Coronavirus (COVID-19) 


During the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation, the British Exporters Association remains committed to supporting its members and the wider exporting community.   The BExA office continues to operate as normal via remote working and our Member Helpline will be available as usual so there should be no reduction in service.     

For the latest information and advice, we would encourage all members, UK employers and business owners to visit the official guidance for employers and businesses.  Businesses should check for daily updates and subscribe to receive email alerts to ensure they are acting on the most up to date information.


The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. The Business Support website helps you find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on your business. This website will continue to be updated as information becomes available.

Schemes introduced to provide support for businesses and employees affected by COVID-19 include: 

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of up to £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme  will provide a UK government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.  The COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility scheme is now available for applications.  More information is available from the Bank of England
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme 
  • relaxed rules to support businesses




Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is also available.

The government's Business Support Helpline is also available to answer business questions over the phone, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm.  The number to call is: 0300 456 3565(Devolved Administrations have their own equivalent services in place). 


Companies House have announced that businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.  Full guidance on applying for an extension can be found here.



To assist businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, HMRC have temporarily changed customs policy and authorisations.   Additional information on moving goods and clearing customs can be found here.  These changes are made on an exceptional basis, and guidance will be updated when this change ends.


Can your business offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support?

UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in the multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Business Intelligence: share the impact Coronavirus is having on your organisation

The Government has called for information from businesses on impacts across supply, demand and labour markets, actions to address these impacts, and any gaps in the Government response from your perspective.

Please send your intelligence to   (Any commercially sensitive information  will be treated accordingly. Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence only and does not provide business advice).


Guidance for British people travelling and living overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can be found here.

The  Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British people travelling abroad to return to the UK now, if commercial flights are still available. This advice was published on 23 March and takes effect immediately.


Advice from the NHS on Covid-19, including how to avoid catching and spreading coronvirus and updated stay at home guidance


Updated 3 April 2020