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, The Governments Working Safely during Covid 19 guidance is regularly being updated to help you to stay abreast of changes in requirements and restrictions.

You should ensure you keep your risk assessments up to date with the latest guidance and requirements. There is advice on the Health and Safety Executive’s COVID web pages to assist with risk assessments, including the latest guidance on ventilation.

Government guidance has been updated to reflect England’s move into Plan B response to the risks of the Omicron variant. Please refer to Face Coverings: when to wear one, exemption and how to make your own.

For venues and settings where proof of Covid status is mandatory as a condition of entry, there are downloadable marketing assets and resources here that may be helpful.

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 such as business rate relief and loans.

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

Recognising that the rise of the Omicron variant means some businesses are likely to struggle over the coming weeks, the government is providing one-off grants for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England.

The grants will be administered by your Local Council and will become available in the coming weeks. 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.

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.

Employers will be able to make a claim through HMRC from mid-January onwards. More details of how to claim back SSP will be published on the Gov.UK web pages in due course.

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.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough scheme) ended on 30 September 2021.

The last date to make a claim for September was 14 October 2021. Employers may still be able to make a late claim or amendment if they have a reasonable excuse. Find out how you can make a late claim if you have missed the deadline here – Make a late Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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 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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