Covid-19 (coronavirus) Business Support

The coronavirus pandemic is currently causing major disruption to how we lead our daily lives and this page contains information on business support. 

The Government has announced measures to support businesses – you can see all the information here​.​​

For the latest information on Coronavirus, please visit:

  • Resource area for businesses preparing to reopen 

    Reopening and adapting your business during the coronavirus pandemic.

    We are here to help businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic and to support businesses in reopening

    You can check on the government website whether your business can reopen on the following links.

    Information on businesses that can reopen and those that should remain closed:​

    The guidance below has been produced to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

    If your business is reopening then you have the responsibility to ensure that your businesses follows guidelines on working safely and addresses the risks of COVID-19.​

    Information on Face Coverings:​

    Government Guidance on working safely (includes information on various business types):

    The guidance states that businesses should display the 'Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020' notice to show their employees, customers and other visitors that they have followed the guidance. This can be accessed within the article or HERE.

    HSE Guidance on working safely:

    Guidance for food businesses:

    Important information relating to potential health risks, such as legionella, of dormant water system of businesses that have been closed during lockdown:​

    A guide to Recommissioning of Water System - reopening of buildings:

    To help support you, we’ve created a pack of downloadable signage should you wish to use it.

    These are generic but please refer to latest guidance to determine what’s appropriate for your business.

    Directional Signage

    Social distancing signage​

    Signage useful for takeaway/delivery businesses​

    Card/contactless payments only signage​

    Signage useful for staff areas​ of businesses
    (e.g. hand washing, cleaning, restricted access signs)



    You’ll be aware that the government recently announced additional grant funds made available to eligible businesses, previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme, in the form of Local Authority Discretionary Grants:​

     The fund is limited, and local authorities are required to distribute the funds in line with the recently published government guidance. This guidance also offers local authorities some flexibility in establishing local criteria for grant awards.

    There are a number of mandatory government criteria including;

    - Businesses must not be in receipt of other COVID-19 funding such as Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) or the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

    - Business must have been trading and in occupation on 11 March 2020

    - Must not be eligible for other central government COVID-related grant schemes. 

    - Must not be in administration, insolvent, or a striking off notice made

    In addition to the mandatory criteria provided in the guidance, the government suggests that certain types of business are prioritised for these grant awards, which include:

    -Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment.

    -Businesses with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.

    -Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates​

    -Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

    Chorley Council intends to prioritise these types of business in line with the government guidelines. In addition to this the council has set out additional local criteria, including:

    - The scheme is to be aimed at small and micro businesses with up to 50 employees, however we will also consider requests from businesses with up to 250 employees.

    - Grant requests will be considered for occupied business premises with a rateable value, annual rent or annual mortgage payments of up to £52,020.

    A number of types of business premises will be excluded, which include:

    - Telecommunications masts

    - ATMs

    - EDLs

    - Advertising boards

    - Utility infrastructure

    - Utilities

    - Public sector organisations

    - Housing Associations

    - Offices of local MPs

    - Car Parks (exempt from previous grant scheme)

    - Financial services except Credit Unions

    - Schools

    - Professional services

    - Medical services


    On receipt of forms, we will be reviewing the details provided by local businesses against criteria to determine eligibility.

    The value of the awards to be granted to those businesses that are found to be eligible will be reviewed once we have assessed this information.

  • Coronavirus Business Grants 

    The government announced support in the form of grant funding schemes for businesses eligible for small and rural business grant funding (£10,000) and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector with property with a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 (£10,000) or between £15,001 and £51,000 (£25,000) – you find guidance and eligibility criteria on these Grant Funding Schemes on the Government website HERE

    Please click here to access the Government’s FrequentlyAsked Questions (FAQ) regarding Grant Funding Schemes.

    If you think you should have received an email from us regarding a business grant please check your spam folder for an email from This would have been sent after the end of March. If you think you are eligible for a business grant in line with what the government announced, have checked eligibility criteria HERE but haven’t heard from us, please email​ with your business details (business name, address, phone number and business rates number). Our teams are dealing with a high volume of enquiries regarding business support and other enquiries relating to the COVID-19 response. Please bear with us while we work through these and we’ll be touch as soon as possible. Thank you.

  • Keep up to date with business support 

    If you are experiencing any issues that are not covered by current Government support, or would like to be kept up to date on business services, please provide details HERE​ so that we can include you in future communications and also feedback these issues to the Government.

  • Free Financial Health Checks

    We’re here to support local businesses and appreciate many of you might have questions relating to finances right now. 

    Throughout June & July 2020 we are offering a free financial health check with a regulated accountant for small and medium Chorley based businesses who need to understand their current financial position and create a new financial plan.

    To express your interest, please complete your details on the following link and we’ll be in touch​

  • Temporary Pavement Licensing 

    You may be aware of the recent announcement regarding a Business & Planning Bill including temporary pavement licensing. This will permit businesses such as pubs, restaurants and cafes to use furniture placed on the highway.

    Our pavement licence application form will be available once the bill is approved by government. The fee is expected to be £100 but where possible Chorley Council intend to make this free or charge a nominal fee.

    Applications will be decided on a case by case basis. Due to limitations on space, it is unlikely that we will be able to accommodate every business.

    We will be issuing our policy and application process online, so please look out for this on our website. In the meantime, we urge you to remain responsible and continue to operate your premises in a safe way, including by not causing any obstructions on the highway.

  • Chorley Council commercial tenants 

    If you are a Chorley Council Commercial Tenant, please contact the Asset/Building Manager responsible should you have any difficulty fulfilling the terms of your lease/license. For further information on business support, please email

  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme 

    The Government have announced measures of support for those who are self-employed through the (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. You can find out more information including eligibility criteria on the Government website HERE.​ HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 

    The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered through 40+ British Business Bank accredited lenders and partners, is designed to support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses (SMEs) during the Covid-19 outbreak. Please click HERE​ for more information.

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

    The coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Please see guidance on the Government website HERE​

  • Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan 

    The Chancellor has announced a new loan scheme, the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan, to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus. The scheme will be delivered through a network. For full details, please click HERE​

  • Business Crime Advice 

    Lancashire Constabulary have produced crime prevention tips and guidance that may assist your organisation and your employees. Click here to view.

    Cyber Crime - At this unprecedented time, cyber criminals have been taking advantage of ransomware. The following document can help develop knowledge to ensure you are aware of scams and crimes taking place. Click HERE.

  • Important information on water supply at business premises 

    Public Health England has produced a document concerning water supply and the potential for Legionella (and other microbiological contaminants) to proliferate in the stagnant water supply systems of currently closed businesses. Please click HERE for guidance and advice on what action to take.

  • Useful links 

    Government Website - There is a lot of useful information for businesses on the Government website - please click here.

    HMRC Guidance Videos - There are some useful videos from HMRC for businesses affected by coronavirus click here. Plus you can register for notification of future webinars, videos and online guidance.

    Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub - As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on businesses, Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, is refocussing all its efforts from growth support to business resilience support. Click here to find out more​