The West Chester BID Team are here to help you through this.
We will be looking to get in touch over the next few days to check in on businesses and advise and support further.
If you haven’t already provided an emergency contact number please email Stephanie.Leese@groundwork.org.uk with a number to ring.
Please also let us know if you are still open and trading and if there is anything you would like us to post on our social media channels to help you get the message out there.
Reopen your business safely during coronavirus
All businesses that are reopening have a legal responsibility to protect employees, visitors and anyone else on site.
The government has issued guidance on how to carry out a risk assessment and make sensible and safe adjustments to your premises.
If you fail to carry out a risk assessment, the council or the Health and Safety Executive can issue an enforcement notice.
Take a look at the guidance via the link below.
COVID-19 Secure Poster
All businesses that are open must display a ‘Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020’ poster that shows they’re complying with government guidelines with regards to managing the risks of COVID-19.
Download the poster via the link below.
Working safely guides
With more businesses allowed to open from Saturday 4th July, the government has issued updated advice for a range of sectors.
These working safely guides are designed to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are 12 guides in total and your business may need to use more than one if you have different types of workplace.
Visit the hub today.
Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive
The Health and Safety Executive has produced guidance on a range of topics which will be useful for businesses, employees and the self-employed.
It’s designed to help make workplaces safe and to also manage the risks posed by COVID-19.
Steps outlined include risk assessments, dialogue with workers, working from home, making workplaces COVID-secure, protecting vulnerable workers, cleaning and hygiene and where to get further help.
With more people returning to work, this information could be very beneficial to your business.
Follow the link below to read more.
What support is available?
In light of the Coronavirus breakout, a full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.
Please keep reading to find out what’s available and what your business could be eligible for.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’.
HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.
The Government will also 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.
Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.
Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.
Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
Small Business Grant Funding
The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.
This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate
The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus.
This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.
Other measures that have been announced by the Government include:
- Time to pay
- Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility
- Business rates holiday for Nurseries
- VAT Deferral
- Income Tax Deferral for the Self Employed
To find out more information about any of the above, please follow the link below.
Further Government advice
Follow the link below for further government advice on the business support available.
Covid-19: what you need to do
Current advice is to stay at home and work from home where possible.
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where work can’t be done at home)
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
- Be aware that you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms
For all other information relating to Coronavirus and current guidelines, follow the link below.
Advice for businesses leaving empty properties
The Metropolitan Police Business Crime Hub has issued some general crime prevention tips that may be useful if you are closing your businesses temporarily.
- Test your alarm, ensure it is monitored and fully operational
- Identify any vulnerable areas and rectify
- Ensure security gates, bollards and fire exits doors have been secured
- Ensure service doors are closed and locked when not in use
- Make sure you have a list of key holders who can be contacted in times of emergency
- Ensure your contact details for staff are up to date
- Consider moving high value items into secured stockrooms and out of view
- Ensure keys to the premises or other venues are not left inside and instead with dedicated key holders
- Consider timer switches or ensure sufficient lighting is left on at the premises/surrounding area
- Ensure there are no combustible materials left in the proximity of the building such as packaging
- Review the CCTV to confirm it is operational, provides good quality images and is positioned to cover as much of the public and private areas. You may wish to consider a mobile phone app that allows connectivity and a vocal capacity to engage with any intruder
- Ensure that no cash is retained on the premises overnight – leaving a note stating that no cash or valuables are kept overnight) or store them in a security accredited safe bolted to the floor