Financial Support & Advice


The government has made various announcements on support for businesses and workers. The support and information available is constantly being updated. This page will be updated as we new information is released.


Updated 12 May 15:00


The Government has announced that the furlough scheme has been extended to October


Key measures to date announced  include:


  • The Government has launched a new coronavirus business support tool to help businesses and self-employed people assess what support is available.
  • Small Business Bounce Back Loans – businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form
  • The Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates car finance, has brought in the following measures: Three-month payment holidays. If you’re financially affected by coronavirus car finance lenders have to consider offering a three-month payment holiday. If they think a payment holiday isn’t suitable, they must offer other help. This may apply if you’re already in arrears or if your financial troubles are likely to be longer than three months. Car finance lenders can’t repossess vehicles if you’re struggling due to coronavirus. Lenders won’t be able to end the car finance agreement or repossess your vehicle due to coronavirus-related payment struggles.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority has announced that payday lenders must offer payment holidays for customers who are struggling due to coronavirus and who ask their lender for help. Payday loan customers can ask for a one-month payment holiday, and there’ll be no interest racking up in that time.
  • The Government scheme will allow people who are self-employed claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
  • If you are experiencing financial difficulties meeting your mortgage repayments because of COVID-19, you may be entitled to a mortgage or rental holiday for 3 months. This includes if you are a landlord whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19. If you are a tenant experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, the government will ensure you do not face the threat of eviction for at least 3 months.
  • The Government will pay 80% of the salary of staff who are kept on by their employer and would otherwise face redundancy covering wages of up to £2,500 a month – the furlough scheme has been extended to June at least.
  • The Minimum Income Floor in Universal Credit will be suspended ‘for everyone affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus’. Self employed people can access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees (approximately £95 per week).
  • Employment and Support Allowance will be payable for people directly affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating according to government advice from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth day.
  • People will be able to claim UC and access advance payments where they are directly affected by COVID-19 (or self-isolating), without the current requirement to attend a jobcentre.
  • The next HMRC self-assessment payments will be deferred until January 2021.
  • Introducing ‘Time to Pay’ arrangements – a time-limited deferral period on HMRC liabilities owed and a pre-agreed time period to pay these back – for businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax
  • HMRC has set up a dedicated COVID-19 helpline to help those in need, and they may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.
  • HMRC will also waive late payment penalties and interest where a business experiences administrative difficulties contacting HMRC or paying taxes due to COVID-19.
  • A new, temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, to support businesses to access bank lending (loans of up to £1.2 million) and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan.
  • The proposed rollout of IR35 to the private sector in April has been postponed for one year as a result of COVID-19.




Support and helplines


If you or someone you know is suffering from Domestic Abuse, isolation rules do not apply. Police response and support services remain available. Nationally, there is advice and support available but you should call 999 if you are in immediate danger. Locally, the Solace Advocacy and Support Service is also available to women and men in Southwark aged 16 or over in Southwark.

Childline: 0800 1111
Samaritans: 116 123
Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
Mind: 0300 123 3393
Age UK: 0800 169 6565


Further information

Link to apply for self-employed grant

Government Website

Self employed and universal credit

Small Business Cash Grant

Citizens Advice

Universal Credit information

Employment Support information 

The Money Advice Service

HMRC Covid Helpline

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE)

Martin Lewis Money saving Expert Covid-19 advice

Organisations providing help and suppport

We are putting together a list of organisations that may be able to offer both mental and or financial help for students suffering as a result of the COVID-19 situation. As the situations changes the support and grants offered may change.


Support for mental health

NHS Every Mind Matters – help and advice for looking after your mental health whilst following guidelines to stay at home

Student Minds

Save the Student – has a section on self-isolating at University

MIND for better Mental Health


Exercise and activities


Sport England – Stay in Work Out

Coursera FREE online short courses


Financial assistance

The Princes Trust 

Trussell Trust Foodbanks

Hospitality Action – grants for people working in the hospitality industry

Institute of Osteopathy Hardship Fund