Online Assessment Tools

  1. Business Support Finder. This tool allows employers and the self employed, including sole traders and limited company directors to determine their eligibility for loans, tax relief and cash grants.
  2. Business Risk Assessment. This tool is to help business operators develop a risk assessment tailored to the specific circumstances of their business and provides advice on how work practices can be changed to mitigate any risks identified.
  3. Employee Risk Assessment. This tool is to help employees determine whether they should be going back to work or whether they should continue to work from home and includes advice specifically for tourism related businesses.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If you cannot maintain your current workforce because your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions (up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution) on that subsidised furlough pay.

The scheme has now been extended until August and will continue in some form until October – we are seeking further clarity. It is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. However, all employers are eligible to claim under the scheme and the government recognises different businesses will face different impacts from coronavirus.

  1. Apply
  2. Check eligibility


Difficulties with securing finance/seasonal workers and the furlough scheme

Many members have raised their concerns that seasonal workers who started work on or after 1 March 2020 are ineligible to furlough under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This is a major issue for Cumbria and we are working with VisitBritain and the Tourism Alliance to gather more evidence which will be shared directly with The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

You can get involved by sending an email directly to your local MP highlighting the case for seasonal workers, particularly where there is auditable evidence of their employment prior to 28 February 2020. You can also share the messaging on social media using the hashtag #ProtectTourismJobs

We know challenges with online travel agents and support for the self-employed support are also key concerns, along with businesses which have approached banks trying to secure finance and have either been rejected or are having difficulties. Please do keep sharing your personal experiences and case studies on all these issues with us, so we can highlight this first-hand evidence to national decision-makers via


Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45 million, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) supports large businesses, with an annual turnover of over £45 million. All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45 million per year can apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million can apply for up to £50 million of finance.

  1. Apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  2. Apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme


Business Support Grants

£10,000 grant for Small Businesses
A £10,000 grant will be available for businesses who qualify for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief. The maximum rateable value limit is 15,000RV.
Local Authorities are waiting for further guidance from government regarding delivering both grant schemes.


Further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.

For further information on the rateable value of Guest Houses and B&Bs click HERE.

Details and eligibility criteria for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), informing local authorities about the operation and delivery of the two funding schemes can be found HERE.


Local Authority Discretionary Grant Scheme

A discretionary grant scheme has been set up for certain small businesses and organisations which are outside the scope of the small business grant funding scheme or the retail, hospitality and leisure scheme. Businesses who may be eligible for this support should apply through their Local Authority (links below).

Please Note – deadlines for each authority’s application process differ but these are between the 14th and 15th of June 2020. Be sure to check your authority’s website for full information.


Find your Local Authority

Please see below links to business advice, including details on how to apply for the above grants from each of the county’s local authorities. As this is a fast-moving situation the information is subject to change quickly so please do keep referring to both these pages and our own Resource Hub.

  1. Allerdale Borough Council
  2. Barrow Borough Council
  3. Carlisle City Council
  4. Copeland Borough Council
  5. Eden District Council
  6. South Lakeland District Council
  7. Cumbria County Council

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

  • People who are self-employed will receive a direct cash grant of 80% of their average profits over 3 years, up to £2,500 per month
  • It is open to anyone with average profits of £50,000 or less.
  • It will operate for three months initially but could be extended
  • The system will take time to establish and grants won’t be available until June – at which time those eligible will receive a payment for the whole three month period. So in effect, this will be a one-off grant to the self-employed
  • HMRC will use the average trading profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine the size of the grant. For those without 3 years of returns, the
  • Treasury will look at what they do have but there will be nothing for the newly self-employed without any filed accounts.

For details on how to apply and whether you qualify go HERE.

In addition, the government have put together FAQs relating to the scheme, which can be found HERE.

Further financial support for businesses

  • Expanded Retail Rates Exemption – State Aid
    • The Government has confirmed that the exemption being given for the expanded retail, leisure, childcare and hospitality sectors will not be subject to State Aid. This is good news for some of our larger operators, who might have hit the State Aid cap regarding rates relief.
    • Our partners at Colliers International have created a handy summary on rates relief exemptions and grants. They are also happy to try and assist any Cumbria Tourism members struggling with rating issues. Please contact us at and we will put you in touch.
  • Arts Council England is making £160 million of emergency funding available to help protect the people and organisations that make up the arts, museums and libraries during the coronavirus crisis. It has also changed its funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of funding, to help alleviate pressure on them.
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund has made £50million available for a Heritage Emergency Fund to support the UK heritage sector.
  • Sport England is freeing up £195 million of funding to help the sport and physical activity sector. One part of this, the £20m Community Emergency Fund, is now open to applications from organisations experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations.
  • Guidance on Deferral of VAT Payments
  • All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will receive a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months.
  • Relaxation in planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing takeaways without a planning application.
  • VAT for all businesses will be deferred until the end of June and businesses will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.


Filing Accounts

The Government has announced that businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts. Further information on how to apply for an extension can be found HERE.


Business Rates Relief Scheme

The Local Government Association has published fresh advice for Local Authorities on what additional categories of tourism businesses should be included in the Business Rates Relief Scheme.

This relief is available for businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
For all businesses in the above sectors, 100% relief is available for a period of 12 months, irrespective of rateable value.
In addition, a cash grant of up to £25,000 will be made available to businesses with rateable values between 15,000-51,000RV.

While this guidance doesn’t compel individual councils to incorporate these businesses into their schemes, the expanded list of tourism-related operators should allow a wider range of businesses here in Cumbria to make a stronger case to their own Local Authority.

Conference and exhibition venues, travel and tour operators, TICs, coach operators and marina/boat hire/passenger boat facilities are among those business areas on the list.  Read the advice and full list of business types here.


Government Business Support Hub

The Government has set up an online Business Support Hub detailing the full range of measures available.


Further Advice

ACAS Advice (Employment Support to protect staff)

HMRC Time to Pay (Tax Helpline, call 0800 0159 559)

Companies House (if you need more time to file your company accounts)

Licensing Permissions for Pubs and Restaurants

Business Growth Hub (10 steps to take now, webinars, and managing cash flow guidance)


For further information

Contact Reception on
01539 822222 or