fb-trackingSkip to main content

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

Update on grants position.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have processed over 8,500 grant payments worth £45.7m to support local businesses.

This includes £6.1M which helped us to support to over 1,500 businesses that were not eligible for the main Local Restrictions Support Grant schemes (LRSG), enabling us to safeguard local businesses and jobs.

Our approach to supporting businesses in the borough and administering the discretionary ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’ (ARG) has been rolled out in phases:

Phase 1 was aimed at businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector who did not qualify for an LRSG payment because they were either in the supply chain to this sector or not rated for business rates. The Phase 1 ARG grant payment covered the 2020 period from October to December. 

Phase 2 was announced in 2021, this consisted of top-up payments covering the period January to July 2021 for the supply chain and non-rated businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality (identified under Phase 1) to support them through the national lockdown announced at the beginning of the year and provide them with help getting back to business as normal as restrictions were eased.

Under Phase 2, payments were also made to businesses operating in other sectors outside of retail, leisure and hospitality who were not eligible for an LRSG payment and had been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.  Payments to these businesses covered the entire period of restrictions from October 2020 to July 2021.

Phase 3 – Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Programme

As a council we understand that the government restrictions resulting from the global pandemic have intensified the existing challenge of maintaining vibrant high streets, town centres and local shopping parades in the age of online shopping.

To support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors not only to weather COVID but also address these broader challenges, we have funded the Barking Enterprise Centre (BEC) to deliver a targeted programme of tailored business support. The BEC’s ‘Barking and Dagenham Recovery Programme’ aims to support both front-line and supply chain businesses in these sectors to increase their long term resilience and sustainability, and in doing so safeguard local jobs.

Businesses that successfully apply for the programme will be able to access support from the BEC’s specialist business advisers to:

  • Develop a recovery business plan for the following 6-9 months
  • Identify staffing solutions where possible which avoid outright redundancy – e.g., temporary reduction in hours, periods of unpaid leave, where appropriate – and ensuring any staff at risk of redundancy are referred into council employment and training support services
  • Develop appropriate plans for diversification and/ or pivoting business model to enable the long term resilience and sustainability of the business
  • Identify any sources of additional funding (including support to apply for the government-funded Kickstart posts), investment, loan options, as well as temporary cost reduction options.
  • Identify any support which might be appropriate from LBBD such as working with Landlord services, Business Rates support, Enforcement, Trading Standards and support with employment and skills team.
  • Identify any sensible investments that could be made in e.g., web tech or physical kit-out measures for retail space which could enhance ability to trade

This support will be delivered through:

  • an initial diagnostic and discovery call
  • one to one business mentoring
  • follow on support to create a recovery business plan
  • weekly check in sessions for up to 12 months.
  • bi-monthly peer-support / webinar sessions

Businesses on the BEC’s Barking and Dagenham Recovery Programme will be eligible to apply for a grant of up to £5000 from the council. To receive a grant, businesses must provide evidence of a recovery business plan, and details of how the grant will be spent. Priority will be given to those able to demonstrate how the grant will help mitigate local job losses and improve the long term resilience and sustainability of their business.

Find out more and register on the Recovery Programme website.

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


You can get a rapid lateral flow test at a site if you’re in England and do not have symptoms order rapid lateral flow test kits online.

Do not use a rapid lateral flow test or go to a test site if you have coronavirus symptoms. Get a PCR test and self-isolate, even if symptoms are mild.

Your staff can access local testing sites which can be found on our Covid-19 testing page.

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.