• COVID-19 Support

    COVID-19 Support

North KestevenThe place to investThe place to grow

27/11/2020

Local Restriction Support Grant for Tier 3
We are working hard to administer the Local Restriction Support Grant and Additional Restriction Support Grant (required to close). We are currently awaiting guidance on the Local Restriction Support Grant for Tier 3, this grant will not be available until after the 2nd December, it is also paid on a 14 day period, we will share all information here as soon as we have it, please bear with us.

26/11/2020

The Additional Restriction Grant (business required to close) is open for applications

The Additional Restriction Grant (business required to close) is open for applications

The Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) will be available to businesses that have been required to close from 5th November 2020 who have fixed property costs or work from home but who was not required to be registered with business rates.

A flat rate grant will be awarded of £1,334 in line with the Local Restriction Support Grant.

For further information on the eligibility criteria and a list of all documents required to support applications can be found on the NKDC ARG Required to close Policy. If you think your business is eligible please apply here.

Applications will close on Friday 4th December 2020 and Grant payments will be made from Thursday 26th November 2020.

Please note this grant is only for those required to close, not severely impacted, we are working on the grants for businesses that have been severely impacted, this will be available early December.


Grants available for businesses that have been required to close

Applications are now open for the Local Restriction Grant Scheme (LRGS). The grant will only be available to businesses that have been required to close from 5th November 2020 and were registered with Business rates on or before 00.01 on the 5th November 2020. A list of all the business types required to close can be found on the government website here.

Grant payments will be made from Tuesday 17th November 2020 and applications will close on Friday 4th December 2020 in line with lockdown.

A breakdown of the grant awards can be found below:

  • For businesses occupying a property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable Value (RV) of exactly £15,000 or less on the 5th November 2020 will receive a payment of £1,334 per four weeks of closure
  • For businesses occupying a property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable Value (RV) of more than £15,000 but less than £51,000 on the 5th November 2020 will receive a payment of £2,000 per four weeks of closure.
  • For businesses occupying a property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable Value (RV) of  exactly £51,000 or more on the 5th November 2020 will receive a payment of £3,000 per four weeks of closure.

For further information on the eligibility criteria and a list of all documents required to support applications can be found on the NKDC LRSG Policy.

Please note applications to previous funds will not be considered, all eligible businesses are required to make new applications. If you think your business is eligible please apply here.


Further support to businesses

A further grant, the Additional Restrictions Grant (business required to close) is now live, for more details see the NKDC ARG Required to close Policy and to apply see here.

Details of the Additional Restrictions Grant (severely impacted) will be available early December. We will share further updates via our Business NK website, twitter and our dedicated Facebook group.


11/11/2020

The UK Transition: time is running out

With just 50 days to go until the UK’s new start, attend one of our webinars to help prepare your business.

  • Using personal data from 1 January 2021 – 11am, Wednesday 18 November, and the on demand – register here.
  • Business travel and and investing or establishing in the EU – 11am, Wednesday 25 November, and then on demand – register here.

Watch other sector specific webinars on demand here and register for all transition webinars here.

For the latest transition information direct to your inbox, sign up to the Transition Readiness Business Bulletin here.

 

Updated guidance

Guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England: For an updated list of business venues which must close or operate on a restricted basis (e.g., takeaway only) during lockdown in England can be found here.

Guidance for venues: If your venue can stay open during the national restrictions put in place on 5 November 2020 in England, you must follow the guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors in order to support NHS Test and Trace. For more information, please see here.

Guidance for food businesses: Guidance for food businesses in England on how they operate during Covid has been updated to reflect the national restrictions in place from 5 November. Click here for further information.

Guidance for aviation: Further guidance on safer travel and working principles for airports and aviation operators in light of England’s national restrictions in place from 5 November is available here. 

 


 

10/11/2020

Grant help is being set out for businesses affected by the second lockdown, and North Kesteven District Council will distribute the funds locally in our area.

Called the Local Restrictions Support Grant, eligible businesses directly impacted by the four week lockdown will be able to apply for the funding.

The grant will be available to rated operating business hereditaments that are required to close by Government, as set out in the lockdown restrictions. A hereditament must be rated as of 5 November 2020.

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

Applications to previous funds will not be considered – all eligible businesses will be required to make new applications.

We will share details on how to apply as soon as we are able to do so. Please keep checking back to this page for updates.

We will also share updates via BusinessNK at twitter.com/BusinessNK, our dedicated BusinessNK Facebook group and via our business e-newsletters. You can sign up for the newsletters at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/stayconnected

To view the latest information from Government, click here www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-restrictions-support-grants-lrsg-and-additional-restrictions-grant-arg-guidance-for-local-authorities

 

Jobcentre guidance on new national Covid restrictions

From 5 November 2020 until 2 December 2020 in England, the following updated jobcentre guidance will apply to customers, and will ensure essential support is provided whilst keeping colleagues and customers safe.

  • Jobcentres will remain open, as they have throughout this pandemic, to provide essential services and support to those whom we cannot help in any other way.
  • We will ensure that this support continues to be delivered in line with the latest government and PHE guidance – such as maintaining social distancing and rigorous cleaning regimes – keeping our colleagues and customers safe.
  • Customers will continue to be supported by Work Coaches online and over the phone, with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally.
  • Our Work Coaches will continue to deliver employment support programmes such as Kickstart and JETS, by phone or through online channels.
  • Face-to-face assessments for disability benefits remain suspended.
  • If you think you might be entitled to a health and disability benefit, you should contact us as soon as possible to make a claim in the usual way.
  • For existing customers, payments will continue as normal. Anyone who has a change in their needs should contact us immediately so we can ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.

 

Further info here.


 

09/11/2020

Peer Networks is a national peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation for future success.

