The latest information, advice and support on Coronavirus and the Leicester Lockdown. 

Coronavirus Crisis Support for Business

Blaby District Council has established a Business hub with a specialist team who will work hard to support local firms and businesses both during and after these challenging times.

We have created a self-service area where you will find current resources, support and information on a range of issues to help your business during the Coronavirus crisis and, together with local partners, we will continue to review the support we can offer.

Guidance on businesses reopening

On the 25 May, the Government announced the easing of lockdown measures in England, allowing non-essential retail to reopen from 15 June as long as they are COVID-19 secure. For further information visit our webpage 'Guidance on Businesses Reopening.'

On the 23 June 2020, the Government announced that from Saturday 4 July 2020, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen providing they adhere to COVID-19 secure guidelines.  Please find below a Frequently Asked Questions document on the reopening of hairdressing salons that has been prepared following enquiries through the Business Hub.

On the 9th July 2020, the Government announced that from Monday 13th July 2020, close contact services, such as nail bars, salons, tanning booths, spas, massage parlours, tattoo parlours and body piercing studios, can open. Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients.  Please see the link below to the current Government guidance for close contact services.

Downloads

Business Hub Support Request

If you would like to discuss the support available for businesses impacted by COVID-19 then please get in touch with us by completing the form below.  One of our Account Managers will get back in touch with you.

Business Support Request Form

Financial Support

Find information direct from central Government on gov.uk where the full package of financial support and grant funding is provided to respond to cash flow pressures, help you stay in business and retain your workforce.

Small business grant

To support small business that have little or no business rates to pay and are in receipt of small business rates relief (SBRR) and rural rates relief, a grant of £10,000 will be available.

If you think you're eligible for an award, please fill in our business rates grant application form. This will be sent directly to us for review. You’ll need your bank details and business rates account number, which can be found on your most recent bill. Please also provide an email address and contact number as we may need to contact you to carry our further security checks.

VAT

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. All UK businesses are eligible and it's an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period.

Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Income tax and time to pay service

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. If you're self-employed you're eligible and it's an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of COVID-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

Insurance

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

Coronavirus Job Retention

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing:

From 1 July employers can bring employees back to work, that have previously been furloughed, for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked.  When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. 

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June.  From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June.  Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12 June. Find out more using the link below.

Paying Sick Employees

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force.

The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

Self Employed

If you are self employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use the self employment income support scheme to claim a grant.

Staff wellbeing

Sector Support

Retail, hospitality and leisure support

The government will introduce a 12-month business rates holiday for all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Businesses that meet the criteria will automatically receive a new 2020/2021 bill with a full reduction from 18 March 2020.

Early years/Schools

A business rates holiday will be available on 2020/2021 to properties that are occupied by childcare providers on Ofsted's Early Years register. 

Businesses that qualify for this discount will receive an amended bill. If you don't receive a new bill but think you meet the criteria, please email nndr@blaby.gov.uk.

Food and Drink

Covid -19 Support Webinars

The Food and Drink Forum will be hosting weekly Covid-19 Support Webinars for Leicestershire Food and Drink Businesses. 

10 June 2020 (10am - 11am) - How to use Instagram Stories

12 June 2020 (10am - 11am) - Online Selling Checklist

16 June 2020 (10am - 11am) - Diversification - New Product Development Support

19 June 2020 (10am - 11am) - Recovery Plan - Melted Inside - Online Artisan Food Store

25 June 2020 (10am - 11am) - Food Safety - General Support and Queries

26 June 2020 - (10am - 11am) - Food Technical Support for Distance and Online Selling

3 July 2020 (10am - 11am) - Diversification - How to Manage Technical Aspects of Diversification

For further information please contact sade.henry@foodanddrinkforum.co.uk

Tourism

The 'We're Good to Go' Industry Standard

You can now 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.

To support you as you work towards re-opening and welcoming customers, the 'We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark is now available to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for businesses, attractions and destinations as well as reassurance to local residents and visitors that clear processes are in place and that as a business you are good to go.

Please see the link below for further information.

Training, skills and development

Continuing apprenticeships

The Education and Skills Funding Agency is taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship and to support providers during this challenging time. 

Adult Learning

In response to Covid- 19, and the ongoing lockdown restrictions, GoLearn! (Leicestershire County Council’s Adult Learning Service) has created NEW Online Learning resources for adults across Leicestershire to access FREE of charge.

The ‘Life and Learning in Lockdown’ area makes available a wide range of learning materials, activities and courses which are open to all members of the public.  This new site offers a range of opportunities from Digital Skills to Languages, and Wellbeing to Family Learning.

Digital Boost

The Covid-19 crisis has presented many challenges for small businesses and charities, particularly in building digital capability. In response, Digital Boost has been created to provide much-needed digital support for small organisations. The platform is founded by Founders4Schools and BCG Digital Ventures, with support from DCMS.

The platform will host a community of digital experts, who will offer one-to-one digital support to small businesses and charities free of charge to help them improve their digital capability to grow and prosper.

Trading internationally

DIT support

There is new advice on the support available for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of Coronavirus. It includes:

  • DIT support for UK business trading internationally, for example in providing assistance with customs authorities or sourcing new suppliers
  • financial support for business trading internationally
Expansion of protection against non-payment for UK exporters

UK Export Finance has announced it is expanding the scope of its Export Insurance Policy (EXIP) to cover transactions with the EU, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the USA with immediate effect.

This will help companies concerned about the impact of Coronavirus to export with confidence, by offering insurance that can cover up to 95% of the value of an export contract. The insurance will protect against the risk of non-payment should UK exporters’ customers become insolvent or their government actions make fulfilling the contract impossible.

Supporting Blaby Businesses and employees to get to work


If you own a business and find that some employees are finding it difficult to get to work Choose How You Move, from Leicestershire County Council, can support your business and employees in adopting active modes of travel to get to and from work.

Initiatives include a free E-bike loan scheme. More information can be found on the Choose How You Move website link below.

Business Restrictions - Environmental Health advice

On 1st June, the Coronavirus Restrictions Regulations were again amended, by The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No.3) Regulations 2020. Changes have been made to implement further aspects of the Government’s phased approach to easing the current restrictions and a number of amendments provide further clarification in certain areas, particularly in relation to leisure and recreation.

These amendments have now been reflected in the Coronavirus Restrictions Regulations on Legislation and Government guidance is being updated to reflect the changes.

Reporting business breaches of COVID 19 restrictions

Please email any breaches to environmental.health@blaby.gov.uk, including the business name and details of what restrictions they are breaching.

We are appealing to local businesses who can support their local community and vulnerable residents by, for example, donating excess stock or offering transport and would love to hear from you on this too please email us at enterprisingblaby@blaby.gov.uk.

Business Gateway Growth Hub

Support from a team of expert business advisors, virtual sessions and webinars are available now and being reviewed daily so that local firms can get help

Call - 0116 366 8487

bizgateway

Can't find what you're looking for?

You can call the National Business Support helpline 0300 456 3565 for help to deal with the impact of coronavirus or subscribe to get our business newsletter updates directly using the form at the top of the page.

Last updated 10 July 2020
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