Business Support

Information last updated: 7 June 2020

The government continues to provide additional detail behind the numerous business support schemes that have been introduced. With the publication of more detail, the gaps between the schemes also becomes clearer, and new areas of uncertainty emerge.
Members should keep checking back to the government guidance, which is regularly updated, and at the same time should be aware of the proliferation of fake news stories including fraudulent messages containing cyber-attacks and ransomware.

As the situation continues to evolve, BSHAA will signpost to sources we believe are reliable and will continue to highlight issues our members should consider. Members should be aware that BSHAA is not authorised to offer financial or business advice, and members are advised that, in all cases, it is their responsibility to consult appropriate professional advice.

It is generally understood that there are gaps between the schemes which will leave a number of businesses and individuals disadvantaged, and it is likely that some independent audiologists will receive limited protection through these difficult times. 

We highlight below what resources and benefits are potentially available to individual members based on the nature of their employment.



The information in the links above contains many schemes that are UK-wide. Please note that the devolved nations have different schemes around business rates support and associated grants.


The Welsh Government has announced a package of support worth £1.4bn for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak. Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses receive 100% business rates relief for the financial year 2020/21. For retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000, a grant of £25,000 will be offered. It also provides a £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. Businesses that qualify for this support will not need to do anything to apply for this scheme. This will be administered through the Business Rates system. You do not need to contact your Local Authority about this, you will receive information in due course.


The Scottish government has so far announced that with effect from 1 April there will be a full year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism; £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief; £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000; and 1.6% relief for all properties, effectively freezing the poundage rate next year. £10,000 grant applications are now open for small businesses in Scotland. Qualification criteria: In receipt of Small Business Bonus rates relief scheme/Rural Relief/Nursery Relief/Disabled Relief. The grant is related to your business premises – if you are working from home it’s not clear if it applies. Application forms can be downloaded from your local council’s website – search CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS SUPPORT FUND. Closing date for applications: 31st March 2021.


There will be a three-month rates holiday for all business ratepayers, excluding public sector and utilities. This means that no rates will be charged for April, May and June 2020, reducing the 2020-21 annual rate bill for business ratepayers by 25%. The Northern Ireland Executive has announced two grants to be made available to businesses affected by coronavirus. A grant of £25,000 to be provided to companies in the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors with a rateable value from £15,000 up to £51,000. A grant of £10,000 to all small businesses which are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief scheme. Details of these have yet to be published.