Delivered locally by Business Lincolnshire, they want to create diverse cohort groups of individuals to collaboratively work through common business issues. Through interactive action learning, they enable you to discuss your own challenges, gain and reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions to overcome them. For more information please see here – .BL Peer Networks_ 2 page flyer.


03/11/2020

Government has announced that England will go back into lockdown for four weeks from Thursday 5 November, to be reviewed following that period.

During this time, the restrictions will:

  1. Require people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Prevent people from gathering with those they do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Require certain businesses and venues to close to prevent contact between people.

The Government has published an indicative list of businesses which will need to close. It can be found here: New national restrictions from 5 November. A brief outline is also given below.

Lockdown will significantly impact local businesses and our teams are on hand to offer assistance, including our Business Advisor for those in need of assistance in understanding the restrictions.

Our BusinessNK team will share further information for businesses, including any updates on grant funding, as it is made available. Keep checking back to this website or follow BusinessNK on Twitter.

Our Environmental Health Team can offer guidance for example where there are queries around takeaway and delivery of food.

Businesses which will need to close include:

  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

Playgrounds can remain open.

Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

A full list of the business closures will be published and set out in law.

Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.

A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:

  • the NHS and medical services like GPs. We are supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.
  • Jobcentre Plus sites
  • Courts
  • Civil Registrations Offices

30/10/2020

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP Employment & Skills ESF Grant Programme

To celebrate the launch of Bishop Grosseteste University’s 2nd round of funding for Employment & Skills ESF Grant Programme they will be hosting a special virtual event on Thursday 5 November to provide information on the grant programme, how it can benefit you and how to apply.

The next round of funding begins in December and is a fantastic opportunity for any third sector organisation and other small organisations who meet the eligibility criteria in the Greater Lincolnshire area. The Greater Lincolnshire LEP Employment & Skills ESF Grant Programme is funded by the European Social Fund and available to third sector and other small organisations who meet the eligibility criteria.

Preference will be given to projects which support people who are long-term unemployed (although any length of unemployment is permitted) or who are distant from the labour market and face multiple disadvantages and profound barriers to work. The event will be taking place over Microsoft Team and you can sign up for your place through the registration form.


29/10/2020

Immigration Rules Changes

The way you hire from the EU is changing. Last week legislation was laid in Parliament setting out a number of changes to the Immigration Rules. These changes provide the foundation for the UK’s new Points-Based Immigration System, which will apply from 1 January 2021 when hiring anyone from outside the UK’s resident labour market.

The Points-Based Immigration System will provide simple, effective and flexible arrangements for UK employers to recruit skilled workers from around the world through a number of different immigration routes. The Skilled Worker Route will open for applications from December 2020. In order to recruit overseas workers through the Skilled Worker Route, you must be registered as a licensed sponsor. Getting a licence normally takes around 8 weeks and fees apply. You can find all the information you need here.

 

Export Academy programme

The Export Academy from the Department for International Trade will help you grow your business by showing you how to sell to new customers around the world.

The course is free, and you’ll learn directly from experts in international trade who are on hand to provide support across a range of sectors and businesses, from selling children’s clothes to Spain, to providing PR services for clients in the US. The programme is designed for owners and senior managers of businesses with a turnover of up to £500,000 and are located in either North of England, Midlands or South West. For more information please see here.


28/10/2020

Guidance for working at home

If you are considering operating a business from home, there are certain considerations you should look into:


27/10/2020

Introducing our new retail adviser

NKDC now offer the service of a Retail Adviser, In addition to his role as business support adviser Phil Means has recently taken on a new position as Retail adviser. He has previously worked in retail management with companies such as Sainsbury’s and Homebase.

Phil’s main responsibility is to support high street businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure, working with them to discuss the challenges they face and what support they require in the current climate, to provide retailers with targeted support. If you operate a high street business and wish to get in touch with any queries please contact Phil. Either call him on 07920 472671 or email [email protected].


21/10/2020

Funding available to help businesses adapt after Covid-19

Has Covid-19 changed the way your business operates? If some new equipment or machinery can help you to adapt, then you could eligible for a grant of up to £25,000 from Grants4Growth. The programme provides funding to help Lincolnshire SMEs make business-boosting purchases that can improve their efficiency, increase turnover and add new members to the team. As an added bonus, they promise you a yes or no answer in just two weeks.

Visit the Grants4Growth website to see if you’re eligible.


20/10/2020

New hotline launched to report COVID fraudsters

A new hotline has been launched to stop fraudsters illegally targeting COVID stimulus schemes. In an initiative between government and the independent charity Crimestoppers, the public can now call a new COVID Fraud Hotline (0800 587 5030) anonymously and free of charge to report suspected fraudulent activity.

Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, you’re under a legal obligation to do so, and could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. This guidance sets out who can claim support and explains how to apply.


14/10/2020

Kickstart Scheme – Funding to create new job placements

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 30 or more job placements: If you are an employer looking to create 30 or more jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 29 or less job placements: If you are an employer looking to create 29 or less jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Help employers apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: New guidance for organisations who want to be a Kickstart gateway and help employers apply for the Kickstart Scheme is available.


13/10/2020

Employment Initiatives

Apprenticeship Incentive To find out more about the incentives to take on a new Apprentice, an employer who wants to find out more can speak to their current local Apprenticeship provider (e.g. College, training provider, University) or contact the national helpline who will explain more about the scheme.

National Apprenticeship Service – Telephone: 0800015 0600, Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/real-stories/employer#

Traineeships – Email the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) or call 0800 015 0600 for advice and support on traineeships.

T Levels – Industry Placement Hotline – Call 08000 150 600 (choose option 4), or email, or visit the website here.

Kickstart – Employers interested in finding out more about Kickstart should contact DWP employer dedicated support here. For further details vist the website here. If you want to take on fewer than 30 placements, find an organisation to support you here.


