Covid-19 newsletter: information and support for businesses

Having trouble reading this email? Click here to view in browser

Covid-19 newsletter: information and support for businesses

Walthom Forest
covid-19 banner

Guidance to businesses: advice and support


The government has introduced new rules on minimising contact with others and reducing the spread of COVID-19. The measures include:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces.
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

People should only leave their house for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Enforcement powers have been provided to the police and authorities to ensure the new measures are followed, including the ability to issue fines.

The full guidance on staying at home and away from others can be found below.

Click here

Closing non-essential shops and public spaces

closed for business

As part of the new measures, further businesses are required to close with immediate effect.

Businesses, premises and other venues must close and remain closed as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chances of infection spreading.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, food outlets can continue to operate food delivery and takeaway services and retailers deemed to be essential can remain open.

Please see the full list and details of these here.

There is further advice from government on which businesses should no longer be operational here.

Council officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and premises that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and potentially unlimited fines.

The government will look again at these measures in three weeks and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

Available business support

Business Support

Business portal 

As part of our ongoing offer of guidance and support to local businesses affected by Covid-19, we have created a portal where you can lodge specific enquiries.

Fill in our Covid-19 business impact form

Available support 

All businesses and the self-employed, affected or not by required closures, should make themselves aware of the support available to them – which includes business loans, grants and new business rate reliefs.

The Council’s website provides a guide to what’s available based on your circumstances and further information on the full range of government business advice, including its COVID-19 response, can be found here.

The London Growth Hub has produced fact sheets and a business checklist, that businesses may also find useful, and is providing the opportunity to talk one-to-one with a business adviser.

Please note, if you are a business eligible for rate reliefs, the Council has identified you, automatically applied all new reliefs and is issuing adjusted bills.

If you are anticipating a government grant because you are in the retail, leisure or hospitality sector, or because you are in receipt of small business rate relief, the Council will be writing to you with details, once central government provides councils with the necessary guidance.

Protection for commercial tenants

The government has announced new protections for commercial tenants who are not able to pay their rent during the next three months, as a result of COVID-19.

New legislation, explained here, is part of the emergency Coronavirus Bill currently going through Parliament.

Council commercial tenants

The Council appreciates that this is an uncertain time and will be causing worry for you, your staff and your business. We know that many of the businesses across our estate are likely to be impacted by the current situation, especially following new guidance on social distancing and closures announced by the government over the past few days.   

We want to assure you that we are ready to help support you and your businesses and help you through this challenging period.  The Commercial Estate & Investment Team will provide a consistent response to its non-domestic/commercial tenants, proportionate to the situation as it develops and the impact on your business. For enquiries, please e-mail us.

Network Rail tenants

Network Rail is cancelling all first quarter (25 March to 23 June 2020) rent payments due from tenants in their commercial estate portfolio, providing significant relief for small businesses. More information.

Transport for London tenant rent relief

All small and medium businesses on TfL's estate, which make up 86% of tenants, to get 100% rent relief. This will start from start from 25 March for next three months. More information.

Advice for employers and employees

Public Health Corvid 19 advice poster 110320

Advice for employers from government

  • Businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible.
  • If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow the advice to stay at home.
  • Employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues

More info here

Advice for employees from government

  • Employees should work from home wherever possible.
  • To help prevent the spread, please do not go to a GP or A&E if you are feeling unwell.
  • You can use the NHS 111 service if you are worried about the severity of your symptoms or they have lasted longer than seven days.

More info here

Further support for businesses still in operation

Falafel Queen food

We are aware that new restrictions imposed on businesses are causing many to temporarily close - and we are doing everything we can to offer support through this difficult time.

Where food outlets and other businesses are promoting deliveries or reduced services, we will continue to spread these messages through our #ShopLocalWF campaign on Twitter and Instagram.

If you are a business with a social media profile and you're continuing to offer a service while adhering to the guidelines, we'd love to hear about it on social media. Just don't forget to tag us @wfcouncil and use the hashtag #ShopLocalWF.

Sign up and Stay Connected

Stay Connected square banner

We will continue to update you as new information is available. We know that this is a fast-moving situation, but we are confident staff will continue to provide support and guidance to local businesses in Waltham Forest.

You can sign up to our email newsletter with up-to-date information about Covid-19 below.

Sign up here

Manage preferences or unsubscribe

Privacy Policy

Contact us