Coronavirus Business Advice for Local Businesses - 1 June

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Plymouth business news

1 June 2020

Please find below an overview of the latest advice and guidance for COVID-19. In today's newsletter you will find news and updates including:

  • Discretionary business grant fund launches today
  • New COVID-19 Tool Kit launched
  • iMayflower Innovative Placement Scheme launched
  • UK Government sets out a timeline for retail to reopen in June
  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme now live
  • Funding streams and competitions
  • Virtual events/webinars

If you have any specific concerns or are in need of support, please contact us.

Discretionary business grant fund launches today

Small businesses in Plymouth can apply for a new Government Discretionary Grant from today (Monday 1 June).

The scheme, administered by by Plymouth City Council, will help small businesses with less than 50 employees that have not been eligible for other grant funding (with the exception of the furloughed Job Retention Scheme and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme) and who were trading on 11 March 2020.

Businesses eligible for support, outlined in the Government guidance include those which:

  • Have ongoing fixed building related costs
  • Can show that they have suffered a significant drop in income due to COVID-19
  • Have less than 50 employees and a turnover of under £10.2 million
  • Were trading on or before 11 March 2020

The following business types will be prioritised for funding as outlined by the Governments criteria:

  • B&Bs that pay council tax rather than business rates (this excludes properties listed only on Airbnb)
  • Regular market traders that do not have business rated premises, including market stallholders, street traders and mobile businesses. (Only traders with a formal site agreement with Plymouth City Council or the land owner will be eligible. Businesses that trade across multiple Local Authority areas will only be able to claim a grant from one area)
  • Small businesses in shared offices or flexible workspaces who pay an all-inclusive rent and therefore don’t have their own business rates ratings assessment
  • Charity properties in receipt of Charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

The Plymouth scheme will also support:

  • Plymouth boat based businesses including fishing boats and tourism-based charter boats that are not eligible for the Fisheries Fund. This does not include marinas and is intended for businesses where the fixed costs accrue to the boat.

Find out more here

New COVID-19 Tool Kit launched

The BBfA (Better Business for All) and Heart of the South West Growth Hub have pulled together a Toolkit for businesses as they look to restart their businesses safely. The document contains a number of hyperlinks to websites, but also has checklists and documents that can be downloaded to help businesses as they think about re-opening.

Find out more and view the Tool Kit here

iMayflower Innovative Placements Scheme launched

As part of the University of Plymouth’s commitment to enhancing the productivity of the regional Creative Economy and supporting businesses through the economic recovery period, a new innovative scheme is being piloted to pair local businesses with talented students and graduates in order to undertake a defined project or R&D challenge.

The new schemes are designed to deliver mutual benefits – helping to support the business community whilst delivering unprecedented learning experiences for their students and recent graduates.

Current schemes include iMayflwer Masters R&D Studentship and iMayflower Virtual Internship Scheme.

Find out more here

UK Government sets out a timeline for retail to reopen in June

The UK Government announced this week a roadmap for reopening a broader range of shops starting from next month.  From 1 June 2020, it intends to allow outdoor markets to reopen, subject to all premises being made COVID-secure, as well as car showrooms, which often have significant outdoor space and where it is generally easier to apply social distancing.

From 15 June 2020, UK Government intends to allow all other retailers, ranging from shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.  You can read the full statement here.

Updated guidance for the retail sector has been published alongside this announcement, detailing the measures retailers should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards. 

Find out more here.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live

The UK Government’s Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live.

If you’re an employer with fewer than 250 employees, you can now claim for Coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You can also speak to your tax agent about making claims on your behalf.

The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP. 

For more information about this Coronavirus support measure, you can also sign-up to HMRC’s Statutory Sick Pay Scheme Webinar.

Find out more here

Funding streams and competitions

Funding for Creative Projects for Armed Forces Communities in Isolation

Grants of up to £10,000 for six-month projects beginning no later than mid-October 2020 are available to support creative and engaging projects, that can be delivered under social restrictions, for people from Armed Forces communities who are isolated as a result of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out more here


Emergency government grants scheme now open

Government emergency support funding for charities distributed via the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) is now open. Grants under and over £10,000 can be applied for.

Find out more here


Government Launches £40m Clean Growth Fund for Green Start-ups

The Government is launching a new effort to support green start-up companies across the UK by joint-funding a £40 million venture capital fund to boost the development of next generation clean, low-carbon technologies.

Find out more here

Government to support businesses through Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

Virtual events and webinars

For further information on the latest virtual events, or to upload and promote yours, visit Invest Plymouth's event page here.

You can also submit your own virtual events here.


Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) business webinars – find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy | 27 May to 2 June

The webinars cover a range of different types of workplace settings which are allowed to be open. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of the guides/webinars as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

Find out more here


Chamber Live Virtual Event on Zoom - Economy and the Environment: How can we achieve a balance for sustainable growth?

Devon Chamber of Commerce |  Monday 1 June 2020, 2pm to 3pm

Noticed anything different recently? Bluer skies, no background traffic hum, fresher air, birdsong……wildlife? If so, you’re not alone. Across the world the COVID 19 crisis has closed down manufacturing, transport corridors and energy use resulting in lower emissions, less pollution and improved air quality amongst other things. People are beginning to notice what they’ve been missing. But what will happen when things start up again? How can we retain all these unexpected benefits whilst supporting recovering economies, jobs and investments?

Our panellists will talk through some of the challenges and options but we’d like to hear what you think…….more of the same or better conditions for all? What would stop you? What do you want to see and what would help you achieve your aims? 

Find out more here


Government webinars

Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available:


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Keep up to date with news and advice on our COVID-19 business support page 

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