This page covers all the areas for which customers can access support from the government and the wider sector in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on the measures detailed below, visit the dedicated government guidance on support for businesses here.

If you are looking for our Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (CBILS fund), click here.

This page will be updated regularly to reflect any new developments or announcements. If you have any questions please contact Will Thomson ( or Miranda Love (


New National Restrictions from 5 November


In response to rising case numbers, from Thursday 5th November the Government is introducing national restrictions in England to replace the local tiered system that was introduced on 14th October. This includes:


  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Closing certain businesses and venues.


A full list of the restrictions, including the businesses that have been ordered to close can be found here (see Section 4 for restrictions on businesses and venues). The Government has published guidance for different sectors on working safely during Covid-19 which has been updated to reflect the new lockdown context.


As a result of the new restrictions, the Government has introduced further support for businesses affected:


Job Retention Scheme Extension: All employers are eligible for the extended JRS which will continue for a further month. This will operate as the previous scheme did, the Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay NICs and pension contributions only for the hours the employee works. Flexible furloughing will be allowed – employers will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full time. In a statement on 5th November 2020, the Chancellor confirmed that the Job Retention Scheme will be extended to 31st March 2021. It will be reviewed in January as to whether employers would be asked to contribute more.


Mortgage Holidays: mortgage payment holidays will no longer end – borrowers impacted by coronavirus and who have not yet had a payment holiday will entitled to a six month holiday, and those who’ve already started a payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.


Business Grants: businesses required to close in England due to national restrictions will be eligible for the following grants:


  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.



Government Business Support


Coronavirus Guidance and Support: full collection of guidance and support for businesses during Covid-19.


Support Finder Tool: The Government has a support finder tool to help charities, businesses and self-employed people across the UK to determine what financial support is available to them during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Job Retention Scheme: businesses can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs. Employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked. Due to the new lockdown restrictions, the JRS has been extended to March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.


Kickstarter Scheme: this scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16-24-year olds on Universal Credit. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers 100% of National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage for 25 hours per week for 6 months; associated employer National Insurance contributions; and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.


Postponed support schemes:


Job Support Schemethe successor to the JRS, this scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses facing lower demand over winter due to Covid-19. The scheme has been postponed until the JRS ends in March 2021. 


Job Retention Bonus: the Job Retention Bonus has been postponed due to the extension of the JRS - the Chancellor has stated that the intention to redeploy a retention incentive at an appropriate time.



Government Approach to Local Lockdowns


Local lockdowns have been replaced by national restrictions from 5th November until at least 2nd December. Once the national restrictions end, the local lockdown ‘tiered’ approach will return.


Local COVID Alert Level – Medium (Tier 1)


  • All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.
  • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
  • Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed
  • People must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors


Local COVID Alert Level – High (Tier 2)


  • This is for areas with a higher level of infections. This means the following additional measures are in place:
  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.
  • People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.


Local COVID Alert Level – Very High (Tier 3)


This is for areas with a very high level of infections. The Government will set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures. The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:


  • Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
  • Wedding receptions are not allowed
  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.


Full list of local COVID Alert levels by area


Expanded Job Support Scheme for businesses required to close in local lockdowns: The Job Support Scheme is being expanded to support businesses that have been legally required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions – the Government will pay two thirds (67%) of employees salary up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions. Businesses will only be able to claim through this scheme while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum 7 days.


Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme: businesses that are required to close due to localised restrictions can receive up to £3,000 per month (dependent on size), and are eligible for payment after two weeks of closure.

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month)
  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month)
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1,500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month).


Financial Support for Charities and Social Enterprises


Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund: £25 million fund providing repayable finance to charities and social enterprises directly affected by COVID-19. RRLF will offer emergency loans with flexibility in terms, including: 12-month interest-free and no arrangement fee, with no personal guarantees required. Loans products offered are between £100,000 - £1.5 million. Interest in years 2 and 3 is 6.5% per annum (after principal payments start) and is calculated on the declining outstanding balance. RRLF closes to new applications at 5pm on Friday 13 November.


Eligibility criteria:

  • This fund is only for social sector organisations: charities and social enterprises that are improving people’s lives across the UK. Any applicants need to be able to meet what is set out in Big Society Capital's governance principles. This includes charities, community interest companies and community benefit societies – organisations that are not one of these legal forms (i.e. just a company limited by guarantee or company limited by shares) will need to demonstrate social objects / purpose in their Articles.
  • Eligible applicants will:
    • be included on the list of qualifying entities (see Appendix 1 in the Fund Guidelines).
    • if a Company Limited by Guarantee or a Company Limited by Shares, have Social Objects in its Articles.
    • have been operating for a minimum of two years.
    • have a minimum turnover of £400k.
    • have a turnover of less than £45m (whole group – if applicable).
    • have more than 50% of income from trading activity (whole group – if applicable). This eligibility criteria does not apply to registered charities and further education colleges.
    • trade in the UK and the loan will be used to support trading in the UK.
    • be able to confirm that the organisation has been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
    • be able to demonstrate that the organisation has a “viable” business proposition.
    • be able to demonstrate that the organisation was not an “undertaking in difficulty” as at 31 December 2019.
    • be able to demonstrate that outcomes of the product or services provided are specifically relevant to improving people’s lives, even if improving people’s lives is a secondary outcome area of your organisation.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme: Scheme help small to medium sized businesses affected by coronavirus to apply for loans between £2,000 and £50,000 The Government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The Government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining loan period. Organisations that have already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS can transfer it to the Bounce Back Loan scheme, this can be arranged with a lender until 4 November 2020.


Eligibility criteria:

  • Business has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
  • was not a business in difficulty at 31 December 2019 (if it was, you must confirm your business complies with additional state aid restrictions under de minimis state aid rules)
  • is engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK and was established by 1 March 2020
  • is not using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme (CCFF), unless the Bounce Back Loan will refinance the whole of the CBILS, CLBILS or CCFF facility
  • is not in bankruptcy or liquidation at the time it submits its application for finance
  • derives more than 50% of its income from its trading activity (this requirement does not apply to charities or further-education colleges)
  • is not in a restricted sector (i.e. credit institution, public sector organisation, state-funded primary and secondary school)


Additional Funding Sources:


Grants Online Coronavirus: comprehensive resource that is regularly updated with new funding programmes to assist organisations in responding to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Government Guidance for Organisations


The Government has published guidance for organisations working in specific sectors which might be relevant to SIB customers, these can be accessed below:



Additional Resources and Advice



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