Coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: information and advice.

 

Council Tax online services will be unavailable between Saturday 8 May 4pm and Sunday 9 May 12pm due to essential maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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.

Government Covid19 Response:

Reliefs and Exemptions - Grant Support for local Blaby District Businesses

Full details and criteria on the businesses grant support available for local Blaby District businesses can be found on the Business Rates Reliefs and Exemptions page and applications can be made via the online forms.

 

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 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.  

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.

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.

 

Downloads
Brexit

Brexit - New Rules are Here

New rules apply to things like travel and doing business with Europe. Use the Brexit checker to get a personalised list of actions for your business.

Free Telephone Support Service from the Growth Hub

Following the end of the EU transition period there are new trading processes you need to follow and actions you must take to continue trading with Europe or employing EU nationals.

The Growth Hub has launched a free telephone support line for businesses to answer questions and help them navigate what they need to do to meet these changes. 

Phone lines are open:
• 8am until 6pm- Monday to Friday
• Call direct on 0116 482 0111

This free support service will run until the 31 March 2021

The Growth Hub has a range of support resources to help trade with the EU, including webinars and 1:1 virtual appointments.

The telephone support service is an additional tool to help businesses understand the changes to:

  • Importing and exporting goods
    • Restrictions on travel to and from Europe
    • How to manage immigration and employment issues
    • The impact on personal data.

The service is delivered by a team of skilled experts across a range of industries and sectors who will offer your business a risk assessment to identify the areas you need to focus on and offer bespoke advice, giving you tangible action-plans to ensure you are clear about your next steps.

Topics of support include, but are not limited to:

  • Certification and the labelling of products and materials
    • Customs, taxes and duties
    • Data use, particularly the use of personal data and data flows
    • Hiring of non-UK staff inside and outside of the UK
    • Immigration and employment issues
    • Placing of goods on the market within EU and non-EU markets
    • Providing services to EU and non-EU markets
    • Transfer of personal data between the UK, EU and select third countries
    • Travel, business and qualification recognition

 

 

Leicestershire Funding Opportunities

The Leicestershire Business Recovery Fund has received an overwhelming number of applications and is now CLOSED to new applications.

If you have already submitted an application or have any queries, please email economicgrowth@leics.gov.uk for further assistance.

Further Support:

Information on other potential sources of funding is available through the Business Gateway Growth Hub. You can contact them by email at growthhub@bizgateway.org.uk or by visiting their website https://bizgateway.org.uk/

 

 

VAT

Reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions:

If you’re a VAT registered business, check if you can temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions by following the link below.

 

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 confirmed on 17 March 2020 by government.  The advice to 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 30th April 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.  Further information in the link below.

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.

Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service (LASALS)

Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service (LASALS) is offering free training and support packages for local businesses to help staff who are facing the risk of redundancy or on extended furlough.   

To find out more about the redundancy support package available through Leicester City Council’s Adult Skills and Learning Service, email anna.parr@leicester.gov.uk or call 0116 454 1908.

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 30th April2021.

Business Loan Schemes - 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 March 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 March 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 March 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).

Business Advice

Business Gateway Growth Hub

The Business Gateway Growth Hub has developed a range of guidance to help businesses access the support available.  This includes 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 provides support on resilience, recovery and growth of small to medium businesses 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 Road to Recovery -  Free expert support programme for tourism and hospitality businesses

A new programme of support has been announced for visitor economy businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire to combat the economic impact of Covid-19. The Business Gateway Growth Hub has joined with industry experts to create a support programme for tourism, hospitality, sport and leisure businesses to help businesses with recovery and to reach new consumer markets to help generate sales.

This free support package offers a series of webinars and smaller group clinics hosted by a range of industry experts. To find out more and to book your place, visit: http://bit.ly/VisEco2021

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 with re-opening and welcoming customers, the 'We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 consumer mark is available.  It provides reassurance for businesses, attractions and destinations and also to local residents and visitors, that clear processes are in place.

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.

Farming is changing in England from 1 January 2021

Information about changes that will happen to farming from the 1st January 2021 including phasing out direct payments and design of future schemes is in the 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). You can apply for funding at any time until 26 February 2021.

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 March 2021, you can apply for extra funding to give your organisation a boost. If you take on new apprentices between 1 February 2021 and 31 March 2021, you can apply from 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021.

For apprentices aged:
  • 16 to 24, you’ll receive £2,000
  • 25 and over, you’ll receive £1,500

The payment is in addition to the existing £1,000 you’ll already get for taking on an apprentice who is:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 and has an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority

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.

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.  If you can for example donate excess stock or offer transport please get in touch by completing the Contact Us form at the bottom of this page.

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 31 March 2021
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