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.

Coronavirus Response Plan

You can read the government’s ‘COVID-19 Response – Autumn and Winter Plan 2021’, which sets out the plan of action for autumn and winter 2021/22 in England.

Guidance to help keep yourself and your employees stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus can be found here – Help prevent the spread of of Covid-19.

Guidance for employers and businesses

Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.

Although it is no longer a legal requirement for venues to display an NHS QR code or request that customers, visitors and staff ‘check in’, this is still encouraged. People can check in by scanning the NHS QR code poster via their NHS COVID-19 app or by providing their contact details. This will support NHS Test and Trace to contact people exposed to COVID-19, so that they can book a test. For further guidance, visit GOV.UK – Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.

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 should have in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to meet NHS Test and Trace requirements.

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 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 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

Claims for the fifth SEISS grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim was 30 September 2021.

If you received a grant payment, you must report this on your tax return. Find out how to report SEISS grants.

Information about the SEIS scheme is here – Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough scheme) ended on 30 September 2021. Claims for September must be submitted on or before 14 October 2021. Any amendments must be made on or before 28 October 2021.

You can visit the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme pages for guidance on what you can claim. Guidance for making a claim can be found on the JRS claim guidance pages here.

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

You can go to the link here to Check if your retail, hospitality or leisure business is eligible for business rates relief due to coronavirus.

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.

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

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.

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

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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