Coronavirus - business support - GrantsGrants
The Government published its COVID-19 recovery strategy on 11 May 2020. Further information and guidance from Government can also be found below:
- Staying safe outside your home
- Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do
- Government guidance to get safely back to work
As our high streets, town and city centres begin to re-open, we’ve provided responses to some frequently asked questions, which can be found in the 'Social distancing in public places' area of our central advice page.
The Government has published practical guidelines to make workplaces as safe as possible and to give people confidence to go back to work. These guidelines set out five key steps for businesses to implement as soon as it is practical:
- Work from home, if you can
The employer should take all reasonable steps to help people work from home. Those who cannot work from home and whose workplace has not been told to close should go to work.
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
Employers will need to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions, to establish what guidelines to put in place. All businesses with over 50 employees should publish the results of their risk assessments on their website. If you do not have your own risk assessment form, we would recommend you use the Health and Safety Executive’s risk assessment templates.
- Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
Employers should re-design workspaces to maintain 2 metre distances between people by staggering start times, creating one way walk-throughs, opening more entrances and exits, or changing seating layouts in break rooms.
- Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
Employers should look into putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensuring colleagues are facing away from each other.
- Reinforcing cleaning processes
Workplaces should be cleaned more frequently, paying close attention to high-contact objects such as door handles and keyboards. Employers should provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points. The Government’s guidance on COVID-19 decontamination in non healthcare settings may help.
Employers should display the Government’s downloadable notice in their workplaces to show their employees, customers and visitors that they have followed this guidance.Close
The new guidance covers 12 workplace settings that are allowed to be open and helps employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during coronavirus.
- Construction and other outdoor work
- Close contact services
- Factories, plants and warehouses
- Heritage locations
- Hotels and other guest accommodation
- Labs and research facilities
- Offices and contact centres
- Other people’s homes
- Restaurants offering takeaways or delivery
- Shops and branches
- The visitor economy
The Safer travel guidance will help people travel safely during the coronavirus outbreak and is particularly relevant as businesses start to think about their employees returning to work.
For those businesses working in transport, including road hauliers etc, may find the COVID-19 Safer transport guidance helpful.Close
COVID-19 support for organisations in Wiltshire
Letter to businesses in Wiltshire from our Chief Executive, Terence Herbert and Director of Public Health, Kate Blackburn thanking them for the support they have given the local community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter also emphasises the need to make workplaces COVID-19 safe and suggests some key measures to put in place to reduce the risk of transmission.
Business communities in Wiltshire and Swindon
Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police have issued a joint letter to local businesses relating to the new regulations about it now being mandatory for members of the public to wear face coverings in additional enclosed spaces, including shops, supermarkets and enclosed shopping centres.
Test and Trace – information for businesses and their staff
The new NHS Test and Trace service has now been launched and anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.
The following materials have been prepared for employers and their staff:
To help businesses prepare for re-opening, we are providing a list of suppliers who have approached the council offering PPE supplies.
This list of PPE suppliers is for information only and should not be seen as a recommendation or endorsement of any of the suppliers mentioned. It only contains those suppliers who have recently contacted Wiltshire Council to indicate they can offer a range of PPE supplies. This list is not exhaustive and these are not the only routes to market; there are many other suppliers that may be local, more competitive, have a wider range of PPE available or easier to access. If you require PPE, you will need to contact suppliers, carry out your own due diligence to satisfy yourself about the quality of the products you are buying and the company you are buying from.
The government recently published new guidance for employers and employees on safety in the workplace and guidance regarding the use of face coverings.
Please see these key messages on the disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Throw away any used PPE (gloves and face masks) in your normal wheeled bin at home or whilst at work, or a litter bin if you are outside
- Do not put used PPE (gloves and face masks) in your recycling bin, they cannot be recycled through conventional recycling facilities
- Please do not purchase medical grade masks or respirators. These are prioritised for healthcare workers working in more high-risk environments
- You are encouraged to make face coverings at home, using scarves or other textile items that you already own. Read the guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering
- Cloth face coverings should be washed in line with manufacturer’s instructions. When the time comes it is important to also properly dispose of home-made face coverings in your normal wheeled bin
- Anyone self-isolating at home with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should continue to place all their personal waste materials, including any PPE worn at home, in normal wheeled bin. It should be double-bagged, making sure the bags are securely tied, then stored for 72 hours before placing it out for collection
- Visit the Recycle Now website for more information about recycling responsibly during the coronavirus outbreak
- An online toolkit has been published by the Government which includes key messages and digital content you may wish to use.
- Animal licensing
- Business closures - view our guidance for businesses and customers.
- Small Business and RHL grant form (COVID-19)
- Business information and advice email - dedicated contact centre for COVID-19 business information and advice
- COVID-19: Guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
- Domestic abuse COVID-19 campaign - Employer pack
- Health and safety advice - including Legionella
- Pubs and restaurants - information and advice
- Sign up for email updates about COVID-19 business support
- Wiltshire care providers
- WorkWiltshire - Information, support and guidance including volunteering and emergency temporary vacancies
The Government has announced a number of schemes to support businesses. Regular updates are being made, so please check the Government’s website for the most up to date advice. We have created a helpful graphic which outlines the various business support available. A printable version is available below.
- COVID-19 Support for businesses and the self-employed - printable version
- You can find out more including advice, news and announcements, on the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub support page.
- Wessex Chambers of Commerce is also offering help and advice to all firms, including non-members. More information is also available from the Federation of Small Business, the CBI and Business West.
We have set up a dedicated page of information for you relating to the grants available.Close
- June/July: the Government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees’ wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything
- From 1 July: businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part-time. Firms can decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return. Employers will be responsible for paying employees’ wages while in work
- From 1 August: the Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICS and pension contributions
- September: The Government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICS, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500
- October: The Government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICS, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500
- occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
- wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
• For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000
• For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.
- Self-employed or a member of a partnership;
- Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
- Have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019;
- Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
- Have trading profits of no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income for either:
o Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
o Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. These measures, included in the emergency Coronavirus Bill currently going through Parliament, will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. In the meantime, tenants are encouraged to reach voluntary arrangements with their landlords about rental payments due.Close
A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. We are aware that £2 billion is being made available by Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion by NatWest. Other lenders may also be launching schemes and businesses must satisfy themselves of the terms and conditions of this before agreeing to loan agreements. Please check with your lender or bank.
Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the guidance and support available:
- to find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure, register or watch recorded sessions
- for topics that cover supporting and retaining staff and the self-employed, register to attend future webinars or watch recorded sessions
- for international trade, register or watch recorded sessions
- for small businesses and changes to reporting, regulation and tax, watch recorded webinars