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Latest News & Advice For Business Owners


Find out the latest Government funding news and advice for small- and medium-sized businesses. Please read our information below about grants and schemes which may benefit your business.

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New funding for businesses hit by Omicron


Omicron-hit businesses will be able to tap into new Government funding via their local authorities in the next few weeks.

Up to £6000 in grants will be available to companies within the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors, depending on their rateable value.

Details of the funding structure are shown below:

  • businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above: £6,000
  • businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: £4,000
  • businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below: £2,667.

Eligible businesses include those that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors. For example, this includes businesses whose main function is providing a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink, those that provide facilities linked to recreation and entertainment, as well as businesses whose main premise is used for holiday accommodation.

Added: Jan 2022

New Restart Grant scheme


Up to £18,000 in funding is available to eligible businesses under the Restart Grants scheme launched this month.

Businesses in the non-essential retail sector can apply for one off grants up to £6,000, whilst businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors, which are reopening later, will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £18,000.

The £5 billion scheme is being delivered by local authorities.
Added: April 2021

Furlough scheme extension until Sept 2021


The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021 and the level of grant available to employers under the scheme will stay the same until 30 June 2021.

However, changes are planned from 1 July 2021: the level of grant will be reduced and businesses will be asked to contribute towards the cost of their furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible for the grant, you must continue to pay your furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they spend on furlough.

Added: March 2021


Self employment Income Support Scheme Fifth Grant


From late July, self employed people or members of a partnership can claim for a fifth grant  from the Government covering the period from May-September 2021.

In order to be eligible, you must be currently trading but are experiencing reduced demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, or have had to temporarily cease trading as a result of the pandemic.

Your business must also have traded between 2019-2020 (with a tax return submitted on or before March 2 2021) or 2020-2021. 

The amount of Government assistance will be determined by how much turnover was reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021. The maximum grant is £7,500.

Added: June 2021

Greater flexibility for loan borrowers


The Government has announced that businesses who took the Bounce Back Loan now have the option to delay all repayments for a further six months.

The Chancellor’s Pay as You Grow repayment flexibilities now include the option to delay all repayments for a further six months, meaning businesses can choose to make no payments on their loans until 18 months after they originally took them out. The option to pause repayments will now be available to all from their first repayment, rather than after six repayments have been made.

Pay as You Grow will also enable borrowers to extend the length of their loans from six to ten years (reducing monthly repayments by almost half) and make interest-only payments for six months, in order to tailor their repayment schedule to suit their individual circumstances.

These Pay as You Grow options will be available to more than 1.4 million businesses which took out a total of nearly £45 billion through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

This is in addition to the government covering the costs of interest for the first year of the loan.

Added: February 2021


Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment


The Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions that began on 5 January 2021.

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council.

Your business may be eligible if it:

* is based in England
* occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
* has been required to close because of the national restrictions from 5 January 2021 onwards
* has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises.

This could include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities, tourism and hospitality businesses. It could also include businesses that operate primarily as an in-person venue, but which have been forced to close those services and provide a takeaway-only service instead.

Eligible businesses can get one grant for each non-domestic property.

Added: February 2021


Update: Removal of threshold for Kickstart Scheme for small businesses


From 3 February 2021, employers can apply directly to the Kickstart Scheme for any number of job placements. The Government is removing the threshold of 30 job placements, which was required when the scheme was launched last September.

Small businesses can also choose to apply through a Kickstart gateway, including those supporting sole traders.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit, who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

* 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months;
* associated employer National Insurance contributions;
* employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

Added: February 2021


Furlough scheme extension until March 2021


The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – better known as the furlough scheme – will be extended until the end of March 2021.

Furloughed employees will receive up to 80% of their average earnings, worth up to £2,500 a month, until the plan. This will be available to workers in all UK nations.

The CJRS was due to finish on 31 October 2020, before being extended until December 2020 due to the announcement that England would go into a full four-week lockdown.

In today's announcement, the government will pay 80% of a worker’s salary, while the employer will have to meet the cost of National Insurance payments and pension contributions. This makes the scheme operate on the same terms as it did in August.

Added: 5 November.


Business support round up


Here is an update of the latest government support packages available to small business owners following the announcement of the second national lockdown planned from 5 November.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Extended

Employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, until December.

Initial government guidance is that the scheme applies to businesses of all sizes, including charities and not-for-profit.  Employers will have flexibility about bringing back staff on a part-time basis or furloughing them full time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions (typically just 5% of employment costs). You do not have to have accessed the furlough scheme before to be eligible.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme - Extended

The scheme has been extended until April 2021 in the form of two grants, each available for a three month period – November 2020 to January 2021 and then February 2021 until April 2021 – with the grants being paid in two lump sums covering each period.

