Covid-19

To ensure our BID members have the latest business guidance we have created this webpage which is being updated regularly.

We monitor all the updates issued by the UK government, NHS, TfL and other organisations that may be of interest for our members. 

 

Check all of our BID updates and digital newsletters here.

 

CONTACT US:

You can always reach out to us if you need any additional information, help, advice or guidance. 

USEFUL LINKS

Click on each link below to find out more

Covid-19 latest updates
Here we will publish all the latest Covid-19 updates related to employers, employees and businesses.



Restart Grant is open!
19 April 2021

The scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Grants are available from 1 April 2021.

Eligible businesses will be paid:

  • a one-off grant of up to £6,000 in the non-essential retail sector
  • a one-off grant of up to £18,000 in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors



Phase 4 support for Open businesses - Coming soon!
19 April 2021

Phase 4 of the Additional Restrictions Grant will support some Newham-based business owners (excluded businesses) across a range of sectors that were able to remain open 5 January-12 April 2021 but experienced a significant reduction in income and trade due to reduced footfall. It’s available for both business ratepayers and non-business ratepayers occupying a commercial property in Newham and who were ineligible for previous and current Covid-related business grant schemes that we administer (Additional Restrictions Grant, Local Restrictions Grant and Restart Grant). Look out for our Phase 4 opening announcement on LB Newham website.




Reopened: Additional Restrictions Grant phases 1 & 2
19 April 2021

Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Additional Restrictions Grant have been extended to support domestic/residential-based businesses which are registered with Companies House or registered with HMRC. In particular, we are targeting businesses severely impacted by government-imposed restrictions during the following periods: 5 November 2020-2 December 2020; 20 December 2020-4 January 2021 and 5 January 2021-12 April 2021, and which fall into the following categories:

  • Phase 1: Provide in-person services and are unable to trade due to government restrictions.
  • Phase 2: Suppliers to those businesses which were required to close (retail, hospitality, events, leisure) and have lost, or have a much-reduced, customer base.



Risk assessment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
1 April 2021

As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called a COVID-19 risk assessment and it'll help you manage risk and protect people.

You must:

  • identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
  • think about who could be at risk
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn't possible, control the risk



National workplace testing for COVID-19
24 March 2021

All businesses with employees in England who can’t work from home can now sign up for free, rapid workplace testing, including those still closed due to lockdown. You’ll be provided with all the information you need to plan and deliver testing, and you can order tests through the GOV‌‌‌.UK portal.

You’ll need to register by 31‌‌ ‌March, and free tests will currently be provided until the end of June.




Extension to the CJRS
24 March 2021

As announced in the 2021 Spring Budget, the CJRS has been extended until the end of September‌‌ ‌2021.

The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, up to the end of June‌‌ ‌2021

For periods in July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees' usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.




You can now make March CJRS claims
24 March 2021

Claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are currently open for pay periods in March‌‌ ‌2021.

Claims for February are now closed, but if you find you need to make a change because you didn’t claim enough you can do this until Monday‌‌ ‌29‌‌ ‌March.

Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme webinar, which includes:

  • who can claim 
  • who you can claim for 
  • how to calculate what you can claim
  • how to make a claim.

Register here 




What help do you need for reopening?
23 March 2021

Businesses have been challenged for the past year with multiple lockdowns, curfews and restrictions. As yet another re-opening is approaching, we want to understand better which support our businesses require the most and how we can help in the best way possible. We have various ideas for our businesses from an improved training program to the re-launch of 'My Stratford Rewards' Programme. To successfully address your needs, we want to hear from you. Please, fill out the survey which will take you less than a minute of time. 




Mayor's Resilience Fund
23 March 2021

The Mayor of London has launched a £1 million challenge fund to help London emerge stronger from COVID-19 and ensure the capital is prepared for future disruptive challenges. Do you have a solution?

Whether you are an early-stage or fully funded start-up, an engineer, a social enterprise, or a team with a great idea, we want to hear from you and how you would solve one of 10 challenges identified by the Resilience Partners and the Mayor of London. Applications are open until 1 April 2021. Find out more here.




Phase 3 of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)
11 March 2021

LB Newham have started to contact eligible businesses which were successful in Phase 1 to apply for Phase 3 i.e. they were effectively forced to close and were affected by the 10pm early closing Tier 2 restrictions 2 December 2020-4 January 2021. The closing date for applications is 22 March 2021.




