How to operate safely to protect staff and customers.
Tuesday 26th May
Yesterday evening the Prime Minister set out a timeline for retail to reopen from 1st June and further guidance has been published for how to operate safely to protect staff and customers.
Full details of the announcement can be found here: https://bit.ly/RetailTimeline.
Guidance for reopening can be found here: https://bit.ly/UpdatedRetailGuidance.
Key details to note:
- Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. As with garden centres, the risk of transmission of the virus is lower in these outdoor and more open spaces. Car showrooms often have significant outdoor space and it is generally easier to apply social distancing.
- All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from15 Juneif the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare.
- Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 securein line with the current Health and Safety legislation.
Free webinar, hosted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy:
Thursday 28 May, 11am: Shops and branches – Guidance for people who run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
Full details of upcoming webinars can be found here: https://bit.ly/BEISWebinars
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended to end of October
Tuesday 12th May
The Chancellor has announced that the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October.
Full details of the announcement can be found here: https://bit.ly/CJRSExtension.
Key details to note:
- Furloughed workers across the UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500.
- From August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.
- The employer payments will substitute the contribution HMG is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.
Tweet from HM Treasury available here: https://twitter.com/hmtreasury/status/1260181211164655619?s=20
Further details on implementation will be made available by the end of the month.
HM Government additional guidance
Tuesday May 12th
HM Government has just published additional guidance, which we have highlighted below for your information:
- Phased opening of schools, colleges and nurseries: https://bit.ly/SchoolsReopening
- Travelling safely: https://bit.ly/CV19SafeTravel
- How to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment: https://bit.ly/CV19RiskAssessments
- Cleaning your workplace safely: https://bit.ly/CleaningWorkplaces
Also, here’s a tweet link containing a summary of 5 steps to working safely, which you may want to share:
Top-up to local business grant funds scheme
Monday 4th May
A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme with grants available at 3 levels: – £25k, £10k, <£10k. Find out more on the link below:
Bounce Back Loan Scheme now open for applications
Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on 27 April, the Bounce Back Loan (BBL) Scheme opens for applications from today (Monday 4th May).
Delivered by lenders accredited by the British Business Bank for this scheme, Bounce Back Loans target small and micro businesses in all sectors, providing loans from £2k up to 25% of the business’ turnover with a maximum loan of £50k.
Providing lenders with a 100% government-backed guarantee and standardising the application form is expected to lead to a faster process with many loans becoming available within days.
The BBL page on their website is the best source of up to date information but for your ease of reference you can also download the following documents which contain all the key details, including some social media assets (suggested post also noted below) you may wish to share to support awareness:
Social media posts
Please feel free to use the attached graphics and following text to share on your social media networks:
- The Bounce Back Loan scheme targeting small and micro businesses affected by the Coronavirus opens for applications today #BounceBackLoans
- Find out more on the @BritishBBank website: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/
The Bounce Back Loans Scheme enables businesses to obtain a six-year term loan at a government set interest rate of 2.5% a year. The government will cover interest payable in the first year.
- Up to £50,000 loan: Loans will be from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower.
- 100% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, full guarantee (100%) against the outstanding facility balance, both capital and interest. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.
- Interest rate: The government has set the interest rate for this facility at 2.5% per annum, meaning businesses will all benefit from the same, low rate of interest.
- Interest paid by government for 12 months: The government will make a Business Interruption Payment to the lenders to cover the first 12 months of interest payable, so businesses will benefit from no upfront costs.
- No principal repayments for first 12 months: Borrowers will not have to begin principal repayments for the first 12 months, thereafter capital will be repaid on a straight line basis.
- No guarantee fee for businesses or lenders to access the scheme
- Finance terms: The length of the loan is for six years but early repayment is allowed, without early repayment fees.
- No personal guarantees: No personal guarantees are allowed, and no recovery action can be taken over a principal private residence or principal private vehicle.
Please do share this information with your own networks, but please note that any queries by SMEs in relation to their specific circumstances must be directed to one of the accredited lenders and not to the BBB.
OTHER BUSINESS FINANCE SUPPORT OPTIONS
You can also find details of other government measures to support public services, people and businesses through this disruption on the Government’s Business Support website.
GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT FOR YOUR BUSINESS DURING THIS PERIOD OF UNCERTAINTY
The British Business Bank and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) have created new content to help businesses that are facing financial and operational challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. You can view this regularly updated guidance at the Business Finance Guide website.
Latest on the Coronavirus “Bounce Back” Loan…
Tuesday 28th April
Yesterday the Chancellor announced a new loan scheme – the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan – to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus.
- The scheme will go live from Monday 4th May 2020 and cash will be released within days for eligible businesses.
- Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.
- The government will guarantee 100% of the loanand there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.
- Loan terms will be up to 6 years.
- The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
- The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.
Further guidance https://bit.ly/BounceBackGuidance
DfE Skills Toolkit
Today DfE have launched the Skills Toolkit a new online platform giving people easy access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help them build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.
We have also attached the social media pack, so you can post on your own social media.
click here to download
Here is the link to The Skills Toolkit to use in social media posts: https://bit.ly/SkillsToolkitNorth
Access to coronavirus tests for essential workers
Monday 27th April
Please find below a link to details from the Department of Health and Social Care intended for employers of essential workers, outlining how every essential worker who needs a test for coronavirus can get one.
Essential workers can now book tests for themselves and their household via a new online portal on gov.uk. This will make the process of getting an appointment quicker and easier, while reducing the burden on business.
The online booking service will apply to England Scotland only, but full details on how to access testing in all nations and who is eligible can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
DHSC strongly encourage you to communicate this new service to eligible workforce, colleagues and organisations.
You may be aware that demand for these tests has been high. However, they strongly encourage self-isolating essential workers to get a test if they or someone in their household have symptoms. More allocations become available each day.
If you need further guidance and support, please contact DHSC at email@example.com.
To help you communicate with relevant staff and organisations you can download a package of materials to be used for colleague engagement by clicking on the links below:
- 240420 LETTER FROM DHSC TO ESSENTIAL WORKER EMPLOYERS (1) (1)
- Employer Referral Portal User Guide ESSENTIAL WORKER (1)
- FAQs for EMPLOYERS of essential workers (1) (1)
- Slide pack explaining how to use the employer portal and click here for instructions for staff on how to use the online booking system
- Infographic explaining how to book a test
This pack of resources, as well as a full campaign toolkit including digital and print assets for you to share and use to communicate with colleagues is available from the Coronavirus Campaign Resource Centre.
COVID-19 Mental Health Impact
Tuesday 21st April
Employees, whether working from home, furloughed or still attending work are struggling with the uncertainty that the pandemic brings. Here’s a few useful tips and links from our colleague Julia Sykes, (Workplace Health Officer at BMBC) that may help alleviate the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic could be having on our mental health.
Being a Mental Health First Aider – Updated guide now includes information on how to support people remotely and use the ALGEE action plan from a distance
Supporting your mental health while working from home – Animation and fact sheet with tips on how to stay well when working remotely, including a British Sign Language version from the Royal Association for Deaf People
Helpful links – Updated list of resources to signpost to, including latest advice from Public Health England on supporting mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic
Address Your Stress – A toolkit for tackling stress, including simple self-care tips and a wellbeing check-up
Empower Half Hour – 30 minute activities to boost your wellbeing during the workday
Happy Place, Fearne Cotton:
Let’s talk about CBT, Dr Lucy Maddox:
Self Help Sat Nav, Jim Lucas
Feel better, live more with Dr Rangun Chatterjee
Ask the Therapist, Sarah D Rees
Our former tenant and good friend Heather Howard from Yorkshire Psychotherapy has also written a blog about dealing with isolation during this pandemic : https://yorkshirepsychotherapy.co.uk/how-to-manage-loneliness-and-isolation-during-the-covid-19-lockdown/
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme now open for applications
Monday 20th April
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for applications, 10 days ahead of schedule. Employers can now go online to claim cash grants worth up to 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 a month per worker. 5000 HMRC staff will operate the scheme, which is expected to help thousands of firms across the UK. All of the details can be found here: https://bit.ly/2zdheFn .
Please note the following key guidelines :
- To receive payment by 30 April you will need to complete an application by 22 April. This is because it will take six working days for the claim to be processed, issued and received.