To be eligible, you must be self employed and:

Have been eligible for the first and second grant of the SEISS, even if you didn’t claim it
Declare that you intend to continue to trade and either:
Are currently trading, but have reduced demand due to Covid-19
Are temporarily unable to trade due to Covid019
The level of support will taper, to match the planned replacement of the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme with the less generous Job Support Scheme in December and January:
1 November 2020 – 31 January 2021: a grant of 55% of average monthly trading profits, paid out as a single grant to cover three months of profits, capped at £5,160 in total.
1 February 2021 – 30 April 2021: the level of the grant is still to be decided, but expect it to be lower.
The grants are taxable and are also subject to National Insurance contributions.

The online service for the next grant is due to be available from 30 November 2020, when details on how to apply will also be provided by HMRC, so make a note in your diary to check then.

Local Restrictions Support Grant

If the new restrictions mean you have to close your business premise – for example if you are in the hospitality, leisure or non-essential retail sectors – you may be able to apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant , worth up to £3,000, depending upon the rateable value of your workplace:

Rateable value up to £15,000: grants = £1,334 per month or £667 per two weeks
Rateable value £15,000-£51,000: grants = £2,000 per month or £1,000 per two weeks
Rateable value more than £51,000: grants = £3,000 per month or £1,500 per two weeks

Added: 4 November


Job Support Scheme Expansion


The government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded from November 1  to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work - protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted.

The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions. Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days. The scheme will be available for six months.

The government is also increasing the cash grants to businesses shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks.

Added: 12 October 2020


Jobs Support Scheme


Small- and medium-sized businesses can apply for help under a new Jobs Support Scheme to subsidise the wages of people in work.

Starting in November, the initiative is designed to replace the furlough scheme when it finishes at the end of October and will run for 6 months.

Businesses will have the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours, rather than making them redundant. Workers must work a third of their usual hours, paid by their employer as normal. For the time they are not working, the government will pay a third of their usual pay, and the employer will pay a third of their usual pay. Including the pay for the hours they are working, the Treasury says this means workers will get 77% of their usual pay.

The scheme is intended for small and medium-sized firms. Big companies can only apply if turnover has fallen by a third.

Firms can claim both the jobs support scheme and the jobs retention bonus. A grant for self-employed workers will be extended on similar terms.

The deadline for application of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is 4 November 2020.

Added: 24 September 2020


Business Loans Extension


A new “pay as you grow” scheme has been implemented by the Government to help companies repay state-backed business loans.

Loans can be extended from six to 10 years, almost halving repayments. Interest-only payments can be made, and firms facing “real trouble” can suspend their payouts.

All of the government’s state-backed loan schemes will be extended until the end of 2020.

A new guarantee loan programme will begin in January.

Added: 24 September 2020


Kickstart Scheme Funding for Businesses Hiring Young People


Businesses seeking to hire young people can now apply for funding via the Government's new Kickstart Scheme .

Employers must create new 6-month job placements for people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements should support new employees by developing the skills and experience they need to find long term work after completing the scheme.

Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Added: 2 September 2020


Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Scheme: Second Round for Swale businesses


Swale Borough Council has opened the COVID-19 discretionary grant scheme for a second round.
The council paid more than £1 million to local small businesses in the first round. It has expanded the eligibility criteria to include:
• Small businesses in shared premises or other flexible workspaces, e.g. industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc, which do not have their own business rates assessment;
• Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
• B&B’s that pay Council Tax instead of business rates;
• Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief that could otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief; and
• Businesses that directly support Swale’s visitor economy; this can include tourism, hospitality & leisure service providers but does not include sporting activity providers and/or supply chain businesses.
The online form and details of the full criteria are here: .
The deadline is: 29 July 2020.

Added: 22 July 2020


Jobs Retention Bonus Scheme


The Government has unveiled a number of new measures to aid the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, which includes £1,000 to employers for each employee they bring back from furlough who remain continuously employed from November until January 2021.

In addition, a new kickstart scheme has been launched in which businesses will be paid up to £2000 per new apprentices they employ. In addition, the Goverment is keen to encourage the creation of new jobs for 16-to-24-year-olds, with a pledge to pay their wages, plus overheads, for the first six months.

Added: 9 July 2020


Discretionary Business Grants


The Government has provided local councils with guidance to provide a discretionary grant scheme for small and micro businesses. The scheme aims to support businesses who are struggling to survive due to the COVID-19 shutdown, but are unable to access other grant funding. The closing date for applications is June 10.

