Cost of living support and advice

We’re here to help business survive, grow and thrive through these tough times. We can provide comprehensive business support, access to funding, data and training and deliver programmes to support skills development, recruitment and job placements.

If you’re a Portsmouth business and need to access support, help and guidance, you can contact us by completing our online form. A member of the council’s Business Support team will get in touch with you as soon as they can.

Don’t delay, chat to us today.

You can also call our friendly business telephone helpline 023 9284 1641 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or email us at

Helping employees

We’re here to help you support your employees.

  • Target support towards your lower income and vulnerable employees. If you can’t pay more, can you improve their benefits?
  • Protect your staff and their mental wellbeing. Check in with staff via regular meetings and provide an open forum where cost of living concerns can be raised.
  • Be upfront with staff and consider developing their skills. Streamlining the workforce may be necessary so seek legal advice early. Consider training courses to upskill workers and increase output.

Useful links

Helping with finances

We’re here to help you with your finances.

  • Protect your access to cash. Can you request payment holidays from some of your bills? Can you apply for affordable credit before it is needed?
  • Keep control of budgets. Consider innovating to an all-in-one POS system (inventory, sales data, CRM and Ecommerce) and review third party contracts.
  • Reduce your costs. Can you cut back on non-essential services?
  • Innovate to save on energy bills. Join Business Climate hub 
  • Ask service providers for a discount? If you’re a small business Citizen’s Advice can help you with this – chat to them online about an energy problem
  • Check if your business could get energy bill relief

Useful links:

Helping develop customers and sales

We’re here to help you develop customers and improve sales.

  • Understand the needs of your lower income and vulnerable customers and innovate to provide products and services that are affordable. Ensure customers keep returning by adopting a loyalty or buy now pay later scheme.
  • Do you need revenue or profit? Prioritising revenue helps cashflow, profit provides sustainable growth. Can you change your sales objectives?
  • Maximise revenues. Promote your profitable goods or services. Ask your customers what else they would like? Utilise free online opportunities such as our free online business listings site Rediscover Portsmouth
  • Adopt technology to drive growth. Try to automate at least one process such as online payment systems, HR management or accounting platforms.
  • Sell whatever is on the truck. Existing inventory or services can act as a cash cow. Turn assets into cash.
  • Get networking. Join a free group to gain new insights.

Useful links

Help for small business

All businesses should be able get help with energy bills from the government as part of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme but if you’re still finding it hard to pay your small business’s energy bills there are other steps you can take. Visit Citizen’s Advice for comprehensive advice

Find out what other support is available for small businesses

Helping you

Running a business can be stressful, especially during a cost of living crisis. Here are a few tips on looking after yourself.

  • Make time for yourself through walking, exercise and being with your family or friends.
  • Take enough from the business to cover your own bills.
  • Talk to someone before problems get too big, talk to a mentor and reach out to support organisations.

Useful links