East Devon coronavirus business update - 24 April 2020

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Councillor Kevin Blakey, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the economy, introduces this week's business update with news that we are launching a range of free webinars and online workshops to help business through these challenging circumstances:

“We continue to receive feedback which shows the support we are providing is welcome during this difficult time.  I’m pleased to announce that we are now able to provide additional support for local businesses.  Through Cosmic, we are launching an innovative range of webinars and online workshops for small businesses via online video conferencing. Businesses can register for FREE and join a series of training workshops and advice sessions to learn about some of the steps to take to look after your business at this challenging time. Two webinar events will be followed up by a range of in depth workshops designed to help you adapt to new ways of working. See more details below or book online.

East Devon businesses are already innovating and adapting to the current situation. This week we are highlighting the work of Brian J Toye Opticians. We would like to continue to showcase such examples of local businesses making positive changes to the way they work, so please do send us your examples.  

We continue to focus efforts on providing much needed grants to local businesses.  So far, £32.6m has been paid to 2747 eligible businesses. We are currently making contact with the 1200 businesses that have not yet instigated their grant claims. Some businesses may decide not to claim but we still need to know this so we are asking people who receive a letter from us to complete this form.

If you have checked the eligibility criteria online and think you should have received a letter or email from us, then please email businessrates@eastdevon.gov.uk

If you are not eligible, you may be able to access three hours of tailored one to one business advice and support from the Heart of the South West Growth Hub: call 0800 592 872 or visit www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk."

East Devon Business Continuity Programme

To support businesses at this challenging time, East Devon District Council are working with Cosmic to provide an innovative range of webinars and online workshops for small businesses. Businesses can register for FREE and take part via video conferencing, to learn about steps to take to look after your business at this time. Webinars and workshops are designed to help you adapt to new ways of working. Future workshops will include: selling online; digitising your products and services; using social media; marketing; software and tools to help you achieve more:

Book for

5th May: New ways to sell online and increase income during Covid 19

13th May: Maximising business opportunities in a remote environment

Cosmic’s joint chief executive, Julie Hawker, has provided valuable insight into leadership in times of crisis. How can we “pivot”? – virtualise service delivery, communications, move to e-commerce for retail. Read more

£1.25 billion government support package for businesses

A new support package has been launched to protect firms driving innovation in UK. The package includes 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.

The £500 million Future Fund, delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and launching in May, will provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5 million from the government, with private investors at least matching the government commitment.

The £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.

The announcement: www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-support-package-for-innovative-firms-hit-by-coronavirus

Future fund: www.gov.uk/guidance/future-fund

Job Retention Scheme up and running

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now live, with businesses able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.

Employers can furlough anyone they employ, provided that on or before March 19 they were on PAYE payroll and HMRC has been notified of payment via the RTI system.

The guidance on how to calculate 80% of an employee’s wages, National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions if they’ve been furloughed due to coronavirus has also been updated to include a calculator to work out how much can be claimed.

It takes 6 working days to process claims.  Employers can apply here tax.service.gov.uk/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Step by step guide for employers: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide-for-employers

The guidance with calculator: www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

The government has launched a business support finder to help businesses see what support is available to them.

The Business support finder: www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

Further action to support bus and lorry drivers

The Transport Secretary announced last week that it will be easier for bus and lorry drivers to renew their expiring driving licenses.

Under the scheme, drivers will be able to receive a temporary 1-year licence, providing they do not have any medical conditions that affect their driving and their current licence expires in 2020.

Announcement: www.gov.uk/government/news/government-takes-further-action-to-support-bus-and-lorry-drivers-who-are-keeping-the-country-moving

Renew license: www.gov.uk/renew-lorry-bus-coach-licence/45-or-over

Cyber awareness 

You may have seen the coverage of the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) new Cyber Aware campaign. The advice includes tips on how to protect passwords, accounts and devices. Given the rise in the instances of opportunistic criminals using the pandemic as a way to scam people, it’s important to protect your online presence, starting with your email password.

Learn Devon

Learn Devon

Learn Devon is changing the way its service is made available to deliver courses on line.  This will include subjects relating to employability, digital skills and wellbeing.  The courses will go live on their website from the 1st May and it is possible to keep updated on specific course titles as they are release through the website or newsletter 

Useful links

For the latest East Devon updates following the Coronavirus outbreak, see www.eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

One to one business advice tailored to suit individual business needs, call 0800 592 872 or visit the Heart of the South West Growth Hub website: www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk

Find out what support you can get for your business: www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder and gov.uk/business-support

Stay up to date with Devon County Council’s COVID-19 Grant & Funding: www.devon.gov.uk/fundingnews/fund/devon-county-council-covid-19-grant-funding-webpage

Useful guidance from Devon and Cornwall police regards travelling for work: www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/covid-19-coronavirus/covid-19-faqs/

Advice for small businesses and self-employed people is available from the Federation of Small Businesses www.fsb.org.uk/campaign/covid19.html

For the latest Government information on coronavirus, see: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

For the latest NHS information on coronavirus, see: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

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