08/10/2020

The Enterprise Adviser Network

Introducing Debbie Boon, who is the Enterprise Coordinator for North and South Kesteven and Rutland, and a member of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP team. Debbie coordinates the Career and Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network in our area, working with secondary schools and colleges to help them improve their careers programmes to prepare and inspire young people for the fast changing world of work.

Engaging with schools is a wonderful opportunity not only to support your local community and meet your corporate social responsibilities, but also for you to tap into the local workforce of the future, to help shape education so that it reflects the needs of your sector and to promote your business and work sector more widely.

The Enterprise Adviser Network supports this with two initiatives.  Firstly, by inviting senior managers and leaders from business to buddy up with one secondary school to bring the local world of work perspective into the school and to act as a critical friend to the career leader. This is a really rewarding role, and currently there are around 3000 Enterprise Advisers across the UK, and more are needed to help our young people get the careers guidance they deserve.

Another way you can be involved is through the Give and Hour campaign. This is for anyone in an organisation, at any level and in any role, who would be happy to talk to young people about what they do.  Anything from a short talk, offering a mock interview, helping with a project or virtual tour  – to bridge the gap between education and employment, and to link the subjects they are learning to the world of work.  Signing up to the Give an Hour register does not commit you to anything but simply registers that you are happy to be contacted.  You can register at giveanhour.co.uk

If you would like to have an informal chat about the different opportunities for your businesses to engage with schools and colleges, you can contact Debbie  directly at [email protected]


02/10/2020

Jobcentre Plus (DWP) support to employers and employees

Jobcentre Plus (DWP) is providing support and advice to employers and employees in redundancy situations through its Rapid Response Service. Support includes:

  • Helping people facing redundancy to write CVs and find jobs
  • Providing general information about benefits
  • Helping people to find the right training and learn new skills
  • Helping with costs like travel to work expenses

DWP delivers some support and training directly, and works with other local organisations such as National Careers Advice and ESF training schemes, to signpost in the most appropriate way.

Advice is available to all employers regardless of how many staff are at risk of redundancy. Employers should email this dedicated address to find out what redundancy support is available.


01/10/2020

Government to protect small businesses with action on late payments

Consultation launched aimed at giving Small Business Commissioner more power to support businesses and resolve late payment issues

  • Government proposals to give more powers to the Small Business Commissioner (SBC) to help small firms with late payment
  • Proposed new powers include ordering businesses to pay in good time and issuing fines if they do not, ordering companies to share information on payment practices and the power to launch investigations
  • £23.4 billion worth of late payments currently owed to small businesses in the UK, impacting on cash flow and threatening the survival of small firms during the COVID-19 pandemic

Further details here.


29/09/2020

EU Exit Support from the East Midlands Growth Hubs

The EU Exit Support Programme is a package of 1:1 and webinar/workshop support for businesses across the East Midlands, delivered by The Export Department and fully-funded by the East Midlands Growth Hubs: Business Gateway, D2N2 and Business Lincolnshire.

This support is open to all businesses across the East Midlands who have been or are likely to be impacted by the UK leaving the EU and the end of the Transition Period on 31st December 2020.

Webinars cover a raft of relevant subjects, including but not limited to, the impact of the new Border Operating Model, the new UK Global Tariff, the NI Protocol, and much more.

Dedicated 1:1 support will focus on identifying and addressing vulnerabilities unique to participating businesses’ operating models.For more information and to book please see here.


28/09/2020

New legal duty to self-isolate came into force on Monday

From today, people in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

  • Legal duty to self-isolate comes into force on Monday 28 September, to ensure compliance and reduce spread of COVID-19
  • Support is now available for people on low incomes who are unable to work while self-isolating through the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment
  • Fines for those breaking the rules now in place starting at £1,000 and increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offenders

The need to self-isolate can cause financial pressures for those on low incomes and the self-employed. As a result of this the Government is providing a new Test and Trace Support Payment of a £500 lump sum payment for those on low incomes to support them if they cannot work during their self-isolation period.

Applications for this grant are now live through North Kesteven District Council website for those who have lost earned income due to having to self-isolate by law. There are a number of criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for the fund. For more information please see here.

 


24/09/2020

Chancellor’s Winter Economy Statement – Support to Business in Summary

From the 1st November and lasting for 6 months, the Job Support Scheme will open. It will protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand due to the pandemic. To be eligible employees must work a minimum of 33% of their hours. Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work, but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will pay one third of their equivalent salary. All employers will be allowed to apply, even if they did not use the furlough scheme.

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme extension will support viable traders who are facing reduced demand over the winter months, covering 20% of average monthly trading profits via a government grant

Businesses who have borrowed under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be offered the choice of more time and greater flexibility for their repayments.

Lenders have been enabled to offer coronavirus business interruption loan schemes borrowers more time to make their repayments where needed. The application for all coronavirus loan schemes has extended to 30 November.

Businesses who deferred their VAT will no longer have to pay a lump sum at the end of March 2021 and can instead split it into smaller interest free payments over the course of 11 months.

The 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors has been extended to the end of March 2021.


23/09/2020

Coronavirus  What has changed – 22 September

The government has yesterday announced further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England.

It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

  • HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
  • FACE – Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.

There has been changes to the rules around:

Working from home

To help contain the virus, office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work. The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

Businesses

  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site (from 24 September).
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September).
  • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
  • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
  • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
  • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

22/09/2020

New package to support and enforce self-isolation

People will be required by law to self-isolate from 28 September, supported by payment of £500 for those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result. New fines for those breaching self-isolation rules will start at £1,000 – bringing this in line with the penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel – but could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and for the most egregious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.

For example, this could include business owners who threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not come to work, sending a clear message that this will not be tolerated. Full details here.