Phase 2 of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)
11 March 2021

 the application has been extended from 15 March until 29 March 2021. 

Within this phase, support will be provided to businesses in the retail, hospitality, events and leisure sectors (for business ratepayers and non-rate payers occupying a commercial property) who were required to close 5 November-2 December 2020 and 20 December 2020-4 January 2021.




Help to Grow your business
11 March 2021

The government’s new Help to Grow programme will help small and medium-sized businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits. 

There are two options available: 

  • Help to Grow: Management - an Executive Development programme that could help you improve business performance and growth potential through
  • Help to Grow: Digital - free online advice and money off software that could help you save time and cut costs through 



Phase 2 Additional Restrictions Grant is OPEN
1 March 2021

Additional Restrictions Grant for suppliers to businesses in the retail, hospitality, events and leisure sectors.

 

LB Newham is now inviting applications for Additional Restrictions Grant from businesses that supply the retail, hospitality, events and leisure sectors which were required to close on the following dates: 5 November 2020-2 December 2020; 20 December 2020-4 January 2021. 

Applications are invited from both rate-paying and non-rate paying businesses which occupy a commercial property in Newham.




You can now make February CJRS claims
24 February 2021

You can now submit your claims for periods in February. These must be made by Monday‌‌ ‌15 March.

You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your employees will work so you don’t have to amend your claim later.




VAT deferral new payment scheme – join from 23‌‌ February
24 February 2021

If you deferred paying VAT due in the period from 20‌‌ March to 30‌‌ June‌‌ 2020, you should pay it by 31‌‌ ‌March‌‌ ‌2021 if you can.

If you can’t afford to pay by 31‌‌ March‌‌ 2021, you can join the VAT deferral new payment scheme and pay your deferred VAT over a longer period.

The online service will open on 23‌‌ February‌‌ 2021 and close on 21‌‌ June‌‌ 2021. You can make up to 11 monthly instalments, interest-free. The earlier you join, the more months you can spread your payments across.

You can join the scheme online without the need to call – search 'Pay deferred VAT' on GOV‌.UK for more information and to join quickly and simply online when the scheme opens.

If you need more time, please contact GOV‌.UK. Go to their website and search 'if you cannot pay your tax bill on time'.




Phase 2 of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)
24 February 2021

Within this phase, support will be provided to businesses in the retail, hospitality, events and leisure sectors (for business ratepayers and non-rate payers occupying a commercial property). It is expected that it is launch by the end of the month, we will notify you as soon as the details are published on LB Newham's website




Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) applications extended
24 February 2021

Newham Council are continuing to take applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). To encourage more eligible businesses to apply, we have extended the application deadline to 28 February 2021. Please apply by this date to avoid missing out on the grant.




Covid-19 Testing for Employees
17 February 2021

The Department for Health recently published information about a new drive to increase workplace testing in sectors open during lockdown, in order to detect COVID-19 in people who are not showing symptoms.

Businesses can register to order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests for employees if:

  • The business is registered in England.
  • The business employs 50 people or more.
  • Employees cannot work from home.

This service is not intended for use by employees who have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should order an individual test and stay at home.




Ask HMRC not to publish your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim details
17 February 2021

Find out what to do if you are an employer and publishing your claim details could leave individuals at risk of violence or intimidation.




Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
17 February 2021

Claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).




Employer Bulletin: February 2021
17 February 2021

This edition of the Employer Bulletin covers:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • end of tax year reporting and the checks which need to be completed
  • VAT reverse charge and changes to off-payroll working (IR35)
  • National Insurance holiday for employers of veterans.



Mixed Retail Use
9 February 2021

Essential retailers

• 50% or more of the stock of a business must be ‘essential items’ to be deemed an essential retailer

• Essential items include food, hardware and building materials

• Mixed retailers such as pound shops are not necessarily an essential retailer – they would have to change their stock so that 50% are essential items

• If businesses decide to stock food, they must register with Food Safety as a food business

Non-essential retailers

• Non-essential retailers can operate as a ‘click and collect’ service

• Customers can pre-order and collect but they cannot enter the premises

• Business can also close altogether and/or offer an online and delivery service only

 

For further guidance please email: trading.standards@newham.gov.uk




Click and collect. Following the COVID-19 rules for non-essential retailers
9 February 2021

