With coronavirus (Covid-19), we find ourselves continuously assessing how this may affect our own organisations, the way in which we operate, and what we can do to help our members. Here, you will helpful and up to date information, guidance and advice on the coronavirus to facilitate this.

Financial Support

If you are still losing revenue and experiencing disruption to cashflow because of the pandemic, then financial support is still available in the form of various loans, funding and grants schemes. Click here to find out more about what types of loan are available to you.

Information on the Discretionary Grant Fund is available here.

Small Business Grant Funding information can be found here.

For other business support, click here.

Click here for help with insolvency.

The Job Support Scheme (JSS)

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions.

• This scheme will cover businesses that, as a result of restrictions set by one or more of the four governments in the UK, are legally required to close their premises. This includes businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises, or food and drink outdoors from their premises.
• The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
• Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions. Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
• The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.
• In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December. Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
• The scheme is UK wide and the UK Government will work with the devolved administrations to ensure the scheme operates effectively across all four nations.
• Further guidance on the scheme will be set out by HMRC in due course.

In addition to expansion of the JSS, the government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks, compared to the up to £1,500 every three weeks which was available previously.

The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from a £1.3 billion increase to their guaranteed funding for 2020-21 – allowing them to continue their response to Covid-19 including through similar measures if they wish.

Latest Guidance

New and updated guidance is now available as follows:

Job Retention Bonus: Further information has been published on how businesses can claim the government’s Job Retention Bonus. Check your eligibility and find out how to apply here.

Advice for food businesses: Guidance for all workplaces involved in the manufacturing, processing, warehousing, picking, packaging, retailing and service of food has been updated. Please see the latest version here.

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services: Working safely guidance has been updated on the operation of soft play and indoor play areas and taking payment in licensed venues.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension: The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. Find out here if you are eligible and how much you can get. Guidance is available on how HMRC will work out trading profits and non-trading income if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus. A video on how to claim the second grant step-by-step is also available.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: 30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims. More here.

Cyber safety guide to help small businesses work securely online: The National Cyber Security Centre’s re-launched  Small Business Guide sets out five key areas for businesses to help improve their cyber security.  The new-look guidance arrives at a time when many organisations have moved their operations online due to the coronavirus pandemic. It highlights accessible and actionable steps to take which have little to no cost. There is also guidance that helps small to medium sized organisations prepare their response to and plan their recovery from a cyber incident. 

For more information and guidance on making workplaces Covid-secure, click here.

Taskforce for Safe Return to Global Travel Launched

A new Global Travel Taskforce to support the travel industry and the safe recovery of international travel has been launched. The Taskforce will consider further how government can support the sector to meet these challenges posed by COVID-19 to international travel. Work will begin with industry on how to safely reduce self-isolation period with testing. The taskforce will also consider a wide range of other measures to support the travel sector including developing a global framework to make travelling easier.

The Government are also issuing regular bulletins with updates, guidance and advice for employers and businesses. To subscribe to these, click here.

For all the latest up to date government guidance on coronavirus support for businesses, please visit the coronavirus pages on GOV.UK.

To make sure you’re acting appropriately, do keep abreast of the guidance and take action on any recommendations and regulations which affect your organisation.

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