East Devon coronavirus business update - 20 May 2020

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Coronavirus business masthead

Mark Williams, Chief Executive of East Devon District Council, introduces this week’s business update:

"The Council continues to support local businesses with small business grant funding, with more than £40m paid out to 3,432 businesses. If you have received a letter or email from us about this, please complete your claim without delay. Any business wishing to decline the grant should complete the online form.

"We know that local businesses are keen to hear news about Government’s new ‘top-up’ fund for small businesses which were previously outside the scope of the grant scheme.  You can read the guidance provided to local authorities so far.  We are working with our partner Authorities across Devon to agree a policy for how these funds are deployed that responds to local circumstances.  It is clear though, that the amount of funding available in the District (circa £2.5m) relative to the priorities already identified in the national guidance (including B&Bs, charities, market traders and businesses in shared office space) will mean that grants are likely to be restrained in amount, as the likely demand on the fund will significantly exceed the limited amount of funding the Government has allocated.  We are waiting for further information and next week we will be able to advise when the fund will open.

"Our East Devon Business Continuity Programme of informative webinars, brought to you by Cosmic, provides practical support to help you adapt to the current circumstances. From digital marketing made easy to using Zoom, Facebook, Instagram and improving your website, these helpful sessions provide real and useful guidance to reshaping your business for it to survive and thrive and I would encourage you to sign up to these without delay."

  grants paid

East Devon businesses adapting during the pandemic

This week we can showcase two East Devon businesses which are adapting to new ways of working. This week we are highlighting the work of Jurassic Fibre and Jelly South West CIC. Please send us your examples of local business making positive changes to the way they work: email us.

Hospitality and Tourism: Adjusting your business for the new-normal

Join a free webinar on the 27th of May covering :

  • Some of the ways COVID-19 has changed the landscape
  • How businesses can transition for the new-normal
  • Tips to drive growth with digital solutions

Read more

Delivered by digital marketing agency Three Sixtee, and former Google trainer.

Support for employees and employers 

Get a wide range coronavirus help and support with changes in your circumstances from the British Chambers of Commerce.

Join a free zoom meeting to find how to safely returning to work from Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

Join a free virtual event on Thursday 21 May looking at reopening your business and risk assessment from the Federation of Small Businesses.

New Style Employment and Support Allowance

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has updated a range of guidance with more information about who might be able to get New Style Employment and Support Allowance because of coronavirus. A person may be able to get New Style Employment and Support Allowance if one for the following applies:

· they have a disability or health condition that affects how much they can work
· they, or their child, might have coronavirus or they’re recovering from it
· they, or their child, are self-isolating because they came into contact with someone who might have coronavirus
    · they have been told to stay at home for at least 12 weeks by the NHS because they’re at high risk of severe illness.

Updated guidance:





Helpline number changed

The Business Support Helpline number in England has changed to FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098. The helpline provides free, impartial business support and signposting services to businesses in England – which currently includes business advice on Covid-19.  You can also find free support, advice and sources of finance through your local growth hub or speak to an advisor on webchat about support for your business. 

£40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups

Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. 

Apply for the coronavirus Future Fund

The Future Fund will provide UK Government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. The fund will be open for applications from Wednesday 20 May 2020. 

Larger businesses to benefit from loans of up to £200 million

Government extends maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £50 million to £200 million. Read more

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme set to launch

Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26 May. Read more

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Check if you can claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and find out how to claim.  Read more

Five steps for safer working

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

This guidance applies to businesses currently open. There are eight guides which cover a range of different types of work and work locations.

Businesses re-opening

Businesses planning to reopen under the latest government guidance are being warned that hot and cold water systems left inactive for several weeks can increase the risk of Legionnaire’s disease. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health advises businesses to carry out vital safety processes to their water systems before reopening.

Support for care homes

New guidance sets out the support package to keep care homes safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Care providers can find the details of the support package and additional advice and resources to help stop the spread of infection here. 

Offer coronavirus support

How might your business be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using Government's online service.

Share the impact coronavirus is having on your organisation 

How is the outbreak impacting your business?  Please send your intelligence, including information and feedback on the safer workplace guidance, to intel@beis.gov.uk. Commercially sensitive information will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice.  

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

Answers to common questions: Social distancing, and seeing your family and friends
When schools are reopening; Rules for reopening businesses, and holding weddings: www.gov.uk/guidance/answers-to-the-most-common-topics-asked-about-by-the-public-for-the-coronavirus-press-conference

• Working safely during coronavirus 
• Coronavirus FAQ – what you can and can’t do
• Public advised to cover faces in enclosed spaces
• Reopening and adapting food businesses
• Food business guidance

• Closing certain businesses and venues in England