COVID-19 - Business Support
Information on the latest support offered to businesses affected by COVID-19 can be found below.
Latest update (19 January 2022)
The government has announced that Covid restrictions in England will be eased from Thursday 27 January:
- Working from home guidance will end and people will no longer be asked to wear masks anywhere
- The compulsory use of Covid passes at certain events will also end even though venues can still use them if they wish
The Government COVID-19 rules for England
Face coverings are mandatory for most indoor public venues including places of worship, theatres and cinemas, as well as in shops, hair and beauty salons and on public transport.
Masks are not required in hospitality settings (i.e. pubs, restaurants and cafes) when it’s not practical to wear one, such as when eating, drinking or exercising.
People should now work from home where possible.
Everyone needs to show an NHS Covid-19 Pass, or negative lateral flow test, before being allowed to enter:
- Indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people
- Unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people
- Any venue with more than 10,000 people
Omicron Hospitality & Leisure Grant
The government has set out measures to help England's hospitality sector as it struggles with a collapse in bookings sparked by the rise in COVID-19 cases.
The application process for this grant is now live. This application process will close on 28 February 2022. Find out more information and full eligibility here.
Winter Support Payment Grant Scheme
Further information will published here.
Statutory Sick Pay
The government will also cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for COVID-19 related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK, more information here.
Culture Recovery Fund
£60 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, to support organisations such as theatres, orchestras, and museums, through the winter to March 2022, more information here.
VAT reduction for hospitality
Businesses that make certain supplies relating to hospitality, make supplies of holiday accommodation or charge for admission to certain types of attractions can benefit from a reduced VAT rate of 12.5% which will end on 31 March 2022. For further information click here.
Additional COVID-19 business rates relief
Click here to find out more.
- Business grants
Use the Government support finder tool to find out what support is available.
For information on how the Government is planning to support businesses affected by the Coronavirus please contact the national helpline on:
For the latest information and advice, please visit:
Winchester City Council support
For relief and grants being made available through Winchester City Council's business rates team please refer to the relevant website pages here or contact 01962 848288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also call the council’s economy team on 01962 814 915 (between 10am and 4pm) or email email@example.com and you can sign up to our business newsletter here.
For information on Winchester City Council's environmental health and licensing support go to:
We understand that it may be a difficult time for licence holders to pay their Premises Licence annual fee. If you are experiencing financial difficulties and unable to pay your annual fee, please contact the licensing office prior to the fee due date; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01962 848 188.
Free online shopping and ordering platform
Winchester City Council is supporting independent shops and businesses across the district by signing up to the online shopping and ordering platform, ShopAppy.com. Businesses can register on the website for free.
The platform allows customers to browse virtual shop windows, book appointments and events as well as order products from local stores using a delivery or ‘click and collect’ service. Funding from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, which was launched by the Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has enabled the council to cover the first six months membership for all independent organisations in the district and ShopAppy have matched that, extending the offer to the full 12 months.
To register on the site businesses should contact Jane Stewart at email@example.com.
Enterprise M3 Growth Hub
The Enterprise M3 Growth Hub is an expert advice and resource network which helps businesses achieve results quickly through a free personal, tailored service focused on business start-up, growth and innovation. Further information here.
IncuHive offer free business support to all of its resident members. Prices for space start from £49 plus VAT. Further information here.
Enterprise First Business South
If you are looking for support to either start a business or grow an existing one, they can help in the following ways:
- free start up courses
- one to one advice
For further information click here.
Businesses should sign up to our free business bulletin to make sure that they receive the latest information on business support, funding, training and events. Sign up here.
- Hampshire Chamber of Commerce
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)