- Decide whether you want to make your own claim or if you want your agent to act on your behalf – if you have an agent that has authorisation to act for you on PAYE matters, they can make a claim for CJRS on your behalf.
- Only call HMRC if you can’t find what you need on uk– please, wherever possible, leave the phone lines open for those who need them most. All applications will be processed online. After a claim has been submitted it will take six working days for it to be paid – please do not chase up payment during this time.
- Employees should speak to their employers with any questions, not HMRC. They won’t be able to answer queries from individual employees.
Furthermore, they have launched a new tool to help you find coronavirus financial support for your business. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants; this support finder will help you to see what support is available for you and your business: https://bit.ly/3cv0yHR
Finally, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has today announced a new Billion pound support package for innovative firms hit by Coronavirus. The package includes a £500 million investment fund for high-growth companies impacted by the crisis, made up of funding from the government and the private sector. SMEs focusing on research and development will also benefit from £750 million of grants and loans. More details can be found here: https://bit.ly/3cxPyJL
CLBILS expanded to cover all viable firms
Friday 17th April
At yesterday evening’s press conference the government announced a continuation of the social distancing guidelines for at least a further three weeks (until 7 May). The announcement and further details can be found at: https://bit.ly/2za94xL
Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that the government-backed loan scheme for large businesses affected by coronavirus has been expanded to cover all viable firms. Now, all viable businesses with turnover of more than £45m will be able to apply for government-backed support. This complements existing support including the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. More details of this announcement can be found at https://bit.ly/loanschemeext
UK Government is continuing to work to raise awareness of the full range of support available to businesses of all sizes through this period and would, as always, be grateful for anything you can do to share this information through your networks and supply chains. Details of all support measures are available at: http://bit.ly/2IUD02v
All businesses are being encouraged to explore the support available by highlighting case studies of companies already doing so on government social media channels, including @cabinetofficeuk and @HMGNorth, and on the business support sections of gov.uk
UK Government is still looking for businesses to be included, by sharing a short video or some images and text, so do get in touch if you would like to get involved, or know a company that might be interested. Here is an example of the kind of video they have been sharing:
Update to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Monday 13th April
The very latest guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from UK Government can be found at the links below.
As of yesterday (Sunday 12th April), UK Government have provided further clarifications on some of the queries they have received, including:
- Confirmation of what should form the basis for furlough pay for employees furloughed on return from (maternity/paternity/shared parental/adoption/sick/parental bereavement) leave;
- Confirming employees subject to TUPE transfer/ business reorganisation/ payroll consolidation can be furloughed
- Confirming position for contractors in scope of IR35 in the public sector
- More information on what information employers need to claim the grant
- Clarifying circumstances where an employee shouldn’t be furloughed by multiple employers
Relocation of business support services from UK Government
Thursday 9th April
During this challenging and constantly changing crisis we want to ensure you have access to the most up to date information.
As such, we wanted to let you know that UK Government has now moved all their business support information to GOV.UK
This is updated regularly, and the latest information can be found on this link: bit.ly/bizsupportnew. This page details:
- Access to Funding and Support
- Responsibilities as an Employer
- Advice and guidance for managing your business during Coronavirus
- How you can help
We also wanted to confirm that the sector-specific guidance for employers on social distancing is also now available and can be found on this link: bit.ly/sectorsocialdist
Further advice for employers on the impact of coronavirus on employee health and wellbeing…
Wednesday April 8th
Just a reminder of the advice for employers on the impact of coronavirus on employee health and wellbeing. The link below provides some helpful tips and covers the following :
- Dealing with home working and self-isolation
- Mental health support
- Staying active
- Policies and Procedures
UK Government announces enhanced support for businesses
Friday April 4th
The Government has taken further action to support firms affected by the coronavirus crisis by bolstering business interruption loans for small businesses and announcing a new scheme for larger companies.
Extended Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
The Government has extended the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.
The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals. The government will continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees.
Please find further details here: https://bit.ly/UpdatedCBILS
New Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
The new CLBILS will ensure that more firms are able to benefit from government-backed support during this difficult time. It will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.
Loans backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest and further details of the scheme will be announced later this month.
Please find initial details here: https://bit.ly/NewCLBIL
Thursday April 2nd
In order to maintain essential services while we operate on a skeleton staff we are making some changes to how we work, please distribute this information to your staff as required.
