Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses

The latest Government information on healthcare advice for employers and support for businesses can be found here:

Guidance for employees, employers and businesses

Local Authority Discretionary Business Grants Fund (scheme closes 5 July 2020 at midnight)

This scheme has now closed and so the application form has been removed.

Additional business rates & grant support to local businesses

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a further package of support to businesses including a range of measures relating to business rates which will be administered by councils:

  1. All retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses, and non-local authority providers of childcare will be given 100% business rates relief for the period 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021. This will include pubs.
  2. Small businesses who are currently eligible for Small Business Rates Relief will receive a cash grant of £10,000. It is only available to businesses eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme as at 11th March 2020. The following exclusions apply.
    • Properties occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.
    • Car parks and parking spaces.
    • Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.
  3. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses which operate from smaller premises with a rateable value below £51,000 will receive a cash grant, a grant of £10,000 for those with a rateable value of £15,000 or below, a grant of £25,000 for those with a rateable value greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000. The following exclusions apply
    • Properties occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.
    • Car parks and parking spaces.
    • Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.

These measures do not cover businesses that are not liable for business rates at their premise.

The guidance includes the requirement for an assessment of potential State Aid implications. It clarifies the criteria for the grant scheme, that will enable the Council to introduce the measure as soon as possible.

In order to assist us in awarding additional reliefs and making the new grants to businesses as soon as possible, all businesses who meet the eligibility criteria for the reliefs or grants are asked to complete the claim form below.

Claim a business support grant or relief

To complete your claim, you will need:

  • VAT Registration Number (As registered with HMRC - if you are VAT registered)
  • Company Number (As registered with Companies House - if you are registered on Companies House)
  • Business Rates Number

You will need your business rates account number to complete the form. If you don't know your account number, please call 01709 336055. Note, this number will not be dealing with enquiries about the discretionary grant scheme.

In the meantime any questions on the additional reliefs or the grants can be directed to: [email protected]. Please use “business rates support enquiry” as your message subject.

If you have submitted an application we will be processing it, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Please bear with us during this period to allow us to progress applications as quickly as possible.

Support for businesses through job retention scheme and wider support for business

Support through job retention scheme:

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. For further details about the scheme please visit;

Financial Support for business

Wider support for business:

This page also covers other support packages for businesses that are not being provided through the Council, such as;

  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

If you require advice relating to the wider support for businesses (i.e not the reliefs or grant above), then please contact us at: [email protected]

Payment for supplies and services

The Council is putting in place business continuity plans, to ensure it continues to pay for its supplies and services as normal, under the Council’s normal terms and conditions for payment.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor has outlined measures to support self-employed people during the coronavirus pandemic. They will be paid 80% of profits, up to £2,500 a month, if affected by the coronavirus outbreak. HM Treasury has produced full guidance on the support availabe, click the button below.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Help for Self Employed and Others

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Self-employment Income Support Scheme FAQs

Businesses and self-employed support finder tool

The government has launched a new ‘support finder’ tool which will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. This new business support finder tool can be used to see what assistance is available for you and your business.

Go to the business support finder tool

Guidelines for businesses to protect staff and customers

New measures have been introduced by the Government to help social places stay safe.

All indoor and outdoor venues should now ask customers for a name and phone number which should be stored securely and only passed to NHS Test and Trace if a local outbreak occurs. The information should be stored for 21 days, after which it should be safely deleted.

The locations which are encouraged to collect details of their staff and visitors are:

• Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
• Tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
• Close contact services, including hairdressers, and others as defined here
• Places of worship, including use for events and other community activities 

More information on the new measures can be found at Support for businesses and self-employed people during coronavirus

Government guidance for businesses on how to collect and safely maintain the records can be found here:

Additional guidance for businesses to check what their workplace needs to do to reopen safely can be found at Reopen your business safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Social distancing guidance in retail stores

A guide for non-food retail stores has been produced by the British Retail Consortium and the Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers on how to implement Government advice on social distancing when stores in the non-food retail sector reopen for business.

Guide on implementing social distancing in non-food stores

Risk assessements

HSE has a number of example risk assessments which show the kind of approach they expect a small business or workplace to take.

The examples show how other small and medium-sized businesses have approached risk assessment.

View example risk assesments

Working safely during coronavirus

The Government has guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reporting business concerns relating to social distancing and COVID-19

Reports of any concerns relating to the COVID 19 restrictions on business closures and social distancing can be made to the Council using the following telephone numbers:

  • Daytime between 8.30am and 6pm: 01709 823118, or where the issue relates to a food business, 01709 823164
  • Out of hours, between 6pm and 12am (midnight): 01709 823140

Officers are operating seven days each week between 8.30am and 12am (midnight). Where appropriate advice, guidance, direction and where necessary enforcement action will be taken to encourage compliance with the restrictions.

Officers are following Government guidance in relation precautions around COVID 19 when conducting operations and will advice callers appropriately based upon individual circumstances.