January 2020. National lockdown: Stay at Home.
Gloucestershire is now under National Lockdown restrictions. This means you must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. This will be put in law.
To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services.
Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open.
Guidance published by the Cabinet Office on 04.01.21 can be found online here.
Finance & Funding
This online tool can help you start to establish what financial support is available for you and your business. Find out which funding scheme you’re eligible for, and which is most appropriate to the challenges and opportunities you’re facing.
We know it can be hard to know where to start, and new schemes are available each week. Our expert Business Navigators and Guides keep up to speed on the latest funding schemes and grants available so make sure you get support from them if you’re looking for help around your finance options.
Guidance for people who are self-employed and getting less work or no work because of coronavirus is available here.
People & Skills
Furlough and Statutory Sick Pay
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 30 April 2021.
To get the latest status of the CJRS and the key deadlines you need to be aware of, visit gov.uk.
You may be able to use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay.
Job Support Scheme
The government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work - protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted. The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December.
Upskill yourself and your team for free
If you’re looking to develop new skills in yourself, or your team members, to support the new direction your business may be taking, our online programme of workshops and 1-2-1s are all free of charge and especially designed to help you grow.
If you are providing apprenticeships through your business, guidance has been produced to ensure apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, despite any break they need to take as a result of COVID-19, and to support providers during this challenging time.
The Pensions Regulator has produced guidance to help you navigate how COVID-19 could impact automatic enrolment and DC pension contributions.
Reopening and working safely
Employers that want to reopen their business have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site. Employees can use this guidance to check what their workplace needs to do to keep people safe. Additional guidance is available to help you complete a risk assessment and support you to maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.
To help you and your team manage your recovery, there may be some changes you need to make at your workplace. We have a directory of Gloucestershire businesses that can supply the products, equipment, signage or fixtures you need.
Your local Council will be able to provide additional support and resources:
HMRC have online help set up to help businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus. The best way to get help from HMRC on any topic is to contact them online. Alternatively, you can call them on 0800 0159 559.
You can contact the government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice
- Phone: 0800 998 1098
- Webchat: talk to an adviser using the webchat
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recovery Advice for Business
The Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the government and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, will give small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery.
Advice offered will include bespoke, specialist assistance from accountancy, legal, and advertising to marketing, recruitment and digital to help businesses adapt to difficult circumstances and to bounce back as the UK economy recovers.
Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations
The government is working closely with Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations to support the national response to coronavirus. Access the a directory of these organisations here. Many of these organisations are also happy to respond to non-member queries related to coronavirus. Many of their websites also include sector-specific guidance and Q&A. This list does not cover all trade associations and business representatives.
Additional Growth Hub Support
Our teams of expert Business Navigators and Guides are ready to help you recover, reimagine and restart. Apply for free support from them here.