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Coronavirus (COVID-19): What businesses need to know

As the Coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate, Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has started to receive enquiries from businesses asking what steps they should be taking to mitigate the potential impacts.

The Chamber has collated a range of information and official websites to support businesses who may be impacted or affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. The Government also announced a range of support for businesses who are being impacted by the virus at the Budget Statement (11/03) and more details are contained in the links below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What businesses need to know

Contain > Delay > Research > Mitigate

The UK is currently in the Delay Phase (as of 13th March 2020)​

>>View the government's action plan<<

 

NEW 23/02: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Chamber 10-point plan for supporting businesses through Coronavirus

Test The Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce says the Government must stop playing catch-up on coronavirus – as Chancellor Rishi Sunak prepares to announce a new employment and wage rescue plan.
With Mr Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to announce a new subsidy package later today, the Chamber has published a 10-point plan which sets out the primary needs of businesses.

>>View the 10-point plan here<<

How to access government financial support if you or your business has been affected by COVID-19

Further information has been released about how individuals and businesses can access government financial support if they have been affected by COVID-19.

>>Download the latest information here<<

Off-payroll working rules reforms postponed until 2021 (IR35)

Reforms to off-payroll working rules have been delayed by 12 months as part of the government’s Covid-19 economic response package. The rules, which ensure two people sitting side by side doing the same work for the same employer are taxed in the same way, will now come into effect on 6 April 2021 instead of 6 April this year.

>>More information here<<

New COVID-19 guidance for employers & businesses

The Department for Business (BEIS) and Public Health England have issued guidance for employers, which you can >>find here<<

School Closures

The government has now identified the list of 'Key Workers' who will still be able to send their children to school during the closures.

>>View the list here<<

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

A number of measures to support businesses through this period were announced in Tuesday’s Budget Statement, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. More information on these measures and how you can access them can be found here:
https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

As soon as the Chamber has information on how you can apply for support and where, we will communicate this with you.

Small Business Grants of up to £10,000

The Chancellor announced an increase in the small business Coronavirus cash grants, taking it from £3,000 to £10,000. Only those who qualify for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief will be able to get the funding. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy will be working with local authorities to outline the scheme and encourage local authorities to prepare. However, once up-and-running, your local authority will contact you rather than having to apply yourself. Grant money will not be available until early April, as stated on the government website.

Mind: Supporting Employee Mental Health & Wellbeing

Your employees may be concerned, anxious or worried about the impact of Coronavirus. Mind, the mental health charity, has produced guidance which can be found here

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against all travel to Hubei Province, where the outbreak started, and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. It also advises British nationals in China to leave. More here.

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI)

The Business Continuity Institute has published a helpful guidance note on pandemics and how business can prepare for continuity, risk mitigation and business resilience. Read their business continuity and resilience action points here. 

Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development has produced a fact sheet, which sets out how employers should respond to the threat from Coronavirus. To download it, click here.

Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England

The official guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England, is here and is being updated daily. This covers the situation in the UK, provides information about the virus and outlines the action the Government is taking to prevent its spread.

Department for Transport

The Department for Transport and Public Health England have produced specific guidance for the transport sector here.

NHS

The NHS has a concise guide to Coronavirus setting out how it is spread, how to avoid catching it, symptoms, treatment and what to do if you think you or any of your employees might be infected. Details here.

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organisation has more detailed information including videos on best practice and posters to download to inform your workforce. There’s also a useful myth-buster section and advice on when face masks are appropriate. Click here.

Public Health England

Finally, Public Health England has two useful blogs. The first here addresses frequently asked questions around Coronavirus. The second blog here looks at how it uses contact tracing to limit the spread of the virus in the UK.

 

If you need business advice, guidance or support, please email [email protected] and one of our advisors will be in touch with you.
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