UK Small Business Resource Centre

Goldman Sachs believes small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs fuel the engine of local and national economies all over the world. We are deeply committed to supporting these business leaders during this uncertain time with clear, tangible steps to access capital and additional resources.  

Our commercial and philanthropic efforts focused on these communities include our Urban Investment Group, whose work spans comprehensive community and economic development; 10,000 Small Businesses and 10,000 Women which provide education, networking, and access to capital for business owners; and Launch With GS, the firm’s $500 million investment strategy grounded in the belief that diverse teams drive strong returns. Now more than ever we are marshalling our resources, our insights, and our global network to support small businesses struggling with the economic fallout of COVID-19.


A Message to Small Business Owners in the UK from Richard J. Gnodde, CEO of Goldman Sachs International
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UK Government Summer Economic Update

Delivering his Summer Economic Update in Parliament, the Chancellor announced a package of measures to support jobs in every part of the country, give businesses the confidence to retain and hire, and provide people with the tools they need to get better jobs. The plan for jobs is the second part of a three-phase plan to secure the UK’s economic recovery from Coronavirus. Throughout the pandemic, the UK Government has looked to act with speed to protect lives and safeguard jobs.

Job Retention Bonus

As part of the plan to support jobs, a Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.

Kickstart Job Creation Scheme

A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will also be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.

Scaling Up Employment Support

A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. Young people, who are amongst the worst hit by the crisis, will benefit from this. This includes:

  • Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 ensuring more young people have access to high quality training.
  • £17 million of funding to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements in 2020-21.
  • Nearly £900 million to double the number of work coaches to 27,000.
  • Over a quarter of a million more young people to benefit from an extra £32 million investment in the National Careers Service.

Infrastructure Job Creation

The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects. This includes a £3 billion green investment package that could help support around 140,000 green jobs and upgrade buildings and reduce emissions. In addition, £5.8 billion will be spent on shovel-ready construction projects to get Britain building.

Job Protection Measures

The plan will also protect jobs. The tourism and hospitality sectors are massive employers in the UK and have been severely impacted by the pandemic due to necessary closures to protect public health.

To encourage people to safely return to eating out at restaurants the Government’s new Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme will provide a 50% reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020.

The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will also be cut from 20% to 5%. This will save households around £160 per year on average and, together with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, will support over 2.4 million staff at over 150,000 businesses.

With the goals of increasing consumer confidence, driving growth and supporting jobs across the housebuilding and property sectors, a temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 is being introduced until 31 March 2021.

To find out more about these measures:

Supporting and related documents can be found here:

UK Government Financial Support Resources

Coronavirus Business Support Finder Tool

The government ‘support finder’ tool will 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 finder tool on GOV.UK will ask business owners to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete, and they will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

To find out more:

You can access the tool here:

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45m, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to six years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. This means smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to small and medium-sized businesses.

The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are over 70 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks. 

To find a lender:

Following HM Treasury’s announcement on 19 May, several changes to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) have taken effect.

The scheme facilitates access to finance for mid-sized and larger businesses with a group turnover of more than £45m affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The maximum amount available through CLBILS to a borrower and its group has now increased from £50m to £200m. Term loans and revolving credit facilities over £50m will be offered by CLBILS lenders which have secured additional accreditation. The maximum size for invoice finance and asset finance facilities remains at £50m.

Companies borrowing more than £50m through CLBILS will be subject to further restrictions on dividend payments, senior pay and share buy-backs during the period of the loan.

To find out more:

Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS)

Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – are eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

Small businesses can apply for quick and easy-to-access loans immediately. Businesses are able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with the cash arriving within days. Loans will be 100% government backed for lenders, and businesses apply online through a short and simple form. The government has agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. Any business that has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of £50,000 or less can apply to have these switched over to this generous new scheme.

To find out more:

To apply for a Bounce Back Loan:


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor latest announcement sets out more details on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will continue to support jobs and business as people return to work, following the announcement of an extension of the scheme on 12 May.

By the end of May, the CJRS has helped 1 million employers across the UK furlough 8.4 million jobs, protecting people’s livelihoods.

As of 1 July 2020, businesses have had the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part time. Individual firms can decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, so that they can decide on the best approach for them - and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.

From August 2020, the level of government grant provided through the job retention scheme is being slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work.

The scheme updates mean that the following will apply for the period people are furloughed:

August: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

September: The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

October: The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

To find out more about these changes:

Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. To find out more:

You can work out 80% of your employees’ wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by using the government calculator here:

Job Retention Bonus Scheme

The bonus – announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs in July – will see businesses receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every previously furloughed employee if they are still employed at the end of January next year.

The scheme is designed to continue to support jobs through the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus by encouraging and helping employers to retain as many employees who’ve been on furlough as possible.

