Cost of Living Support for Businesses
This page gives advice and information to support businesses during the current cost-of-living crisis. It will be updated as support becomes available.
General advice and support
- A government advice page with support for businesses
- To keep up to date with the latest business information, funding and support, subscribe to our business bulletin
- LoCASE has funding available to help organisations improve their energy efficiency. Grants can cover up to 40% of your project, up to £10k. Our partners, Meercat Associates, are offering free support to help organisations apply and to produce carbon reduction action plans. The service is funded by Winchester City Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the grant assistance is administered by the Clean Growth Programme of Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE).
- Business Companion offers free, impartial, legal guidance to businesses.
- Enterprise M3 Growth Hub offers free personal, tailored service focused on business start-up, growth and innovation as well help on decarbonising your business.
Relief measures for businesses
- Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less may also be eligible for Small Business Rates Relief.
- The Employment Allowance has increased from £4,000 to £5,000 to provide relief to small businesses. Employment Allowance helps eligible businesses and charities to reduce their annual National Insurance contributions.
- Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Rates Relief: if your business activity is centred around in-person retail, hospitality and leisure services, you could be eligible for business rates relief across the financial year to April 2023.
- The Energy Bills Discount Scheme for businesses. This is a new energy scheme for businesses, charities, and the public sector. It will mean that all eligible UK businesses and other non-domestic energy users will receive a discount on high energy bills until 31 March 2024.
- A higher level of support will be provided to businesses in sectors identified as being the most energy and trade intensive – predominately manufacturing industries. click here for more information.
- The Energy Price Cap means suppliers cannot charge utilities higher than the backstop protection from government for default tariffs. You may also be able to save money by switching suppliers or agreeing an affordable payment plan.
- Ofgem has free resources for businesses, including advice on setting up affordable payment plans with suppliers, payment reductions and breaks and switching energy contracts.
- Energy Price Guarantee caps costs at an average of £2,500 yearly across two years for households and businesses.
- The RAC have created the Ultimate Guide to saving fuel.
- The Federation of Small Businesses have published a guidance blog on how to improve energy efficiency in your business, read it here.
- The Energy Savings Trust has some guides to becoming more energy efficient.
Financial management support
- Anyone in Winchester District, including businesses, can access Citizens Advice for free, confidential advice and support. You can contact them for free on 0808 278 7861 or email email@example.com.
- Business Debtline is a charity that provides free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. It also provides a range of debt advice factsheets on topics ranging from business debts, debt solutions to dealing with creditors.
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has the Time to Pay scheme, which allows you to pay your self-assessment tax bill in instalments if you cannot afford to pay it in full.
Supporting your employees
It may sound like an extra cost but supporting your staff and their wellbeing can be good for your business:
- Business in the Community have produced a cost-of-living action plan to provide advice on how businesses can support their employees in the current crisis.
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has dedicated webpages with information surrounding how to help the financial wellbeing of your employees.
- You can support your staff by making them aware of the Cost of Living Payment, Disability Cost of Living Payment and Winter Fuel Payment.
- As it is now common that employees mix office visits and remote working, it is important to ensure your staff have access to fair internet tariffs. Ofcom has outlined social tariffs for people who may be struggling with broadband or telephone costs. Some providers offer cheaper or more cost-effective packages for those in receipt of government benefits, such as Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit.
Get a loan to support your business
- The British Business Bank has a finance hub that is offering guidance and information on how smaller businesses can tackle the cost of living, reduce costs and build financial resilience.
- The Recovery Loan Scheme has been extended. Helping businesses access finance to support them throughout the cost of living crisis of up to £2million: find out more about business recovery loans and accredited lenders.
Other support to help your business thrive
- The government-funded Business Support helpline provides help with starting and running a business. Your business can get advice and financial help from government-backed schemes. All that is required is to enter your details and select the type of support you need.
- You can also contact Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) for confidential advice and help with employment law.
- Simply Business has published free guides and provided resources on managing company money and crisis support available to help businesses deal with the impact of rising costs.