East Devon coronavirus business update - 14 May 2020

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Coronavirus business masthead

Councillor Kevin Blakey, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for economy introduces this week’s business update:

We are receiving a number of enquiries about the Government’s top-up fund for certain small businesses which were previously outside the scope of the business grants scheme. Please bear with us at this time, as we clarify the eligibility criteria and the administration of this fund. It is likely that only a limited number of businesses and organisations will be eligible. We will publicise details as soon as possible, so please subscribe to receive these business updates so you don’t miss out. Add your email address to public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/subscriber/new, and choose the ‘business’ topic.

As the Government moves forward with its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the main guidance on working safely includes: 

  • Workers should continue to work from home, wherever possible. This helps to reduce the number of social contacts and keeps transmissions as low as possible. It also helps to reduce risks of overcrowding on transport and in public places.
  • If you cannot work from home, travel to your workplace by walking, cycling or driving to minimise crowding on public transport, if possible. The sectors of the economy which are allowed and should be open includes food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. The only exceptions are workplaces such as hospitality and non-essential retail, which are currently required to remain closed.
  • It’s important to reduce the number of people you spend time with at work. Employers are asked to support this where possible by changing shift patterns and rotas accordingly. More information is expected to be available soon.

Shielded people must remain shielded and vulnerable people including pregnant women and people with pre-existing chronic conditions such as diabetes, should continue to stay at home as much as possible. You can read frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak.

To support East Devon businesses at this challenging time, we are working with Cosmic to provide a range of free online workshops. Learn about steps which could help to look after your business at a time when adaptation is particularly important. In depth workshops available to book are:

Tuesday 2nd June – Digital Marketing made easy
Tuesday 9th June – Website improvements and SEO
Wednesday 10th June – Facebook Basics
Monday 15th June - Facebook next steps
Thursday 18th June – Instagram Basics
Friday 19th June – Introduction to video
Tuesday 23rd June – Instagram Next Steps
Thursday 25th June - Introduction to Photography

The measures to control the spread of the pandemic appear to be working, with the critical “R” number now being below 1. This means that the numbers of people being infected are declining, but it will be some time before we can get back to life as we knew it before the lockdown. Now is the time for businesses to plan for the immediate future and to be ready to make the changes that will be necessary to survive and thrive. The webinars above can help you in this regard.

East Devon businesses adapt to thrive

Webinar on how to claim for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

HMRC are this week running webinars to help self-employed people make a claim for the Income Support Scheme, which opened this week. The webinar provides information on: who can claim; how to make a claim; what you’ll need; what happens after you’ve claimed and support available.

Register online  

Furlough scheme extended until October

Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October. Employers can read a step by step guide on the information they need to provide to claim for their employees' wages. 

Operating workplaces safely

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published new guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The steps for businesses to take are focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as it is practical:

  • Work from home, if you can
  • Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
  • Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
  • Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
  • Reinforcing cleaning processes

These steps are accompanied by guidance on specific types of workplace, and apply to businesses which are currently open. Guidance for other sectors that are not currently open will be developed and published ahead of those establishments opening to give those businesses time to plan.

The accompanying guidance covers 8 different types of workplace, and many businesses may need to use more than one of these guides:

  • Construction and other outdoor work
  • Factories, plants and warehouses
  • Labs and research facilities
  • Offices and contact centres
  • Other people’s homes
  • Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
  • Shops and branches
  • Vehicles

FSA Guidance for Food Businesses

The Food Standards Agency has collated guidance for food businesses operating during the coronavirus pandemic. Advice is available to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely in the food sector.

The FSA’s website provides information for food manufacturers, restaurants and takeaways and the farming and agriculture sectors. The guidance covers a range of areas, including social distancing, cleaning and staff training. It outlines the hygiene processes and requirements food businesses must follow as they develop new ways of working.

Looking for work

Bookmark this page for the ‘Find a job’ service. Some of the largest sectors are recruiting both permanent and fixed term roles – including the NHS, care, supermarket retail, food production and logistics. jobhelp.dwp.gov.uk/latest-jobs/

£3m Advertising Fund for Small Firms Hit by COVID-19 Downturn

The Small Business Advertising Support Fund is a £3 million initiative which aims to provide free print and online advertising for small businesses struggling in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Fund, administered by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), gives access to tailored print advertising. Businesses will be given a tailored advertising package worth £3,000 each. UK companies with 150 employees or fewer and an annual turnover (revenue) that does not exceed £6 million may apply. The applicant must be in a position to redeem the £3,000 advertising fund before 30 September 2020.


Where to find advice and information on grants and financial assistance for businesses in Devon affected by COVID-19. Read more

Free Business Support Available

Three hours of FREE one-to-one, virtual support with an experienced business advisor is available for certain East Devon businesses, so please get in touch if you would like some support with your business. You can discuss ways to improve or adapt your marketing or services as well as finding solutions to reopening your business and reassuring customers that your premises are safe. Restrictions are likely to last for some time and it will be vital to find ways to adapt your business to the new 'normal' to continue to trade. If you can’t trade at the moment, there may be planning you can do that will make sure you’re ready when you can. Do get in touch by calling 0800 592872 or email team@businessinfopoint.co.uk  

East Devon businesses adapting during the pandemic

East Devon businesses are already innovating and adapting to the current situation. This week we are highlighting the work of Clinton Dairy. 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.

Useful links

*Stay up to date by subscribing to our business update. Visit public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/subscriber/new, add your email address and choose the ‘business’ topic

*How to make a claim through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Tool: www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference Guidance: www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

*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: gov.uk/business-support

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

*Coastal Communities Alliance provide support and advice for arts, cultural and creative organisations on the English Coast.

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

*The latest travel advice can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

*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

*Q&A from Public Health England on coronavirus: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

*FAQ from the Cabinet Office:


*Public Health England’s guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals and other organisations: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

*Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Twitter:  https://twitter.com/mhclg