Under the terms:

  • employers will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who has previously been furloughed under Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – if they remain continuously employed to the end of January 2021
  • to ensure the jobs are meaningful well-paid, employees must earn at least £520 (the National Insurance lower earnings limit) a month on average between the beginning of November and the end of January
  • those who were furloughed and had a claim submitted for them after the 10 June (when the CJRS closed to new entrants), because they were returning from paternal leave or time serving as a military reservist will also be eligible for the bonus as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria
  • employers will also be eligible for employee transfers protected under TUPE legislation, provided they have been continuously employed and meet the other eligibility criteria and the new employer has also submitted a CJRS claim for that employee

To find out more:

The policy paper is available here:

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

The scheme allows you to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

As with the first grant HMRC will contact you if you’re eligible.

Check if you can claim a grant:

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure England Only

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. To find out more:

Business Support Grant Funding

There are two funding schemes available – the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

A discretionary fund has also been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This additional ‘top up’ fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.

The government is asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. Local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities. Further guidance will be available in due course.

Further information on both grant funds may be found here:

Business Rates Holidays for Nurseries England Only

Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. To find out more:

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees.

You can use the scheme as an employer if you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus; you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020; you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all your PAYE payroll schemes.

Further information may be found here:

If You Cannot Pay Your Tax Bill On Time

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible if you have missed your payment. How you contact HMRC depends on what you need to pay. Because of coronavirus you may be able to delay (defer) some tax payments without paying a penalty. To find out more:

VAT Deferral

If you’re a UK VAT-registered business that deferred VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you now need to:

  • set-up cancelled Direct Debits in enough time for HMRC to take payment
  • continue to submit VAT returns as normal, and on time
  • pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June

Any VAT payments you have deferred between 20 March and 30 June should be paid in full on or before 31 March 2021.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility UK-Wide

This scheme helps large businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) through the purchase of their short-term debt. Under the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from large companies. This scheme will support your company if it’s been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Bank of England. 

It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy. To find out more:


£750 Million Coronavirus Funding for Frontline Charities UK-Wide

Charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of a UK-wide package of support, £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. As well as this, £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support those organisations at the heart of local communities which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.

The Chancellor has also announced that the Government will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal. To find out more:

The Future Fund

Announced by the Chancellor on 20 April, the Future Fund issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies with good potential that typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by Covid-19. The scheme will help these companies through the current period of economic disruption and the recovery so they are able to continue their growth trajectory and reach their full economic potential. The scheme is designed by government and delivered by the British Business Bank.

The Government has made £250 million available for the Future Fund, and will keep this amount under review. The scheme is initially open for applications from Wednesday 20th May until the end of September 2020.

The Future Fund will provide convertible loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal matched funding from private investors.

The minimum aggregate loan amount is £250,000. The maximum amount of the Government loan is £5 million. There is no cap on the amount that the matched investor(s) may loan to the company.

This is an investor-led scheme, meaning that a lead investor applies on behalf of themselves and may provide information about other investors making up the investment round, in connection to a company.

The distribution of funds for successful applications will be handled through a nominated company solicitor. It is the company’s responsibility to appoint a solicitor with the necessary right to practice and handle client monies.

To be eligible for the scheme, the company must meet the following criteria:

  1. The company must have raised at least £250,000 in equity from third-party investors in previous funding rounds in the last five years (from 1 April 2015 to 19 April 2020, inclusive)
  2. If the company is a member of a corporate group, it must be the ultimate parent company
  3. The company does not have any of its shares or other securities listed on a regulated market, a multilateral trading facility, a recognised investment exchange and/or any other similar market, stock exchange or listing venue
  4. The company must be a UK incorporated limited company
  5. The company must have been incorporated on or before 31 December 2019
  6. At least one of the following must be true for the company:
  7. Half or more employees are UK based
  8. Half or more revenues are from UK sales

Investors and companies should note that the proceeds of the convertible loan agreement must not be used by the company to:

  1. Repay any borrowings from a shareholder or a shareholder related party (other than the repayment of any borrowings pursuant to any bank or venture debt facilities);
  2. Pay any dividends or other distributions;
  3. For a period of twelve months from the date of the relevant convertible loan agreement, make any bonus or other discretionary payment to any employee, consultant or director of the company other than as contracted prior to the date hereof and as paid by the Company in the ordinary course of business; or
  4. Pay any advisory or placement fees or bonuses to any corporate finance entity or investment bank or similar service provider on monies advanced by the Future Fund.

To find out more:


The Sustainable Innovation Fund

The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help companies recovering from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive. Funding totalling almost £200 million could go towards developing new technologies focused on making homes and offices more energy efficient to cut bills, creating ground-breaking medical technologies to treat infections and diseases, or reducing the carbon footprint of public transport in our towns and cities.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help power the UK’s economic recovery and develop new sustainable opportunities for businesses in any sector following the coronavirus pandemic, while helping the UK meet its ambitions to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

This funding, delivered through Innovate UK, forms part of a wider £750 million package of grants and loans announced in April to support innovative firms. This sits alongside the new £500 million Future Fund, which provides match-funding to private investors.

