Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business support
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See also: Live.Shop.Local
- National restrictions - ending at 00.01am on Tuesday 2 December
- COVID-Safe Business Campaign
- Additional support for businesses - Winter Economy Plan
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Restrictions Fixed penalty Notices (FPNs)
- NHS Test and Trace
- Expansion of COVID-19 testing
- Early outbreak Action Cards
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- We are here to help
- Contacting the council
- Business rates and rent protection
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and support for employers
- Government-backed loan schemes
- Other forms of business support
- Creative businesses
- Support for employees
- Mental health and wellbeing support during COVID-19
- Further advice
England is now under national restrictions until 2 December. Key changes affecting businesses are as follows:
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) will remain open until 31 March 2021. For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked. The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more. Find out more about the extension (external link).
- Read the guidance on the new measures (external link)
- There are also details of the extended furlough scheme and other economic support (external link)
- Read the full furlough announcement (external link)
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close.
Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Click and collect services can continue and essential shops, including supermarkets, will remain open. He said this means there is no need for anyone to stockpile.
Pubs, bars, restaurants must close, except for takeaway and delivery services.
Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that it is essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants. These should be formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.
A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:
- NHS and medical services like GPs. We are supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.
- Jobcentre Plus sites
- Civil Registrations Offices
You can also click on the image to view the poster:
The following support grants are available from the council to support businesses affected by the national restrictions from 5 November 2020.
Supporting businesses to operate in a COVID-safe way
As we continue to experience the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to support businesses to operate in a COVID-safe way. We have created the COVID-Safe Business Campaign to do just this.
Visit our COVID-Safe Business Campaign webpage to find out more.
The Chancellor has put in place a range of measures to help businesses and workers affected by Covid-19 in the government’s Winter Economy Plan.
The package includes:
- An extension of the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) until January
- Anyone made redundant after September 23 can be rehired and put back on furlough
- An extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme
- An extension of the 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors until 31 March 2021
- More time to payback the Government’s 'Bounce Back' loans
- Business who deferred their VAT bills will be eligible for the New Payment Scheme, which gives the option to pay back in smaller instalments
The Job Support Scheme which was to replace furlough has now been put on hold.
Below you can find a digital leaflet explaining the key changes to the COVID-19 laws which apply to businesses. A physical version of this leaflet is being distributed throughout the borough.
In the event of non-compliance, you/your business may receive a fixed penalty for:
- Carrying on a restricted business or providing a restricted service between the hours of 22:00 – 05:00.
- Failing to implement restrictions on the service of food and drink consumed on the premises.
- Failing implement a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data and keep this for 21 days and/or display QR Code poster
The penalty charges range between £1,000 to £10,000.
The NHS Test and Trace service forms a central part of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, which seeks to help the nation return to normal as soon as possible for as many people as possible in a way that is safe. Once launched, this service will also play a pivotal role in providing an early warning if COVID-19 activity is increasing locally, regionally or nationally.
It is vital that employers and businesses play their part in the NHS Test and Trace programme to slow the spread of the virus.
Employers are being asked to make their workplaces as safe as possible, encourage workers to heed any notifications to self-isolate and support them when in isolation. Although this may seem disruptive for businesses, it is less disruptive than an outbreak of COVID-19 in the workplace will be, and far less disruptive than periods in lockdown.
The NHS Test and Trace service is designed to support businesses and economic recovery by:
- providing testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus, so that if they have been tested positive, they and their household member know to continue to self-isolate
- helping to stop the onward spread of the virus in the workplace and wider society, so that fewer people develop coronavirus and have to self-isolate
- enabling the Government to go further in safely easing or lifting lockdown measures, as far as it is deemed safe to do so, thereby allowing the nation to return to normal as quickly as possible
On 18 September, the Government announced that certain venues, including venues run by local authorities, will now be legally required to display NHS QR posters, to support the NHS Test and Trace app, at their venues from 24 September. This includes all venues from the following sectors:
- leisure and tourism
- close contact services, and
- local authority venues.
See a full list of businesses required to display the QR code posters (external link).
Patrons will not be legally required to download the app but businesses including, but not limited to, cafes, bars and hairdressers, will be legally required to display the QR posters. Businesses will also need to run a logbook for people who either don’t have or are unable to download the app.
For more information for businesses, including guidance on generating the QR code posters, visit the NHS website (external link).
Further guidance is also available at GOV.UK (external link).
Everyone who is showing coronavirus symptoms is eligible to book a swab test to find out if they have the virus. People can register for a test on the NHS website (external link).
Essential workers (external link) are prioritised for testing. If you are an employer of essential workers, then you can offer tests to the following:
- Any self-isolating members of staff who have coronavirus symptoms
- Member of staff does not have symptoms, but members of their household do, they can get tested
- Any of your employees who work in the NHS or care homes, regardless of symptoms
An employer referral portal is available to make the process as easy as possible. Employers can upload spreadsheets containing the details of essential workers who need to be tested into the secure employer referral portal. The system will generate invitations to the essential workers via text and email. Essential workers then log into the system and book an appointment directly. Employers should email firstname.lastname@example.org to be given access to the employer referral portal.
The Early Outbreak Action Cards have been developed for various businesses and sectors to make sure people who run businesses or organisations know how to:
- recognise an incident of COVID-19, and
- how to contain and report it, should an outbreak occur.
Haringey Council has collated information from a number of businesses offering to supply PPE. We are not endorsing these products and recommend that you look in detail at all the options available to help inform any purchase decision.
