UPDATE 25 March - Business closures
Business closures around the Borough New legislation has been brought in as part of the Governments strategy to prevent persons gathering in groups and to prevent the continued spread of Covid-19. The legislation states that certain businesses must close and remain closed until further notice, find out which businesses are affected here.
UPDATE 23 March - Information for local businesses
If you are a local manufacturer and could potentially help to increase national production of ventilators please get in touch with our Strategy Lead, Chris Herbert.
The government is providing guidance for employees, employers and businesses. This update provides information for employees and employers on what they should be doing to help to prevent the virus from spreading.
There is more business support available from HMRC, they have provided a dedicated Coronavirus Business Support area of the website.
WSX Enterprise is offering free specialist business advice and webinars during this challenging time, to help business owners and new entrepreneurs across the South.
Some of the areas they can help in are:
- Business planning
- Business strategy
- Digital applications for business
You can find out the full list of areas that WSX Enterprise can advise on.
UPDATE 20 March - Support for independent businesses
Below are some useful links and information to help support businesses during this time of uncertainty.
The IPSE the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed have been lobbying the government about specific help for freelance businesses which now form 15% of the workforce. They are asking the government for a Temporary Income Protection Fund to support self-employed people through the coming months.
The Creative Industry Federation have a resource page to help people during the pandemic relating to business advice, advice from the government and from professional bodies. It also offers people useful tips on maintaining wellness and working from home.
We have also made an 'Emergency Support for Business' document available for you to download.
UPDATE 18 March - Emergency rescue package for businesses
The Chancellor announced an emergency rescue package for businesses following the coronavirus restrictions that were declared earlier this week:
Some of the key measures will involve reducing business rates and making direct cash grants to the most-affected business sectors:
- Businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors will pay no business rates in 2020-21.
- Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with rateable values of less than £51,000 will also receive a cash grant of up to £25,000. In other words, they will not pay any business rates in 2020-21 and they will receive a grant of up to £25,000.
- All businesses in receipt of small business rates relief – regardless of sector – will be eligible for a cash payment of £10,000 (an increase on the £3,000 announced in the Budget last week).
- Funding for the “business rates holiday” will operate in the same way as it does for existing reliefs and discounts, except on a much larger scale.
- The Council is awaiting further information on how these cashs payments that the Chancellor has proposed will be made to businesses. We assume that this does not affect the Business Rate Retention Scheme.
State Aid rules will still apply, and these have been amended today by the European Commission. For most of the businesses receiving support through these schemes, the value is likely to be well below the State Aid threshold.
In the wider financial support package, the government has extended significant additional support to businesses through £330bn of government-backed loan guarantees. So we might see further financial support for businesses announced in the coming days and weeks.
UPDATE 17 March - Commercial Team Response to Coronavirus
In the current extraordinary circumstances the Council’s food hygiene and health and safety inspectors need to take a pragmatic approach to enforcement.
As part of the public health workforce we need to support the government’s approach to COVID-19 and avoid non-essential physical contact with businesses and the public. We also don’t want to add further burdens on business at what is a very difficult time. We need to ensure that where businesses are still operating there are appropriate enforcement measures in place.
For this reason we will be limiting inspections and visits to those premises where there is a real need to do so. Complaints will only illicit an officer visit where the risk is assessed as high. However officers will continue to take, assess and answer customer queries as they come in.
If you require any advice or assistance during this period, please do not hesitate to contact us.