Information & Resources for Businesses and Employees

CORONAVIRUS: INFORMATION & RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES AND EMPLOYEES

Kendal BID has put together a comprehensive guide to resources and assistance that is available to businesses below. We are hearing the words that this is, “a rapidly changing situation”, which no one can deny. We will update you as and when updates are available, particularly in relation to the implementation of the various grants and loans that we have all been told about.

ALL BUSINESSES IN RETAIL, HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE

Business Rates Holidays

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the year 2020/2021.
  • Information about this can be obtained from your local authority and guidance on this will be published on the 20 March.

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.

HMRC Time to Pay Scheme

  • Payment plans and timings to be agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
  • Telephone HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 for help with this.

Businesses who benefit from small business rate relief

  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
  • These grants are to be run by the Local Authority who are currently working with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy as to implementation.  When this is complete your Local Authority will contact you with information as to how to apply for the grant.  As soon as we have any further information about this we will let you know.

Businesses whose rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000

  • Grant funding of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
  • Grants to be administered by the Local Authority.

Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • Offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs.
  • Available through commercial lending, including major High Street banks, who will make the decision to lend.
  • The loans will be guaranteed by the Government but it will remain the businesses responsibility to repay any monies borrowed.
  • 6 month’s interest will be covered by the Government so that initial payments will be reduced.
  • Details of the criteria can be found on the British Bank’s website here and businesses should contact lenders directly in order to apply.

Further details of financial support

  • Universal Credit allowance increased £1,000 a year and the next tax self assessments will be deferred until the start of next year.
  • Full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay available to self-employed people.
  • An additional £1 billion announced to cover 30% of housing rental costs.
  • Deferral of next quarter of VAT payments so no business will pay VAT from now until the end of June and will have until the end of the financial year to repay bills.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (announced 11 March) will now be interest-free for 12 months (originally 6 month

How to protect your business from fire during closure.

COVID-19 – Protect your business property while closed

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is advising business owners to protect their premises if they are temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

Craig Drinkald, Area Manager at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Many shops, businesses and venues in Cumbria are temporarily closed to reduce social contact, prevent the spread of Covid-19 and save lives. We are advising businesses to take some simple steps to protect their premises from fire.”

Businesses can protect their property by taking the following action to help keep their property safe:

1 Turn off and unplug electrical equipment

If your premises are unoccupied, electrical equipment should be turned off and plugs removed from sockets, and electrical systems isolated at the main fuse board, with the exception of critical business infrastructure required to support the organisation’s operations and support temporary home working arrangements. These include intruder alarms, fire alarms, sprinkler installations and other fire risk suppression security.

2 Guard against escape of water losses

Turn off water supplies at the mains (and where reasonable to do so drain down water systems) during the period of temporary closure. We recognise it may not always be appropriate to turn off or drain down water systems. Where this is the case a minimum temperature of 7⁰C (45⁰F) should be maintained within the property.

3 Protect against arson

Ensure all fire doors are securely closed. Safely remove internal waste and position external bins as far from the property as possible, ideally securing bins in places to prevent them being relocated against the building.

4 Inspect weekly

Unoccupied property should be inspected weekly, provided travel required to carry out inspections is in line with the latest government advice.

Where this is not possible at the present time the inspections should be reinstated once travel restrictions are lifted.

Any damage to the building or fitted security devices identified at the time of inspection should be fixed as soon as is reasonably possible.

You should also remove any piles of mail from any letterbox during each inspection, along with any other action considered appropriate to minimise the risk the property can be easily identified as being temporarily closed.

5 Update risk assessments

Review and update risk assessments for the property to reflect the temporary closure. Think about how any reduced maintenance provision for your premises could cause a fire risk.

USEFUL LINKS:

Find out about SLDC Council’s latest COVID19 advice:
SLDC COUNCIL

Track the number of new cases across the UK and in your area here:
Public Health England Dashboard

Find out more about government support for businesses:
Government Guidance

Find out more about business rates holidays:
Business Rates Relief

Find out about new planning rules:
Relaxation of planning rules

Find out more Healthcare Advice:
NHS advice for businesses and employees

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