16/09/2020

Supply Chain Improvement Programme

COVID-19 and the EU exit mean it’s a turbulent time for Greater Lincolnshire SMEs. Whether customer demand has lessened or suppliers can no longer satisfy orders, external forces are having an unprecedented impact on supply chains.

Business Lincolnshire are offering a Supply Chain Improvement Programme to help get manufacturing businesses back on track. Their experts will use their insight to help you take control of your supply chain, as well as mitigate risks and take advantage of the opportunities presented to your manufacturing business. For more information please see here (9.2020 Supply chain flyer (003)

 

Manufacturing Transformation Programme

This new and fully funded programme of business support from the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub is designed to help Lincolnshire & Rutland manufacturers recover from the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions, prepare for its future economic consequences and at the same time become more efficient and continue to grow and thrive.

The programme consists of an opportunity assessment with a Business Consultant to identify areas for business development or improvement, up to nine months of Business Coaching support to help make changes or implement improvements and the opportunity to take part in a variety of short targeted training workshops aimed at addressing specific business skills. BLincs Manufacturing Transformation Programme flier long (003)


14/09/2020

Businesses urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across England and Wales are being urged to download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of new app.

  • The NHS COVID-19 app is currently being trialled and will launch on Thursday 24 September in England and Wales, including QR check-in at venues
  • QR codes will be an important way for NHS Test and Trace in England and NHS Test, Trace, Protect in Wales to contact multiple people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues

Businesses across England and Wales like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

The move comes ahead of a national launch of the NHS COVID-19 app across England and Wales on Thursday 24 September.

The government will be supporting businesses and venues to display the QR codes, which can be downloaded via a website to display as posters in premises.


11/09/2020

Your efforts in protecting employees and customers have been vital in keeping communities safe from Covid. Cumulatively, since the start of the pandemic to today, we’re among 25 local authority areas across the country to have had the lowest total numbers of cases.

Figures show however there’s been an increase in cases in the District, to a total of 27 in the week ending 6 September, and we must protect each other by lowering this number.

Please keep focusing on your efforts to protect colleagues and customers, whichever sector or setting you may be in. It is critical that everybody observes the following: 

  • HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds. 
  • FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. 
  • SPACE – Stay two metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place.

 

Test and Trace is key to stemming transmission of the virus

Following the change to social gatherings, the Test and Trace data collection programme will be formally mandated from 18 September. 

Further guidance will be set out by Government specifying the settings included but the scope will cover hospitality, such as pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes, contact services and other tourism and leisure venues. Venues could be fined if they fail to ensure their premises remain COVID-secure, such as failing to collect contact information or taking bookings for groups of more than six. More here.

There is a free, downloadable NHS Customer Logging Toolkit here. If you need help in understanding and implementing this, you can contact our Environmental Health Team at [email protected]


10/09/2020

East Midlands EU Exit Support Programme

The EU Exit Support Programme is a package of individual and webinar/workshop support for businesses across the East Midlands, delivered by The Export Department and fully-funded by the East Midlands Growth Hubs: Business Gateway, D2N2 and Business Lincolnshire.

This support is open to all businesses across the East Midlands who have been or are likely to be impacted by the UK leaving the EU and the end of the Transition Period on 31st December 2020.

Webinars cover a raft of relevant subjects, including but not limited to, the impact of the new Border Operating Model, the new UK Global Tariff, the NI Protocol, and much more.

Dedicated support will focus on identifying and addressing vulnerabilities unique to participating businesses’ operating models. As a minimum, discussions will cover:-

  • International contracts and Incoterms
  • Customs declarations and documentation
  • Customs valuation
  • Commodity codes and the new Global Tariff
  • Regulation and licensing
  • Country of origin protocols
  • Existing Continuity and Mutual Recognition Agreements
  • Trading under preference
  • Complex supply chains

Overriding focus of individual time will be to optimally prepare businesses for changes that will take effect from the 1st January 2021 so that trade can continue with as little disruption as possible.

The link for Eventbrite is listed here and will be available on the Business Lincolnshire website soon.


09/09/2020

Bounce-back plans launched for consumer and retail industry

A ‘bounce-back’ plan of trade measures for the consumer and retail industry has been announced to help support businesses impacted by Coronavirus.

Exports Minister, Graham Stuart MP, has announced a series of new measures to support businesses in the consumer and retail industry to export overseas as part of efforts to help the sector recover from Coronavirus.

The new measures will offer immediate support to businesses by ensuring specialists provide advice on online retail and international market-places. Additionally, the launch of a new Consumer and Retail Export Academy will provide businesses with the critical knowledge, skills and networks needed to increase exports.


08/09/2020

Local grant funding scheme Grants4Growth are celebrating their 200th grant claim.

The programme, managed by South Holland District Council, provides grants of between £1,000 and £25,000 to SMEs across Lincolnshire. The funding can be used to purchase capital equipment and machinery to help businesses grow, whether they want to increase efficiency, boost sales, reduce costs or add new members to their team. Can Grants4Growth help your business to grow? Visit the website to find out more.


04/09/2020

Kickstart Scheme opens for employer applications

The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.

Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Find more guidance and promotional materials here.


02/09/2020

New payment for people self-isolating in highest risk areas

Workers on low incomes who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home in areas with high incidence of COVID-19 can benefit from a new payment scheme where individuals must meet the following criteria:-

  • Have tested positive for Covid-19 or received a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate
  • Have agreed to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace and provided contact details to the local authority.
  • Be employed or self-employed.
  • Be unable to work from home (checks will be undertaken on all applicants) and will lose income a result
  • Be currently receiving Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit.

More information is available here.


01/09/2020

NHS Test and Trace successfully reaches almost 300,000 people

The latest weekly statistics show that the service has consistently reached the vast majority of those testing positive and their contacts in 3 months of operation. Where contact details are shared, contact tracers have reached 88.3% of contacts since the service launched and the number of people coming forward for a test has increased by 57% since mid-June.

