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Businesses, employers and jobs

Last reviewed on 30 November 2020

Advice for employers and business owners

We are working with our partners to ensure that local businesses are given the support and advice they need at this crucial time. We've produced a comprehensive business resource pack that you can download.

For the latest information and advice, business owners and self-employed people should read the government's business support portal.

The government has extended its Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme, in which businesses can claim funding for furloughed staff's wages, until October. You can find out what you need to have before you claim, and how to claim.

The government has announced businesses will be given an additional three months to file accounts with Companies House, to help them avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

HMRC have launched a tax helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus. The number is 0800 0159 559 and find out more about what it can offer help with.

Here's a useful guide explaining what COVID-19 business support is available and how it can be accessed.

If you would like to speak to a member of our Business Liaison team, please contact adamsanderson@sthelens.gov.uk

Business grants

Local Restrictions Support Grant (for businesses that have been required to close due to local restrictions)

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions.

Businesses that have been required to close due to local Tier 3 restrictions with effect from 14 October 2020 will received a grant for each 14-day period they are required to close. From 5 November 2020, businesses that are mandated to close due to new national restrictions will receive a grant for the 28-day period of closure, as follows:

Rateable value 14-days  28-days
Less than or equal to £15,000 £667 £1,334
£15,001 and less than £51,000 £1,000 £2,000
£51,000 or greater £1,500 £3,000

Businesses that have been required to remain closed since 23 March 2020, e.g. night clubs, will be eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) from 1 November 2020.

Businesses that have not been required to close but have been severely impacted by local restrictions should apply to the Liverpool City Region scheme (see below).

Further guidance and online application form


Liverpool City Region Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grants (Expanded Scheme)

This new combined funding pot of £9.5m has been established with funds from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) and Additional Restrictions Grant, in order to support retail businesses forced to close due to lockdown, as well as the supply chain supporting the hospitality and leisure sectors, that haven't met criteria to receive financial support 

St Helens Borough, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral councils have all been involved in the development of and have signed up to this scheme. 

The Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grants (Expanded Scheme) will be open for applications from businesses that meet the eligibility criteria from 10.00 am on Monday 30 November AND CLOSE at 5.00pm on Friday 11 December 2020.

 Who can apply?

  • Retail businesses that operate from commercial retail premises, have been forced to close due to national restrictions, and that are not eligible for Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).


  • Businesses that directly supply the Hospitality and Leisure sectors, that are not eligible for Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and that operate from commercial premises.


  • Home based businesses, for example a self-employed person, sole trader, or a limited company that predominantly works in or supplies the Hospitality and Leisure sectors, and can no longer generate income through usual channels, for example face to face, and has ongoing business-related costs. Licensed Market traders are eligible to apply under this category.

To be eligible for the above business must meet the below eligibility criteria:


- Be a small or micro business based in the Liverpool City Region (covering the local authority areas of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St                Helens, Sefton and Wirral)

- Have been trading since 11 March 2020.

- Have not been eligible or received a grant from a local authority from October 2020 onwards.

- Employ one or more FTE equivalent employee(s).

- Be able to demonstrate that its trading activities have been significantly and negatively impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

- Be State Aid compliant.

- Still be trading on or before 1st October 2020.





The Liverpool City Region Hospitality & Leisure Support Grant

This grant scheme is now closed. Please contact hospitalitysupport@sthelens.gov.uk if you have any queries relating to existing applications for this scheme.


Coronavirus Bounce Back Loans

The government announced on 27 April a loan scheme for small and medium sized businesses who can get loans between £2,000 and £50,000. Find out more and which banks are offering the loans.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Scheme

Businesses with fewer than 250 staff can apply to recover the costs of paying for coronavirus-related statutory sick pay for two weeks. Find information on how to apply.

Loan scheme for large businesses

It was announced on 17 April that the government-backed loan scheme for large businesses affected by coronavirus has been expanded to cover all viable firms. Now, all viable businesses with turnover of more than £45m will be able to apply for government-backed support.

This complements existing support including the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. More details of this announcement can be found at https://bit.ly/loanschemeext.

Support for self-employed people

The government has announced an extension and second taxable grant to support self-employed individuals who have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

The second grant equates to 70% of your average monthly trading profits and is available to self-employed individuals who meet the eligibility criteria.

Applications for the second and final grant are now open. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

Find out if you are eligible and claim.

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund for 18 to 30-year-olds

The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. Find out more 

Business Rates Relief

Eligible businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality and childcare nurseries will receive a 100 per cent business rate relief in 2020-21. 

Other guidance for businesses

Please see St Helens Chamber and the Liverpool City Region's Growth Platform for a suite of resources and support for local businesses.

Any business can also obtain advice and assistance from the Growth Hub, please call 01744 742444 or email your concerns to growthhub@sthelenschamber.com.

Advice for employees

To help those on low incomes who are unable to work from home and must self-isolate, the government has announced it will provide a £500 ‘Test and Trace Support’ payment.

You can also read the government's general guidance for employees affected by coronavirus, including information on working from home and sick pay.

Advice if you have been made redundant or need to contact job centres

Job centres are now closed to visitors. Anyone wanting to make contact with their work coach or case manager is urged to do so through their online journals or call 01744 698059, 01744 698228 or 698145. 

You can find out more about Universal Credit online for those looking to apply.

Any St Helens resident who requires help and support getting back into employment as a result of the ongoing coronavirus situation, please contact our Ways to Work Team for advice and guidance. Email waystowork@sthelens.gov.uk or call 01744 676131.

The National Careers Service (NCS) for St Helens is available to assist newly laid off or individuals under notice of redundancy. Call National Careers Service for more information on 01744 698800.

Support for social businesses

A fund of £65,000 of business support for community and social businesses to help them cope with the impact of COVID-19 has been launched by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

In these difficult times, businesses are finding new ways to support residents through no-contact deliveries, online sessions and much more to help people stay safe and stay at home.

We're maintaining a list of the businesses who are offering these options. If you know of a business not on the list,  please email mediateam@sthelens.gov.uk.

Guidance for food and drink businesses

Many local food and drink businesses are now offering delivery services where they haven’t before.

We’ve published some guidance on our website to ensure properly registered businesses can diversify safely, on everything from food preparation and handling to contact-free payment and delivery.

Our licensing team can also provide information and support if you're an alcohol/entertainment business or a taxi driver.

For advice on financial support for businesses, visit www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

Households into Work is a unique and innovative programme of support for people living in households across the Liverpool City Region, who because of their circumstances have difficulty finding and sustaining employment.

Working with you, your family and your friends for up to one year, we provide personalised support as well as connecting you with services that will eventually help move you closer to work.

Email hiw@sthelens.gov.uk or phone 07802 378918.