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How we’re dealing with the COVID-19 crisis

Key government and local updates are below.

Tuesday 6th April 2021

Support for businesses due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

There’s a package of measures available to support businesses, people and public services through the period of disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).
Current grant schemes. The schemes below include the current financial grants available for businesses, including the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG).

Coronavirus Restart Grant

The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in reopening safely as coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are lifted. The scheme is for businesses with a business rates account.
Payments will be made of:

  • up to £6000 to non-essential retail
  • up to £18,000 to hospitality, leisure and accommodation

BMBC is currently working through the guidance and will release further information on this as soon as possible.

These grants will be paid automatically based on businesses that have already received grants to date. Payments will be made from 1 April 2021, but may take three to five working days to arrive in your account.

For new claimants who believe they’re eligible and haven’t received the grant, an online application will be available from Monday 12 April 2021.

You can check your eligibility here

Thursday 21st January 2021

Support for businesses across Sheffield City Region (incl Barnsley).

Conscious that some of our tenants and partners also operate businesses across Sheffield City Region, our friends at tenant business MGRW+ have put together this useful note on how to access support in other geographical areas in addition to Barnsley, along with a direct contact point if you would like an informal chat.

Extension of Grant Scheme to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure supply chain

The recent grant scheme to support eligible businesses in the supply chain to retail, hospitality and leisure sectors has been extended and grant amounts increased.

The scheme gives supply chain businesses the opportunity to claim a one-off payment. Any businesses which have successfully claimed under the scheme will receive an automatic top up to the new levels without needing to reapply.

The scheme is designed to support supply chain businesses where the majority of the business activity is supplying to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and are experiencing a significant loss of trade due to local and national restrictions. Examples may include, breweries, catering companies and service and goods providers to restaurants and hotels.

Businesses in the Sheffield are can apply online here
Apply supply chain business support grant (

Businesses in surrounding regions can check their local government websites for more details on how to apply:
Coronavirus advice for employers, businesses and charities – Derbyshire County Council
Financial Support For Business – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Coronavirus advice for employers and businesses – Doncaster Council
Support for businesses due to coronavirus (COVID-19) (

If you require any further help or support, please do not hesitate to email Adrian Dunkley or call him directly on 07921 453664 

Phase 4 business support grants

Barnsley Council, supported by Sheffield City Region, has provided an update to the new discretionary grants available to support businesses during the current January 2021 lockdown period.
All business support grants are to support businesses with ongoing business costs, such as property, rather than to cover for lost income.

Local Restriction Support Grant Top Up

During this period, those businesses that are closed which have a rateable value will have already received a Local Restriction Support Grant of between £4000 and £9000 on January 6th 2021

Full details can be found on this link, together with the qualifying criteria and further links to the relevant application form and further details of the Discretionary Support Scheme.

Discretionary Local Restrictions Support Grants – Businesses forced to close that do not have a business rates account

Wednesday 6th January 2021

Support for businesses due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

There’s a package of measures available to support businesses, people and public services through the period of disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Grant schemes

The schemes on the link here include the current financial grants available for businesses, including Local Restrictions Support Grants.


Thursday 26th November 2020

Please see below for details of  the Restart and Recovery SME Grant

Applications should not be submitted until 9am on Wednesday 2nd December. Please send your Application Form, Client Data Form and quote(s) to

*Our terms and conditions file was updated at 4pm on Wednesday 25th. Please make sure you review the latest version. To be eligible to apply for this grant your business must have started before the 17th March 2020

If you’re a business in Doncaster, Sheffield or Rotherham, your local business support service can help you with questions and information around your application.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME) Restart &Recovery and Kickstarting Tourism Package will be delivered by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC) on behalf of the SCR Growth Hub and its South Yorkshire Local Authority Partners (Doncaster MBC, Rotherham MBC and Sheffield CC).

