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.

Re-opening update:

Designated venues in certain sectors are being asked to ensure that they maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.

It is important that the required business sectors ask guests to check in via the NHS COVID-19 app or ask guests to provide their contact details (name and contact number). If guests do not comply, businesses should refuse entry to avoid potential fines.

For full guidance including a list of business types this applies to, visit GOV.UK – Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.

Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue. Get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS Covid-19 app. See here for guidance on producing a QR code poster for your business. See https://www.covid19.nhs.uk/ for how to download the NHS App.

 

Coronavirus Restrictions: Roadmap

Coronavirus restrictions remain in place. Find out what you can and cannot do in the government guidance here – Coronavirus Restrictions: What has changed

You can read the government’s ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. This explains how the restrictions included in this guidance will be lifted over time.

Here are links to useful guidance to make your workplace Covid secure.

Guidance on how to make your workplace COVID-secure covers a range of different workplace settings. You can select the specific, detailed guidance that is right for your business setting.

Guidance on maintaining records of staff covers what designated venues in certain sectors must have in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to meet NHS Test and Trace requirements.

Lockdown and Restart Grants

Businesses that have either required to close or have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local or national restrictions may be eligible for financial support. You can find out more information in the links below. Visit your local council’s Covid-19 business grants pages on their website to find out how to apply.

  • Restart Grants (from 1 April 2021) – supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Eligible businesses in the non-essential retail sector may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 from their local council. Eligible businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 from their local council. Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply.
  • Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) – supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed. Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG. See you local council Coronavirus business support pages for details for the discretionary ARG in your area.

The Lockdown and Restart Grants are administered by your local authority. Businesses should see the coronavirus business support pages for their local authority for more information and how to apply. To find your local authority, please visit Find your local council and enter your postcode. You can also contact the Growth Hub team who can signpost you to the right place for grant information.

Guidance for employers and businesses

Reporting outbreaks of coronavirus. Guidance for businesses on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus can be found here – Reporting outbreaks of Covid-19.

See the Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership Covid-19 Toolkits to help guide you to reopen your business safely:

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

A fifth grant covering May 2021 to September 2021 will be open to claims from late July 2021. The grant is taxable and will be paid out in a single instalment.

Guidance for claiming the grant will be available by the end of June 2021.

The amount of the fifth grant will be determined by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021. We’ll provide more information and support by the end of June 2021 to help you work out how your turnover was affected.

The online claims service for the fifth grant will be available from late July 2021.

Find more information and check your eligibility here Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021.

Under the Scheme, if you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough.

For periods ending on or before 30 June 2021 you can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. You must pay your employee at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours that they are furloughed and not working. This is the amount you can claim through the scheme. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages.

Here is the Government guidance where you can Check if you can Claim for Employee Wages through the Job Retention Scheme.

The Recovery Loan Scheme is to help businesses of any size access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period. Up to £10 million is available per business. The actual amount offered and the terms are at the discretion of participating lenders. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender. As the borrower, you are always 100% liable for the debt.

The scheme is open until 31 December 2021, subject to review. Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders, listed on the British Business Bank’s website.

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.

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

If you’re a VAT registered business, check if you can temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions.

Check if your retail, hospitality or leisure business is eligible for business rates relief due to coronavirus.

You can access information on further support measures on the Government Coronavirus Business Support Hub. 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 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.

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 – 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 – Offer practical guides, advice and business support information. See the Trading Standard Covid-19 Business Advice pages 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 Council – Find you local authority here.

HMRC have a range of videos on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. See the HMRC Webinar Programme

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

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

Devon & Plymouth Chamber provides webinars on a wide variety of topics; many 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 have webinars on a variety of topics relevant to manufacturing businesses. Take a look here SWMAS Events

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 Gov.uk site provides guidance and the latest updates. See Information for Farmers

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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