Added: May 28 2020


Business Rates Revaluation Postponed by Government


A revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus, the Government has announced.

Legislation had been introduced to bring the next revaluation forward by one year from 2022 to 2021, but following the recent economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic ministers want to ensure businesses have more certainty during this difficult time.

Added: May 11 2020


Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan


The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for loans of up to £50,000.

Launching from 4 May 2020, the loans will be interest free for the first 12 months and are 100% backed by the Government. The loan term will be up to 6 years, with no repayments due for first 12 months. It will be available through accredited lenders.

Added: 29 April 2020


Business Support Finder Tool


The Government has launched a new tool to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new online platform asks business owners and the self-employed to fill out a quick and simple online questionnaire. They will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

Updated: 22 April 2020


Covid-19: Latest News for Business Owners


We are publishing the following information from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This information is not from Capital Space Ltd. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information below. All references to 'we' in the statement below refers to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Grant Funding Schemes –  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance

What is the purpose of this funding?

This funding is being made available to help small, rural, retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

How much funding will be provided?

Small Business Grant Fund:

Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) as of the 11 March will be eligible for a payment of £10,000. We estimate that this will apply to some 730,000 businesses across England.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund:

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March, with a rateable value of less than £51,000, will be eligible for cash grants of up to £25,000 per property.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000.01 or over and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.                                              

Is this scheme UK wide?

Local business support policy is devolved. The Barnett Consequentials formula is being applied to additional support for businesses in England. The devolved administrations will receive over £2.3bn additional funding as a result of this English grant scheme, enabling them to provide support to businesses in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

Will some areas of the country benefit more than others?

The scheme criteria will apply equally to all areas of England. 

Why are you giving money to all eligible businesses, isn’t it more appropriate to target funding to those affected by COVID-19?

The government acknowledges that the majority of small, rural, retail, leisure and hospitality ratepayers are likely to be affected by COVID-19.

Why support those in receipt of SBRR – what about other small business e.g. those who do not occupy a property?

This funding is to support small and rural businesses who are ratepayers on a property. These businesses are more likely to have on-going fixed costs.

What are the principles behind the Government’s economic response plan?

We have set out three principles that are guiding our development of economic policy in response to COVID-19.

  • First, our response must be comprehensive. We will act in a manner commensurate with the scale of the challenge we face. It is now clear this situation will require a response beyond the bounds of normal government intervention. We will do whatever it takes.
  • Second, our response must be coordinated. We in Government are working hand in glove with the wider economic authorities. Domestically, that includes the Bank of England, the regulators, and the health response. And internationally, we will continue to speak with G7 and G20 counterparts.
  • Third, our response must be coherent. It would be easy, at a time like this, to rush into a response that we later found out had been ill-considered.

Are there any conditions attached to this grant funding?

Any business who accepts this funding must confirm they comply with all the applicable State aid requirements. Businesses who accept this funding must also provide information requested by the Local Authority to support monitoring and assurance.

Is this funding taxable?

The default position is that these grants would be liable for tax, as are the business costs this grant is supporting.

Eligibility - General

Which businesses are eligible?

Businesses that were in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate as of 11 March will be eligible for the Small Business Grants Fund.

For the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants Fund, businesses that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount Scheme with properties that have a rateable value of under £51,000 are eligible.

Can businesses with multiple properties claim multiple grants? (e.g. Can a hairdresser with three shops, each with less than a £15k rateable value, claim three £10k grants?)

Businesses can only get one grant under the Small Business Grant Scheme.

Businesses eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme can claim one grant per eligible property.

Will businesses be able to claim support from both the grant scheme for retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors and the Small Business Grants fund?

No. If a business receives a Small Business Grant, they will not be eligible for a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant on the same property.

It is not clear for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses that receive Small Business Retail Relief whether they fall into the ‘Small Business Grants’ category or the ‘Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme’.

Any properties falling within both the Small Business Rate Relief and Expanded Retail eligibility should be awarded one 10k grant. Businesses cannot be awarded both grants on the same property.   

Can businesses who are eligible but don’t want or need funding opt out?

A business may decline the grant.

How should Local Authorities deal with businesses who, now a grant is possible, are advising them that they have been in occupation of a property for some time?

Any changes to the rating list after 11 March 2020, including changes which have been backdated to this date, should be ignored for the purposes of eligibility. Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the ratings list is subsequently amended retrospectively to 11 March 2020.

The eligible business is the ratepayer in Local Authority records for 11 March. However, Local Authorities have the discretion to depart from this if they know that record was incorrect.

Do businesses who do not pay business rates such as those operating out of Business Centres or Enterprise Zones qualify for Cash Grants?   