There is a limited pot of £1,073,852 ERDF funding available to support SMEs to respond to the immediate COVID-19 crisis for companies across the City Region, so we are looking for companies to bring forward investment projects who have been adversely impacted. The sum of £273,356 is ring-fenced to support ERDF Eligible SMEs operating in the Visitor Economy.

SME Restart & Recovery and Kickstarting Tourism Package – CLOSED

Wednesday 11th November 2020


Links to Business support services delivered via our colleagues and friends at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC) through the Enterprising Barnsley team, this link is automatically updated.

Coronavirus Business Support


Friday 6th November

Today’s key announcements and updates cover the Chancellor’s statement on increased support for businesses across the UK, the Business Support FinderWorking Safely guidance and new assets and messaging for the Green Homes Grant Scheme.

Chancellor’s announcement on Business Support 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced yesterday that increased support for businesses is available across the UK. Full details of the Chancellor’s statement are available here and include:

  • the furlough scheme will now be extended until the end of March across the UK
  • the next self-employed income support grant will also increase from 55% to 80% of average profits – up to £7,500

Business Support Finder 
Support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. Businesses, whether open or closed, may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants. Use the Business Support Finder to see what support is available.

Working Safely Guidance 
The Working Safely guidance has been updated to reflect the new national restrictions.

Any questions can be directed to our dedicated business enquiries mailbox (


Thursday 5th November 2020

Today’s UK Gov bulletin covers New National Restrictions, keeping your customers, visitors and workers safe and Business Support.

New restrictions 5th November ​​​​​​
New national restrictions come into place in England on Thursday 5th November.

The national assets for these restrictions can be found here.

The tracked link for the guidance can be found here:

​​Everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons, which include:

  • For education;
  • For work, if you cannot work from home;
  • For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
  • For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
  • To shop for food and essentials;
  • And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks, theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect
  • Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals

Other businesses are permitted to stay open – this includes those providing essential goods or services, including: food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

For more details see this tweet.

Keeping your customers, visitors and workers safe

Businesses have been working hard to put in place measures to minimise the transmission of the virus in the workplace and HSE have been checking, visiting and inspecting businesses to ensure they are COVID-secure.

From mid-June to 3rd November, HSE conducted over 44,000 spot checks to businesses and organisations. Most businesses checked are following the COVID-secure workplace guidance and action has been taken where businesses have fallen short.

HSE’s programme of activity has shown that social distancing is the biggest issue facing businesses, followed by cleaning regimes and management arrangements. As we move into national restrictions, if your business is permitted to stay open then please ensure you follow COVID-secure guidelines.

The tracked link for this guidance can be found here:

Business support
Business support information can be found at this tracked link:

​​​​​The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as the furlough scheme

This scheme will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension  
The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020.

Business Grants
Business premises forced to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.

Business Loan Schemes
The application deadlines for the Coronavirus Bounce Back LoanCoronavirus Business Interruption Loan, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Future Fund have been extended  until 31 January 2021.

Monday 2nd November 2020

Please see today’s COVID-19 updates which cover the new national restrictions which come into place on Thursday 5 November and the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme​​​​​ through to December, also known as the furlough scheme.

National Restrictions from Thursday 5 November
On Saturday the Prime Minister gave a speech and tweeted that everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:

  • For education;
  • For work, if you cannot work from home;
  • For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
  • For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
  • To shop for food and essentials;
  • And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Click and collect services can continue and essential shops, including supermarkets, will remain open. Pubs, bars, restaurants must close, except for takeaway and delivery services.

A tweet about the new restrictions can be seen here:

Extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, also known as the furlough scheme, will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.


Barnsley placed under the toughest measures in the government’s COVID alert level system

Wednesday 21st October 2020

Barnsley is to move into the Very High category under the government’s new Coronavirus (COVID-19) tier system. The restrictions will come into force from 00:01 on Saturday 24 October and cover all four local authority areas in South Yorkshire – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

These stricter lockdown measures are due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the borough.

