The Growth Hub team are working hard to keep you updated on Covid-19 Support for Business and inform you of the latest on Government schemes and other business support to assist with managing through the impacts of the Coronavirus. Here follows links to schemes, advice, guidance and further business support.

Guidance for employers and businesses

This guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on what you need to know, what to do if someone develops symptoms, sick pay, dependant leave and limiting the spread. See Government guidance here Guidance for Employers and Business

The Pension Regulator has put together a package of measures and guidance here The Pension Regulator (TPR)
See Acas advice for employers and employees here

Guidance to help keep workplaces safe
The Government has produced guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the pandemic. The 8 guides set out practical steps for working safely during Coronavirus and cover a range of workplace settings. Read the full guidance here Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19)
Join free webinars to find out more about how to make your workplace Covid secure. See BEIS Covid Working Safely Webinars

See the Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership Covid-19 Toolkit to help guide you to re-opening your business safely – BBFA Covid-19 Toolkit

Free Online Learning Platform for Workplace Skills. Courses on offer cover a range of levels, from everyday maths and tools for using email and social media more effectively at work to more advanced training. Free courses are available through The Skills Toolkit.

HM Gov Covid-19 Schemes

There are a range of measures and schemes available to businesses such as grant funding, business rate relief and loans. You can find out the latest updates here and further details for businesses on the Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Hub covering how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

See HM Government Coronavirus Business Support Hub

Coronavirus Business Financial Support Finder Tool
The Government has launched an online tool to help employers and the self-employed find Coronavirus financial support. The support finder will show which loans, tax relief and cash grants that businesses can access. Use the Business Financial Support Finder tool.

Summary information and quick links to business support options are below

The Self-Employment Income Support scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020. The scheme allows you to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

If you want to claim the second and final grant you must make your claim on or before 19 October 2020.

Find more information and apply here Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.

From 1 August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month.To be eligible for the grant employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed.

The timetable for changes to the scheme is set out below. Wage caps are proportional to the hours an employee is furloughed. For example, an employee is entitled to 60% of the £2,500 cap if they are placed on furlough for 60% of their usual hours:

  • there are no changes to grant levels in June
  • for June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours the employee is on furlough, as well as employer National Insurance Contributions (ER NICS) and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work
  • for August, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough
  • for September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed
  • for October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed

Employers will continue to able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense if they wish. Employers will have to pay their employees for the hours worked.

See the scheme guidance and check if you can claim for employees’ wages through the scheme here Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The government has launched a new calculator to help employers with their next CJRS claims. You can access the new job retention calculator here: Job Retention Calculator

Small Business Grant Funding – This is a one-off grant of £10,000 to support small businesses that pay little or no business rates. Eligible businesses should have been contacted by their local authority. If you feel you may be eligible but have not yet been contacted by your Local Authority, then please take a look at the Covid-19 business support pages of your Local Authority for details on how to apply. Detailed guidance about the grant scheme is here Small Business Grant Funding.

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure – Businesses in England in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors that meet the criteria could recieve a one-off cash grant of £10,000 or £25,000. Eligible businesses should have been contacted by their local authority. If you feel you may be eligible but have not yet been contacted by your Local Authority, then please take a look at the Covid-19 business support pages of your Local Authority for details on how to apply. Detailed guidance about the grant scheme is here Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure.

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund – Small and micro businesses with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Scheme. You can get a grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000. Local councils have discretion about how to prioritise this funding. Please check with your council for details of their scheme. Find the website for your local council.

Restaurants and other establishments serving food for on-premises consumption can now register for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. You can register if your establishment:

  • sells food for immediate consumption on the premises
  • provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
  • was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July.

You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:

  • all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020
  • to offer a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in
  • to claim the money back from the government

There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme. Your customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking. Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer.

More information and the link to registration for the scheme here – Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

The Government confirmed £10 million of funding to boost tourism and a further £20 million to boost business recovery in England. The Kickstart Grant Scheme will give small businesses grants of up to £3,000 to help them adapt their businesses following the pandemic.

We are waiting for more details to be published and will work with the Government to have the scheme up and running later this month.

If you would like to be kept informed, let us know through our Growth Hub Get in Touch form (reference Kickstart Grant scheme in the enquiry message section) and we will be in touch when more information is available.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to obtain a 6-year loan at a government set interest rate of 2.5% a year. Loans will be from £2,000 to £50,000 (or up to 25% of a business’ turnover). The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, full guarantee for the loan. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt. There are no fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

For full details and how to apply, see Bounce Back Loan scheme here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – Supports small and medium-sized businesses to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and up to six years. Government will cover interest payments for 12 months and any lender-levied fees. Open now and delivered through accredited lenders. How to apply, eligibility criteria and how to access the loan scheme is here Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Large Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (LCBILS) – The scheme helps medium and large sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200 million. To be eligible, you will have a turnover of over £45 million, be based in the UK and have not received support under the Bank of England’s Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility. You will need to show that the loan will enable you to trade out of any short-term to medium term difficulty resulting from Coronavirus. Further details and how to apply here Large Business CBILS

The availability of this facility means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

How to apply, eligibility criteria and how to access the financing facility is here Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Businesses can explore finance options and access a range of finance schemes through the government-owned British Business Bank. The British Business Bank’s Finance Hub provides useful information to help with understanding the various finance options that may be available to your business. It also provides guidance on preparing your business for investment.

Future Fund – The Future Fund provides government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be an option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit. The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020. See Future Fund Overview

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through the HMRC’s Time to Pay service. Further details here Time to Pay Service

You can access information on further support measures on the Government Coronovirus Business Support Hub. Aside from Coronavirus response related measures, there is business support, guidance and information on the Government’s general business support pages here

Could your business help with the provision of PPE such as disposable plastic aprons, gloves, face masks or alcohol-based hand sanitisers?

