East Devon coronavirus business update - 11 June 2020

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Coronavirus business masthead
Councillor Paul Hayward

Welcome to East Devon District Council’s new Portfolio Holder for Economy, Asset Management and Regeneration, Cllr Paul Hayward (pictured right), Member for Yarty Ward and to Cllr Geoff Pratt, Member for Ottery St Mary, who is the new Assistant Portfolio Holder.

Cllr Hayward introduces this week’s business update:

“I’m very pleased to take up this new role to support residents and businesses of East Devon. I would like to thank Cllr Kevin Blakey for all of his service to the Council and wider community, having been in that role since last May. I am also delighted to be working closely with Cllr Pratt within this portfolio role. Geoff and I have been colleagues since May 2019 and have worked closely together on DMC and I am certain that the synergies that already exist between us will help us to jointly meet the challenges that face the East Devon economy as we move out of the shadow of CV-19.

I agreed to take on the economy role as I am fortunate enough to have worked in all five tiers of the employment sector and have seen the economy in action at various levels. My experience ranges from a multi-national corporation, national small and medium sized enterprise (SME), local SME to self-employment and work in the public sector.

I am pleased to announce that East Devon’s new Discretionary Grant Fund is now live for eligible businesses.  This follows previous schemes which supported businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors as well as small businesses more generally and has seen over £40m being deployed to over 3,000 businesses in the District. I must emphasise that the amount of funding available is limited and will not be able to meet all local needs.  I urge businesses to read the criteria and, if appropriate, apply as soon as possible, as the fund is open until 24 June. The eligibility criteria can be seen here www.eastdevon.gov.uk/discretionary-business-grant

I fully appreciate that everyone is going through a very hard time at the moment and it is important that we continue to tell local people that the District Council is here to assist everyone, in a multitude of ways. The Council is acting as a support mechanism until such times as things return to normal. It will be extremely hard for some people and we must be here to do what we can, when we can. 

With Cosmic, we have put together a series of free webinars and workshops to support local businesses and help them adapt to new trading opportunities. Please do book on to find ways to optimise your prospects and ensure your business survives these difficult times and thrives in the future.”

Thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres to reopen safely in England

Shops in England selling non-essential goods will be able to reopen from Monday 15 June. Businesses should only reopen once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks.

Employers should also display a notice visibly in their shop windows or outside their store to show their employees, customers and other visitors that they have followed this guidance.

Hairdressers, nail bars and beauty salons, and the hospitality sector remain closed, because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher where long periods of person to person contact is required.

Read how to open safely


shops covid secure

Temporary street cafe licences introduced

Devon County Council have introduced temporary 'street cafe' licences to help hospitality businesses re-open in the coming weeks. 

Tables and chairs on paved or pedestrianised areas that are public highway are among the ways cafes and pubs can help customers to maintain social distancing guidelines.

There's usually a 12 week formal process before a licence is granted, but these new temporary licences will speed up the process by enabling businesses to provide outdoor seating while the application is being considered.

pavement cafe

Self-catering businesses

The Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK is a good source of information for self-catering businesses. Follow them on twitter @pascuk

They have just published approved Self-Catering COVID Cleaning Protocols in anticipation for when they may be able to reopen. https://bit.ly/30iEtJL

'Route Map to Recovery' for our local economy 

Evidence shows that the economic impact of coronavirus in the 'Heart of the South West' area - Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay - is expected to be deeper and longer than in other parts of the UK. 

That's because the area faces specific challenges and a reliance on sectors that are hardest hit by the lockdown, such as tourism and hospitality and the food, farming and fishing sectors. 

So the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership has launched a 'Route Map to Recovery', outlining measures to help stimulate our local economy in three phases:  

  • Restart - supporting businesses to re-open 
  • Revitalise - providing local training and growth support 
  • Grow - create better, cleaner

Read more

Business Secretary launches working groups to help unleash Britain's growth potential

Government has created 5 new business-focused groups to unleash Britain’s growth potential and create jobs, as part of plans to help the economy bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more

Rural payments helpline to open for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

The latest news for farmers, landowners and rural businesses advises that the Rural Payments helpline will be open on 13 and 14 June. 

Read more

Culture, hospitality, tourism and leisure

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published its Coronavirus Impact Business Survey which highlights how DCMS sectors are responding to the ongoing pandemic.

Parents returning to work after extended leave eligible for furlough

People on paternity and maternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be eligible for the government’s furlough scheme.

Read more


Most bus services in Devon will be further restored with effect from Sunday 14 June.

Read more

Information for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the coronavirus outbreak.

Read more


Clean Growth Fund

Investments in early-stage UK companies with products and services focussed on driving clean growth in the low carbon economy.

Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources

Funding for interdisciplinary research to identify interventions that will improve the marine environment and produce societal, behavioural and economic benefits.

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.

Read answers to common questions: www.gov.uk/guidance/answers-to-the-most-common-topics-asked-about-by-the-public-for-the-coronavirus-press-conference