How to order

  • Goods need to be pre-ordered
  • Orders can be taken online, by phone call, text or post
  • Customers can’t order at the shop

Collection

  • Customers aren’t allowed in to collect their goods
  • Doors need to be closed
  • If there is no door the shutter needs to be down and lifted when goods are handed over

Signage

  • Appropriate signage should be placed at the front of the premises saying ‘click and collect’ only

Taking payment 

  • Customers can’t go into the premises to pay
  • Payment needs to be taken before they arrive ideally, or taken outside the premises Following the COVID-19 rules for non-essential retailers

For further guidance please email: trading.standards@newham.gov.uk




Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) applications extended
9 February 2021

Newham Council are continuing to take applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). To encourage more eligible businesses to apply, we have extended the application deadline to 16 February 2021. Please apply by this date to avoid missing out on the grant.




Full list of Government financial support for businesses
22 January 2021



Check if your business is eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national restrictions (for closed businesses)
22 January 2021

Businesses that were open as usual, but then required to close due to national restrictions imposed by government may be eligible for the LRSG (Closed) Addendum schemes:

  • from 5 January 2021 onwards
  • between 5 November and 2 December 2020

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each period under national restrictions.




Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment
22 January 2021

The Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions that began on 5 January 2021.

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council.

Local councils will pay the same businesses that are eligible to receive the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum for the national lockdown period that began on 5 January.




Check if you're eligible for the coronavirus Additional Restrictions Grant
22 January 2021

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through LRSG (Closed).

Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG.




Check if you're eligible for the coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses)
22 January 2021

Businesses that were open as usual and were then required to close due to local Tier 2, Tier 3 or Tier 4 restrictions may be eligible for LRSG (Closed) or LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4.

Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period they are closed.




Check if you're eligible for the coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses)
22 January 2021

Businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions may be eligible for LRSG (Open).

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period under local restrictions.

Local councils have the discretion to provide grant funding for businesses under this scheme. They will use their discretion in identifying the right businesses to receive this funding, based on their application process.




Check if you're eligible for the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs
22 January 2021

The Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs supports pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food and have been severely impacted over the festive season due to temporary local restrictions.

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of £1,000 from their local council in areas under Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions.

Local councils will use their discretion to identify the right businesses to receive this funding.




Insurers will pay small firms for the lockdown losses
22 January 2021

The Supreme Court ruled insurers must pay out policyholders for their Covid claims starting with the Spring lockdown 2019.




Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended until 30 April 2021
13 January 2021

On 17 December, the UK Government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until the end of April 2021 to support businesses impacted by coronavirus restrictions. The Government will pay 80% of an employee’s salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions.




The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum)
13 January 2021

Last week the government announced additional support for businesses, which will be distributed by boroughs. Businesses that have been required to close due to national restrictions imposed by the government as of 5 January 2021 may be eligible for a one-off grant of up to £9,000. Check if your business is eligible here

The government has also provided 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, £1.1 billion existing discretionary funding for Local Authorities, the furlough scheme now extended to April and 100% government backed loans, extended until March.




What are the restrictions in Tier 4?
21 December 2020
  • All non-essential shops, gyms and leisure facilities, hairdressers and salons will close from 00:01 Sunday
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of those providing food and drink for takeaway only (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences can remain open
  • Market stalls selling essential retail can also stay open



Guidance for the Christmas period
18 December 2020

This Christmas, it’s safest if you spend time only with your own household or support bubble. From 23 December to 27 December, you may choose to form a Christmas bubble if you feel you need to.

A Christmas bubble can meet in a private home, a place of worship or an outdoor public space. In all other settings, if you do form a Christmas bubble, you must still follow the rules for the tier you meet in.

Between 23 and 27 December, the rules on who you can meet in bars, pubs and restaurants will not change.




Tax cuts and deferrals
17 December 2020

The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors will be extended to the end of March 2021. In addition, those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.




Repay Eat Out to Help Out Scheme 
17 December 2020

Check the payments to avoid a penaltyFind out how to pay back all or some of the payments your business claimed if you have over claimed when taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. 




Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension
17 December 2020

The extension will last until April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum installments, each covering a three month period from November 2020-January 2021 and February-April 2021. The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions. Find out if you are eligible and how much you can get following the link below.




Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)
17 December 2020

Application guidelines for the Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG), also referred to as Discretionary Grants, are currently in development. The Newham Council want to use this funding to support businesses to contribute to the recovery and reorientation of Newham, they want to develop criteria that align with our Towards a Better Newham Covid Recovery Strategy.

Council is currently devising the criteria and will provide the necessary information on their website when these are finalised and the application window is open. Please note that the funding is available for allocation up to March 2022, subject to national and local Covid alert levels.




Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) for businesses that closed 5 November-2 December
17 December 2020
  • for properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per four weeks
  • for properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, grants to be £2,000 per four weeks
  • for properties with a rateable value of £51k or over, grants to be £3,000 per four weeks.

If you have been able to continue to trade during the lockdown period you will not be eligible to receive grant funding.




Tier 3 travel advice
17 December 2020

The Tier 3 restrictions mean that Londoners should avoid travelling outside of the capital unless for education or work purposes where work cannot be done from home.




Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
17 December 2020

The UK Government has reviewed the terms of the scheme, and announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain at the current level of 80% of usual wages for the hours not worked, and will be extended until the end of April‌ ‌2021.




London is moving to Tier 3 Level Alert
14 December 2020

From Wednesday the 16th of December, London will move into Tier 3 – Very High alert. Find out what it means for your business. 




You must submit any November claims, no later than 14 ‌‌December.
7 December 2020

The UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The terms of the scheme will be reviewed in January.

There are now monthly deadlines for claims. Claims must be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, unless this falls on a weekend in which case the deadline is the next weekday. We'll continue to send you reminder emails before the deadline each month




Risk Assessment
7 December 2020

As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called a COVID-19 risk assessment and it’ll help you manage the risk and protect people.

The guidance by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is for employers, but workers and the self-employed may also find it useful.

It gives an overview of the things you should do to help make your work and workplace COVID-secure.




Tier-2
7 December 2020

Tier-2 is classified as High Alert. This is for areas with a higher or rapidly rising level of infection, where some additional restrictions need to be in place.

Some of the key rules are:

  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
  • pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
    • close between 11pm and 5am
    • stop taking orders after 10pm
  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through

You can find full details of the local restriction tiers here and about Making a Christmas bubble with friends and family here.




on 2 December, England will move back into a regional, tiered approach
23 November 2020



[FREE event] Supercharge your Sales - COVID-19 Business Help Series
23 November 2020

Get expert advice to help adapt your sales strategy in the current COVID-19 landscape.




Business support grant applications are now live
23 November 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday 31 October 2020 regarding a national lockdown from Thursday 5 November 2020 - Wednesday 2 December 2020 additional grant funding has been made available to those businesses who are facing restrictions.




A new film
23 November 2020

A new film has been designed to explain the importance of letting fresh air into your home to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

You can watch the video on Youtube




Government Kick Start Scheme for Newham Businesses
10 November 2020

Newham Council have partnered with Central Government to deliver the new Kickstart Scheme. This scheme gives employers the opportunity to create 6 months placements for 18-24-year-olds Newham residents offering £1,500 incentive to employers. Learn more information following the link below. If interested please contact Nkosi Moyo Nkosi.Moyo@newham.gov.uk as soon as possible to discuss next steps. Please be mindful that due to popular demand, this opportunity is limited.




Covid-19: national restrictions from 5 November
2 November 2020

From Thursday 5 November, everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:

·         For education;

·         For work, if you cannot work from home;

·         For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;

·         For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;

·         To shop for food and essentials;

·         And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.




Business Grants
2 November 2020

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.



Job Retention Scheme
2 November 2020

Small or large employers , charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, which will continue until the end of December.

Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5% of total employment costs. 

Further details, including how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, will be provided shortly.




High-level alert from October the 17th
20 October 2020

From Saturday, October the 17th, the Government moved London into the high-level alert levelBusinesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law.  Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues will still close at 10 pm. Customers will still need to wear a face-covering at all times, apart from when seated to eat or drink, and staff will need to wear a face-covering at all times. 

 




Updated Covid-19 secure guidelines for hospitality business
20 October 2020

Find the updated version of the Covid-19 secure guidelines for hospitality business as of September the 29th.