- Bins will still be emptied daily as required, however in order to comply with social distancing guidelines and to accommodate our reduced staff levels, we ask that all tenants leave their bin outside of their unit door if you want it emptied. The bin compound can be opened up by arrangement for your disposal of any other waste.
- As we are only now working during our office hours (08.30 to 17.00 hours), essential cleaning of the facilities will be taking place during the day, appropriate signage will be displayed whilst this is being carried out.
- Statutory and Emergency maintenance will still be carried out and our out of hours emergency number will still be manned, please report any maintenance issues to reception or email any urgent maintenance issues to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call 07947 874334 outside of our office hours only.
- In order to maintain site security all buildings are operating as in our out of hours procedure from an access point of view at all times, please restrict your entry and exit from the buildings to the main OOH door wherever possible, or the revolving door for reception at Wilthorpe. If you plan to leave the building after 17.00 hours please ensure you lock the building behind you.
We will review these procedures regularly and inform you of any changes as soon as possible.
We’ve just updated our COVID-19 resource centre, find out more here
Thursday 2nd April
Click here for the latest updated guidance from UK Government about COVID-19
Wednesday April 1st
COVID-19 (coronavirus) advice and guidance from BMBC
Tuesday March 31st
During these difficult times, many residents are unfortunately facing uncertainty about their current and future employment. To address this and to support residents, the employment and skills team at Barnsley Council have developed a simple, single point of contact to make it easier to speak to someone and access the free support available to residents who may have been:
- Laid off/unemployed
- Are at risk of redundancy
- Looking to develop or grow skills
Barnsley Council’s Employment and Skills service has joined forces with Enterprising Barnsley and other employment support providers to make it easier for residents to access employment and skills support. They have launched the Barnsley Employment Helpdesk providing a simple single point of contact for all residents who would like to speak to someone and access support. We aim to respond to enquiries on the same day with a referral to support within 24 hours.
- Support can be accessed through the website and its webchat function: https://www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk/support-for-employment/
- Or, directly through their email address: email@example.com
They’re on the end of a phone and can provide advice to determine eligibility for Universal Credit and how to start and prepare claims; job searching, getting a CV ready, support with applications and interviews and access to free training if residents want to develop your skills for a new role or promotion.
Please help them raise awareness of this support across your networks, they are ready to receive referrals. Just make sure people are happy for you to share their contact details and email them through or direct people to them on the details above.
They are currently working on getting a dedicated contact phone number and unfortunately in the meantime are only able to receive enquiries through the email or webchat. However, if individuals are not able to access email or webchat, if they can ask a friend, neighbour or professional to email them their phone number they will phone them straight back.
Partners include: Barnsley Council Adult and Community Learning, Enterprising Barnsley, The Growth Company & Wiseability, The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, The Citizen’s Advice Service
For further information about Barnsley Council’s response to Covid-19, visit: barnsley.gov.uk/services/health-and-wellbeing/covid-19-coronavirus-advice-and-guidance/
Updated Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance
Friday March 27th
The Treasury have today updated their Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance with specific reference to National Insurance and pension contributions for furloughed workers. Please see link below:
What exactly is Furlough?
In addition to the above guidance, Business Village tenant Kat Derbyshire from Black Kat HR is offering a support package on all matters related to furlough, a term many had not heard of until now.
For anyone wondering what it is, it is temporary leave for employees put in place as a result of issues an employer faces within their business or challenges in the economy.
If as an employer you are considering furloughing your employees there are a number of considerations to be made. Employment law still applies when using this so you must be sure that using furlough is appropriate and implemented correctly. On that basis Kat highly recommends that you seek advice before taking action.
Black Kat is offering a support package for business owners consisting of a consultation phone call (via Zoom if you prefer) to talk through your circumstances, whether furlough is appropriate, any other options that may be available to you followed by providing written correspondence you can issue to your employees explaining any actions you intend to take.
To receive further information and book a slot please get in touch by sending over an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the website and Kat will get back to you with further details.
