COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Support for Businesses and Employers
Our team of business advisers are available to help your business with the challenges of COVID-19. Access free one-to-one support today.
Support from the London Growth Hub
Hot Topic: Reopening Safely
The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy
The UK Government published its plan for easing coronavirus lockdown measures on 11 May 2020, which includes a three-step approach for easing lockdown restrictions in England:
- Since 13 May, anyone who cannot work from home, such as workers in the construction and manufacturing sectors, should be encouraged to return to work.
- On 1 June, the UK Government started the phased reopening of some areas of the economy. The Government has confirmed non-essential retailers can start reopening from 15 June.
- From 4 July, the Government will reopen some of the remaining businesses that have been required to close, including hair salons, restaurants, pubs and bars, and some leisure facilities. Find out more about the venues that can reopen.
The UK Government has published guidance to help employers and the self-employed understand how to reopen and work safely during COVID-19. The guides cover a range of different types of work.
On 23 June, the UK Government set out further changes to lockdown measures in England from 4 July. Changes include:
- Where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’ while taking mitigations to reduce transmission.
- Certain businesses will be required to capture contact details from customers and visitors for track and trace.
- Provided no more than two households stay together people will be able to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation, including hotels, B&Bs and campsites.
- Restaurants and pubs are to open but will be limited to table service.
- Most leisure facilities and tourist attractions will reopen if they can do so safely. This includes outdoors gyms, playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, arcades, libraries, social clubs and community centres.
- Hairdressers will be able to reopen with precautions in place.
On 9 July, the UK Government announced that more businesses will be able to start reopening in July, including beauty salons, nail bars and gyms.
Support from the London Growth Hub
The London Growth Hub has published a series of factsheets to support businesses across London to reopen and work safely during COVID-19:
- The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy
- Working safely and managing social distancing
- Reopening a retail business safely
- Guidance on the use of face coverings
From 15 June, many retailers across the country will be reopening, and the Government is keen to help welcome back shoppers and celebrate the hard work businesses and retail workers are putting in to ensure their workplaces are COVID-19 Secure.
As such, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is encouraging business owners to be part of the #OpenForBusiness campaign.
To support the campaign, please do the following:
- Take a photo of yourself in front of your reopening business, preferably in front of an ‘Open’ sign
- Post the picture on your social media channels
- Use #openforbusiness
- Tag the Department for Business: Instagram: @beisgovuk / Twitter: @beisgovuk / Facebook: @industrialstrategygovuk
BEIS are also looking for short self-shot videos of ‘a day in the life’ of staff in reopening businesses, so we can show the extra measures businesses are taking to keep employees and customers safe. If you or a staff member would be interested in taking part, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel guidance for employers
To support businesses with employees returning to work from Monday 15 June, the Department for Transport has developed resources for employers, which you can find here.
Wherever possible, businesses should encourage and allow employees to work from home. If your employees must travel to work, please encourage them to walk or cycle when they can. Transport for London (TfL) has issued guidance around how businesses can support staff to walk or cycle, rather than utilising public transport. If it is essential for them to use public transport, it is mandatory (from 15 June) that they should wear a face covering for the entirety of their journey.
Reopening the hospitality sector
The following resources provide advice and information to help the hospitality sector navigate the COVID-19 outbreak and prepare to reopen safely:
- Reopening and adapting your food business during COVID-19
The Food Standards Agency has published guidance on hygiene and food safety requirements for food businesses to reopen and operate safely during COVID-19.
- NEXSTART Business and Planning Bill – Alcohol Licensing
Temporary change to alcohol licensing law to allow off sales.
- NEXSTART Group Size, Gatherings and COVID-19 Safe Capacity
This factsheet provides information on group sizes and gatherings (indoors and outdoors).
- Keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
The UK Government has published the following guidance for the hospitality sector.
- Safer Sounds – COVID-19 safety measures and licensing best practice checklist
Checklist for reopening hospitality businesses safely during COVID-19.
- NEXSTART Business and Planning Bill 2019-21 Pavement Licences
Guidance on the new pavement licence.
- NEXSTART Toilets Guidance
Use of toilets in premises providing takeaways.
