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Coronavirus - Support for businesses

The council understands that the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that this is a worrying time for businesses. We want to reassure you that we are working with the NHS, Public Health England and other partners to prepare for the local impact.

This page provides a summary of the support available to help your business through this difficult period. 

We are particularly keen to work with businesses in the borough, wherever we can, to prevent closures and job losses. You can contact us by emailing businessforum@lbbd.gov.uk.


Latest news

Latest news

The government released updated guidance for the business grants with an ending of the grant schemes for 31 March. We are no longer able to accept any new applications for the current grant schemes.

With the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), as detailed on the grant page we are rolling this out in phases. Phase 1 has been aimed at the businesses within the supply chain for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses but who did not qualify for statutory grants. As the statutory grant schemes are coming to an end on 31 March we will also be closing applications for the ARG Phase 1 at the same time.

Businesses who have not been eligible for any statutory or ARG Phase 1 grants, but whose trading has been indirectly impacted by the periods of national restrictions, and who meet the other basic criteria (including trading in the borough, being currently solvent etc), should now be eligible for a discretionary grant under ARG Phase 2.

In order to speed up the process of awarding Phase 2 ARG grants, the council is now reviewing all applications received since November 2020 to identify those eligible for a Phase 2 discretionary grant. This means you will not have to re-apply for Phase 2, if you have already applied and been rejected for statutory or Phase 1 Discretionary grant funding by 31 March 2021.

We will aim to process all outstanding applications submitted up to 31 March by the end of April 2021.

We are aware that the government has announced a further grant scheme called ‘Restart’, running April to June 2021, which is primarily aimed at those businesses who pay business rates in non essential retail, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses, in leisure and hospitality industries. We are waiting on further information and guidance and it is likely this scheme will be available from mid May 2021.

We aim to use our remaining ARG grant funding to enable us to provide equivalent grant payments to non business rated businesses who otherwise meet the Restart grant criteria. We will share details of how this will be disbursed in a future newsletter in early April. To sign up please email businessforum@lbbd.gov.uk.


Local restrictions grant scheme

Please note that this scheme closed on 31 March 2021 following government guidance and we are no longer taking any new applications..

To keep up to date with the latest information and advice, you can also join our business forum mailing list by emailing businessforum@lbbd.gov.uk with your business name, address and contact information.

Business Forum Newsletters

Business Forum Newsletters

We send out regular newsletters to businesses with the latest information on advice and support available to businesses in the borough.

The council, from time to time, is approached by larger organisations seeking to buy goods and services from local businesses and we have created a business database. Being on our database also allows us to promote your business in this way.

If you would like to sign up to our mailing list please email us at businessforum@lbbd.gov.uk with a short summary of your business and what services you offer.


Barking and Dagenham Film Studios

Barking and Dagenham Film Studios

The Mayor of London has backed plans by the council to build the capital’s largest film studios in Dagenham East, boosting the borough and London’s growing film and TV industries.

The studios will see six sound stages, productions offices and set construction workshops built on former industrial land in Yewtree Avenue. This will create an estimated 1,200 jobs and contribute £35m per year to the local economy. Find out more in our news article: Mayor gives go-ahead to major new film studios in Dagenham.

If you are a local business interested in providing goods and services to the film industry as it develops in the borough, sign up to receive news and updates on future opportunities as these emerge, and visit the filmlbbd website for more information about the film sector developing in the borough.


Reopening your business safely

Reopening your business safely

As businesses have started to reopen across the borough, we've put together a short guide on the safety measures businesses should take to ensure their workspaces are safe for themselves, their staff and customers.

Reopening your business safely - Guidance for Barking and Dagenham businesses (PDF, 464KB)


Government support to manage the impact of COVID-19

Government support to manage the impact of COVID-19

The government set out a package of temporary and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period.

You can find up-to-date information on who is eligible and how to access these by visiting:

COVID-19: support for businesses on Gov.uk.

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

Use the government support finder tool to identify support available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed.

Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

Business coronavirus support finder


Covid testing is available for employees who are unable to work from home.

For businesses with under 50 employees, rapid lateral flow tests are available at local test sites for those who don’t have symptoms. See more information on local test site locations and opening times.

For businesses with over 50 employees, you can order free rapid lateral flow tests to test your employees twice a week in the workplace. To apply, you must register on or before 12 April 2021. Visit GOV.UK for more information.

GOV.UK guidance for your business

GOV.UK guidance for your business

Find detailed guidance on out how to make your workplace COVID-secure.

Close contact services
This includes hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, massage therapists and tailors.

Construction and other outdoor work

Factories, plants and warehouses

Heritage locations

Hotels and other guest accommodation

Labs and research facilities

Offices and contact centres

Other people's homes

Performing arts

Providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

Shops and branches


The visitor economy
This includes people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events.


Wider support available

Wider support available

Barking and Dagenham’s main business support provider, the Barking Enterprise Centre (BEC). The BEC offers affordable workspace, information and advice to local businesses, and hosts a range of online webinars. Further information can be found on the BEC website.

The London Growth Hub has a range of support initiatives as well as an online library of resources for businesses. You can also now book a virtual appointment with a Growth Hub Advisor to help you find the right support for your business.

The Federation of Small Businesses has also collated useful advice and information that may be useful for the issues facing small businesses.


European Regional Development Fund

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Funded by The European Union Regional Development Fund and The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.