COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities and Social Enterprises

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COVID-19 has created extra challenges for the social sector. Many of your staff may now be working from home. You may have had to cancel events and change how you support your service users.

There is support out there to help, from new technologies to guidance and funding, but it isn’t always easy to find. We’re trying to bring all the relevant resources together on this page and will be updating it regularly.

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This page was last updated on 01 April 2020.

What measures has the Government announced that will help charities and social enterprises affected by COVID-19?

Government support measures of interest include:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The scheme will cover up to 80 per cent of wages for those who would otherwise have been laid off due to COVID-19. The scheme is backdated to 1 March and it also applies to some workers laid off after 28 February. All UK businesses, including charities and social enterprises, are eligible.

To access the support employers will need to designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify employees of this change; then submit information on ‘furloughed workers’ to HMRC via a new online portal.

Deferring VAT payments

VAT payments will be deferred for three months from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. All UK businesses are eligible. No applications required.

Statutory Sick Pay relief

Relief to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to employees for sickness absence due to COVID-19 available to any UK business with under 250 employees. Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP. A rebate scheme is being created.

Rates holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses

A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. No action is required. The government has published guidance for local authorities on determining eligibility criteria for business rate relief. Nursery discount guidance has been published here.

Grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Those of a rateable value of under £15,000, will receive £10,000. Those with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000, will receive £25,000. No action is required. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Small Business Grant Scheme

Small businesses based in England, that occupy property and receive Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief (RRR) are eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000 to help meet ongoing business costs.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Small and medium-sized UK businesses may be able to access bank lending and overdrafts. To be considered you must have a turnover of under £45 million and meet the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria.

HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

UK businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s Coronavirus helpline on 0800 0159 559.

The COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme

The Welsh Government has announced a £100m 'COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme' to support Welsh businesses, social enterprises and charities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Scheme will be available from the Development Bank of Wales for a limited period. It is intended to provide support to businesses who are experiencing cash flow difficulties as a result of the pandemic.

Find out more on the COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme.

Further information from the government:

Coronavirus latest:

Further guidance for charities and social enterprises:

NCVO: Protecting your staff, volunteers and beneficiaries

NCVO: Contingency planning and financial implications

Free business support for charities:

Cranfield Trust provide free tailored business support to charities and the social sector. During this challenging time, all services can be accessed remotely, so you can still get the expert business support you need, wherever you are.

Here are some of the ways Cranfield Trust can help you – all these services are free for charities to access:

  • 1:1 telephone support - from experts on topics including finance, communication, and business contingency planning.
  • HRNet - tailored HR and employment advice for charities in England and Wales.
  • Management Consultancy – longer term support, to help your charity thrive.
  • Mentoring - personal support for leaders in difficult times.

To find out more and get help for your charity, please email or visit


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Charity Bank has developed a list of emergency funds for charities and social enterprises that are experiencing difficulties. Read more

Fundraising & Philanthropy:

Travel advice:

Funders' response:

Mental health resource:

Working from home resources:

We are entering an unprecedented and fast-moving, constantly changing situation. Whilst we will do our best to keep this page updated, it should not be considered a source for the latest government advice which should be obtained directly from Links to external providers should not be considered a recommendation or endorsement of those providers’ products and/or services.