The latest information, advice and support on Coronavirus. 

Coronavirus 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 below a self-service area where you will find useful information, current resources and support on a range of issues to help businesses reopen safely across Blaby District and move towards recovery. 

Guidance on Businesses Reopening

Businesses are being urged to prepare for the NHS COVID-19 app which will launch on the 24th September 2020.  Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across England and Wales are being urged to download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of a new app.  Further information is in the link below.

The Government has implemented the easing of lockdown measures in England, allowing businesses to reopen as long as they are COVID-19 secure. For further information visit our webpage 'Guidance on Businesses Reopening.'

You must not reopen if your business is closed under current Government rules. You can check if your business or venue can open on the link below.

Premises and venues across England must have a system in place to record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff. The data collection programme has been formally mandated from the 18th September 2020, further details are in the link below.

The new Government Business Support Hub contains information for sole traders and the self-employed as well as businesses in general and brings together all of the up-to-date information, advice and guidance published by the Government. Please see the link below.  

Guidance for businesses and organisations on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found in the link below.

The link below takes you to guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.

Further information can be found on The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy which outlines the Government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis in the link below.

 

 

 

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

Information for businesses in Blaby District on Business Rates Reliefs and Exemptions can be found here. 

Information is available direct from central Government on gov.uk detailing the full package of financial support and grant funding being provided to respond to cash flow pressures, help you stay in business and retain your workforce.  Follow the Gov.uk link below for further information.

New schemes include a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme as part of the Government's Plan for Jobs.  The 6 month placements are open to those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. Employers from all industries and across the public, private and voluntary sectors can get involved.  The first placements are likely to be available from November.  Further information in the link below.

 

Leicestershire Funding Opportunities

Small Business Recovery Grants

The Small Business Recovery Grants have just opened to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Leicester and Leicestershire to adapt their businesses as a result of Covid-19. Grants from £1,000 to £3,000 are available covering 100% of costs for items within the grant criteria.

Applications will be on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to the submission of a full application and supporting documentation.  SMEs in all sectors, including tourism can apply for this grant which is available to support immediate needs.  Grants are open until the 30th September 2020, or until funds are allocated.  All projects must be completed and claim their grant by the 28th February 2021.

Businesses interested in the Small Business Recovery Grant should complete an application form and provide full supporting evidence. The Business Gateway is also offering free webinars on ‘How to submit a successful grant application’ to support businesses that are not familiar with the process of applying for a grant. 

Further information is detailed in the link below.

Leicestershire County Council Business Recovery Fund

The Leicestershire Business Recovery Fund provides support for rural businesses (including tourism, agriculture and creative industries) and independent retail businesses, to enable them to overcome the impacts they may have faced or are still facing, as a result of COVID-19.

This funding scheme is to ensure business recovery, through mitigation measures, including supporting businesses to diversify and increase their digital skills.

Grants are available between £2,000 and £10,000 (excluding VAT). The scheme will provide 50% grant support with the applicant providing the other 50% as match funding.

Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis and subject to available funds.

Closing dates for applications: 1st June 2021 (subject to available funding)

Further information is in the link below.

 

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

From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked.

Unless you’re making a new claim for an employee who is a military reservist or is returning from statutory parental leave, you can only continue to claim through the scheme if:

  • you have previously furloughed the employee for 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June
  • you submitted your claim before 31 July

The links below takes you to the current Government guidance. 

This scheme will end on the 31st October 2020.

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

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.  Details in the links below.

This grant closes on the 19th October 2020.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.  Further information in the link below.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).  The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance.  This scheme closes on the 30th September 2020.

Further information and how to apply in the link below.

Redundancy Support for Employers

For Employers - If you are facing an organisational restructure or the prospect of making hard decisions about staff redundancy, there is funded support available to you.

The Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR) programme will ensure your employees get access to bespoke training and careers guidance, and support them to find suitable employment.

Please contact  Howard.Cordingley@Serco.com 

 

Business Advice

Business Gateway Growth Hub

In response to the Coronavirus crisis, the Business Gateway Growth Hub have developed a range of resources and guidance to ensure businesses can access the support available including free advice from a team of expert business advisors, finance and grant information and virtual support sessions and webinars.

Telephone - 0116 3668487

bizgateway

 

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)

Acas gives employers and employees free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. They also offer training and help to resolve disputes.  Follow the link below for further information.

Sector Support

Inclusive Recruitment Support

Recruiting from a diverse range of backgrounds has a number of business benefits. Now more than ever, considering candidates from a wider talent pool can bring the skills needed.


The guidance below has case studies and information about how employers can attract, recruit and retain people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

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.

Updated guidance for the public, providers of outdoor sport facilities, elite athletes, personal trainers and coaches on the phased return of sport and recreation can be found in the link below.

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

The link below takes you to current Government guidance for food businesses on Covid-19.  It is intended for all workplaces involved in the manufacturing, processing, warehousing, picking, packaging, retailing and service of food.

This also includes important information about the risk of community dissemination of coronavirus (COVID-19) from circumstances or activities related to the workplace such as transportation and accommodation arrangements.

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.

Historic England: Re-opening heritage locations

Historic England is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. They have produced some guidance on re-opening heritage locations. This includes parks, gardens, places of worship, and historic buildings.


Full guidance can be found on the link below.

 

Farmers, landowners and rural businesses

The latest information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak with regular updates is available on the following link below.

Training, skills and development

Apprenticeships

Financial Support For Apprenticeships

As England adjusts to the new normal, the government has introduced financial support to help employers hire new apprentices. When you hire new apprentices between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021, you can apply for extra funding to give your organisation a boost.   Follow the link below for further information.

 

The link below takes you to the latest Government guidance on providing apprenticeships during Covid-19 and is for employers, training providers and assessment organisations.

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

A ‘bounce-back’ plan of trade measures for the consumer and retail industry has been announced on the 8th September 2020 to help support businesses impacted by Coronavirus.  Further information in the press release below.

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.

 

Health and Wellbeing Support

There are resources available to provide advice and information to help businesses, the self-employed and employees look after their health and wellbeing.  Further details are in the website links 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

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 18 September 2020
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