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Business Support

We're here to support our local businesses thorough the Covid-19 pandemic.

Current guidance

Latest general Coronavirus guidance from government.

In England, face coverings must now be worn in shops and shopping centres, in transport hubs and on public transport. See when to wear a face covering.

In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should still continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.

Some people, including children under 11, are exempt from having to wear face coverings in any setting. Furthermore, anyone with a health condition or disability, which means they cannot wear a face covering, has a reasonable excuse for not wearing a face covering.

Posters alerting customers to the face covering guidance are able to be downloaded here.

Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) — Business owners can watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available to help deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.



Coronavirus (Covid-19) Business Support

Please see the official website for an overview of Covid-19 business support.

Covid-19 Support Grant Schemes

We're aware of the Chancellor's recent announcement (21 December 2021) about additional support for businesses who have been impacted by the omicron variant.

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant provides local councils with one-off grant funding to support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses, in recognition that the rise of the Omicron variant means that some businesses are likely to struggle.

You can read further details about the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant on the government website.

We will be contacting businesses, who we think may be eligible for this grant, by email. If you think your business may be eligible for this grant and you have NOT previously claimed Coronavirus grants from the council, please contact us by emailing by Friday 28 January 2022.

Additional Restrictions Grant Tranche 4 (ARG4)

We will be contacting businesses, who we think may be eligible for this grant, by email. If you think your business may be eligible for this grant and you have NOT previously received Coronavirus grant funding from us, please email by Monday 24 January 2022


Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG)

LRSG (Open) and LRSG (Closed) schemes have now ended.

Restart Grants

The Restart Grant scheme has now ended.

Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG)

The 2020/21 ARG scheme has now ended. Please see below the details of the new ARG tranche 3 grant scheme.


Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) August 2021 onwards

The application deadline for ARG3 grant scheme was midnight on 31 October 2021 and the scheme is now closed. Unfortunately, we are not able to consider late applications because the funding is limited.  

Grant Qualifying Criteria

These grants are open to businesses based and operating in South Ribble.

Businesses can only apply in one category (please see table below).

To ensure as many people as possible can be assisted, only one application is permitted per business/applicant/premises.

Businesses must have been active and trading as usual on the 1 September 2021.

The grant must not be used as a wage supplement.

Businesses that are dormant, in liquidation, dissolved, or subject to a striking-off notice are not eligible.

Applications will be processed after the 31 October closing date and will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

We reserve the right to amend the scheme at any time.

This scheme is aligned to the Government guidance published in June 2021 and operating guidance issued to local authorities.

Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum Subsidy Allowance limits permitted under the de minimis and the COVID19 Temporary State Aid Framework are excluded.

Grant Categories

The ARG3 scheme can assist businesses which are starting-up, taking on commercial premises, recruiting and training, making premises more resilient and businesses remaining impacted by economic circumstances.

Market Traders: This category is to assist market stallholders on Leyland Market, which remains impacted by low footfall. Applicants must have been a stallholder on Leyland Market for at least 6 months on 1st September 2021.

Training / Retraining: This category is to assist sectors, which have difficulty in recruiting trained staff and therefore need to train newly recruited staff and sectors needing to retrain staff to fill skills gaps. The Skills Support for the Workforce programme provides a wide range of fully funded training in Lancashire. Apprenticeships offer a wide range of training qualifications. This category is to assist businesses, which are training staff, on a recognised training course (A training course leading to a nationally recognised qualification or certificate from a recognised training organisation or professional body) , starting between 1st October 2021 and 31st March 2022, which is not available through Skills Support for the Workforce or an apprenticeship (cannot fund retrospective expenditure).

Recruitment: This category is to assist sectors such as hospitality and care, which have reported recruitment difficulties. The grant can support administration costs of setting up a new employee such as advertising, equipment and induction costs (it cannot be used to pay wages). Businesses must be recruiting staff between 1st October 2021 and 31st March 2022, which are not apprenticeships, Kickstart placements or any other Government funded recruitment scheme.

