We hope this directory of resources and links will be helpful as you work your way through the COVID-19 emergency. We will keep it updated with details of new support resources for businesses and publishers. If you would like to share anything that you have found particularly useful, please get in touch and we’ll add it here.

Last updated: Thursday 2 April 


Health and personal guidance

The NHS has a comprehensive and continually updated guide to COVID-19, symptoms, prevention, responses and much more.

Posters about symptoms and prevention for display in workplaces are here.

The government pools general coronavirus guidance and the latest requirements and restrictions here.

A WhatsApp based service for getting information about coronavirus is available; details are here.


IPG members’ responses

 This blog has examples of IPG members’ robust and creative responses to the COVID-19 emergency. If you would like to share your own views and responses—anonymously if you wish—please get in touch.

In a special episode of our Podcast, IPG board member Oliver Gadsby discusses how to lead a business through difficult times like these. In conversation with our President Jonathan Harris, he talks about responding nimbly to challenges, managing change, finding support and keeping staff well and motivated. It is well worth a listen for anyone leading teams at the moment.


Croner Business Support Helpline

The IPG’s Croner Business Support Helpline is available for free and unlimited advice about the impact of coronavirus on employment, legal, health and safety and other matters. Do take advantage of this service if you are unsure about anything.

Croner has also provided a useful coronavirus HR toolkit, including a guide to obligations, law and hygiene, an HR factsheet and a checklist for employers.


General business support and helplines

The best starting point for coronavirus-related guidance for businesses and employees is the Business Support campaign website

Another good entry point for business enquiries is this list of FAQs.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has a helpline for any businesses in England. It has increased capacity during the crisis.

The Scottish government has a separate package of support for businesses, and a separate support helpline for businesses.

The Welsh government has a separate business support helpline.

Support for businesses in Northern Ireland is here.

If you would like to give feedback on how COVID-19 is affecting businesses, the DBEIS would welcome your views. Email intel@beis.gov.uk.

If there is a business issue that you would like us to raise within government on your behalf, please email us.


Job retention scheme and wage rebates

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme allows any business to get grants to pay 80% of wages of ‘furloughed’ workers, up to £2,500 a month. All PAYE-enabled businesses are eligible. In order to qualify, employers must ensure staff do not do any work for the business while they are on furlough. It is not possible to reduce their working hours and part-qualify for the grants. HMRC is working on a system to pay the grants for the scheme urgently.

 This is an overview of the scheme and how to access it in due course.

This briefing from the ICAEW is one of the clearest explanations we’ve seen of how the scheme will work in practice.

PKF Francis Clark also has a good explainer and answers to common questions about the retention scheme.

If you are unsure about any aspect of the scheme, the Croner Business Support Helpline can help.

Law firm Taylor Wessing has a briefing about putting employees on furlough to protect jobs. 


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme is open to sole traders, freelancers, body corporates, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships or other legal entity carrying out business activities in the UK, with a turnover limit of £45m. British Business Bank has full details of the scheme and how to apply.

This is an overview of the scheme. 

British Business Bank also has a useful list of FAQs about the scheme, and an eligibility checklist.

This is a list of accredited loan lenders, who should be the first point of contact for loan applications.

There has been some confusion over whether lenders require personal guarantees for loans. The government has confirmed that lenders are not allowed to take a personal guarantee against a borrower's principle home under the scheme—and many lenders are not requiring personal guarantees of any kind.


Corporate Financing Facility

The Covid Corporate Financing Facility has been set up by the Bank of England to buy short-term debt from large companies. The Bank has details of eligibility and practicalities of applying.


Small business grants

Grants for the smallest businesses are being made through local authorities. They are one-off grants of £10,000 to businesses in England that already receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief. An overview of the scheme is here.

If you qualify, authorities should be in touch soon if they haven’t been already. If you need to identify and contact a local authority, use this search tool


Self-employment support scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been set up to provide grants to self-employed individuals or partnerships. As with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it is worth 80% of profits, up to a limit of £2,500 per month. Grants are due to be paid in early June 2020. In the meantime self-employed people will be eligible for other government support including Universal Credit and business interruption loans.

