• 06/11/20- New National Restrictions from 5th November

    Information on the new restrictions including what they mean for businesses can be found on the GOV.UK website, along with a full list of which businesses need to close.

    (Source: GOV.UK)

  • 05/11/2020- Sunak to extend furlough scheme to end of March

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that he will extend the furlough scheme until the end of March.

    Mr Sunak said the scheme will pay up to 80% of a person’s wage up to £2,500 a month.

    Read more

    (Source: BBC News)

  • 01/10/2020- Business Recovery Grant – Second Rounds opens on 8th October

    The Growth Platform are pleased to announce that the next round of Recovery Grants will be opening for 100 wider economy and 50 visitor economy applications on Thursday 8th October 2020 from 12 noon. Some amendments have been made to… More

  • 30/09/20- The Good Business Festival (Act 1) now open for registration

    Registration for Act 1 of the Good Business Festival is now open. The Good Business Festival is a free digital event taking place on Thursday 8th October. In March 2021, The Good Business Festival itself will take place as a… More

  • 30/09/20- Sefton businesses need to create and display test & trace QR codes

    Sefton Council’s Environmental Health Team is reminding some of the Borough’s businesses that they need to create a QR code for their premises which people can use to check in on the national COVID-19 app. Businesses required by law to… More

  • 30/09/20- Launch of the second round of the Future Innovation Fund (Pilot)

    Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, launched the £3m LCR Future Innovation Fund (Pilot) to support businesses in the region to adapt and innovate in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivered through Growth Platform, the Pilot… More


New package to support and enforce self-isolation


From 28 September, people will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by Test and Trace. To ensure that people on lower incomes are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances, people in work and in receipt of benefits will be eligible for a new Test and Trace Support payment of £500.


To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:


  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  • be employed or self-employed;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.



Local Authorities will be working quickly to set up these self-isolation support schemes and we expect them to be in place by 12 October. Those who start to self-isolate from 28 September will receive backdated payments once the scheme is set up in their Local Authority.

Find out more

02/09/20- Kickstart Scheme opens

New £2 billion Kickstart scheme will create thousands of new jobs for young people.

  • youngsters on Universal Credit aged between 16-24 will be offered six-month work placements – with wages paid by the government
  • launch comes as companies like Tesco pledge to sign up

Read more here.

(Source: GOV.UK)

02/09/2020- Discretionary Business Grant Fund- closed to new applications

Due to Government guidance received on August 27, 2020, the Grant Application Portal closed to new applications for the final time from Midnight (12.00am) on August 28, 2020.

PLEASE NOTE – All new applications are being put on a RESERVE LIST as the current funding allocation has been exceeded – applications on the reserve list will be reviewed if any of the existing applications do not proceed.

PLEASE NOTE – The date of application is NOT the date of the online application – it is the DATE when ALL the required supporting evidence is received, therefore if you decide apply and  be put on the RESERVE LIST  please complete your application by following the instructions given at the end of the online application process as soon as possible  – otherwise your application will not be considered even if funding becomes available.

We would urge you to read the guidance before applying, in some cases applications are taking significantly longer to process due to incorrect information being supplied.

If you made an application and submitted the required supporting evidence over 10 days ago and have not been heard back please email discretionarygrant@sefton.gov.uk stating your business name and reference number in the subject line of the email.

The full eligibility criteria and links to the application portal can be found on Sefton Council’s Website.

19/08/20- Claims open for second self-employed support grant

Millions of self-employed people whose trade has been hit by coronavirus can now apply for a second support grant from the government. More than three million people may be eligible for the payment of up to £6,570 each, which Chancellor Rishi Sunak said would be the final hand-out. Read more here.

(Source: BBC News)


18/08/2020- Discretionary Business Grant Fund- closing date

Sefton Council Discretionary Business Grant Fund will remain open until Wednesday 26th August at 11am.

If you have already made an application and submitted the required supporting evidence over 10 days ago and have not been heard back please email discretionarygrant@sefton.gov.uk stating your business name and reference number in the subject line of the email.

The Discretionary Business Grants Fund aims to help those small businesses with fixed property costs which were not eligible for other existing Government cash grants schemes. It is for businesses who have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The full eligibility criteria and links to the application portal can be found on Sefton Council’s Website.


SMBC Update 15/06/20

As Sefton begins to open as COVID-19 is brought under control, it will start to welcome customers and staff back. Sefton Council and partners have produced a guide to help you create a safe, secure and sustainable reopening and recovery period.

This guide will focus on:

Government & Industry Guidance on Safely Reopening Businesses

Guidelines on Safe Reopening

Recommendations for Businesses


This will help you create a safe and sustainable return for Sefton businesses, residents and visitors.


You can read the full document here.