Prime Minister announced new local Covid Alert Levels
13 October 2020

The three levels will be set at medium, high, and very high

The “medium” alert level - which will cover most of the country - will consist of the current national measures, which came into force on 25 September. This includes the Rule of Six, and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.

The “high” alert level will reflect many current local interventions, but there will now be consistency across the country.

The “very high” alert level will apply where transmission rates are causing the greatest concern, based on an assessment of all the available data and the local situation.

Non-essential retail, schools and universities will remain open in all levels.




Face covering
12 October 2020

Unless you are exempt, you could be refused travel or face a £200 fine which doubles with every violation up to £6,400.

There are new measures in place across our network to keep everyone safe. Find out what safety measures you can expect to see when travelling, including hand sanitiser, our enhanced cleaning regime and face covering enforcement. 




COVID-19 early outbreak management
8 October 2020

The action cards provide instructions to anyone responsible for a business or organisation on what to do in the event of one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in your organisation.




Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1‌‌ October
13 October 2020

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1‌‌ October mean that employers will need to fund 20% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours they do not work and continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions. 

The scheme closes on 31‌‌‌ ‌October and you will need to make any final claims on or before 3‌0 November. 

Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live webinar: 




Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – applications for the second grant are OPEN!
30 September 2020

The second taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Applications for the second grant are now open. Make your claim from the date HRMC give you. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

You can claim a grant if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and your business has been adversely affected due to coronavirus.




More updates for food and drink businesses
30 September 2020
  • Venues should take account of the Performing Arts guidance in organising any performances of drama, comedy, and music.
  • All food and drink establishments are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to open and operate safely.
  • Wedding receptions and celebrations may take place, but from 28 September only 15 people may attend. See guidance.
  • Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can continue beyond 10pm, but only if the performance started before 10pm (food and drink cannot be served after 10pm).

Restrictions and stricter rules on certain food and drink businesses and venues from 24 and 28 September, which must close from between the hours of 10pm and 5am. 




Updates for providers of sports and leisure facilities
30 September 2020
  • Organised outdoor sport or licensed outdoor physical activity, and supervised sporting activity (indoors or outdoors) for under-18s can occur in groups of greater than six.
  • Organised indoor sport or exercise classes can also take place in larger numbers, provided groups of more than six do not mix.
  • Organised indoor team sports for disabled people can take place in any number.



Exhibition halls and conference centres
30 September 2020

These should not be open, other than for hosting meetings and business events for under 30 people. The planned return of business events and socially distanced crowds in stadia from 1 October and pilot events has now been paused.




Test and Trace
30 September 2020

Continued opening up of the economy and public services is reliant on NHS Test and Trace being used to minimise transmission of the virus. In order to ensure that businesses and local services are able to remain open, it will be mandatory that organisations in designated sectors must:

● Ask at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to 6 people) to provide their name and contact details.

Keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details.

Keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested.

● display an official NHS QR code poster from 24 September 2020, so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details.

Adhere to General Data Protection Regulations.

Any designated venue that is found not to be compliant with these regulations will be subject to financial penalties. It is vital that relevant venues comply with these regulations to help keep people safe and to keep businesses open.

Designated venues will need to keep records of customers, visitors and staff for a period of 21 days and make them available when requested by NHS Test and Trace or local public health officials to help contain clusters or outbreaks.




Social contact
30 September 2020

Venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, in line with guidance for their sector, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6 (unless they are all part of the same household or support bubble). It is also important that people from different households (who are not meeting as a support bubble) remain socially distanced.

Businesses should demonstrate to their workers and attendees that they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate measures to mitigate it, for example by publishing their risk assessment online or making it available at the premises/event.

The Police have the powers to issue a £10,000 FPN to anyone holding or involved in the holding, of an illegal gathering of over 30 people.




Face Masks
30 September 2020

From 24 September, staff in retail and hospitality settings will be required to wear a face covering and all businesses must remind customers to wear a face covering where mandated, such as by displaying posters.




Covid-19 Guidance updates from September the 22nd
24 September 2020
  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bingo halls must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September). 
  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September)
  • Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law (from 24 September).
  • Business conferences, exhibition halls and large sporting events will no longer able to reopen from 1 October.
  • Check more business updates following the link below 



NHS Test & Trace: National Rollout
24 September 2020

Today, on September the 24th is the national rollout of the NHS app. 

The pilot of the app in London Borough of Newham played a crucial role in indicating some key strategic insights and findings before the national rollout.

