As the situation in the UK evolves, it is recommended that you stay informed by reading the latest information from the following sources:

The Government introduced new measures on 23rd March 2020 requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes, closing non-essential shops and community spaces and stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

The latest guidance on staying at home and away from others can be found here

UK Government's COVID-19 Recovery Strategy - issued on 11th May
The government has launched its 'roadmap' for how and when the the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis. Full details can be found here.

Update for retail to reopen in June 
Thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres across England are set to reopen next month once they are COVID-19 secure and can show customers will be kept safe.  Full details can be found here.

Update for hospitality businesses and hairdressers to reopen from 4th July
Thousands of pubs, restaurants and hairdressers across England have been given practical, clear steps they can take to reopen safely over the coming weeks. Full details can be found here.

Update for gyms and pools to reopen from 25th July

Outdoor pools can reopen to the public from 11 July followed by indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres on 25 July. Full details can be found here.

Face coverings to be mandatory in shops and supermarkets from 24 July

More information on wearing face coverings can be found here

Advice from the NHS can be found here.

Business Support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Government will cover 80% of salaries of retained workers who aren’t working (up to £2,500 per employee) through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • The cost of wages will be backdated to 1st March and will be open before the end of April for at least 3 months (open to any employer in the country)
  • Only for designated furloughed workers and information of employee must be submitted to HMRC

Update to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - issued on 12th May

  • The scheme overall has been extended until the end of October 2020.
  • The scheme and furloughing will be unchanged until the end of July (most recently it was the end of June).
  • From August to the end of October for all sectors and regions, there will be more flexibility with the introduction of ‘part furlough’ to support employees back to work part time.
  • Employers will be expected to share the cost from August (details not yet provided)
  • Full details will be provided by the Government by the end of May.

Business Rate Holiday


  • £10,000 grants for the smallest businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief 
  • £25,000 grants for the small retail, hospitality and leisure sector businesses (with a rateable value less than £51,000)

The Chancellor has announced a number of measures to support businesses, one of which is the award of business grants to eligible businesses with a rateable value of up to £51k.  Trafford Council are currently writing to all eligible businesses.  If you are not able to access your premises to receive the letter, full details can be found here.

Government Discretionary Grants

A discretionary fund has been set up by government to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the current business grant funds scheme.  To receive further information from Trafford Council as more information becomes available, register your details here. For further information on the scheme, click here

Statutory Sick Pay

  • Government will refund the cost of providing 14 days Statutory Sick Pay per employee (businesses with less than 250 employees)


  • Time to Pay arrangements available through dedicated HMRC COVID-19 helpline: 0800 0159 559
  • Waiver of late payment penalties (for businesses who can’t pay or have administrative difficulties contacting HMRC)
  • Deferral of VAT payments for 3 months to 30th June for all businesses
  • July Income Tax payment under self-assessment scheme delayed until January 2021
  • Full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for the self-employed

Government Backed Loans

  • £330billion of government-backed and guaranteed loans

Business Interruption Loans

  • Loans of up to £5million (12 months interest free)

Bounce Back Loan Scheme for Small Businesses

  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.  More information here.


  • Banks have committed to make £14billion available to UK businesses

Mortgage & Rent Support

  • 3 month mortgage payment holiday
  • 3 month cessation on repossessions
  • Commercial tenants unable to pay will be protected from eviction

Visit the dedicated business support Government website for further information on each of these schemes.

Businesses Ordered to Close - issued on 23rd March:

Government has ordered the following businesses to close:

  • Non-essential shops
  • Food and drink venues (for consumption on-site)
  • Drinking establishments (bars, pubs and nightclubs)
  • Entertainment venues (cinemas, theatres, concert halls and bingo halls)
  • Museums and galleries
  • Spas, beauty salons, wellness centres and massage parlours
  • Casinos and betting shops
  • All indoor leisure, sports facilities and gyms
  • Hotels (for commercial use)

Further guidance on the businesses and premises required to close can be found here.

For businesses who are able to operate during 'lockdown', the government has provided guidance on social distancing in the workplace, which can be found here.

Working Safely During Coronavirus Guidance

The Government has released the ‘Working safely during Coronavirus Guidelines', which can be found here

Much of this relates to health and safety issues in the workplace and further information, if needed, is available on the HSE website and can be found here

Safer Public Places, Urban Centres and Green Spaces during Covid-19

The Government has announced guidance on  Safer Public Places, Urban Centres and Green Spaces during Covid-19 can be found here  

Other Sources of Support & Advice

The Arts Council England is making 20 million available to individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers.

Hospitality Action has launched a £250 grant for hospitality workers who are currently working in the industry.

Business Growth Hub has developed a range of resources and guidance to ensure businesses feel supported and are prepared to act quickly as the situation unfolds. 

Pay It Forward Voucher Scheme has been launched by Greater Manchester hospitality leaders to help local restaurants and bars.

Covid-19 Funding Streams detailing grants and funding available for voluntary, community, social enterprise and faith group organisations. 

Travel Advice

Please do not travel unless it is absolutely essential - stay at home.

Public transport should only be used for trips that are absolutely necessary for work, to get basic necessities, to care for others or for medical reasons.

Train, tram and bus have been reduced to maintain links for key workers. Check timetables before you travel.

Latest updates from TfGM 

Altrincham BID 

Altrincham BID remains open and committed to supporting our BID businesses.

Message from Ewen Miller, Chair Altrincham BID Board - Friday 20th March

#AltrinchamTogether Business Task Force Launched by Altrincham BID - Thursday 26th March

Altrincham COVID-19 Business Impact Survey

#AltrinchamTogether Business Task Force Members announced - Friday 3rd April

Altrincham BID April Newsletter

Cllr. Andrew Western Q&A - Thursday 11th June

Hear from Altrincham's Business Task Force

Each member of Altrincham's Business Task Force is happy to talk to other businesses in Altrincham to share their experience or expertise. Read more about their lockdown experience and find their contact details via the links below.

Chris Taylor, Gran T's Coffee House

Kate Proctor, Sew Creative

Samit Gupta, TaxAssist Accountants

Alex Hill, Hill & Hill The Jeweller

Jill Bottomley, HR Dept

Sarah Healey, Capstone Financial

Alex McCann, Altrincham HQ

David Vanderhook, The Con Club

Tony Ward, GC Business Growth Company

Philippa Wright, McHale & Co Solicitors

Cllr. James Wright, Trafford Council

Matt Dodd, A-Plan Insurance

James Tootle, Bruntwood Works

Sacha Lord, Night-time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester

Please do not hesitate to contact us for help and advice:

We continue to be in close contact with officers at Trafford Council and TfGM, and will update BID businesses from official sources as advised.