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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

Message from Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor Environment and Energy:
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and his team at City Hall want to work with businesses to help deliver a green recovery from this pandemic and make London a zero carbon city. London’s commercial and industrial buildings make up 36% of London’s carbon footprint, or around 11 million tonnes of greenhouse gases. To create the future we want, we’re going to need to work together to bring that number right down.

We also know that taking action can be overwhelming, especially in these challenging times. They are carrying out a survey to find out the challenges that businesses like yours face when thinking about taking energy efficiency actions, and the kind of support that we can provide that would help you most.

Take the survey now, before it closes on 13 November.

Job Retention Bonus
Further information on Job Retention Bonus has been published on how businesses can claim. Check your eligibility and find out how to apply for Job Retention Bonus

Advice for food businesses
Guidance for all workplaces involved in the manufacturing, processing, warehousing, picking, packaging, retailing and service of food has been updated. Please see the latest guidance for food businesses.  

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
Working safely guidance has been updated on the operation of soft play and indoor play areas and taking payment in licensed venues.  

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension
The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. Find out if you are eligible for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and how much you can get. See guidance on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme on how HMRC will work out your trading profits and non-trading income if you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus.  You can also see a video on how to claim the second grant step-by-step

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims. See more on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  

Cyber safety guide to help small businesses work securely online
The National Cyber Security Centre’s re-launched Small Business Guide sets out five key areas for businesses to help improve their cyber security.  The new-look guidance arrives at a time when many organisations have moved their operations online due to the coronavirus pandemic. It highlights accessible and actionable steps to take which have little to no cost. There is also guidance that helps small to medium sized organisations prepare their response to and plan their recovery from a cyber incident.

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


Business Rates Relief and Grants

Business Rates Relief and Grants

If you are a business in the retail, hospitality, leisure or nursery sector, you do not have to pay business rates in 2020/21. Bills have been automatically re-issued by our Business Rates team.

Businesses within retail, leisure and hospitality sectors (including pubs) with a rateable value of over £15,000 and up to £51,000 are also eligible for a £25,000 grant in 2020/21.

Small businesses in any sector - defined as those already receiving small business rate relief - are eligible for grant funding of up to £10,000 on top of any other relief you are eligible for.

If you are a business rates payer and have not received any communications, please email our business rates team including:

  • Business Rates reference
  • Business name including full business address and post code
  • Contact information including business email and telephone number

Email this information to businessrates@lbbd.gov.uk.

The government has made the decision that the business grant schemes should close by Friday 28 August so please ensure to make contact with us as soon as possible.


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.