- NEXSTART Conditions Compliance Guidance
Guidance on complying with licence conditions.
- NEXSTART Closure Powers
Scope of closure powers for enforcement officers.
- Transport for London briefing for leisure and hospitality businesses
Latest travel advice for businesses engaged in leisure and hospitality.
- NEXSTART Business and Planning Bill – Pavement Licences
Guidance on the pavement licensing regime.
- NEXSTART Pavement Licence Webinar
Webinar on the pavement licensing regime.
- Guidance on maintaining records to support NHS Test and Trace
Businesses and organisations in certain sectors should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to premises to support NHS Test and Trace.
- NEXSTART The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020
Guidance on the latest coronavirus regulations.
London Growth Hub webinars
The London Growth Hub is running numerous webinars to support businesses during COVID-19.
COVID-19 Business Help Series
The London Growth Hub has launched the COVID-19 Business Help Series, bringing you highly informative free webinars delivered by expert speakers. The webinars have been carefully designed to guide London’s small businesses across various problem areas, as they navigate the challenges of COVID-19. Upcoming webinars include:
- Managing HR Issues & Employment Law (Thursday 16th July, 10:00am – 1:00pm)
- Adpating Your Workplace: Staff, Safety & Risk Management (Thursday 23rd July, 10:00am – 1:00pm)
- Supercharge Your Sales (Tuesday 28th July, 10:00am – 1:00pm)
- Managing Your Cash Flow/Finances (Thursday 30th July, 10:00am – 1:00pm)
To find out more, go to www.growthhub.london/get-support/covid19-business-help-series/.
Webinars for micro-businesses and SMEs from London Growth Hub, LEAP and partners
The London Growth Hub is working with partners to deliver a programme of webinars to support businesses during COVID-19. For information about upcoming webinars, go to www.growthhub.london/covid19-partner-webinars/.
The UK Government has published a series of webinars to help businesses work safely during COVID-19. They cover a range of business settings and sectors including construction, offices, labs, and working in other people’s homes. To watch the webinars, click here.
HM Revenue & Customs is running a series of webinars to support businesses and the self-employed access Government support during COVID-19. For more information about upcoming webinars, click here.
Factsheets and guides
Factsheets and guides brought to you by the London Growth Hub to help your business respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Advice for employers
- A guide to financial business support
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furloughing employees
- Looking after your mental health
- Mental health and wellbeing resource pack – support for individuals and businesses
- Lease obligations and lease reviews
- How to engage in discussions with your landlord
- Rent reviews
- How to negotiate a rent holiday
Managing your business during COVID-19:
- Frequently asked questions about managing your business during the outbreak
- Working safely during COVID-19
- Transport for London briefing for retail businesses
- Managing existing commercial contracts
- Business and continuity planning
- Directors, insolvency and personal liability
Funding for businesses:
- Frequently asked questions about financial support
- Government support for business
- Applying for COVID-19 small business grant schemes in London
Funding for the self-employed:
Free fundraising through ‘Pay It Forward London’
We are offering free fundraising to help businesses to secure trade by pre-selling vouchers, goods and services. Find out more at www.growthhub.london/pay-it-forward.
Shared Workspace Support Programme
The London Growth Hub has launched the Shared Workspace Support Programme that will provide free online support to workspaces providers and their tenants on:
- Access Business Rate Relief and other relief schemes
- Have guidance on how to handle future rent negotiations with your landlord(s)
- Have help on how to handle talks with your local authority
- Support your tenant with grant applications
- Network with other workspace providers.
Through webinars and 1:1 advice sessions, this is a fantastic opportunity for workspace providers and tenants to access professional advice and support, to help them through these challenging times. There will also be the opportunity for virtual networking and potentially making contact with local authorities, to discuss the current situation and how they can work together, to simplify the process of applying for business rate relief.
For more information on how to access the project, click here.
Further advice and support
The following pages provide advice and information to help businesses and the self-employed navigate the coronavirus pandemic:
- Government support for business
- Discretionary local business grants
- Government support for the self-employed
- Financial support from banks and lenders
- External resources, support and webinars
- Guidance about commercial insurance
- Cybersecurity and working safely
- Sector-specific support
- News and updates