Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business support

Business Impact Survey 

COVID-19 is going to bring us all new challenges. As a council we are very aware of the stress being put on businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic and want to assist business owners to navigate through these unprecedented times.

The council wants to ensure that the voice of Haringey businesses and the self-employed is heard, and every business owner is accessing the support available. We want to hear from you about what you need in the short, medium and long term so please complete the Business Impact Survey below and let us know how this challenge is affecting you and your staff. 

Take the survey now

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Contacting the council

Please keep checking this webpage, which we will be updating regularly with the latest news and guidance on business support.

If you’re experiencing any financial difficulties regarding payments to the council, please contact:


Business closures

On 23 March the Government stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. All non-essential premises must now close. Takeaway and delivery services may remain open.

For full information on business closures, visit our dedicated COVID-19: Business Information - Licensing and Enforcement web pages

The government has also published a set of FAQs related to business closures and the Stay at Home advice, see the GOV.UK website (external link).

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Business support

The government has announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses to ensure the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is minimised. 

These include:

  • A £10,000 cash grant to businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (for those with a rateable value below £15,000), delivered by Local Authorities. Please see dedicated grant advice section below
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses to pay no business rates for 12 months regardless of rateable value and get access grants of up to £25,000 (for those with a rateable value between £15,000 to £51,000). Please see dedicated grant advice section below
  • A temporary increase of the business rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value
  • Pubs will receive an additional £5,000 business rates relief, where rateable value is below £100,000
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, please dedicated section below
  • A new coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan of up to £5m, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees
  • Statutory Sick Pay will be available from day one rather than day four and 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

Businesses will be apply to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts, with those citing issues around COVID-19 being automatically and immediately granted an extension

Visit the Government's dedicated COVID-19 web page (external link) for all the latest business updates. 

Further support and guidance

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Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Guidance on Grant Funding Schemes

IMPORTANT - please be careful of companies that may contact you to help you facilitate your business grant on a no grant, no fee basis. You do not need to use these companies or pay and money to access your grant - we do this for you, and with you, free of charge. We strongly suggest that you do not engage with these organisations and only reveal any business issues, concerns or bank details to those people you trust. 

In response to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Government announced there would be specific support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.This support includes two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

We want to reassure you that supporting Haringey’s diverse and dynamic business community is a priority for Haringey Council. We are very aware of the stress being put on businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic and want to assist business owners to navigate through these unprecedented times. We are working hard to make sure all eligible businesses receive funding from the the relevant grant funding scheme from early April onwards. 

Government guidance on the Small Business Grant / Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant has recently changed. We now have to collect and verify your business information to make business grant payments. Help us to help you get your grant funding quickly by filling in the Grant Form as soon as possible. 

Complete the grant form Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Eligible businesses will receive funding from either the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. Please read the business support FAQs (PDF, 180KB) for full information on the eligibility criteria for these grants.

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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. All UK businesses are eligible.

To access the scheme you will need to:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers. You need to register on the HMRC website (external link). Once registered, you should be able to apply for the scheme. 

Make UK (external link) have provided an example of a furlough letter to employees on their website. 

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Support for self-employed workers

The Government announced on the evening of Thursday 26 March details of the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support scheme.

80% of profits up to £2,500 a month for three months can be claimed initially for those registered as self-employed and who earn under £50,000. The money, backdated to March, will arrive directly into people's banks accounts from HMRC as a lump sum for all three months in June. The grants will be taxable and will need to be declared on tax returns by January 2022.

To be eligible:

  • The majority of your income must come from self-employment
  • Your self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000
  • You submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return in the tax year 2018-19
  • You traded in the tax year 2019-20, are currently trading, and intend to continue to trade in 2020-21
  • You have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to coronavirus

The grant will calculate a monthly amount by taking an average of your tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 (where applicable). It will be paid directly into your bank account in one instalment. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible and invite you to apply online - there is no need to contact HMRC now.

The government is also providing additional help for the self-employed through deferral of Self Assessment income tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. 

For more information, please visit the dedicated GOV.UK Business Support page (external link).

Further guidance

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Creative businesses

The current crisis has a profound impact on all sectors of the economy, with retail, hospitality, travel and the creative industries hit particularly hard. A third of the creative sector workforce is self-employed, and 95% of all creative businesses are SMEs or micro-SMEs, making it particularly vulnerable.

If your space of business is at risk - artist studios and creative production space and also freelancers and self-employed, you can email the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk office on cultureatrisk@london.gov.uk

For creative sector specific news, resources and opportunities, you can follow @madebytottenham on Instagram and sign up to the newsletter here (external link).

Arts Council fund

Arts Council England has set up a £160 million emergency support package to help the cultural sector deal with the coronavirus outbreak. This emergency response package includes £20 million for 'creative practitioners and freelancers', with artists and workers in the cultural sector eligible for cash grants of up to £2,500. There will also be £50 million for organisations that are not in Arts Council England's portfolio, with grants up to £35,000. A further £90 million will be available next month for organisations in Arts Council England's portfolio and current grants will be advanced by up to six months to help with cash flow.

Visit the Arts Council website (external link) for more information.

