Coronavirus news and support for businesses, employers and the self-employed

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News and updates

The latest updates and guidance on national restrictions can be found on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page on GOV.UK.

Sign up to our Business Support eNewsletter to receive regular updates about new grants and support schemes as well as information to help your business. You can also follow us on Twitter


Financial support availability

Financial support may be available to businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

This financial support may be administered by government departments as well as other public bodies such as councils or Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). 

We have teamed up with Business South to produce a free business survival guide. The guide is designed to help businesses improve their resilience during difficult trading conditions including diversification, future planning and accessing finance.  

New Forest business survival guide [595.86KB]


Financial support administered by the government

The latest support and guidance for businesses, employers and the self-employed during coronavirus can be found on the GOV.UK coronavirus business support page.

You may be entitled to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for sickness absence due to coronavirus if you are a small or medium-sized business. Visit the GOV.UK website to check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay

HMRC has produced guidance to help employers find out what equipment, services or supplies are taxable if your employees are working from home due to coronavirus. 
Visit the GOV.UK website to check which expenses are taxable if your employee works from home.


Local support 

New Forest Business Partnership (NFBP)
NFBP is a not-for-profit organisation supporting local businesses. It brings local businesses together and hosts opportunities throughout the year to help stay informed and competitive. This can lead to useful connections, sharing of ideas, collaboration on projects and opportunities for new business. Events can be found on the NFBP website where you can also pre-register to attend.  

Small and medium sized business advice and support
Free local business support is available via the Solent LEP Growth Hub. The service is available to all New Forest based small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), regardless of age, stage of growth or sector.

The service acts as an impartial first point of contact for your business and will help you to navigate to the right advice for your particular circumstances. It will equip you with the tools and techniques to assist you on a range of topics such as business resilience, finance and funding, operations and much more.

To speak with a member of the Solent LEP Growth Hub, complete the enquiry form on the Solent LEP website.

Go New Forest
Go New Forest is a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC) that delivers marketing and promotional support for the district. This includes the New Forest National Park and its visitor economy businesses. Visit the Go New Forest website to view useful information for businesses in the visitor economy.


Additional advice for employers

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) provides free Employment Law advice for business owners and employers. ACAS offers webinars providing practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace. 

You can register for webinars in advance on the ACAS website.


Guidance for food and drink businesses

Government guidance for food and drink businesses is available on the GOV.UK website.  

This includes information about: 

  • coronavirus and food
  • food hygiene guidance
  • food hygiene guidance
  • maintaining social distancing in specific food business settings

There is also local support and guidance provided by our Health and Safety for Businesses.


Guidance for tourism businesses

In England, businesses must align with the government's official guidance for the sector including 'Working Safely during Coronavirus: the visitor economy'.


Guidance for export businesses

The Department for International Trade has published guidance for UK businesses trading internationally, including a business support helpline. 

Visit the GOV.UK website for support for UK businesses trading internationally.

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