 

 


26/08/2020

Innovate UK launches four-year design strategy

The UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, has published a strategy that seeks to encourage and support excellent design in innovation. The document, ‘Design in Innovation strategy, 2020-2024’, recognises that the UK is a world-leader in design excellence and there are great opportunities for business to realise more value by tapping into that capability and embedding design within their processes and culture.

Yet there are barriers to progress. It is not good enough for an idea to be technically feasible, it must also be desirable and fit-for-purpose. To address this, Innovate UK will launch a programme that will meet business need under four themes:

  • Making the case for investment in design
  • Reducing the cost of entry for those new to design
  • Helping businesses access the best design talent
  • Helping businesses maximise the value contribution of design

Further details here.

 

Customer logging toolkit

If you are a business or organisation which has been advised to collect customer, staff and visitor details a customer logging toolkit is now available here.


25/08/2020

Culture Recovery Fund saves 135 grassroots music venues with emergency grants

135 at risk grassroots music venues have been saved by emergency funding as part of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

  • £2.25m funding topped up by more than £1 million to help more venues in need of support to survive
  • Recipients of the fund include The Troubadour in London, where Adele and Ed Sheeran performed in the early days of their career, as well as The Jacaranda in Liverpool, where The Beatles played early rehearsals and one of their first gigs
  • Arts, film and culture organisations encouraged to get their bids in for a share of £880 million worth of grants through Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund

24/08/2020

Extension on ban evictions and notice periods

The ban on evictions is extended for another 4 weeks and new 6 month notice periods will be in place until at least 31 March 2021.

Once eviction hearings restart, the judiciary will carefully prioritise the most serious cases including those involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse. Further details here.

 

Funding available through the Culture Recovery Fund

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have published guidance that pulls together the various schemes under the £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund that is open for applications at the moment. They include:

  • Arts Council England Grants- £500m grants for cultural organisations that are at risk of failure because of COVID-19 and who need funding of up to £3m
  • Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas – £30m for independent cinemas who provide a year round film programme, that are at risk of failure because of COVID-19
  • Arts Council England Repayable Finance – £270m repayable finance for cultural organisations that are at risk of failure because of COVID-19 and who need funding of over £3m
  • Historic England – £50m heritage stimulus fund (capital) to restart vital construction and maintenance projects on heritage sites, stalled due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19
  • Arts Council England Capital – capital expenditure funding for existing Arts Council capital grant holders who can demonstrate a capital funding shortfall due to COVID-19.

Read the guidance here



13/08/2020

Businesses urged to sign up to offer green homes improvements

Alok Sharma calls on tradespeople to step forward and sign up to be able to offer services through the government’s new Green Homes Grants scheme – as over 1,000 businesses across the country have already applied.

The £2 billion Green Homes Grant Scheme will see the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements up to £10,000 to make over 600,000 homes across the country more energy efficient, supporting over 100,000 jobs in green construction, cutting carbon emissions and helping people save money on their energy bills. Further details here.

 


11/08/2020

Government extends coronavirus support for buses and trams, total funding tops £700 million

Bus and tram services in England are to receive extra support worth up to £256 million.

  • Government is extending coronavirus support for bus and tram operators across England as part of wider efforts to safely get people back to education and work spaces.
  • The new model will provide rolling support for bus operators with up to £218.4 million guaranteed over the next 8 weeks.
  • Five tram systems in the North and Midlands to receive funding of up to £37.4 million over the next 12 weeks.

Further details can be found here.


10/08/2020

New funding to double nursing apprentices and help deliver 50,000 more nurses

A new government package worth £172 million will help to train thousands more nursing degree apprentices.

  • Nursing careers will be made more accessible through ‘earn and learn’ route.
  • Up to 2,000 nursing apprentices are to be trained every year for the next 4 years.

Nursing careers in England will be made more accessible through a new government package worth up to £172 million, which will enable healthcare employers to take on up to 2,000 nursing degree apprentices every year over the next 4 years.

 

 

Job Retention Bonus

The government is introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment, after the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020.

The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021.

Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between the 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021. Find out more information about the Job Retention Bonus here. Full guidance will be published by the end of September.


4/08/2020

£20 million to improve small business leadership and problem-solving skills in the wake of coronavirus

Two new leadership programmes to help small business leaders grow their companies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic launched on Monday (3 August).

  • Government investment in small business training, management and productivity
  • £20 million commitment at critical time for small businesses dealing with the impact of coronavirus
  • Interested small business leaders are encouraged to sign up

The Small Business Leadership Programme will focus on strengthening decision-makers’ leadership skills, so they are able to address management challenges, some of which, such as remote working, have arisen from coronavirus. The programme will equip business leaders with the confidence and leadership skills to plan for the future of their business, and ensure that they are in a great position to recover from the impacts of coronavirus. Further details can be found here.

 


31/07/2020

Applications open for £50 million funding to boost UK customs intermediaries

HMRC is encouraging customs intermediaries and traders who make their own declarations to take advantage of the funding now. From Wednesday (29 July 2020), customs intermediaries can apply for £50 million of new funding, first announced in June 2020, to increase their capacity to make declarations ahead of 2021.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which is running the scheme, is encouraging customs intermediaries and traders who make their own declarations to take advantage of the funding now. Further details can be found here.

 

More businesses set to benefit from government loan scheme

Changes to state aid rules as a result of UK Government and industry lobbying mean that more small businesses can now benefit from loans of up to £5 million under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), it was announced yesterday (30th July 2020).

Previously businesses which were classed as ‘undertakings in difficulty’ were unable to access CBILS because of EU rules. From today, businesses in this category and which have fewer than 50 employees and a turnover of less than £9 million can apply to CBILS.