Remember that InvestSefton are still here for all business support enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

DWP updates 15/05/20


The Government’s has laid out plans for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis. Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy


Funeral Expenses Payments (FEP) Claims Any customers requiring support with Bereavement or FEP, should be directed to contact the Bereavement Service on 0800 731 0469 or should download a FEP claim form from GOV.UK until further notice.

Tax Credits – Those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments affected if they are still employed or self-employed. These customers do not need to contact HMRC about this change.

Food Charities Support – The government has today announced up to £16 million to provide food for those who are struggling as a result of coronavirus. £16 million for food charities to provide meals for those in need The programme will provide millions of meals over the next 12 weeks and be delivered through charities including FareShare and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme)

At least 5,000 frontline charities and community groups in England will benefit, including refuges, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services. It will cover rural areas as well as cities, targeting those who are struggling to get food.




New ‘COVID-19 secure’ government guidelines are available to UK employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible – New guidance launched to help get Brits safely back to work this follows the Prime Minister setting out steps to beat the virus and restart the economy, so we can protect jobs, restore people’s livelihoods and fund the country’s vital public services.

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work and can be found on Gov.uk.  Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19


Furlough Scheme Extended – The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October, the Chancellor announced. Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October In a boost to millions of jobs and businesses, Rishi Sunak said the furlough scheme would be extended by a further four months with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary.

There is a new page on the Employment and benefits support site about furloughing and how it interacts with benefits, etc.https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/employment-and-benefits-support/furlough/


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – From 4 May HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for SEISS. Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment. Alternatively customers, or their agents, can go online and check eligibility for SEISS. The claims service will open on 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. Further information if available on GOV.UK


Bounce Back Loan Scheme – More than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £2 billion have been approved during the first 24 hours of the scheme.


Webinars for SMEs – The Department for International Trade is hosting a series of coronavirus (COVID-19) webinars, free for SMEs across the UK. The webinars, led by nearly 100 expert leads, will offer practical advice to SMEs and focus on issues businesses trading internationally are facing.



Applying for Direct Rent Payments: Rollout of New Process – Currently if a Landlord or Letting agent (in GB) who is not on the Landlord Portal wants to Apply for Direct Rent Payments (ADRP) and / or Rent Arrears they must submit a UC47 form. This form will soon be replaced by a new form ‘Landlord Application for Direct Rent and/or Arrears Payments’ which will be accessed via GOV.UK. On 13th May, landlords who apply via the current UC47 process to request a direct rent payment will now use a new digital form for requests which can be found on the GOV.UK website. .  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-landlord-request-for-a-managed-payment-or-rent-arrears-deduction

Instead of landlords submitting the UC47 via email or post, the new digital form will ask for all the information required, and the request will be sent directly and securely to DWP for approval or rejection. This means landlords will be able to safely include their bank details which will reduce the need for subsequent contact from Universal Credit agents. This makes the process for requests a lot simpler. The criteria to make these requests have not changed, and details of this can also be found on the GOV.UK website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-alternative-payment-arrangements/alternative-payment-arrangements


Rough Sleepers Taskforce – A specialist taskforce has been created to lead the next phase of the government’s support for rough sleepers during the pandemic. Spearheaded by Dame Louise Casey, they will work with councils on plans to ensure rough sleepers can move into long-term, safe accommodation once the immediate crisis is over – ensuring as few people as possible return to life on the streets



Programme to Provide Meals – A £16m programme will provide millions of meals over the next 12 weeks and be delivered through charities. At least 5,000 frontline charities and community groups in England will benefit, including refuges, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services. It will cover rural areas as well as cities, targeting those who are struggling to get food.

Funds to Move Women Away from Crime – £2.5 million is being made available to community services across England and Wales which support women at risk of being drawn into crime. The funding will help cover core costs such as wages, rent and bills. By tackling the root causes of offending these services will help divert women away from criminality and out of prison wherever possible.

Support for Vulnerable – £76 million package of support to ensure the most vulnerable in society get the support they need during the pandemic has been announced. This funding will support survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery as well as ensuring vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need.

Key Websites for Employers and Partners

External organisations should regularly visit the following webpages for the latest position. These pages are constantly being updated so we would not recommend printing.


Information for those with Dental issues

If you have a dental issue during lockdown, it is important that you know how to access help when you need it.

All high street dental and orthodontic practices can give advice, guidance and prescriptions, which you can collect from your local pharmacy.

If you are in pain or in need of support and need help or advice, please telephone your dental practice in the usual way.

If you are not registered with a dentist you can go to https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentistor call the dental helpline:

•Greater Manchester: 0333 332 3800

•Cheshire and Merseyside: 0161 476 9651

•Lancashire: 0300 1234 010

•South Cumbria: 01539 716 822

This may be because you have severe toothache or a dental infection, or you have noticed other changes inside your mouth such as a white orred patch, a lump or an ulcer that won’t heal.

You will be assessed and given advice over the phone, which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist.