NHS, the Central Government and Newham Council are urging businesses to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

Newham businesses and residents are invited to take part in independent research about the NHS Test and Trace App and receive £30 high street voucher as thanks for their support, a £100 honorarium for organisations.




Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update
24 September 2020

From October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed Learn more.




NHS Test and Trace becomes mandatory
16 September 2020

Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From Friday 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, which must be kept for 21 days.




New measures
16 September 2020

From Monday 14 September it will not be possible to meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than six. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes. Education and work settings are unaffected;




Job Retention Scheme (updates from September 1st)
2 September 2020

From 1‌‌ September HMRC will now pay 70% of usual wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.

What you need to do now

  • Continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant yourself.
  • The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if your employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in September, you are entitled to claim 70% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work up to £1,093.75 (50% of the £2,187.50 cap).
  • Continue to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds.



The Government launched two new leadership programmes:
21 August 2020
  • Small Business Leadership Programme - The 10-week programme – which will be delivered virtually by experts from university business schools – will teach participants how to maximise their business’s potential by improving productivity, organisation and efficiency.
  • Peer Networks Programme - will focus on helping business owners improve their problem-solving skills, through a series of sessions where common coronavirus related business challenges will be discussed.



UKHospitality Guidance
21 August 2020

Covid-19 secure advice and risk assessment for hospitality business (updates from August the 11th)




Job Retention Bonus
14 August 2020

This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.

As the employer, you will be able to claim the bonus after you have filed PAYE information for Ja‌nu‌ar‌y 2021, and the bonus will be paid from Fe‌br‌ua‌ry 2021. More detailed guidance, including how you can claim the bonus online, will be available by the end of September.




Job Retention Scheme update
13 August 2020

From the 1st August, employers will need to pay National Insurance and pension contributions for furloughed employees from their own resources as these will not be covered by future grants.

Join the webinar to learn more about the scheme, including flexible furloughing, examples of how to work out the amount you can claim, and the changes due in September and October.




Face coverings guidance
13 August 2020

Face coverings must be worn in additional enclosed public spaces from 24 July in England, as the government takes further steps to help curb the spread of the virus. As well as shops and supermarkets, face coverings must be worn in banks, building societies and post offices.




Workplace guidance has been updated (12 August)
13 August 2020
Offices and contact centres - Updated guidance on consulting the workforce before returning to work (section 2) and protecting people who are at higher risk (section 2.1)
Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services - Updated guidance on gatherings of multiple households (section 2.1), consulting the workforce before returning to work (section 3) and protecting people who are at higher risk (section 3.1)
Shops and branches - Updated guidance on consulting the workforce before returning to work (section 3), protecting people who are at higher risk (section 3.1) and where to wear face coverings (section 6.1)



Should staff/customers be encouraged to wear gloves?
19 June 2020

These are FAQ from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy webinars on working safely during coronavirus. If you would like to watch the webinars, you can do it on Youtube. You can keep up to date with other government coronavirus webinars for businesses here.




TfL announcement: temporary changes to the Central London Congestion Charge.
19 June 2020
  • The daily charge will increase from £11.50 to £15 per day (£17.50 for those paying during the three days after the day of travel)
  • Charging hours are extended to 07:00 to 22:00 from the current hours of 07:00 to 18:00, to reflect peak traffic hours during the epidemic.
  • Auto Pay and Fleet Auto Pay £1 daily discount will be removed.
  • The residents’ discount scheme will close to new applications from 1 August. Existing discount holders will continue to receive the discount.
  • NHS patient reimbursement scheme will be expanded. 



Job Retention Scheme (updates from June 12)
19 June 2020
  • The scheme will close to anyone who hasn’t been furloughed for 3 weeks by 30 June. The rules of the scheme are changing from 1 J‌ul‌y.
  • From 1 July, you’ll have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time, you can decide the hours and shift patterns they work to suit the needs of your business.
  • For periods starting on or after the 1 J‌ul‌y, the maximum number of employees you can claim for in any period cannot be higher than the maximum number you have claimed for in a previous period. 
  • From 1 Au‌gust, you will need to contribute towards the wage costs of your furloughed employees until the scheme ends on 31 Oc‌to‌be‌r.