  • government expects lenders to make changes in approvals processes
  • over 57,000 businesses have benefitted from £12.6 billion of support through CBILS to date

Further details here: https://bit.ly/3faa5oM

 


30/07/2020

£20 million in new grants to boost recovery of small businesses

Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from £20 million of new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has today (30 July 2020) announced.

  • Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government announces £20 million new funding to help businesses across England get back on track.
  • Small and medium sized businesses in England can access grants between £1,000 – £5,000 for new equipment and technology and specialist advice
  • Minister confirms new support while visiting businesses and local leaders across Cornwall

Further details here: https://bit.ly/30elrnv

 

‘Jump-start’ for UK’s leading creative industries

In a major move to jump start the country’s cultural and creative sectors following lockdown, the Culture Secretary has announced the launch of a Government-backed scheme worth half a billion pounds for domestic film and TV productions struggling to get coronavirus-related insurance.

  • Government announces new £500 million scheme to kickstart film and television production struggling to secure insurance for Covid-related costs
  • Further detail also released on how £880 million of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will support cultural, arts and heritage organisations
  • British Film Institute, Arts Council England, Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund publish guidance and criteria for applicants

Further details here: https://bit.ly/333J9o8

 

Penalties for not telling HMRC about Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant overpayments

If you’ve received a grant but were not eligible or you’ve been overpaid, find out what penalties you may have to pay if you do not tell HMRC.

Find out more about when you may have to pay a penalty and other information, including:

  • how HMRC decides how much the penalty will be
  • when you may have to pay a penalty
  • how to appeal against a penalty

Further details here: https://bit.ly/3gaAIey


29/07/2020

PM kickstarts £2bn cycling and walking revolution

Prime Minister Boris Johnson launches ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking.

  • PM launches government’s most ambitious plans yet to boost cycling and walking
  • Vision commits to thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for any child or adult, and first ever zero-emission transport city
  • Launch comes alongside the initial release of £50 bike repair vouchers tonight to encourage more people to enjoy the benefits of active travel

Further details can be found here.


28/07/2020

Government to cut red tape for farmers as they plan for 2021

Farmers in England are set to benefit from a reduced administrative burden next year, as the government plans to end the need to comply with the EU-delivered so-called greening requirements and begin the move towards our new Environmental Land Management scheme, which will deliver greater benefits for the environment. Further details can be found here.

 

Innovative nuclear competition launch – are you ready for the challenge?

A £3.9 million competition is today being launched to find innovative ways to sort and segregate radioactive waste at some of the UK’s oldest nuclear sites. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority – including Sellafield Ltd and Magnox Ltd – has teamed up with Innovate UK to call on companies to come up with new ideas and innovative approaches to the challenge.

It is open to any interested organisations – they don’t have to be from a nuclear background – to form consortia and develop a plan to address the challenge. It involves work at Sellafield and several Magnox nuclear reactor sites – the UK’s first generation of nuclear reactor. Further details here: https://bit.ly/3hHtFdt

 

 


 

 

The Better Business for All toolkit

The Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership has used their knowledge and expertise to bring together resources from trusted organisations to help guide businesses through the main considerations for restarting your business safely.

This COVID-19 Toolkit provides useful documents such as a risk assessment template and action plan, business checklists and useful guides to help you.

The Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership COVID-19 Toolkit_ aims to help Lincolnshire businesses become COVID-19 secure, resume trading safely, and protect their staff and customers as lockdown is eased.

 


 

Government scheme to help universities in financial difficulties

Universities facing severe financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus will now be able to apply for further Government support, the Education Secretary announced yesterday (Thursday 16 July).

Gavin Williamson has announced details of a new restructuring regime, specifically for higher education providers, such as universities and colleges in England, that could be at risk of insolvency. The scheme aims to support the important role universities play in their local economies, and preserve the country’s science base. Full details can be found here.

 

Government acts to protect jobs in every part of the UK

The UK government has yesterday (16 July) laid out plans to deliver on its manifesto commitment to ensure businesses across the whole of the United Kingdom will continue to enjoy seamless internal trade, as they have done for centuries, when we leave the transition period at the end of the year. From 1 January 2021, powers in at least 70 policy areas previously exercied at an EU level will flow directly to the devolved

From 1 January 2021, powers in at least 70 policy areas previously exercised at an EU level will flow directly to the devolved administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast for the first time. This will give the devolved administrations power over more issues than they have ever had before, without removing any of their current powers.

 Full details can be found here: https://bit.ly/3jclrvD

 


13/07/2020

Major new campaign to prepare UK for end of the tranisition period

Today (13 July) the government is launching a major new public information campaign, ‘The Uk’s new start: let’s get going’. It will clearly set out the actions businesses and indivuals need to take to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and ensure they are ready to seixe the opportunities that it will bring. Full details can be found here.

 

Trade and Agriculture Commission membership announced

Retailers, farming unions, consumer, hospitality and environmental bodies from across the UK have been named as members of the Government’s new Trade and Agriculture Commission. It will be chaired by food safety expert Tim Smith, a former Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency and Tesco Group Technical Director.

It will report directly to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, advising on:

  • Trade policies the Government should adopt to secure opportunities for UK farmers, while ensuring the sector remains competitive and that animal welfare and environmental standards in food production are not undermined
  • Advancing and protecting British consumer interests and those of developing countries
  • How the UK engages the WTO to build a coalition that helps advance higher animal welfare standards across the world
  • Developing trade policy that identified and opens up new export opportunities for the UK agricultural industry – in particular for SMEs – and that benefits the UK economy as a whole

Full details can be found here.

 

 


06/07/2020

£10m Tourism SME Kickstart Fund

Government confirms £10 million fund for SME tourism businesses in England that will provide grants of up to £5,000 to help them adapt their businesses following the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses can use the funding to pay for specialist professional advice such as human resources, legal or financial expertise, to adopt new technology and online systems or to purchase new equipment. There is no match-funding requirement. Please see here for further information.


