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 support for you and your business.

Guidance to help yourself and your employees to stay safe and to help with preventing the spread of coronavirus can be found here on the Government’s Covid-19 guidance pages.

Guidance for employers and businesses

To assist businesses and organisations to continue to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the workplace, you can refer to The Governments Working Safely during Covid 19 guidance.

There is advice on the Health and Safety Executive’s COVID web pages to assist with risk assessments, including the latest guidance on ventilation.

Guidance advises the wearing of a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet. Face coverings and face masks continue to be required in health and care settings to comply with infection prevention and control (IPC) and adult social care guidance. Please refer to Face Coverings: when to wear one, exemption and how to make your own.

Ready for Anything:

The guidance in the link below is an infection prevention resource for workplaces and businesses. It has been put together to help workplaces implement fundamental infection prevention practices and behaviours that can help workers keep safe and well when at work.

HM Gov Covid-19 Schemes

There are a range of measures and schemes available to support businesses to mitigate and recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

Coronavirus Business Financial Support Finder Tool
The Government has launched an online tool to help employers and the self-employed find financial and employment support. Use the Business Financial Support Finder tool to find relevant support.

Summary information and quick links to business support options are below

The Recovery Loan Scheme provides financial support to small and medium-sized businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the coronavirus pandemic.

The maximum amount of finance available is £2 million per business, with the actual amount offered and the terms are at the discretion of participating lenders. The government guarantees 70% of the finance to the lender. As the borrower, you are always 100% liable for the debt.

Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders, listed on the British Business Bank’s website. 

This scheme is now closed to applications.

Recognising that the additional impact on businesses from the Omicron variant, the government has provided one-off grants for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England.

The grants are administered by your Local Council, District or Borough. See your Local Council’s business or Covid support pages to stay updated.

The grant offer is a one-off grant payment of up to £6,000 for businesses in the Hospitality and Leisure sector. Recipients must be solvent businesses, and ratepayers in the hospitality and leisure sector. For example, a pub; hotel; restaurant; bar; cinema; or amusement park.

Grants are per premises and the amount paid is varied by rateable value (RV) of each eligible premises, in three bands:

Rateable Value£0-£15,000£15,000-£51,000£51,000+
Value of grant available£2,700£4,000£6,000

You can read further details about the grant on the Gov.UK Covid-19 economic support package page.

This scheme is now closed to applications.

Your Local Council may be in a position to offer discretionary grants to certain businesses that have been severely impacted by the Omicron variant and Covid-19 cases since 1 December 2021.

Please see the Covid business support pages of your Local Council, Borough or District Council for ARG grant availability in your local council area. You can use this search to: Find your local council – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) then search for additional restrictions grants or see their covid business grants pages.

This scheme is now closed to applications.

The SSPRS will help small and medium-sized employers’ Covid by reimbursing them for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for a temporary period. Employers will be able to claim the costs for up to two weeks of SSP per employee that has to take time off because of COVID-19.

Firms will be eligible for the scheme from the 21 December 2021 and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.

Details of how to claim back SSP is on the Gov.UK web pages.

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.

For eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England you may not need to pay any business rate for the first 3-months of the 2021-2022 tax year. This may be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. Total values are capped. Contact your local Council if you think you may be eligible.

You may be eligible for a 12.5% reduced rate of VAT until 31 March 2022 if your business is in the hospitality, hotel or holiday accommodation sector. Find out if your business is eligible for VAT reduction.

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

Aside from Coronavirus response related measures, there is business support, guidance and information on the Government’s general support pages for business and the self-employed here https://www.gov.uk/browse/business

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 provide 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 has practical advice and guidance for businesses. See the CBI website

ICAEW has information resources that can be accessed here ICAEW

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

Somerset Chamber of Commerce offers information and support for businesses, including events and webinars. See Somerset Chamber Business Support

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has information and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed including events, webinars and networking sessions. See the FSB website

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.

TDA Business (Enterprise South West) – provides access to a team of Advisers who can offer support throughout Torbay and in other areas across the South West. See TDA’s Enterprise South West website

Trading Standards – Offer practical guides, advice and business support information. See the Trading Standards pages for Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay here.

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 Borough Council – Find you local authority here.

Apply for a free UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to Government and public health guidance.

If your business operates in England and you have read and implemented the Government’s COVID-19 reopening guidance, understand the guidance from Public Health England and have a COVID-19 Risk Assessment in place, you can apply for the industry standard mark by simply completing a self-assessment through our online platform. This includes a checklist confirming you have put the necessary processes in place. You will then receive a certification and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark to display on your premises and online.

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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