Creative Industries Federation

The Creative Industries Federation are offering a free six month membership for freelancers and microbusinesses (usual cost £80), providing access to support, guidance and network opportunities. 

Visit the Creative Industries Federation website (external link) for more information. 

Further advice and guidance

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Support for employees

Universal Credit

People who are working on zero hours contracts or are self-employed will be able to access Universal Credit and new style Employment Support Allowance. For those on zero hours contracts, their employers or the labour platforms they are using are encouraged to be supportive and provide necessary information. Visit the dedicated Universal Credit webpage (external link) for up-to-date advice.

Job Centres are relaxing requirements to attend appointments in person, but claimants are advised to contact their advisor as soon as possible. 

Connected Communities 

The council’s Connected Communities team are here to help if you are worried about the impact of COVID-19 on your money, accessing essential items or accessing the support you need. You can reach them on 020 8489 4431. This line is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 6.30pm.

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Advice for local convenience stores 

Below is a list of recommendations and advice to help local convenience store owners and staff protect themselves and their customers during the current outbreak of coronavirus. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information and guidance is therefore updated frequently. Please check the official government guidance for the latest updates (see links below).

Recommendations and advice

  • Limit the number of people in your shop at any one time, so that it is possible for all shoppers to maintain a distance of two meters from each other and from the staff
  • Consider placing markings on the floor showing shoppers what two meters look like, for example, with tape
  • If the layout is appropriate, consider a one-way system for shoppers to make it easier for people to avoid each other
  • If it is possible, place an extra barrier near the tills to prevent people coming too close
  • Ask that people use contactless payment if possible
  • Clean the stores with disinfectant at regular intervals, especially areas that people will be touching frequently, for example the check-out area, door handles, basket handles
  • If appropriate, consider offering a local delivery service or a system where people could order their groceries over the phone and then come in to pay and collect
  • Staff should observe the government advice on self-isolation (see below) and should not come to work if they, or anyone in their household, have a cough or a fever
  • Staff should wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap at the start of their shift and at regular intervals throughout the day

More information (external links)

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Keeping your business safe

The government has advised everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus, only leaving home for basic essentials (as infrequently as possible), one form of exercise a day, a medical need or essential travel to and from work. 

With significantly less natural surveillance, it has never been more important to protect your business from burglars. 

The Metropolitan Police has put together dedicated business crime prevention advice that includes:

  • Make sure you have a monitored alarm and that it’s fully operational
  • Make sure your CCTV is operational, provides facial recognition as well as good quality images and covers any vulnerable areas
  • Try not to keep cash on the premises and always use a bolted-down safe with a time lock and anti-tamper sensors that trigger an alarm
  • Make sure stockrooms are locked and, where possible, keep stock out of sight

For full guidance visit the Metropolitan Police's crime prevention web page (external link).

Read a message from the Metropolitan Police Business Crime Hub here (PDF, 295KB).

Update from Metropolitan Police on how to keep your empty premises safe (PDF, 710KB)

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Fire safety 

London Fire Brigade advise you to review your Fire Risk assessment and Emergency Plan in light of the impact of COVID-19 on your staffing levels, operating times, business processes and evacuation arrangements.

Prevention

  • Some companies may take the opportunity to bring forward maintenance operations and building works. These should be appropriately fire risk assessed and supervised to ensure they are not creating increased fire risk
  • Review the impact of COVID-19 on maintenance provision on essential fixed installations for fire-fighters and potential ignition sources such as electrical installations, ducting cleaning etc
  • Consider prohibiting all hot works
  • For all premises that may be unoccupied, ensure that all electrical appliances are switched off and the plugs are removed from sockets

Protection

  • Ensure that all fire doors are securely closed
  • Consider impact of disruptions to waste collections on waste storage and build up causing fire risks
  • Consider security arrangements to address any increased risk of arson for empty premises and waste build up
  • Ensure that security staff and any new or inexperienced security staff are familiar with the emergency plan and procedure for contacting the fire brigade

Specific advice for Healthcare Premises

Any staged evacuation arrangements such as progressive horizontal evacuation, which are often in place in hospitals and care homes, need to be supported by appropriate levels of staff. Management should consider the need for appropriate staff resources to allow for this. If these staffing levels are affected by COVID-19 you will need to review your risk assessment and emergency plan and if you believe that your staffing levels are not sufficient to support your evacuation strategy you should contact the London Fire Brigade.

If a fire does occur in your premises you must ensure the fire brigade is called at the earliest opportunity and inform the operator that an evacuation is in progress.

Home fire safety (employees working from home)

  • For employees who will be working from home, please encourage them to take the time to check home fire safety arrangements, and ensure that smoke alarms are fitted, tested and are working correctly
  • Make sure all members of the family know what to do if you have a fire - particularly elderly people and children
  • Bedtime checks: close doors, unplug electrical appliances and chargers, check heaters are off and candles and cigarettes are properly extinguished

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Get involved 

Haringey’s greatest strength is its people. If our history has shown us anything, it’s that when we work together and look out for each other, we come through the toughest times stronger and more resilient than ever. Find out more about how to get involved:

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Further advice (external links)

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Page last updated:

3 April 2020

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