Updated 27th March 2020
The situation with coronavirus, COVID-19, is changing daily. The future situation is unknown but there are resources and advice available which will change as the situation changes.
As of 23rd March:
- All non essential shops, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, night clubs, gyms, leisure centres libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship are to close. Restaurants / bars can still offer take aways. Online businesses can remain open
- People must stay at home with only shopping for basic necessities, one period of daily exercise, medical needs and travel to and from essential work
- Gatherings of more than 2 people (except people in the same household is banned
- Funerals are allowed but not weddings or baptisms
- If people do not follow the rules police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings
- Keep up to date with updates
- Do communicate with staff regularly and keep customers updated as required. Make sure information you share has come from an official source..
- Review your business continuity plan and the critical priorities in your business.
- The Chartered Institute of Professional Development have useful FAQs on their website here.
- a statutory sick pay (SSP) relief package for SMEs who will be able to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. This will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. In addition employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
- increasing the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for the 2020 to 2021 tax year for all businesses regardless of their rateable value in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. Councils will apply this automatically
- the coronavirus retention scheme will be available to all businesses of any size, including charities and not for profit. Companies can apply for a grant for the wages of staff not working but still on payroll. This will be up to 80% salary and up to £2,500 per month per employee. This is backdated to 1 March and will be available for at least 3 months.
- businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value under £15,000 have access to a grant of £10,000 and, for those with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000 £25,000 grants are available. Councils will write to eligible businesses.
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance up to £5m with the first 12 months interest free. Find out more here.
- The next VAT quarter’s payment will be deferred and not due until the end of the financial year.
- commercial tenants who are unable to pay rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction – if you are struggling to pay your rent please do speak to your landlord first. Read more here.
- the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme – call the HMRC helpline on 0800 0159 559.
- Read more about government support for businesses on their dedicated website here.
Support for the self employed
- People who are self employed can claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme which is a taxable grant of 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. Read more on the government website here.
Tandridge District Council
- Government website with latest information, advice and action plan here.
- Government dedicated website support for businesses here.
- Government updates here.
- Public Health England website here.
- Advice from ACAS for employers here:
- Guidance for small businesses from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) here.
- NHS Poster encouraging people to wash their hands here
Advice for specific sectors
- Pubs, restaurants, bars and hotels may find the following guidance from UK Hospitality helpful. Read the guidance here.
- The government announced that planning laws will be relaxed to allow pubs and restaurants to offer takeaways. Read more here.
- The Association of Corner shops has produced helpful guidance for retailers looking to sell home delivery here.
The Oxted app by Loyal Free includes information on businesses who offer online ordering, home delivery or click and collect. To find out more or to get involved email us.