If a business is not registered for business rates, they will not get funding through these schemes.

Expanded Retail Discount

There has been a relaxation in the rate relief rules to include estate agents etc. Are they included in the grant scheme for retail, leisure, and hospitality businesses as well or just rate relief?

All businesses that were in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief on 11 March are eligible for the grant under the Small Business Grant Fund, regardless of the sector they are in. 

The Extended Retail Relief Scheme has been extended to also cover bingo halls, estate agents and letting agencies. This will now bring bingo halls, estate agents and letting agencies in hereditaments with a rateable value of under £51,000 in scope of the grant. 

Eligibility – Small Business Grant Fund

Is there any clarification on whether Nursery/Childcare facilities will be eligible for the 10/25k grant?

Properties falling within the Nursery scheme are not eligible unless they were in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief as of 11 March.

Can businesses like B&Bs operating with domestic rates (council tax) still be eligible for the grant?

No – only properties in the rating list are eligible.  

Eligibility – Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

How will businesses be identified for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme?

Businesses that would have been eligible for the Extended Retail Discount Scheme as of 11 March will be eligible. Local Authorities hold information on Small Business Rate Relief, Rural Rates Relief, retail and hospitality businesses within their areas, and will be contacting eligible business. 

Is there a more detailed definition of each of these sectors?

The grants schemes replicate the eligibility for the specific rate relief schemes.

Are Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) that are eligible for Marginal Rate Relief and the Extended Retail Relief (as a leisure provider) entitled to the second scheme?

If they would have been eligible for the Expanded Retail Scheme on 11 March then they qualify. Properties that had rate discounts increased to 100% using local discretion on 11 March still qualify for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant. The same principle applies with charity shops.

Are supermarkets going to remain supported by the rates relief position?

Supermarkets that are eligible for either scheme can receive the grant, in line with State aid rules.


Charities getting Charitable Rate Relief get the Expanded Retail Discount so why not the grant?

Charities receiving Charitable Rate Relief can’t be eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief and therefore cannot be eligible under the Small Business Grants Fund. They may be eligible under the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants Fund.

Business details

How can businesses claim this funding?

Local Authorities will be in touch with businesses that are eligible to apply.

How will Local Authorities contact businesses to get contact details when their premises are closed or in lockdown?

Local Authorities will decide whether letter or email is most appropriate.

Can Local Authorities request additional information to verify the details companies have provided?

Local Authorities have discretion to request further information.


How does this funding work with shared space/serviced offices, where tenants are not the rate payers?

Only businesses with their own assessment for business rates and eligible for SBRR, rural or Expanded Retail Discount with a rateable value below £51,000 will be eligible for the grant. Businesses which are not ratepayers are not eligible. 

We understand for some shared space/service offices, individual users do have their own rating assessment and may be eligible. In these cases we encourage landlords to support local government in ensuring the grant reaches eligible ratepayers. 

  I am not the ratepayer – my landlord pays the rates on this space. Will I get funding?

This funding is to support small and rural businesses who are ratepayers on a property. These businesses are more likely to have on-going fixed costs.


How will this funding be delivered?

Local Authorities responsible for business rate collection will deliver this funding to businesses. Local Authorities will contact eligible businesses directly.

What is the position on commercial rent?

Eligibility for the grants is linked to rateable value.


How long will it take businesses to receive this funding?

All Local Authorities are encouraged to get the grants to businesses as soon as possible.

State aid

Is this State aid?

Yes. State aid applies to these schemes, and all recipients are required to comply with the maximum permitted funding under the relevant State aid rules – EUR 200,000 over three years under the De Minimis Regulation, or EUR 800,000 under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework scheme for the UK (different thresholds apply to agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture business).

Grants provided under the Small Business Grant Fund can be made under either the De Minimis Regulation (where the relevant conditions are met), or under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework scheme for the UK (once approved) where for example, the De Minimis threshold has been reached. Grants paid under the Retail Hospitality and Leisure scheme can be made under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework scheme for the UK (once approved).

 Won’t grants be well above the State aid limit?

Where a business has multiple eligible properties under the RLHS, they may reach the State aid limit. The RLHS grant conditions require businesses not to exceed the maximum permitted funding limits.

 What checks are councils expected to make regarding State aid?

Businesses will be required to confirm that they comply with the scheme conditions, for example that they have not received more than the maximum permitted funding for State aid. Local Authorities will write to businesses to ask for confirmation of this.

  How will support to national retailers work on a practical level given the numbers of properties?

State aid applies to this scheme, and national retailers would be required not to accept more than the maximum permitted funding. 

Last updated: 2 April 2020