Disposing of PPE
Guidance on how to dispose of your personal or business waste (external link), including face coverings and PPE, during the coronavirus pandemic has been published.
Key details include:
- Provide extra bins for your staff and customers to throw away their waste face coverings and PPE used for social distancing, and any other additional waste, such as takeaway packaging and disposable tableware
- Make sure that staff and customers do not put face coverings and PPE in a recycling bin as they cannot be recycled through conventional recycling facilities
- Make sure bins are emptied often so they do not overflow and create litter
- You can put used disposable face coverings and PPE in an ‘offensive waste’ collection (yellow bags with a black stripe), if you have one
- Check with your waste contractor if there is anything else you need to do
If you need business support or advice our dedicated business support team are here to help. They are working closely with trader groups and individual businesses to ensure they are aware of the latest support and guidance. If you have a question, contact the team on email@example.com.
Business impact Survey
The Business Impact Survey is now closed. Thank you to all those who participated and shared their views on what support local businesses will need in the short, medium and long term. You can view the results on the Business Impact Survey page.
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 grants - LRSG@haringey.gov.uk
- Business Rates - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Commercial Property rented from the council - email@example.com
- Business support - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Council tax - email@example.com
All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, as well as nurseries, will receive 100% discount on business rates for 2020/21. This means that they will not have to pay business rates for the coming year. The new bills confirming retail relief have now all been issued.
The Government has announced extra protection for businesses through:
- a ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments
- protection from aggressive rent collection, calling on tenants to pay rent where they can afford it and in recognition of the strains also felt by commercial landlords, see GOV.UK website (external link)
The government has introduced a payment to UK employers of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who returns to work and remains with the business through to the end of January 2021.
Employees must be earning above the lower earnings limit of £520 per month between the end of October 2020 (when the furlough scheme ends), and the end of January 2021. Payments will be made from February 2021.
How to claim
The scheme is now closed to new entrants. To make a claim, go to GOV.UK website - Job Retention Scheme (external link).
Adjusting your claim
If you’ve over-claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can either:
- Correct it in your next claim
- Make a payment to HMRC (only if you’re not making another claim)
You’ll need your 14 or 15-digit payment reference number that begins with X. You must contact HMRC to get your payment reference number. For more details visit GOV.UK (external link).
Statutory Sick Pay
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme went live on Tuesday 26 May. Small and medium-sized employers - with fewer than 250 employees - can use an online claim service to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments made to their employees.
Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. See the full SSP guidance on GOV.UK (external link).
- Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) website (external link) has advice for businesses on dealing with a range of employment issues including staff absence, homeworking, staff presenting symptoms, closing premises and staff lay-offs.
- Jobcentre Plus (external link) - help with advertising vacancies
The Government has announced two loan schemes for businesses who need short-term cash flow support.
The Bounce Back Loan allows small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within a few days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and will be available through accredited lenders, where you can apply through a short standardised online application. For more information visit GOV.UK website (external link).
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) helps businesses access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. Further information on the CBIL is available on the GOV.UK website (external link). The scheme has been extended until 30 November 2020
The maximum loan size under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) has been increased from £50 million to £200 million to help ensure those large firms which do not qualify for the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) have enough finance to meet cashflow needs during the outbreak. Visit the British Business Bank website (external link) for guidance on how to apply.
Additional support measures announced by the government are:
- Businesses will be able 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
- VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 can be deferred until the end of the 2020-21 tax year
- Businesses that are having difficulties paying their tax bill can contact the Government’s Time to Pay service for support
Advice for businesses that trade internationally has been published by the Department for International Trade (external link).
Businesses that have taken out insurance covering both pandemics and government order closure are able to make a claim. Standard business interruption insurance may not be sufficient as it is dependent on damage to property and excludes pandemics. The Association of British Insurers (external link) have produced a guide to coronavirus and business insurance, and businesses should check the terms and conditions of their specific policy.
The London Community Response Fund (external link) are providing grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 to enable businesses to change the way they deliver work to ensure it continues to meet the needs of their communities, from switching to digital channels to redeploying staff to boost your capacity at a time of increased demand.
There is a wide range of support and guidance available to businesses, provided by trade bodies, networks and other organisations - please visit:
- London Business Hub (external link) - including a checklist to prepare businesses and the offer of a free one-hour consultation
- Federation for Small Businesses (external link)
- Enterprise for London (external link)
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 you are an arts organisation, business or individual working in the cultural sector, creative industries or night-time economy in London, please visit the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk webpage (external link) to register your details for support, guidance and resources.
For creative sector-specific news, resources and opportunities, you can follow @madebytottenham on Instagram and sign up to the newsletter here (external link).
Further advice and guidance
- Mayor of London’s Pay It Forward (external link) - free crowdfunding platform to help businesses secure trade by pre-selling vouchers, goods and services
- Creative Industries Federation (external link) are offering a free six month membership for freelancers and microbusinesses (usual cost £80)
- Art Fund (external link) - small project grants of up to £10,000 for museums, galleries and other visual arts organisations
- Social Enterprises UK (external link)
- Tutti (external link) - free resources for freelancers including links to online courses and temporary work opportunities
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.
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.
Most of us will feel some sort of impact on our mental health and wellbeing as the coronavirus outbreak continues. This is completely understandable, and we want to reassure people in our community that you are not alone.
If you’re feeling restless, stressed, anxious or unable to sleep, there are services available to support you, according to your needs, on a local, regional and national level.
Remember, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious at this time, please reach out and ask for help, you’re not alone and support is available to you.
Please visit our Reopening Safely page for the latest guidance updates.
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