Read more detail in the link below

Link to UK Government Business Support services

Thursday 15th October 2020

Today’s update covers the launch of the Postcode Checker to show the local COVID Alert Level in your area.

The Government’s COVID regulations (Alert levels of Medium, High & Very High) have come into force in England.

As a reminder: 
​​​The “medium” alert level – which covers most of the country – consists of the current national measures, which came into force on 25 September. This includes the Rule of Six, the closure of hospitality at 10pm and the guidance to work from home where you can effectively do so.​​​​​​

The “high” alert level is for areas with a higher level of infections where some additional restrictions are in place. This means – on top of restrictions in alert level medium – that you must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. The Rule of Six will apply in outdoor spaces, including private gardens.
​​​The “very high” level is for areas with a very high level of infections and where tighter restrictions are in place. The restrictions placed on areas with a very high level of infections can vary, and are based on discussions between central and local government. You should therefore check the specific rules in your area.

The launch of a new Postcode Checker on enables people to quickly find out the COVID Alert Level in the areas that they live and work, to ensure people have up to date information about the regulations in their local area.

A tweet about the alert levels can be seen here:

​Please share these trackable links through your networks. Any questions can be directed to UK Gov’s dedicated business enquiries mailbox (

Wednesday 23rd September 2020

The Prime Minister yesterday made a statement to the House of Commons outlining further measures in England to tackle the spread of coronavirus. The PM’s statement can be found at:

From today, Wednesday 23 September, office workers who are able to work from home should do so and the requirement for customers to wear face coverings will be extended to all users of taxis and private hire vehicles.

From Thursday 24 September measures including the following will be introduced:

  • pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways;
  • hospitality venues must close at 10pm (which means closing, not last orders). The same will apply to takeaways, although deliveries can continue;
  • the requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include retail staff and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink; and
  • covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations in retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors.

​​​​​​Furthermore, from Monday 28 September a maximum of 15 people may attend weddings, while 30 may attend funerals. Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will not be reopened from 1 October.

These new measures will be enforced by tighter penalties. Guidance on the additional measures will be made available on

As ever, please feel free to share trackable links through your networks. Any questions can be directed to UK Gov’s dedicated business enquiries mailbox (


Monday 27th July

Key government updates below:

1) Updated face coverings guidance
Face coverings must be worn in additional enclosed public spaces from 24 July in England, as the government takes further steps to help curb the spread of the virus. As well as shops and supermarkets, face coverings must be worn in banks, building societies and post offices.

Under the new regulations laid yesterday (23 July), members of the public will need to wear face coverings – for example, a fabric covering, scarf or bandana – that covers the nose and mouth in additional enclosed public spaces, as well as frequent hand washing and careful social distancing.

It will be compulsory to wear a face covering when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops. If you are in a premises where you are able to sit down and consume food or drink that you have bought, then you can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink on-site.

Face coverings will not be mandatory for:

  • anyone under the age of 11
  • those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering

Anyone who doesn’t abide by the regulations – and is not exempt under one of the categories set out in the regulations – could face a fine by the police of up to £100, as is currently the case on public transport.

Full details of the announcement can be found here:

Updated guidance on face coverings – including how to make your own – can be found here:

2) NHS Test & Trace service in the workplace
The guidance on the NHS Test & Trace service for employers, businesses and workers has been updated this week. The update includes redrafting for clarity, a new section on collecting customer and visitor data for NHS Test & Trace has been added, and additional information on if a worker develops symptoms and orders a test.

The updated guidance can be found here:

Assets for Test & Trace can be found here:

As ever, please do share these trackable links through your network and if you have any questions, please email the UK Government’s dedicated business enquiries mailbox (


Monday 22nd June

1) UK alert level moves to Level 3

The Joint Biosecurity Centre has recommended that the COVID-19 alert level should move from Level 4 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation).

The Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have reviewed the evidence and agree with this recommendation to move to Level 3 across the UK.

