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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

Step 4 of the Roadmap will proceed as planned on Monday 19 July, the Prime Minister has confirmed. Moving to Step 4 is a balance of risks and the public should continue to be cautious. The majority of covid restrictions will end on 19 July and guidance will emphasise personal responsibility.

The majority of legal restrictions will be removed and people will be expected to protect themselves and others through informed choice. Whilst legal restrictions will come to an end, we would still recommend face coverings are worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, such as public transport, when mixing with people you don’t normally meet.

There will still be key protections at step 4 from 19 July which still apply:

  • testing when you have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.
  • isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
  • whilst Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, Government would expect and recommend a gradual return over the summer
  • Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport;
  • encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS Covid Pass in high risk settings.

As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it is important that we all use personal judgement to manage our own risk. All of us can play our part by exercising common sense and considering the risks. While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us. Following the guidance will help you stay safe and protect others by controlling the spread. Every action to help reduce the spread will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months.

All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance. Whilst the Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, the Government would expect and recommend a gradual return over the summer.

Employers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify.

To read more visit gov.uk Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread from 19 July

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 2021 (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.


Restart Grant

The Restart Grant scheme has replaced the previous Local Restrictions Grants (closed) and Local Restrictions Grants (open). The scheme supports businesses in reopening safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The primary principle of the Restart Grant scheme is a one-off payment to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises.

General eligibility

The Restart Grant Scheme is available for businesses who are on the ratings list only (who pay business rates).

What you could receive

Non-essential retail businesses with a rateable value of:

  • £15,000 or less, will be eligible for a one-off grant of £2,667
  • more than £15,000 and less than £51,000, will be eligible for a one-off grant of £4,000
  • £51,000 or more, will be eligible for a one-off grant of £6,000

Qualifying Hospitality and Leisure properties with a rateable value of:

  • £15,000 or less, will be eligible for a one-off grant of £8,000
  • more than £15,000 and less than £51,000, will be eligible for a one-off grant of £12,000
  • £51,000 or above, will be eligible for a one-off grant of £18,000

How to apply

Businesses will not need to apply for this grant as we hold details for eligible businesses and have started processing payments already.

We will contact you if we need to check your eligibility or details. We thank businesses for their patience in the interim whilst we work to process.

Government guidance which includes a list of business types who are eligible for this grant scheme can be found at Restart Grant - guidance for local authorities on GOV.UK.

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.