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

NEW – See the Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership Covid-19 Toolkit to help guide you to restarting 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.

Support for the Self Employed
You can now submit your claim under the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Those who are eligible can claim a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500. Claimants will need to have their Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference to hand. Find more information and apply here Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Summary information and quick links to business support options are below

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

All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45 million per year can apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million can apply for up to £50 million of finance. The scheme is available through a series of accredited lenders, which are listed on the British Business Bank website. The government provides lenders with an 80% guarantee on individual loans. Further details and how to apply here Large Business CBILS

The cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 will be available to businesses in these sectors. Eligible businesses are being contacted by their local authority. Detailed guidance about the grant scheme is here Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure. 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.

This is a one-off grant of £10,000 to support small businesses that pay little or no business rates. Eligible businesses are being contacted by their local authority. Detailed guidance about the grant scheme is here Small Business Grant Funding. 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.

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.

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.

Under the scheme, HMRC will pay employers a grant worth 80% of an employee’s usual wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. Read more here Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October

See the scheme guidance and check if you can claim for employees’ wages through the scheme here Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The scheme is now live for claims, start you claim via the portal here Claim Wages – Job Retention Scheme

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

Somerset Libraries and other local libraries provide access to online resources such a Cobra factsheets. This tool is used by business support professionals, but any business or start-up can access the content for free through their library membership. See Somerset Libraries

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.

This is funding for individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector. See more details here Arts Council Covid-19 support

Using the form on the link, farmers and growers can provide information on business critical issues. See 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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