UK Music Information To Businesses On COVID-19

UK Music has collected information from Government and funding bodies for businesses affected by coronavirus.

Across the UK

Lockdown Updates

Due to the spread of covid-19 all non-essential businesses were ordered to close. These restrictions are now in the process of being lifted. However the implementation of public health measures to control the spread of covid-19 is a devolved matter, therefore while the UK Government makes the rules for England, in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland the Welsh and Scottish Governments and the Northern Ireland Executive respectively have the power the make and enforce their own rules. This guidance is continually changing therefore we would advise that you check the website of your relevant Government. All re-opening workplace must be covid-19 secure and have plans in place to prevent the spread of covid-19. The UK Government guidance on this can be found here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If you are a business that has been forced to close to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has launched a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cover up to 80% of the wages of your workers who were on pay roll as of 19th March, backdated from 1st March. This also applies to workers employed as of 28th February who have already been laid off, if they were brought back onto the pay roll. The scheme is now open and you can apply here and can find more details about the scheme here.

If you are an employee looking for more information about furloughing and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and how it might affect you, please check the Government guidance here.

Business Rate Holiday

If you are a business in Retail, Hospitality or Leisure in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland you will be eligible for a full Business Rate Holiday for the 2020/2021. This specifically includes live music venues and if your Local Authority deems you eligible they will contact you in due course. If you believe you are eligible and have not been contacted you should get in touch with your Local Authority. This does not apply to businesses with a rateable value of above £500,000 in Wales.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will provide up to 80% cover for loans of up to £5 million from commercial banks to small businesses, interest on these loans will not be due for 12 months. Apply here. For businesses with a turnover of over £45 million Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme can provide up to £25 million in finance or £50 million for companies with a turnover of over £250 million. This scheme is now open here.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Debt support for larger firms will be provided through the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, through which the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. This scheme is now open, you can find the eligibility criteria and an application form here.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

support for small businesses that might not meet traditional lending guidelines may be available through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, this scheme will provide 100% Government guaranteed loans of up to £50,000 for eligible small, to find out more about how to apply please visit here.

VAT Holiday

The Government has also introduced a holiday on VAT payments, these have been deferred until June.

Statutory Sick Pay Refund

Small and Medium Businesses will be eligible for a refund for Statutory Sick Pay, if you have fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020, this refund will cover 14 days sick pay for any eligible employee affected by COVID-19 from the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to self-isolators comes into force, you should keep a record of absences, but you will not have to provide a GP’s sick note for the employees. This will be done through a repayment mechanism that will be set up in due course.

Even if your company is now insolvent the Government can cover Statutory Sick Pay for your employees if they have or are self-isolating due to Coronavirus. The advice is for the employee to call the Statutory Payment Disputes Team Telephone: 03000 560 630, more details can be found here.

Tax Payments

If you are likely to struggle with tax payments due to coronavirus, HMRC is offering help and support for businesses, including payment plans, suspending debt collection and cancelling penalties and interest when administrative issues arise they can be contacted on 0800 0159 559 (8.00 – 20.00 Mon – Fri, 8.00 – 16.00 Sat, closed Bank Holidays). Find out more here.

Small Business Grant Fund

If you are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief you will be eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000 from the Small Business Grant Fund, or the relevant devolved fund for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is for businesses with a rateable property value of up to £15,000 in England and Northern Ireland, £12,000 in Wales and £18,000 in Scotland.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure with a value of above the small business rateable property value (£12,000 Wal. £15,000 Eng. + NI, £18,000 Scot.) and below £51,000 you will be eligible for a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund grant of £25,000 or the same amount from the relevant devolved fund for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The guidance to businesses for both these funds in England has been issued here.

These schemes, as well as the business rate holiday, will be administered by your Local Authority and they in turn  will be reimbursed by either the UK Government or the relevant devolved Government, you will not have to apply.

IR 35 Reform Delay

The Government has also decided to delay the IR 35 reforms that were due to come into the private sector this year. Therefore there will be no changes to IR 35 for people in the private sector this financial year.