 

Coronavirus guidance for Companies House customers, employees and suppliers

Companies House has robust plans in place to maintain services for our customers and protect the welfare of our employees during the coronavirus outbreak. In response to the spread of the virus, we’re closely following government guidelines. The situation is dynamic and is changing quickly, and we’re continuing to monitor and adapt our services accordingly.For further information please see here. 


29/06/2020

Visit Lincoln in collaboration with Lincolnshire County Council tourism teams has produced a short video and guidance on reopening for the Hospitality sector following a high demand for information and clarity. Visit here for more information.


24/06/2020

DIT and DEFRA announcement on Food Trade support

A ‘bounce back’ plan of trade measures for the agriculture, food and drink industry has been announced today to help support businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus. The new strategic interventions jointly announced by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will offer immediate support to help businesses in the industry grow their trade activity overseas.

The measures introduced will support producers, manufacturers and agri -tech companies across the food supply chain, from farm to fork as follows:-

  • Package of measures designed to turbo charge UK food and drink as the world recovers from coronavirus
  • The plan will provide unprecedented help for SMEs and allow them to capitalise on trade agreements being negotiated by DIT with Japan, US, Australia and New Zealand
  • Designed in conjunction with business and the devolved administrations, the plan will be driven jointly by DEFRA and DIT

Read the press release here with more information to follow.


 


22/06/2020

New tool to help businesses identify whether they can reopen safely

The UK Government has developed a tool to help businesses in England to reopen safely during coronavirus.  This tool encourages businesses to carry out a risk assessment and helps to identify the workplace adjustments that they should make. Employers have the legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site, such as customers and visitors. This tool will help businesses to easily find out what they should do. Employees can also use this tool to check what their workplace needs to do to keep people safe.  The tool can be found here.

 

Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus

Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help businesses deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.  UK Government’s YouTube video about how to make a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme claim has been updated.  Find more information here.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): impact on HM Land Registry’s services.

HM Land Registry has issued an update on how they are delivering their services during the coronavirus outbreak.  Latest change covers how conveyancers can request an application to be expedited’ and added a new section titled: ‘Cancellation dates on expedited applications’.  Find more information here.


19/06/2020

Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus

Temporary changes to the VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 to help businesses manage their cash flow.For more information please see here.


 

 

Recovery Roundtables update

Business Secretary Alok Sharma chaired a series of economic recovery roundtables over the last week (10-13 June), bringing together businesses, business representative organisations, regulations and leading academics. Discussions focused on the measures necessary to support economic recovery and ensure we have the right opportunities in place for growth across the country over the next 18 months and beyond. The organisations that participated in the roundtables, alongside the questions that participants were asked to address can be found here.


 


11/06/2020

Now that businesses are starting to operate again there are some key fire and safety matters for employers to consider.

On your return to work it may be necessary to review your Fire Risk Assessment to ensure that it is current and reflects the way your business now operates. Consider changes such as working practices, stock levels, alterations made to the premises and staff numbers. It is essential that assessments are undertaken and reviewed where there are significant changes in ways of working, processes or building layout. This may include the holding open of fire doors with unsuitable devices, this is not permitted.

Ensure that your escape routes remain available and open correctly – remember, they may have seized up whilst not in use. If you share an escape route remember that those other businesses may not be open. This should be supported with adequate escape signage and lighting to identify the escape routes to be used in event of fire.

Due to the potential increased stock and the period of closure, the amount of rubbish you generate may increase. Care should be taken when dealing with this rubbish as accumulated rubbish outside of the building provides a potential target for arson which could damage your business.

Where staff numbers have changed, businesses must ensure that they continue to provide appropriate staff training. If you haven’t undertaken staff training for some time, on your return ensure that all staff know what to do in a fire situation. If those people with specific tasks have not returned to work, ensure that other suitably trained staff are available. You must consider the needs of lone workers and their fire safety.

Whilst you have been closed have you maintained your premises fire safety features, i.e. fire alarm, fire extinguisher and emergency lighting? Timely maintenance is vital for the safety of your business and those that use the premises.

 

Business Secretary launches working groups to help unleash Britains growth potential

Business Secretary Alok Sharma is creating 5 new business-focused groups to unleash Britain’s growth potential and create jobs, as part of the government’s plans to help the economy bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. For further deatils please see here.


22/05/2020

Apprenticeship programme response

Updated with information on training and assessing apprentices in line with the Government’s new safer working guidelines, calculating wages for furloughed apprentices, off-the-job training, and redundant apprentices.


21/05/2020

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to launch online 26th May

Employers are eligible to use the scheme if:

  • They’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • They had a PAYE payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020
  • They had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020
  • They’re eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework

To prepare to make a claim, employers should keep records of all the SSP payments they wish to claim for. For more information about eligibility and how employers can prepare to use the scheme, please visit GOV.UK and search ‘Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

National Cyber Security Centre (NSCS) Covid-19 SME Guidance

NCSC has today published guidance to support businesses moving from physical to digital delivery as part of the ongoing Covid-19 response. The guidance has been created specifically to support businesses who are relying more heavily on IT services to run their businesses. The NCSC is committed to equipping all UK businesses with the best cyber security advice. The support package includes guidance on home working, video teleconferencing and spotting email scams related to Covid-19. All additional and pre-existing guidance for business can be found on the NCSC webpage.

 


20/05/2020

 

£40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups

Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced today (20 May 2020) the government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20 million.

The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups – helping to build the businesses of tomorrow and propel their future prosperity. For more information on the competition please see here.


19/05/2020

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments in emails you weren’t expecting. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HRMC to [email protected] and texts to 60599.

 

 

 


15/05/2020

Government to support businesses through Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government. The Government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment. HMG’s Trade Credit Insurance (TCI) guarantee will cover over £171 billion business activity currently insured and the transactions between around 13000 suppliers and 650,000 buyers. You can find further information here.