Your PPE product will need to meet certain requirements and you should read the technical specifications for PPE here.

You should also look here at Trading Standards Guidance for businesses supplying PPE.

You can register details about PPE provision and a range of other help that your business may be able to offer such as manufacturing equipment or logistics through the Government registration portal here Coronavirus Support From Business.

You may wish to offer PPE, including spare PPE items, directly to your local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group:

For Devon, please email

For Somerset

And be alert to the risk that in these challenging times there may be people wishing to take advantage. Please do not provide bank details over the telephone. For more information and guidance, see Trading Standards Covid-19 Scams Guidance

Other National and Local Support for Business

This section highlights support and guidance offered by various organisations to support you and your business through the Coronavirus disruption

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations are providing advice, guidance and webinars that you may find helpful. The following link takes you to a nationwide list of organisations providing support. It does not cover all business representative organisations but you may find it a helpful starting point. See Other Support & Guidance for Business.

CBI Coronavirus Hub  has practical advice and guidance for businesses. See CBI Coronavirus Hub

ICAEW Coronavirus Hub information resources can be accessed here ICAEW Coronavirus Hub

Devon & Plymouth Chamber has a range of resources including guidance and webinars. See Devon & Plymouth Chamber Coronavirus Business Support

Somerset Chamber of Commerce offers information and support for businesses, including an information hub and free to access webinars covering a wide range of topics. See Somerset Chamber Coronavirus Business Support

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has information and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed including a series of webinars and virtual networking sessions for South West businesses. See the FSB Coronavirus Support

Cosmic Remote Working Advice Line 0330 088 4421 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). Provided by Cosmic, a Devon-based social enterprise specialising in all things digital, this free helpline is to provide advice and support on remote and home working to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19. You can access the free Remote Working Advice toolkit here.

TDA Business – provide access to a team of Advisers who can offer support throughout Torbay and in other areas across the South West. See TDA website

Trading Standards – all businesses in Devon and Somerset can now access regulatory advice free of charge until the end of July. The service’s specialist team of officers can provide advice on all aspects of trading standards law. This includes helping businesses to diversify into different areas and develop a different business model that could operate during the government’s current lockdown restrictions. See Trading Standards free advice

Libraries provide access to online resources such a Cobra factsheets and often host business or start-up related workshops. You can access these services and other business support related resources for free through library membership. See your local library, Devon Libraries, Somerset Libraries, Plymouth Libraries, Torbay Libraries.

Your Local Authority has the latest Coronavirus updates and advice for your area, plus information on business related support. See Coronavirus pages at Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay. For further local information, see the Coronavirus pages for your local District or Council – Find you local authority here.

HMRC are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Find out more information and register for upcoming webinars here – HMRC Webinar Programme

Other Webinar Programmes – a range of non-government organisations are delivering webinars to offer practical advice and guidance. You can search under the relevant organisation or sector to access the guidance offered, which includes online events and webinars where those are available. See Support from Business Organisations and Trade Associations

CBI Daily Coronavirus Webinar – you can register for the upcoming webinar and view past CBI webinars here CBI Coronavirus Hub

ICAEW Webinar and information resources can be accessed here ICAEW Coronavirus Webinars

Devon & Plymouth Chamber list upcoming webinars, which are free to attend for members and non-members. See Devon & Plymouth Chamber Events

Somerset Chamber of Commerce have free to access webinars covering a wide range of topics and Covid related measures. See Somerset Chamber Covid-19 webinars

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have a series of webinars and virtual networking sessions. See the FSB South West Event Listing here

SWMAS are offering webinars on a variety of topics relevant to manufacturing businesses. Take a look here SWMAS Events

Have published information including advice to businesses on remote working, useful tools, webinars and other resources. See HotSW Digital Skills Partnership

This is a virtual job and career fair supporting those who have been made redundant, or have been affected by the closure of employers in the Heart of the South West LEP area (Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay). You can search jobs and access tools and resources here – HotSW Jobs Launchpad

Social enterprises can access local and national grant funding and other assistance to help through the Coronavirus outbreak. You can explore support in your local areas via the following pages:

Social Enterprise UK have a Coronavirus Support and Resource page

You can also find guidance and financial support offered by the government to charities.

Coronavirus information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses – this page on the site provides guidance and the latest updates. See Information for Farmers

Dairy Response Fund opened for applications on 18 June. To be eligible for support, farmers will need to demonstrate that they have suffered a reduction in the average price paid for their milk of 25% or more in April when compared with February 2020. Qualifying farmers are entitled to up to £10,000 each to cover up to 70% of their losses across April and May incurred as a result of a drop in price. Farmers will be able to apply for a single payment from the fund, which will be paid out from 6 July by the Rural Payments Agency. Find out more here – Dairy Response Fund  The deadline for applications has been extended to 11 September 2020 to give farmers more time to apply.

Pick for Britain – Looking to work on a UK Fruit & Veg farm? From pickers and packers, to plant husbandry and tractor or forklift drivers, there are a wide range of roles available. See the Pick for Britain website here

The NFU is providing an information gathering service on behalf of the agricultural and horticultural industries across the UK to assist the government in building a dynamic and up-to-date picture of the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak is having on farmers and growers. You can give your information here NFU Covid-19 Impact Form

Are You Looking for Other Business Support Options?

Our Growth Hub team are on hand to help you navigate the business support options, find answers to your questions and put you in touch with the right schemes to meet your business needs and aspirations. Do Get in Touch and a Growth Hub Adviser from our team will get back to you.

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Covid-19 Business Recovery Support

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