund announced £50m for a Heritage Emergency Fund to support organisations across the full breadth of heritage, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.
  • Historic England have also launched a £2 million Emergency Response Fund to help tackle the impact of Coronavirus across the heritage sector. The fund will provide support to small heritage organisations and skilled craftspeople to survive the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, and to prepare for recovery.



Return to Coronavirus guidance hub