Alongside administering the government’s business rate holiday and grant funding packages, many councils are developing their own support schemes, introducing new measures, and working with local stakeholders like Local Enterprise Partnerships and Growth Hubs to support firms in their areas. For example:

  • Birmingham Council has applied to the government in association with Core Cities for £100m in funding to help support businesses that will not receive funding from the main government schemes.
  • Belfast City Council has suspended rental payments for businesses which operate out of council owned industrial estates.
  • Yorkshire Council has started paying invoices to suppliers instantly, rather than in the standard 30-day period, and has asked suppliers to contact them to find the most efficient ways of supplying invoices to their finance department.
  • Cornwall Council has brought forward almost £700,000 funding for arts organisations, in an effort to tackle reduced revenues.
  • Edinburgh City Council has two Coronavirus Business Support Funds: the Small Business Support Grant (£10,000) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant (£25,000). These grants are to help keep companies in business and keep productive capacity so that they can recover.
  • Click here to find your local council and get an idea of how it may be able to help.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP)

England’s LEPs have leveraged over £7.6bn of private investment since 2017, and through their Growth Hubs are continuing to operate and offer information on local and national business support, sources of finance, and provide advice to build business resilience.

Activity differs between regions. The Coast to Capital Growth Hub that covers parts of the south of England has started running online Emergency Response Clinics to assist businesses in need. The New Anglia Growth Hub has created a toolkit to aid businesses and is encouraging people to contact its team of business advisers.

You can find your relevant LEP and Growth Hub here .

Other schemes for small businesses

Alongside these council-administered schemes, there are further government schemes focused on small businesses. GOV.UK has a tool to help you find out what government support you’re entitled to .

In addition to this support, numerous schemes have been created to help businesses in certain sectors, and some funding programmes continue to be open for applications. These include:

Innovative firms

The government has announced a £1.25bn scheme to support businesses driving innovation and development.

There will be £500m available as loans of between £125,000 and £5m from the government, with private investors at least matching the government commitment. The scheme will be overseen by the British Business Bank, and will launch in May.

Launching in mid-May, the remaining £750m will be available as targeted support via Innovate UK’s grants and loans scheme.

Find out more about the support available for innovative businesses .

Innovate UK

In addition to its new role supporting the government’s innovation scheme (above), Innovate UK is still running funding competitions for new R&D projects across a range of industries, with 11 currently open for applications.

Existing award winners can also access support from their Innovate UK monitoring officer and their local specialist advisers from the Innovate UK Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).

Click here to find out more about the support available from Innovate UK.

Prince’s Trust and NatWest

A £5m Enterprise Relief Fund has been created to offer grants to 18- to 30-year olds in the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business.

Find out more about the Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund .

Arts Council

In England, the Arts Council has repurposed its funding streams to offer individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support.

The Arts Council is making £90m available for its existing National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), with funding for this stream due to open soon. A further £50m is available now for businesses that are not in receipt of regular funding from the Arts Council, with each business able to apply for funding up to £35,000.

Click here to find out more about support available via the Arts Council.

Similar schemes are available from Creative Scotland , Screen Scotland and the Arts Council of Wales .


The government has created a fund of £750m for frontline charities across the UK – including £370m for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England. The government is working to identify recipients over the next few weeks, and applications for the lottery fund are expected to open in a similar time frame.

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of NatWest Group, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © NatWest Group. All rights reserved.

scroll to top