Future Fund & Innovate UK

If you are a high growth firm, or focused on research or development in an innovative area of the UK economy you may eligible for additional help either through the Future Fund, that will be open from May to September 2020, or Innovate UK. You can find out more information bout the Future Fund eligibility criteria here and the Innovate UK funding here.


For more information about other UK Government supported resources such as webinars and Growth Hubs, please click here.



Lockdown Update

If you are a business-to-business company (not in non-essential retail, hospitality, services or leisure) and you cannot work from home you are allowed to ask your workers to return to work. If you are part of an outdoor market you will be allowed to return on 1st June. Other non-essential retailers are to return on 15th June, subject to the Governments tests for re-opening to be met. Updates will be posted on the website here.

London Culture at Risk - Business Support Fund

If you are a creative workspace or grassroot music venue in London you may be eligible for a grant through the Culture at Risk - Business Support Fund or you can get tailored service support with applications or mediating disputes through the Culture at Risk Office you can find out more here.



Lockdown Update

In Wales there is a list of essential businesses that are allowed to open, all other businesses are advised to close and work from home where possible. Updates will be posted on the Welsh Government website here.

Economic Resilience Fund

The Welsh Government has established an Economic Resilience Fund to provide further support for businesses forced to cease trading due to the pandemic. This includes new loans available from the Development Bank of Wales or cash grants for businesses not covered by the grants already announced, including for micro, medium and large employers. The different streams have different openings depending on your business size, you can find further details here.

Creative Wales Fund

If you are a grassroots music venue in Wales you can seek a grant of up to £25,000 from the Creative Wales Fund, this can cover staff costs, supplier costs or the cost of cancelled bookings, further details can be found here, and you need to email for an application form.

Business Grants

For applying for business grants in Wales, please apply through the Business Wales website which you can accessed here.


You can also get additional help, advice and support through the Business Wales, you can find more about the support available for the cultural sector in Wales here, and they can be reached via phone at 030 006 03000.

If you have a loan from the Development Bank of Wales you will not have to make any capital repayments for 3 months.



Lockdown Update

Only essential retailers are currently allowed to open in Scotland. Other businesses are advised to work from home where possible.Updates will be posted on the Scottish Government website here. The workplace guidance applying in Scotland can be found here.

Business Rate Relief

For more information on how to apply for the Business Rate relief and grant schemes in Scotland, please see the Scottish Government website here.

All properties in Scotland will receive 1.6% in rate relief, effectively freezing the poundage rate next year.

Grant Support

The Scottish Government is also offering a suite of additional grant support, including a Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, managed by Local Authorities, the Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund managed by Local Enterprise Partnerships,and the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund for vulnerable SMEs of local and national importance managed by Enterprise Funds. They are now open and you find more information on other grants as well as how to apply here.

Creative Scotland Open Fund for Organisations

If you are looking at new ways of working or sustaining your business Creative Scotland may be able to help through the Open Fund for Organisations, this is not an emergency support fund but intended to support innovation in the Scottish creative sector through the pandemic.


Scottish Water has decided to suspend pre-payment for licensed providers for two months, to start in April.

Scottish businesses should contact the Scottish Government Business helpline on 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Find out more here.


Northern Ireland

Lockdown Update

Outdoor retailers and outdoor businesses e.g. drive in cinemas are allowed to re-open, along with essential retailers, those who cannot work from home are encouraged to return to work where the business is COVID Secure.

Updates will be posted on the Northern Ireland Executive website here.

Business Rates Relief

The Northern Ireland Executive, in addition to the support outlined above has decided to reduce Business Rates in Northern Ireland for all businesses by 12.5% and freeze domestic rates, for the latest updates on the actions of the Northern Ireland Executive please check here.


The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has announced that the planned rent rise of 2.7% for the homes they run will be delayed until October 2020. More info here.


For more informtion

Information to self-employed on COVID-19 click here

Information on emergency funding click here

Information if you are in receipt of funding click here

Information to artists following SXSW 2020 cancellation click here

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