In addition, the Liverpool University Dental Hospital is also operating an Emergency Dental Care service for patients registered in Cheshire and Merseyside.

To access this service, please call the Dental Emergency Helpline:

•0151 706 5307

•0151 706 5309

Monday to Friday 8.30am –4.30pm

Saturday 8.30am-12noon

To support NHS services, it is important that you do not visit hospitals or doctors’ surgeries with dental problems.


06/05/2020- Self-employed invited to get ready to make their claims for coronavirus (COVID-19) support

HMRC will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Read more here

(Source: GOV.UK)

04/05/2020- Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

This scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access loans of up to £50,000. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan (Source: Gov.UK) More

20/04/2020- Millions to claim as UK furlough scheme goes live

A government pay scheme to keep staff on the payroll despite not working due to coronavirus has gone live. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52346685

(Source: BBC News)

17/04/2020- Metro Mayor announces £15m Coronavirus business support

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced plans to redirect £15m from existing Combined Authority projects to support businesses and the community and voluntary sector through the Coronavirus crisis.

Click here to read more

Be Kind to your Mind Campaign

Click here for the Be Kind to Your Mind Website.

Online resources for anyone living in the Merseyside area to support mental health and wellbeing. 24/7 support phoneline to support anyone who needs help. For Sefton
Adults 0151 330 7332. Children & Young People 0151 293 3577.

Liverpool City Region Careers Guidance page

A suite of online learning resources designed to support individuals, school careers leaders, careers guidance practitioners and adult learning tutors. SO YOU’RE THINKING OF A CAREER IN… Click the link Here

08/04/20- Sefton Council rolls out business support funding and support to local businesses during COVID-19

Businesses in Sefton are being offered a series of support packages, as measures are taken and developed to tackle the impact of COVID-19. To see the full article please click Here

8/4/20 Recovery of benefit overpayment suspended

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department for Work and Pensions has temporarily paused the recovery of benefit overpayments, for three months. Full details can be read by clicking Here

Sefton Council support during Covid-19

If you need help for you or your household, we recommend that you call Sefton Council on 0345 140 0845 or fill in our online form to ask for the support you need and to get advice on where else you may be able to access information and help. Click the link below to find out more.

Support During Covid 19

Life Rooms Update

Key Worker Travel Update

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is issuing important information and travel advice for key workers who need to travel to deliver vital services to communities.

For Individuals

Looking for Work – Below are links to some of the most popular jobsearch websites to find vacancies in your area.




Understanding Universal Credit – Coronavirus and claiming benefits page – this is constantly being updated –


Online Isolation Notes

People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note  through a new online service. 


New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – How to Claim

New guidance on how to claim New Style, income-related or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance.


Letter from Minister Hall to local authorities

Letter to all local authorities in England to update them on plans to protect rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Working Tax Credits Increased

Working Tax Credits payments  will be increased by £1,045 to £3,040 per year from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021. The amount a claimant or household will benefit from will depend on their circumstances, including their level of household income. But the increase could mean up to an extra £20 each week.

Covid-19 Guidance for employees

Guidance for employees – check if you could be covered by the coronavirus job retention scheme

For Businesses

The InvestSefton team are absolutely aware of the devastating impact that the COVID-19 outbreak is having on businesses in the borough. We are developing our response of support and advice as quickly as possible in partnership with other agencies and organisations. If you need our help call us on 0151 934 3452 or email investsefton@sefton.gov.uk. To keep up to date with latest developments via the Invest Sefton Team, please visit their website www.investsefton.com

InvestSefton have been notified that the Liverpool City Region Growth Platform is now able to offer the following service:  

FREE Professional Counsel Support for Businesses – https://growthplatform.org/business-covid-19-advice/pbs-support/

They will be able to offer advice on a wide range of areas including;

  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Support for Leadership
  • Financial and Legal Advice

Business Support

·       Guidance to employers and businesses about covid19 – job retention scheme

·       Business Support – coronavirus job retention scheme (link is external)

·       Guidance for employers – claim for wage costs through the coronavirus job retention scheme

Added details about the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses


Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) produce a bulletin which provides information for employers and businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19). All the guidance, information and announcements can be found on GOV.UK but the bulletin pulls this information in to one useful document. Anybody can sign up to receive the bulletin – to sign up to the Bulletin click on this link  and enter an email address.



Apprenticeship Programme Guidance

A document has been produced that sets out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has also published new guidance on the delivery of assessment at


Tax Helpline

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to support businesses and individuals when needed. Helpline number: 0800 024 1222.


COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities

Non-statutory guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities in the private and social rented sectors in the context of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

UC Landlord Engagement Newsletter

The newsletter is usually published quarterly and provides information to social and private landlords about UC. This edition is an extra one that aims to provide information to social and private landlords on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and UC.


Supported by Youth Employment Initiative &