Due to essential maintenance, online Council Tax services will be unavailable Sunday 29 November 4 pm until 10 pm. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
The latest information, advice and support on Coronavirus.
Garden waste collections resume on Monday 30 November.

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. 

Blaby District Council is acting as a Gateway for the Government Kickstart Scheme, if you would like further information on how we can help if you could provide less than 30 placements at your business go to our dedicated webpage Kickstart Scheme.

Reliefs and Exemptions - Local Restrictions Support Grant

Government Covid19 Response: Business rates measures

Following the new national restrictions effective from 05 November 2020 the Government have introduced a new Local Restrictions Support Grant to support businesses mandated to close by Government. Qualifying businesses will receive grant amounts as follows:

  • Businesses occupying property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
  • Businesses occupying property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £2,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
  • Businesses occupying property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the commencement date of the widespread national restrictions, will receive £3,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period

Applications can be made via the online form on the Business Rates Reliefs and Exemptions page.

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.

Financial Support

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.

Guidance for Businesses

The NHS COVID-19 app launched on the 24 September 2020. Further information is in the link below and a link to create a Coronavirus NHS QR Code for your venue.

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.

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) and guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace can be found in the links below.

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
Brexit Transition from the 1st January 2021

EU exit advice for businesses

The Government has designed a step-by-step Get Ready for Brexit Guide to help businesses prepare for EU exit and the potential 'no deal' scenario. The guide can be found in the link below.

You will need to prepare to continue trading with EU businesses. 

Leicestershire Funding Opportunities

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: 01 June 2021 (subject to available funding)

Further information is in the link below.

VAT

The UK Government announced it will extend the temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors to the end of March 2021.

If you deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make, you can:

  • pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021
  • opt in to the VAT deferral new payment scheme when it launches in 2021
  • contact HMRC if you need more help to pay

Further information in the link below.

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 Scheme

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, will continue to the 31st March 2021.

Businesses will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5% of total employment costs.

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

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 Grant Extension

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 is being extended from the 1st November 2020.

Redundancy Support for Employers

The Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR Programme)

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 

Redundancy Support - Futures

If you have already made employees redundant or are about to make redundancies (up to twenty people), please refer those individuals for direct advice and careers support to Sarah Baranyai of Futures

Email: Leicestershire@futuresforyou.com or call Sarah Baranyai on 07570 671594

Please ensure your contact includes:

• Notification of redundancies and scale

• Number and job roles affected

• Last day of work for affected individuals (if known)

If you are planning to make larger-scale redundancies (twenty or more) see the advice on the link below on Gov.uk, you will need to complete an HR1 form which will go to the DWP.

New Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on the 1st November 2020, has been postponed as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until the 31st March 2021.

Support for Small, Medium and Large Sized Businesses

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.  The scheme is open to applications until the 31st January 2021.

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.  The scheme is open to applications until the 31st January 2021.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provides financial support to larger businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and is open to applications until the 31st January 2021.

Further information and how to apply for all of these schemes in the links below.

Companies House - Filing On-Line

Companies across the UK are being urged not to leave filing their annual accounts until the last minute and consider going paperless, as the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect people’s lives, businesses and the economy.

Companies House’s online filing service (find in the link below) - which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - can take as little as 15 minutes and has inbuilt checks to help directors avoid mistakes. Accounts filed on paper are 6 times more likely to be rejected than accounts submitted electronically (7.5% compared to just 1.2% respectively).

Coronavirus Future Fund

This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.  Further information in the link below.

Business Advice

Business Gateway Growth Hub

In response to the Coronavirus crisis, the Business Gateway Growth Hub has 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.

Small Business Leadership Support

Small Business Leadership Programme

Build your business resilience, productivity and growth

The Small Business Leadership Programme is free and fully funded by the Government to support the resilience, recovery and growth of SMEs after COVID-19, equipping you with the confidence and leadership skills to plan for the future of your business.  Further information in the link below.

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 are 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 links 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.

Zoo Animals Fund

Apply for an animal welfare grant of up to £730,000 for your zoo or aquarium affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).  Details in the link below.

Drivers, Operators and Owners of Taxis or Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs)

Actions that drivers, operators and owners of taxis or private hire vehicles (PHVs) can take to protect against coronavirus are in the 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.

The Skills Toolkit

The Skills Toolkit

Free courses to help you learn new skills or change jobs. Including general skills that apply to all sectors and more specialised skills.

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 20 November 2020
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