Empty Commercial Premises: This category is to support any business that is taking on empty commercial premises by cushioning the initial costs, helping to support jobs. Business must be moving into commercial premises (retail or other commercial premises), which was empty on 1st September 2021 and is listed by the VOA for business rates

Workspace: This category is to assist businesses, which want to make permanent adaptations to their premises to make them Covid-secure in the long term. ARG cannot be used for capital expenditure but this grant can help businesses to offset other costs such as fixtures, fittings and signage. Business must be making adaptations to premises (cannot fund retrospective expenditure).

Start-up: This category is to assist new businesses, which started within 2021 or are starting-up now, to help them with initial start-up costs and to create a job. ARG cannot be used to fund wages or personal income for the person starting the business but it can be used to support start-up business costs such as rent, utilities and insurance etc. Business must be an additional business contributing to the local economy / jobs, be registered and operating within South Ribble and have started since 1st January 2021. For self-employed business applicants, it must be their only employment.

Hardship: This category is to assist businesses, which are impacted by the current economic circumstances. Business must be able to demonstrate a significant loss of income during the qualifying period (July to September 2021) compared with the equivalent period in 2020 or 2019.

Grant Amounts


Grant Amounts

Market Traders (Leyland Market)£2,000
Training/Retraining (unfunded training)Up to £1,000
Sector Skills/Recruitment SupportUp to £1,000

Bringing Empty Commercial Premises Back into Use

Rateable Value less than £15,000, £5,000; Rateable Value over £15,001, £10,000

Reconfiguring Commercial Premises to be Covid Secure

Up to £2,500
Start-up Business (within 2021)Home based £1,000; Rateable Value up to £15,000, £2,500; Rateable Value over £15,001, £5,000

Hardship due to economic circumstances

Home based, £2,000; Rateable Value less than £15,000, £4,000; Rateable Value over £15,001 £6,000


The application deadline of midnight on 31 October 2021 has passed and the scheme is now closed.

Please email any business support enquiries to

Please see for general information on business support



The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Funding will cover for each job placement:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • the associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

If your business would like to offer a placement, please email us:

Find out more here


Self-isolation support for those who are self-employed

Test and Trace support grants are available to those on low incomes who have been told to self-isolate.

Find out more and how to apply

Any additional funding opportunities will be updated to this page as and when we receive information.

If you have any additional business support enquiries, or would like to let us know your email address to notify you, please email: 

Frequently asked questions for businesses during Covid-19


NHS Test and Trace

Businesses are encouraged to continue displaying NHS QR codes.

Certain venues, including venues run by local authorities are now be legally required to display NHS QR posters in their venues. This includes all venues from the following sectors:

  • hospitality;
  • leisure and tourism;
  • close contact services; and
  • local authority venues.

Further details on the announcement 

Bank of resources which you can share with your own venues or with businesses in your area

Further materials on our business to business campaign which also may be useful 


Additional support

Re-opening your business in a COVID-secure way 

Government support measures - financial

Government Business Support 

Working safely during coronavirus


Lancashire Skills Swap

Launched by the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub to support the local business community.

The service is dedicated to helping businesses who are looking for staff or volunteers, want to train their staff or want to offer people with knowledge and expertise to work for another business.

Businesses can access by visiting Lancashire Skills Swap and registering their details.

Opportunities are posted on the Skills Swap Noticeboard so you can see what is needed and what is on offer.

The Skills Hub team support people and businesses to link up and swap skills, as well as helping businesses access training for current staff, and for furloughed staff in preparation for the future.


Skills support for redundancy

The Skills Support for redundancy programme is available in Lancashire as part of Skills Support for the Workforce. The programme provides a fully funded tailored service for employers, and can support employees at risk of redundancy or who have been made redundant in the last 3 months.

Support includes employability skills, CV developing, IT and interview skills.

For more information email


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