#furlough #hr #businessowner #layoff
Self-employment Income Support Scheme:
Thursday March 26th
Following the Chancellor’s announcement regarding support for those that are self-employed, we wanted to make sure you have access to the details of the support scheme. Please see below:
Self-employment Income Support Scheme: bit.ly/SelfEmployedSupport
In addition, they have pulled together FAQs relating to the scheme, which can be found here:
CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS SUPPORT
Wednesday March 25th
The UK Government has launched a new website that helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply. The site helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
You can view the site here
Reception/cleaning services resume basic operation at The Business Village.
To assist tenant key workers across both our locations we are resuming basic reception and cleaning services from 08.30 hours tomorrow (Wednesday 25th March 2020).
- Reception will be open only to deal with postal and parcel deliveries, collections and enquiries.
- Reception will not be open to accept visitors or offer any other central services at this time.
- The Bistro remains closed.
As this is a rapidly developing situation we will endeavour to keep you updated of any changes to our services, please keep an eye on this website for our most up to date information.
See here for the very latest guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19): What you need to do
The government has updated the guidance on the new measures the PM introduced on Monday 23rd March:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes;
- Closing non-essential shops and community spaces; and
- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.
The link below provides full details on the new guidance. Please share as far and wide through your networks as possible – on your websites/ information hubs, directly to your business clients, through your supply chain, to employees and to customers.
Grant payments to small businesses
- Small businesses which are in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) on their property are eligible to receive a one-off grant of £10,000 to help meet ongoing business costs. If you would like to claim this grant, Barnsley Council needs your bank account details so please fill in this ‘Online contact form.’Please note, this is our existing standard refunds form but please be assured this is for the form you need to apply for this grant.
Please select ‘Business Rates’ in the refund option and put ‘10000’ in the refund amount.If you don’t know your business rates account number, you should insert ‘TBC’ in the relevant field and ‘1’ as the last payment.There’s a free text box on the last page where you can add notes if you need to.
Don’t forget to provide an email address and contact telephone number.
Barnsley Council’s finance team will review all forms received and arrange for grant payments to be made directly into the verified business accounts provided. This should take just a few days, once you receive your confirmation email.
If you are struggling to pay your business rates due to the impact the coronavirus is having on your business please contact the Council’s Income & Collections Team on 01226 787787 and select Option 2. An adviser will take your details and arrange for a call back from a business rates manager who can discuss with you any possible support that may be available.
If you require further advice please get in touch with us on the contact details at the bottom of the page.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) opens for applications!
We can confirm that the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) opened for applications on Monday 23rd March and supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities and can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.
The CBILS website is the best source of up to date information but for your ease of reference please download the documents below which contain all the key details:
CBILS: KEY FEATURES
- Up to £5m facility:
The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m, available on repayment terms of up to six years.
- 80% guarantee:
The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding facility balance, subject to an overall cap per lender.
- No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme:
No fee for smaller businesses. Lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme.
- Interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months:
The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
- Finance terms:
Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years.
At the discretion of the lender, the scheme may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under. For facilities above £250,000, the lender must establish a lack or absence of security prior to businesses using CBILS. If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.
- The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.
There is a lot of information and we would encourage you to please take the time to review the documents above and also visit the website to make yourself familiar with the details. Please note that any queries by SMEs in relation to their specific circumstances must be directed to their lender or one of the accredited CBILS lenders and not to the BBB.
Keeping The Business Village ticking over
We’ve activated our contingency plan (innovatively known as “Plan B”) to make sure both our locations continue to function just as normal as possible. Those of us who are able to work from home will do so … This doesn’t mean any change in what you will see going on in and around The Business Village, it simply means we’re changing how we work together internally.
In short that means we’re here, the same as we always are.
It’s pretty obvious that we’re about to enter a pretty tough time in business in the UK for the next month or two, but we’re still here for you when and if you need us. On that note we would like to say a very big thank you to all of our tenants (and friends) who have kept our Reception teams updated on whether staff are in their units or working from home.
- As part of the extensive business support programme offered across the Barnsley borough, we’re able to share a link with you to the constantly updating page from our friends and colleagues and friends at Enterprising Barnsley. Click here for the very latest news, help and advice for your business.
If you want to chat through anything at all, please contact us. You can find all our details here.
Please look after yourself at work and in your homes and stay safe…
Adrian, Jonathan, Kevin and Lyndsey.
Contact us to find out more
Business Development Manager