Business support and activities
In these difficult and uncertain times, with the UK in lockdown and individuals being prioritised to protect them from the growing health risk, businesses can feel as if they're being left in the dark.
There are several useful resources available to the business community to help direct them to the support they're eligible to receive to make them more resilient and to survive the disruption they're likely to be facing in the coming months.
The Government’s own website is the first result to appear when you Google “business support covid-19.” It features up-to-the-minute information on the latest government announcements relating to the business community (and links directly to their advice page for individuals).
The latest information includes:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
- Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme
- Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
- Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates (see Business Rate Retail Discount)
- Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates
- Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
- Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
- Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service
- Guidance on Commercial Insurance and COVID-19
- Protection from eviction for commercial tenants
- Extension of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) arrangements
Visit GOV.UK - COVID-19: support for businesses for further information.
Support for charities
If your business is in the charity sector, the Government has published FAQs with specific information about the coronavirus and charities.
Listening Ear Programme
In response to the increasing number of calls for support from a range of business owners, a new Listening Ear support service for businesses in Devon has been launched, with 121 appointments bookable online.
The Service is offering businesses a safe and friendly space where they can talk to an experienced volunteer of the stresses and challenges, they face in running their business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This pilot Listening Ear Service runs until 31st March 2021, working with Devon Communities Together.
Book a slot to chat, or find out more - https://www.devoncommunities.org.uk/projects/listening-ear.
The Arts Council has launched emergency coronavirus funding for organisations in the cultural sector affected by the Coronavirus. The funding streams aren’t yet open but there's more information on their website.
Heart of the South West (HotSW) Growth Hub
The Heart of the South West Growth Hub service provides daily updates with links to key services and support. They can provide information advice and guidance through their team of expert business advisors. If you wish to speak with one of their advisors please call 03456 047 047 or visit heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/covid-19-guidance-for-business/.
Business Continuity Helpline
Cosmic are offering free helpline and toolkit for local businesses and charities to help them setup remote working for staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This will help with business continuity and provide advice and guidance to businesses who need support to put effective homeworking arrangements in place.
The helpline phone number is 0330 088 4421 and the line will be open from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
The ACAS website has a dedicated page with information for employers and employees relating to Coronavirus.
- Staying at home and social distancing
- Vulnerable people and those at high risk
- Self-isolation and sick pay
- If the workplace needs to close temporarily
- If an employee needs time off work to look after someone
- If someone has coronavirus symptoms at work
- Good practice steps for employers
- More coronavirus advice
COVID-19 Prompt Action Fund
Devon County Council has launched the COVID-19 Prompt Action Fund to provide flexible resources to organisations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the social and economic consequences of this outbreak. Find out how to apply for the COVID-19 Prompt Action Fund.
Our Economic Development team
Our Economic Development team is collating ground level information on the issues affecting the local business community and attempting to identify potential problems as early as possible.
We'll also share information with the business community as details emerge regarding the business rates related grants and funding announced by the Chancellor.
If your business is experiencing any issues relating to COVID-19 which aren’t being addressed through other support channels, please email email@example.com so that the information can be shared confidentially to help shape future activities responding to the outbreak.
We recognise that not all businesses will be covered by the support listed above. We'll continue to monitor and publish all updates from Central Government in our Coronavirus information for businesses, employers and employees section as it becomes available.