An overview of the scheme and eligibility criteria are here.

Some answers to FAQs about the scheme are here.


Arts Council England emergency grants

Arts Council England has announced a new £160m emergency fund to support cultural organisations and individuals affected by the coronavirus crisis. £90m is available to ACE’s National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs); £50m to non-NPOs; and £20m to individuals. An overview of the scheme is here.

Applications will open on Thursday 9 April.  More information and eligibility criteria are here. You can register for updates on the funding and other news from ACE here.


International trade

The Department for International Trade has issued guidance for UK businesses trading overseas during the crisis.

DIT can help in particular with advice on business continuity, IP issues, customs clearances and finding alternative supply chain partners in its network. You can access a special support team by emailing COVID19@trade.gov.uk.

For support with business projects overseas, DIT recommends contacting the nearest UK embassy or consulate. You can search for those here.

UK Export Finance says it can help with international cash flow by guaranteeing loans through the Export Working Capital Scheme.

UKEF offers an insurance policy that can help you recover the costs of fulfilling orders that are terminated by events beyond your control. It can also support finance for overseas buyers via the Direct Lending Facility scheme.

The government updates its advice about international travel here.



HMRC has a helpline for any businesses needing support with tax liabilities. If you have concerns about forthcoming tax payments, you are encouraged to call HMRC, who will agree arrangements on a case-by-case basis. The helpline number is 0800 024 1222, and it is open from 8am to 4pm from Monday to Friday.

HMRC also has a tax helpline to support freelancers and the self-employed with tax issues.

VAT payments have been deferred by three months from end-March to end-June. This is an automatic offer and no action is necessary.

For those with HMRC self-assessment arrangements, payments for June 2020 have been deferred to January 2021. Again, no action is necessary.


Sick pay

The government has issued guidance on helping businesses with fewer than 250 employees to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay for absences due to COVID-19. The rebate scheme is being developed now.

Guidance on certifying absence from work for sickness or to look after a dependent is here. A guide to getting isolation notes is here.


Universal Credit

Universal Credit benefits and eligibility have changed because of the coronavirus crisis. People who need help working out eligibility and navigating the system should start here.


Working from home

If you find yourself working from home for the first time, this blog shares some advice from the IPG team.

This blog has tips about managing home workers.

The National Cyber Security Centre has advice for keeping home workers’ IT secure and staying alert to coronavirus-related scams.

This is a guide to the expenses that are taxable if you or your employees are working from home due to COVID-19.



MIND has some very good resources to help if you have wellbeing concerns for yourself or others, including planning for staying indoors, connecting with people and keeping relaxed and stimulated.

The IPG Skills Hub has a detailed resource to help with general work-related stress.


The Book Trade Charity

If you work in the book trade and are in urgent need of financial help, The Book Trade Charity may be able to help. Email info@btbs.org in confidence.



ACAS has comprehensive guidance on employers’ responsibilities and issues, including workplace provision, sick pay, time off and reducing hours.



Companies House is giving businesses that need it a three-month extension to their deadline for filing accounts. This is the guidance for extending your filing deadline.


Support for booksellers

We support the Booksellers Association’s call for people to support independent bookshops at this time.

If you would like to find your nearest bookshop, use this search tool from the BA. You can embed a similar button on your website if you like.



On Twitter, Sam Missingham has created the #indiepubboost hashtag to help users mutually promote independent publishers’ books at this time.


Sharing feedback

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is asking for views about the business impacts of COVID-19 across supply, demand and labour markets, the actions taken to address them, and the gaps in the government’s response. You can email intelligence direct to the BEIS. Information supplied will be treated confidentially.


Staying updated

This page will be frequently updated with the latest resources relevant to publishing. We will also endeavour to share useful material via Twitter.

You can monitor the government’s latest advice and support, and sign up for its coronavirus email alerts. SMS alerts are being sent with the support of mobile phone networks.

If you are on social media, following the business support campaign on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is a good way to get the latest resources—including alerts for when applications to various schemes go live.

The Bookseller and BookBrunch are providing good day-by-day updates on the situation in publishing.


If you would like to share resources or links that you have found particularly useful with fellow members, please get in touch and we’ll add them to this page.