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We are currently in Step Four of the government roadmap which means all businesses and venues, including nightclubs, are allowed to be open and there are no longer capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events.

Pubs, restaurants and bars are no longer required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules.

The government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, although they expect and recommend a gradual return over the summer.

You can find more information on the government website

Please check this page for up-to-date information for business support

You can also contact our dedicated business support line on 023 9284 1641, Monday to Friday.

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Find out more about crowdfunding for your business

Furlough Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. From 1 July 2021, the government will pay 70 per cent of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

Employers will top up employees’ wages to make sure they receive 80% of wages (up to £2,500) in total for the hours the employee is on furlough. The caps are proportional to the hours not worked.

Find out more about how the scheme is changing.

Supporting self-isolating staff in step 4

As coronavirus restrictions ease, regular testing, contact tracing and self-isolating continues to be vitally important in limiting the spread of coronavirus in Portsmouth. Please encourage your employees to:

  • Do twice-weekly rapid home tests when they don’t have symptoms – one in three who catch the virus show no symptoms and so risk infecting others.
  • If they develop any symptoms, no matter how mild, they must isolate and book a PCR test, even if they’ve had the vaccine.

If your staff members don’t self-isolate when they should, they will be breaking the law and could be fined.

It’s crucial that you support staff who need to self-isolate to help protect other members of your staff and your customers. Test and Trace support payments are available if people need to self-isolate but can’t work from home and so will lose vital income as a result.

We have developed a guide to self-isolating that explains when you need to self-isolate, and what you can and can’t do while you’re self-isolating.

Exemption to self-isolation (19 July-16 August)

The only exception to self-isolating applies to critical workers alerted as being close contacts (without symptoms), who are approved as exempt under the Government’s rules on self-isolation. Organisations deemed to have employees who are part of critical infrastructure will be contacted by the relevant government department for their industry with a process on how to apply for exemptions where necessary. Exemptions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and there will be specific requirements which need to be applied and risk assessed.

You can find out more online at:

Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue

Use this service to create a QR code for display in your venue. Get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

QR poster


Crowdfunder, Portsmouth City Council and Shaping Portsmouth have come together to offer up to £5,000 match-funding for projects benefitting the area of Portsmouth.

If you are a new business startup or an existing SME looking to grow, and you have the support of the people of Portsmouth to back your business development idea, then you may be eligible for our Small Business Grant Scheme. 

Self Employed Support

If you’re eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme based on your tax returns, HMRC will contact you from mid-July to give you a date that the claims service will be available to you from. It will be given to you either by email, letter or within the online service.

The online service to claim the fifth grant will be available from late July 2021.

You must make your claim on or before 30 September 2021.

Support for council business tenants

We know this is a very unsettling time for our tenants and we will try to support you as much as we can during this period, particularly those tenants that are most at risk.

Commercial tenant support scheme

We have  a coronavirus commercial tenant support scheme – apply online to find out what support your business could qualify for

Charity or local enterprise support

The Charity Bank and Good Finance both have really useful COVID-19 Resource Hubs for Charities and Social Enterprises. Social Enterprise UK also have coronavirus support and resources

A £370 million government grant has been provided to the National Lottery Community Fund for small and medium-sized charities. The government are also providing a £360 million package of support which will be directly allocated to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. This will include hospices, St Johns Ambulance, victims charities (including domestic abuse), vulnerable children charities and Citizens Advice.

Read Gov.UK's advice for businesses and employers

Contact us

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Our business support team has a dedicated phone number – 023 9284 1641