NEWHAM BID CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE
Friday 15th May, 2020
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to cause concern for businesses across the country and we all need to do what we can to prevent the spread of any potential airborne viruses as much as possible.
Your business will be feeling the impact; if you need advice on how to adapt and communicate with your staff or are looking for the latest guidance for dealing with customers in your business, please find below a useful guide to the information available.
Guidance and advice:
Find out the latest government advice and NHS guidance on how to protect yourself and others
Find out the number of cases and risk level in the UK, what to do if you’re a returning traveller and what the government is doing about the virus
Coronavirus guidance to employers and businesses This guidance will assist you in providing advice to your staff on COVID-19, how to help prevent the spread of respiratory infections, what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in business settings and actions to take if staff come into contact with someone who is self-isolating or is a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub is also keeping Cornish businesses up to date with all the latest information.
What support is available?
The government has announced a number of measures in response to COVID-19 to support businesses, including:
Small Business Grant Fund/Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funding - Cornwall Council has written to all businesses that according to their records, might be eligible to qualify for a grant fund payment of £10,000 or £25,000. However, a number of these businesses have not responded to the letter and hence, some grants have not yet been claimed. If you think you may be eligible, but not yet applied and received a letter, please follow the instruction given, or call the council on 0300 1234 171. So far, Cornwall Council has paid out over £200 million in grants, the highest amount paid by any of the 315 local authorities.
Top-up to local business grant funds scheme - A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. More details are awaited.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme: The Government released guidance on how to apply for a Bounce Back Loan scheme which launched on 4 May 2020. The scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – this scheme allows businesses to claim up to £2,500 per month towards staff wages.
The People Hub - Cornwall Council have set up a new service, 'The People Hub', to help individual with support and advice on employment, training and skills. Residents can call the phoneline on: 0333 0150699. Lines open 10am - 5pm Monday to Friday, with an out of hours messaging service outside of those times.
Statutory Sick Pay
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. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.
Dedicated Tax Helpline
A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Business Rate Holiday & Grant
The government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. A £25,000 grant will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Visit the Cornwall Council site or call 0300 1234 171
Simple steps you may wish to take:
· Refresh your business continuity plan and ensure clear communication of processes in response to self-isolation requirements
· If staff are able to work from home ensure that they have the necessary equipment and tools to be able to do so
· Ensure staff contact details are up to date to support the need to work from home
· Increase messaging around hand washing, make sure toilets have soap available and that antibacterial wipes are available to clean down desks and working areas regularly
· Communicate clearly with your customers the steps that you are taking to reduce risks
in touch with Newham BID
Newham BID will do whatever it can to support you during this difficult time. Please keep in touch regarding the following:
Security patrols have been doubled with Kestrel also checking the rear of business premises on foot as well as patrolling in vehicles CCTV also remains operational.
If you are operating your business differently to enable trading to continue and wish Newham BID to promote this, please get in touch. Depending upon the nature of your business, some businesses may be able to adapt by offering home deliveries, collections or just keeping phone lines and most operations open via staff working from home. We can help to spread the message more widely and may set up a specific page on our website for this purpose
Impact - we are keen to monitor the economic impact, in order to feed back to local and national government and lobby for the support you need whilst the nation progresses through this situation over the coming months. Please do share with us information and business impact, so that we can develop support mechanisms appropriately.
Volunteer Cornwall, based on Newham are appealing to volunteers who may be able to help vulnerable people. Please click on the link below:
Anything else – please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you