Reopening or Returning to your Workplace Guidance
3 June 2020

From 15th June: All other non-essential retail can reopen as long as the social distance is in place, here is the list of businesses who must remain closed.
Preparation is vital for a smooth transition from lockdown to reopening of your business.

The 8 guides which cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, shop or a takeaway. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.




Future Fund
3 June 2020

These businesses have been unable to access other government business support programmes, such as CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment. The scheme will deliver an initial commitment of £250m of new government funding which will be unlocked by private investment on a match funded basis.

The application process is investor-led. This means an investor, or lead investor of a group of investors, applies in connection with an eligible company.




TfL Briefing for Businesses
3 June 2020

TFL has created a plan to help London and businesses to re-open safely. The service levels are going to be increased, however, will be operated differently due to the national requirement to maintain 2 metres distance between passengers. Hand sanitiser points will be introduced across the transport network, along with special signage and platform stickers as well as restricting entry if the necessary and one-way system. 

TFL asks businesses to help them enable social distancing wherever possible by keeping the numbers of people travelling on the network down. It is important for businesses to have discussions with their employees regarding TFL’s plans tips for planning to return to work in the coming weeks and in the longer term. 




Job Retention Scheme update
26 May 2020

Save and return option now added

In response to feedback from customers using the service, we’ve added a 'save and return' option. This means that you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go.




Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund
20 May 2020

On May the 1st additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding was announced for small businesses.

This additional fund was aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.




Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
20 May 2020

The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

 




New Bounce Back Loans to launch today
4 May 2020

Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – will be eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

 

 




Bounce Back Loan
30 April 2020

This scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for loans of up to £50,000.

  • 100% government guarantee
  • Available from 9am on Monday 4th May 2020

 




Arts Council Fund
30 April 2020

Arts Council England have a number of funding opportunities for organisations and individuals within the arts




FUTURE FUND
30 April 2020

The Chancellor has announced a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.




BUSINESS RATES
9 April 2020

Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail, regardless of their Rateable Value will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.

Businesses do not need to take any actions, the relief will be applied automatically. 




BUSINESS GRANTS
9 April 2020

Apply for the Coronavirus business grant funds:

➣ Small Business Grant Fund  - £10,000 grant payment. 

➣ Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant - up to £25,000. 

 




CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME (CBILS)
2 April 2020

CBILS is financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) who are UK - based, have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million and were disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

What do you get? 

  • Loans up to £5million (you can apply for a loan between £25,001 and £5,000,000) 
  • Spread repayments of your loan from 1 to 6 years
  • No interest payments for the first 12 months (covered by the UK government under “Business Interruption Payment”)



CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME
24 March 2020

The scheme applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’.

All UK businesses are eligible. 

  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. 
  • The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.



GOVERNMENT CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS SUPPORT
24 March 2020

The Government has launched the website where you can find all the information on the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on your business.

You'll find ALL the schemes (loans, business rates, grants, etc) available for businesses, eligibility and advice. 




BUSINESS CRIME HUB - Covid advice
20 March 2020

"The Metropolitan Police Business Crime Hub was created to improve partnership and communication with the business community to reduce the impact of crime".

In the official statement issued by Metropolitan Police, you'll find tips on preventing crime during these unpredictable times created by the Coronavirus, including: 

  • If your staff fall victim to an assault or witness violence in your premises
  • Closed Premises/Venues that have been temporarily shut
  • Physical Protective Measures
  • Large gatherings/Queuing

Read the full document below for more information.




HMRC HELPLINE HAS BEEN LAUNCHED
19 March 2020

The phone helpline aims to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 0159 559

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm.

The helpline will not be available on Bank Holidays.




FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNMENT
19 March 2020

--> HERE you will find out about the support for businesses who:

  • are paying sick pay to employees (COVID-19 refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee)
  • pay business rates (100% retail discount for the 2020 to 2021 tax year for properties below £51,000 rateable value)
  • pay little or no business rates (grant of £3,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief)
  • support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (up to 80% covered by the government)
  • for businesses and self-employed paying tax (may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs)



THE COVID-19 GUIDANCE
18 March 2020

will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff on:

  • the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent the spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • what advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas
  • actions to take if staff come into contact with someone who is self-isolating or is a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19



WASH YOUR HANDS!
18 March 2020

Please stay healthy and follow the basic routine to protect yourself and those around you from the virus.




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