To find out more:

To apply for support:

£20 Million in New Grants to Boost Recovery of Small Businesses

Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from £20 million of new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 - £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track.

The support will be fully funded by the government from the England European Regional Development Fund and distributed through Growth Hubs, embedded in local areas across England.

To find out more:

£1.57 Billion Investment to Protect Britain’s World-Class Cultural, Arts and Heritage Institutions

UK-wide £500 Million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme

The new UK-wide £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme will help to get TV and film productions across the country that have been halted or delayed by a lack of insurance to get back up and running, by giving productions the confidence they need that they will be supported if future losses are incurred due to Covid-19.

It will fill the gap left by the lack of available insurance and cover coronavirus-related losses for cast member and crew illnesses and filming delays or disruptions caused by the ongoing battle against the virus.

To find out more:

Trade Credit Guarantee

Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government.

The government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment.

To find out more:

HMRC Helpine

HMRC have online help set up to help businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus.

The best way to get help from HMRC on any topic is to contact them online.

Alternatively, you can call them on 0800 0159 559 

Other Government Support Resources

Prevent Your Business From Being Evicted

The UK government has extended measures to prevent struggling companies from eviction over the summer. The extension, until the end of September, comes alongside further support to help local businesses plan for economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.  

A new code of practice has been developed with leaders from the retail, hospitality and property sectors to provide clarity for businesses when discussing rental payments and to encourage best practice so that all parties are supported.

These interventions are in addition to the comprehensive financial package provided by the UK government to businesses during this difficult time and is in recognition of the strain that the sector is currently under.

To find out more:

To access the code:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Fraud and Cyber Crime

Measures announced over recent weeks to deal with Coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen day-to-day life drastically changed with more time at home and online. Unfortunately, criminals will use every opportunity they can to scam innocent people and their businesses.

This government guidance explains simple steps individuals can take to protect themselves and their business against fraud and cyber crime and where to get help.

To find out more:

Working Safely During Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

The 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

The guides have been updated to reflect the phased opening of shops and retail establishments from the 1st June.

The guides set out practical steps for businesses focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as is practical:

  1. Work from home if you can
  2. Carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
  3. Maintain a 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
  4. Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
  5. Reinforcing cleaning processes

To find out more:

To access the guides:

Corporate Insolvency and Governance

New measures announced by the government will help to relieve the burden on businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The measures in this new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill will allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate.

The Bill will introduce temporary easements on filing requirements and Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Introduce new corporate restructuring tools to the insolvency regime to give companies the time they need to maximise their chance of survival and temporarily suspend parts of insolvency law to support directors during this difficult time.

Extensions have also been introduced to certain filing requirements including confirmation statements, accounts, registrations of charges (mortgage) and event-driven filings, such as a change to your company’s directors or people with significant control.

To find out more:

Thousands of Business Advisers to Offer Free Services to Small Firms

The Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the government and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, will give small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery. The platform is now live.

Advice offered will include bespoke, specialist assistance from accountancy, legal, and advertising to marketing, recruitment and digital to help businesses adapt to difficult circumstances and to bounce back as the UK economy recovers.

To find out more:

Find a Job Service

If your business needs more workers as a result of COVID-19, such as those in food logistics, preparation and retail, post vacancies on Find a Job.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Getting Tested

The government’s priority is testing patients to inform their clinical diagnosis. In addition, they are now also testing essential workers with symptoms and people who live with essential workers and have symptoms.

This means essential workers including council workers can find out whether they have the virus, and can be helped in returning to work if they test negative. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.

To book a test:

Guidance for Safer Travel During the Next Phase of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic

The latest government guidance provides advice on how passengers should make journeys safely, following the publication of the government’s roadmap and strategy for the next phase of the pandemic. It urges people to consider cycling, walking or driving to help ensure there is enough capacity for those who need to travel on public transport to do so safely.

To find out more:

Business Support Helpline

Contact the Government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice: 0300 456 3565 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. 

Other Financial Support Resources

British Business Bank Application Portal

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes and Future Fund are designed to support UK businesses that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

To find out more:

Additional Finance and Support for Your Business

There are 175 specific industry and regional schemes across the United Kingdom supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. You can find out which ones are available to your business here:

Coronavirus Support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

The government has published a directory of Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations.

The directory may be accessed here:

Growth Hubs

England’s 38 LEP Growth Hubs are providing practical support and guidance to the thousands of local employers and businesses across the country facing the challenges caused by the economic impact of the coronavirus. Find your Growth Hub here:  

Business Advice Resources

Business Advice Resources

Think with Google

Search insights to help you understand consumer behavioural shifts. Article:

The Drum

Preparing your marketing plans for the Coronavirus downturn. Article:

Marketing Week

Are brands living up to their purpose during the coronavirus crisis?

Neil Patel

What The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Means For Marketers.


Helping to stay informed and connected. A series of resources to help navigate work and Coronavirus.
To find out more:

Personal Wellbeing Resources

Personal Wellbeing Resources

Other current support services that can be accessed online include:

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