20 April - North Devon Council Coronavirus update

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North Devon Council Newsletter

Current information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

£17m of government grants paid out so far

woman typing on laptop

Firstly, we want to thank the local business community from the bottom of our hearts for being so polite, patient and understanding whilst we process your business grants. Here is an update on where we are:

NDC has paid out £17m to 1500 businesses in the last week. We’ve had 1800 applications so far which means around half of eligible businesses are yet to apply.

Emails are being worked through but with 400 coming in a day, it’s an uphill battle. Many of these emails will be duplicates so we’re asking people to not send in more than one email – they will all be looked at but handling duplicates takes up precious time. The emails are being dealt with in date order and many of the more straightforward queries have already had answers but the complex ones are taking longer to resolve. The issues include:

• people providing incorrect evidence

• whether there’s an element of personal use of the business (such as stables)

• people who think they qualify but actually don’t

• people who are eligible for small business rate relief but hadn’t applied before the grant system was announced

• people who hadn’t registered to pay business rates on new businesses before the grant system was announced

• listed ratepayer is incorrect

The team has now been split up to deal with the different types of issues in order to speed things up. Staff from other teams are helping to deal with the most simple issues but unfortunately in the main, it takes an in depth knowledge of the business rates legislation to resolve the issues. But rest assured, each and every one of you will get a reply or a phonecall from the team.

Any businesses yet to apply can apply on the the North Devon Council website. Anyone having issues with the online form can call Customer Services on 01271 327711 or email businessrates@northdevon.gov.uk.

Thank you once again for bearing with us, you've been amazing.

Apply Online

Look after your mental health during lockdown

Every Mind Matters logo

As part of their Every Mind Matters campaign to support our mental health, Public Health England has launched new Covid 19 resources to help us all during the outbreak.

There are top tips to help you stay well at home, help if you’re worried about coronavirus, advice for working from home and looking after others.

Use the link below to take a look for yourself. Now more than ever – every mind matters.

Click Here

Important information for employers

Coronavirus job retention scheme

The government has  announced a Step by Step Guide for employers who want to apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they have had to furlough staff.

Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities and recruitment agencies.

The business must have:

  • created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • enrolled for PAYE online
  • a UK bank account

You can find out more by clicking the link below.


Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon would like your lockdown experiences

Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

Covid-19 has dramatically changed our home life, working environments and communities. As we reflect on our experiences so far and look to support each other through the next three weeks, the museum is launching an archive for recording your Covid-19 stories.

Your story can be big or small, poignant or creative. Whatever you choose to contribute, will help us to record this unprecedented time within our local history.

Please click on the link to submit your story and #StaySafe

Much love from the Museum Team.

Businesses asked how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted them

Sorry we're closed sign

Businesses in northern Devon are being asked how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them, to help their local councils ensure businesses are receiving the right support and to help shape recovery plans.

North Devon and Torridge councils, together with North Devon+, are appealing to local businesses to take part in a short survey that asks what the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has been on businesses and what steps they are taking. The results of the survey will help both councils identify where support is most needed, ensure every business is accessing the help available to them and enable the councils to inform central government about the impacts in northern Devon. 


Free advice for businesses currently unable to open

woman typing on laptop

If you run a business that is unable to operate during lockdown, you may benefit from free regulatory advice. 

Many businesses, like restaurants, are currently unable to open - but could offer an alternative, like an online delivery service. 

The Devon County Council Trading Standards team offer advice on how a business can ensure it takes the correct legal and regulatory steps, and until the end of July that advice is free.


Guidance for people who are self-employed and getting less work or no work because of coronavirus

Builder at work

If you’re getting less work or no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you might be able to claim a grant through the coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Other financial support

If you’re getting less work or no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can also:

You do not need to go into a Jobcentre Plus office to apply or get a payment.

Your Universal Credit payment is based on your actual earnings. You need to report any self-employed earnings and expenses at the end of each monthly assessment period.

Information about public transport in Devon

Woman sat on bus

Information on all bus services which are still running in Devon, including temporary timetables, can be found on the Travel Devon website. 

Stagecoach buses have introduced reduced timetables, largely based on a Sunday timetable, with additional earlier and later journeys. Also, details of the routes where no services are operating or where there are limited sections of routes are noted.

To plan your journey, you can contact Traveline on 08712002233 or visit the Traveline website. 

And don't forget, if you're a key worker you can use Devon County Council's 'Key Cars' service to get a lift to work for a subsidised flat fare. 

A date for your diary

NHS Turn it Blue

Other sources of advice and information

Avoid misinformation on Coronavirus - only follow advice from official, trusted sources. 

Devon County Council




NHS England


Public Health England


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