 

 

National Business Response Network are connecting business support to community needs in the Covid-19 crisis. This platform allows businesses to offer support on behalf of their business and allows registered charities, businesses, health and governmental agencies to request support on behalf on an oragnisation.

The latest guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary community and social enterprise organisations. This guidance will outline how businesses can offer services, funds and volunteers to civil society during the coronavirus outbreak.


 

 

A new fund will enable dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Please see here for more information on the new funding to support dairy farmers through Covid-19.


 

 

Reporting suspicious emails 

We are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. Eligible customers will be invited to claim through the GOV.UK – it is the only service they can use. If someone gets in touch with clients claiming to be from HRMC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks them to click on a link or to give information such as their name, credit card or bank details, they should not respond. It is a scam.

Suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC should be reported by sending them to [email protected]. Texts should be sent to 60599.

 


 


1/05/2020

Visit lincoln have created a blog, the purpose being to give a county platform for businesses and consumer to see the latest tourism/leisure/retail news. The Visit Lincolnshire consumer blog is on the homepage navigation and can be accessed here. The Visit Lincolnshire Business/Corporate blog can be accessed here.


28/04/2020

New measures to protect high street shops from aggressive rent collection

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic. Government to introduce temporary new measures to safeguard the UK high street against aggressive debt recovery actions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new temporary measures:

  • Statutory demands and winding up petitions issued to commercial tenants are to be temporarily voided;
  • Changes are to be made to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery, building on measures already introduced in the Coronavirus Act;
  • Landlords and investors are being asked to work collaboratively with businesses unable to pay their bills

For more details about this announcement, please see here.


 

 

Protecting businesses from COVID-19 scams

Malicious email attachments, false government grant phone calls and CEO impersonation scams are among a raft of scams undermining businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing risk has led National Trading Standards to launch Businesses Against Scams – a free online training tool to protect businesses, employees and customers from costly scams.

With remote working and many businesses having to stop or diversify their trading practices, criminals are seizing the opportunity to target employees who are isolated from colleagues. Scams include criminals impersonating government officials or a senior member of the business in order to put pressure on employees to give out sensitive information or make payments.

The increased risk for businesses has led National Trading Standards to encourage more businesses to join Businesses Against Scams. The initiative provides free tools for businesses to help upskill and train their workforce, through free online training modules that will help staff identify and prevent potential scams. Businesses can take the training and sign up here.

If a business believes they have been the victim of a scam they must contact their bank immediately and report any suspicious activity to Action Fraud here or by calling 0300 123 2040. Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from Scamsmart, CIFAS, TakeFive, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre. There is bespoke advice about COVID-19 fraud on the Action Fraud website.

 

 



23/04/2020

Financial support for education and childcare

Funding and financial support available for education, childcare and children’s social care organisations. For more information please see here.

 


21/04/2020

Billion pound support package for innovative firms affected by coronavirus

UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package, the Chancellor announced today. The comprehensive package includes a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.

The Future Fund will issue convertible loans to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The scheme will be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and will launch in May 2020. Find out more about the scheme here.


 

 

 

Mental Health support

In such difficult and unpredictable times it’s important to know you’re not alone. GLLEP have assembled a range of mental health resources to support people during this challenging times. If talking to another person can help, call Lincolnshire’s new Mental Health Helpline now on 0800 001 4331 which is open 24/7.

Workforce Matters has also released several resources to help keep your mental wellbeing in check. From tips on coping with social isolation and the move to working from home, to advice for leaders hoping to guide your team during this period of uncertainty, these resources are available to download on the GLLEP website here.

For more resources and advice on taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust’s website.


17/04/2020

Covid-19 Cyber and Fraud Protect messages

Advice has been collated by the East Midlands Special Organisations Unit (EMSOU) and is intended to raise awareness among businesses and the public. Advice and information is changing daily as the EMSOU naviagte their way throught the Covid-19 pandemic, so please ensure you only take information from reputable sources.

The topic is specifically Cloud services and covers some tips on how to select a cloud provider, and the importance of checking your security responsibilities. The docment also offers advice on ‘hot topics’ and reporting. Please see here for the comprehensive COVID19 Cyber and Fraud Information Sheet.

 


 

 


14/04/2020

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP are working closely with businesses, facilitators and government to support the Covid19 impact on the food chain and support the food sector to continue feeding the nation. The two schemes which are widely promoted and operating now remain as Feed the Nation and SWAP. Deliver to the Nation and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport are also two additional logistics schemes now fully operational. For the latest updates on the schemes please visit the Greater Lincolnshire LEP https://www.greaterlincolnshirelep.co.uk/

 

A range of initiatives, advice and support mechanisms are being developed and delivered to help businesses across North Kesteven respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. As the Government announces ever more measures, grants and relief schemes, Council officers are making sense of them and shaping services and support to help traders to navigate their changing circumstances.

 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The British Business Bank will manage the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which will become available in the week commencing 23 March 2020. It will be delivered through a range of over 40 accredited lenders and offer attractive terms for both businesses applying for new facilities and lenders, with the aim of supporting the continued provision of finance to UK businesses experiencing increased costs or disruptions to cashflow during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.  The Government will cover the first twelve months of interest payments and any facility arrangement fees charged by lenders, so businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m. Note that the borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.  To find out more about the CBILS and to share information with the various SMEs you work with, please go to: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/CBILS

Any business interested in applying to CBILS should talk to their bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss their business plan with them. This will help the finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched.

In addition to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme the government has announced a series of other measures to help businesses. For more information please visit the government’s Covid-19 business support website.

 

Latest advice

For the latest advice and support available for businesses please see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

The advice covers the package of temporary, timely and targeted measures the Chancellor has set out to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.