Please see the full news story here:


2) Working safely tool

To help employers reopen their businesses safely, we have launched a new tool to identify the most relevant guidance for your business. The guidance highlighted will help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce.

Employees can also use this guidance to check what their workplace needs to do to keep people safe.

This guidance is only for businesses that are allowed to reopen in England and can be found here:

Please do consider sharing the following tweet from HMG North to amplify this message:


3) Next phase of Coronavirus NHS app

The government has announced the next phase of development in building an app that supports the end-to-end NHS Test and Trace service.

Following rigorous field testing and a trial on the Isle of Wight, they have identified challenges with both their app and the Google/Apple framework. This is a problem that many countries around the world, like Singapore, are facing and in many cases only discovering them after whole population roll-out.

As a result of their work, they will now be taking forward a solution that brings together the work on the app and the Google/Apple solution.

Please see the full news story here:


Friday 5th June

Do also follow @HMGNorth on Twitter for updates.

1) Face coverings

As per the Transport Secretary’s announcement in today’s press conference, wearing face coverings on public transport will be mandatory in England from Monday 15 June.

Key points to note:

  • The new guidance refers to face coverings – not  surgical masks –  which you can easily make at home.
  • Exemptions will be made for very young children, the disabled and those with breathing difficulties.
  • You can be refused travel if you don’t comply and could be fined. Alongside transport operators, this will be enforced by the British Transport Police, as necessary.

You can find the Transport Secretary’s full statement here: guidance will follow in the coming days, which we will circulate.


2) Trade Credit Insurance 

Trade Credit Insurance, which provides essential cover to hundreds of thousands of business-to-business transactions, will receive up to £10 billion of government guarantees.

The Trade Credit Reinsurance scheme, which has been agreed following extensive discussions with the insurance sector, will see the vast majority of Trade Credit Insurance coverage maintained across the UK.

The guarantees will support supply chains and help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic to trade with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected if a customer defaults or delays on payment.The scheme is available on a temporary basis for nine months, backdated to 1 April 2020, and available to insurers operating in the UK market.

Read the full press notice here:

See tweets from @beisgovuk 


3) CJRS timeline

Please find below a reminder of the key changes and deadlines you need to be aware of for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

  • From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.
  • The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June.
  • This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current 3 week furlough period to be completed by30 June. Employers will have until 31 Julyto make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

Find out more information here: Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12 June.


4) Next steps on COVID-19 disparities announced

Following the release of the Public Health England review into disparities in the risks and outcomes of COVID-19, the Government’s Equality Hub has today (4 June 2020) set out how this work will be taken forward.

The work will be led by the Equalities Minister, Kemi Badenoch, and supported by other government departments and agencies.

Full terms of reference can be found here:


5) Test and Trace service

HM Government has now launched the Test and Trace service to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and save lives. Full details and guidance for employers can be found here:

The PHE campaign resource centre has been updated to include all assets and messages.

Guidance on the Test and Trace service and how it works can be found here:

Follow @DHSCgovuk and @HMGNorth


6) NHS Volunteer Responders

Finally, as part of National Volunteers’ Week 1-7 June do see this tweet in support of the NHS Volunteer Responders:

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:

Guidance for reopening can be found here:

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:

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:

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:

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:


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:

  1. Factsheet for SMEs.
  2. Social media assets.


Social media posts

Please feel free to use the attached graphics and following text to share on your social media networks:


Scheme features

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.



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.



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


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:

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 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:

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

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:

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 :

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: .

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:

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:

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:

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

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:

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

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:  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:

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:

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:

Tenant Update

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Or call 07947 874334 outside of our office hours only.
  4. 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:

  • Furloughed
  • 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.

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:


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 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:

In addition, they have pulled together FAQs relating to the scheme, which can be found here:


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:

  1. FAQs for SMEs
  2. Eligibility Checker
  3. CBILS infographic


  • 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[1], so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.[2]

  • 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.

  • Security:

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

Kevin Steel

Business Development Manager

Adrian Waite

Chief Executive