Coronavirus Business Support - Key Information and Links

Please find below a selection of useful links containing information and updates regarding the coronavirus situation. These will be updated as frequently as possible bringing you the latest information. 

Specific Business Re-Opening Guidance

What a Business should do when a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 is reported

The Somerset COVID-19 Local Engagement Board has devised a Local Outbreak Management Plan for Covid 19 detailing actions to take in the event of an outbreak. 

As part of this work they have worked with South West partners to devise flyers and posters to help you, your employees and customers know what to do when a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 is reported. 

Please download these documents at www.somerset.gov.uk/backtowork and keep them handy.  

  1. Covid 19 Business flyer - contains a checklist of actions for businesses
  2. Covid 19 Accommodation Provider flyer – is specifically for tourist or accommodation providers – please add in your postcode
  3. Covid 19 Visitor poster – to display in public settings i.e. reception/kitchen/toilets/bedrooms for visitors staying in your accommodation to see.  Please add in your contact phone number so visitors can call you if they suspect they have Covid 19.

Do call the Public Health England Health Protection Team immediately for any suspected or confirmed cases on 0300 303 8162 who can talk you through the next steps.

Somerset’s Local Outbreak Management Plan is available to view here


Self-Catering COVID Cleaning Protocols

Guidance has now been released by The Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK (pascuk.co.uk) to help self-catering businesses prepare for reopening. Please see here for more details and the compete cleaning protocols documents. 

The Cleaning and Opening guidelines, (part of the UKH doc that will be released soon) are available at PASCUK Standards. This includes tools such as risk assessment templates. All businesses will need to have completed one in order to sign up to the AA Good to Go, and the AA Covid Ready scheme. The VE scheme will launch when the Guidelines become official, the AA one is live now at www.ratedtrips.com/aa-covid-confident  
 
 

Guidance for Accommodation & Attractions - Updated 24th June

Guidance for hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows.
 

Guidance for Restaurants, Pubs, Bars and Takeaway Services - Updated 24th June

Guidance for keeping workers and customers safe in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.
 

The UK Hospitality Guidance

Details on how to manage premises in a covid safe manner in England has now been published. You can find the document here: Covid-19 secure advice and risk assessment for hospitality businesses
 

Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

Organisations in certain sectors should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors on their premises to support NHS Test and Trace. Read more here
 

Temporary reduced rate of VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

5% Reduced Rate: In response to the economic difficulties caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, HMRC has announced a reduction in the rate of VAT to 5%, affecting hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions. The reduced rate covers the period from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021.
 
Read more: 

Revenue and Customs Brief 10 (2020): temporary reduced rate of VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

VAT on admission charges to attractions

 

Government Guidance & Local Authory Updates

Exmoor National Park

ENPA Updates

Latest Statement from Exmoor National Park Authority relating to Coronavirus.

Support for Businesses

Please see this link from ENP regarding Support for Businesses it is updated with new information, please check back regularly.

Exmoor Tourism Response and Recovery to the Covid-19 outbreak

Exmoor National Park Authorty (ENPA) and Visit Exmoor are leading the development of a Tourism Response and Recovery Plan bringing together the wide range of tourism partners across Exmoor to work together and to support recovery of the toursim industry in the area. Read More.

Visit England/Visit Britian

The 'We're Good To Go' Industry Standard. You can now apply for a free UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to Government and public health guidance. To support you as you work towards re-opening and welcoming customers, the 'We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark is now available to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for businesses, attractions and destinations as well as reassurance to local residents and visitors that clear processes are in place and that as a business you are good to go. Read More.

Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19 collated by Visit Britain. Please check back regularly for new information and advice. 

Local Authority Support

Somerset County Council: Support for Local Businesses

Somerset West and Taunton: Coronavirus - What you need to know

North Devon Council: Coronvirus Business Support

Salesforce Small Business Grants

Salesforce has partnered with Enterprize Nation to offer eligible smll businesses the opportunity to receive a £5,000 grant to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak. Please see here to find out if you are eligible and to apply. You may also find the FAQ's page useful.

Growth Support Kickstart Grant Applications

Growth Support Kickstart Grant Applications are now open. Businesses across the Heart of the South West LEP area of Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay are now able to make a single application for a grant of between £1,000 and £3,000 to fund the purchase of: 
 
Specialist consultancy
Minor items that enable the business to adopt new technology
Minor items that enable the business to adapt existing technology
 
The aim of the fund is to support as many businesses as possible, with grants being issued on a first come first served basis through the completion of a simple application form
 
We recommend that businesses prepare in advance by reading the Information and Guidance sheet and FAQ on the Growth Support KickStart Grant website.
 

Heritage Fund

New £92million Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage launches. Applications are now open for the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, which will help heritage organisations recover from the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Read more.
 

Government guidance for Working Safely During COVID-19 

Industry bodies have been contributing to industry-specific government guidance which is awaiting sign off and will be available over the coming weeks.  We will keep this section updated as new guidance is released.
 
Shops & Branches - Working Safely During COVID-19: Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores, or similar environments. Read more
 
New guidance for employers has been made available for construction and other outdoor work, factories, plants and warehouses, homes, labs and research facilities, office and contact centres, restaurants offering takeaway or delivery, shops and branches and vehicles to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely. Read more. Read the full news story here
 

Other Government Guidance

The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy: The Govenment's roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis. Published 11th May. Read more

Government Announces Roadmap Raskforces: New ministerial-led taskforces have been set up to plan how closed sectors can reopen safely. Published 13th May. Read more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Support Grant Funding - Guidance For Local Authorities: Guidance for local authorities setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF). Read More.

Top-up to Local Business Grant Funds Scheme: A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. Read more

Chancellor Extends Furlough Scheme Until October: The Governmnet's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme  (CJRS) will remain open until the end of October, the Chancellor announced on Tuesdy 12 May 2020. Read more

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has opened for applications for businesses who have put staff on furlough due to COVID-19. HMRC has published a step-by-step guidance on how to make a claim.

New Bounch Back Loans scheme for small businesses announced: A new Bounce Back Loans scheme will be made available to small businesses from 9.00 a.m. Monday 4 May. These loans will be 100% Government-backed. Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, businesses must apply using the online form. 

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme: To help eligible freelance workers receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months. Those eligible will receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the three years up to 2018/19. More here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Apply for the Zoo Animals Fund: Apply for an animal welfare grant of up to £730,000 for your zoo or aquarium affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more.

 

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Further Visit Exmoor page links:

Coronavirus Business Support: Toolkits, Training, Industry Data & Research  

Visit Exmoor Social Media and Communications Guideance for Members