COVID-19 Guidance for Our Customers 


Currently, our locations remain open and operational, but with many colleagues in isolation and schools now closed, our on the ground presence is decreasing. As such, it’s becoming likely we’ll need to reduce services in some places and focus on the basics of keeping our buildings safe and secure.


Our customer operations managers are in continual conversation with our customers to share information relating to this and any confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the building. If a case is reported we’ll liaise with Public Health England to follow its guidance. We’ll also contact all other customers in that building directly to let them know if a case has been reported. If we’re asked to close a building, then we will. 


All community events in Innovation Birmingham buildings have been suspended for at least the next three weeks and we’re reviewing the situation regularly before reinstating them. We’re looking into a virtual programme of events, activities and workshops to help keep our communities connected. You can read more about this further down this page.


While businesses continue to be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, we will share news of any financial support available from the government and other sources. Please find the latest updates below:

Business Support: Government 


Here is the latest position on UK Government support:


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme


All UK businesses are eligible for reimbursement from HMRC of 80% of furloughed workers wage costs up to £2.5K p/m. Employers need to designate affected employees as furloughed workers and submit information to HMRC through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).


Deferring VAT


There will be a VAT deferral from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. This is automatic so businesses do not need to take any action.


Income Tax


For the self-employed, Self Assessment payments due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021. This is automatic and no action needs to be taken.


Statutory Sick Pay Relief


Employers with less than 250 staff can receive up to 2 weeks' SSP per eligible employee. The repayment mechanism for employers will be set up as soon as possible.


Business Rates Holiday


All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will be granted a 12-month business rates holiday. This is automatic and will apply to the next council tax bill in April 2020.



£10K &25K Grants


All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England with rateable value <£15K can apply for grant funding of £10,000.


All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England with property with a rateable value £15K - £51K can apply for grant funding of £25,000. 


The local authority will write to the business if they are eligible for this grant. Any enquiries should be directed to the relevant local authority.


Small business £10K Grant

Qualifying Businesses in England occupying property and already receiving SB Rates Relief and/or Rural Rates Relief are eligible for grant funding of £10,000. The local authority will write to the business if they are eligible for this grant. Any enquiries should be directed to the relevant local authority.


HMRC Time To Pay Scheme


Self-employed and businesses with outstanding tax liabilities can receive support with their tax settlement agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. Call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL)


Any UK businesses with a turnover <£45M can apply for a loan up to £5 million, 12 months interest free. 80% of the loan is government backed. Available from 23 March via 40 banks. See British Business Bank for details.


Corporate Financing Facility


The Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. The scheme will be available early in the week beginning 23 March 2020. More information on how to access the scheme will be available shortly from the Bank of England.


All of the above measures are covered in detail and updated here

Business support: Growth Hub


Online resources portal including:



Business support: Private loans


Lloyds Banking Group are making £2 billion available to small businesses affected.


NatWest are making £5 billion available.


Travel advice 


There are currently no limitations for travel to and within the UK. However the Government is advising against non-essential use of public transport and for people to vary travel times to avoid rush hour. 


At this time, Birmingham's transport network is continuing to run services on reduced timetables.


Innovation Birmingham Events


We are working with our partners to continue offering business advice clinics virtually. We will share further details of these as soon as they are available.


While many in our community will be unable to physically interact with each other due to current circumstances, we know it’s important that everyone is able to stay connected so we’re exploring the best options available for keeping the conversations and collaboration going. We will follow up with you about this in the coming days. 


If you have something to contribute or ideas for talks, topics, webinars or requests you'd like us to consider, please do get in touch. 


IT Advice for Home Working


Lucid Networks,  a customer at our sister site, MSP, is offering tips and advice to businesses to equip their teams for working from home:


Take a Break


It’s more important than ever to take regular breaks and stretch your legs. The uncertainty of the COVID-19 outbreak brings with it additional pressures and anxiety so we all need to take a moment and be kind to ourselves. 


The Headspace app is offering a free series of sessions titled Weathering The Storm. It includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out, however you’re feeling. Find out more here:


For those working in the biomedical and life sciences sectors, BioNow will be hosting virtual coffee breaks. You can join in on Wednesday 25th March at 11am – just grab yourself a coffee and dial into 0330 998 1256 (Access Code: 399460).


Page updated: 23rd March 2020 12:30


Previous / out of date info below this line


The Chancellor made a financial statement on 17 March to enhance the support made available in the Budget for businesses and individuals impacted by Covid-19. The current package is worth £330bn and includes:


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans



Small business grants


  • Firms eligible for small business rates relief, around 700,000 businesses, will receive £10,000 cash grant to support cash flows




  • Mortgage lenders will offer a three-month mortgage holiday to those in difficulty due to Coronavirus

  • Further developments are expected in the coming days, following work with trade unions and businesses to develop new forms of employment support to help protect jobs and income

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