• COVID-19 Support

    COVID-19 Support

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Covid-19 Business impact survey 2020 

NKDC are conducting a survey with the aim to improve our services for businesses, identify how Covid-19 has impacted your business and understand what support the Council can offer going forward. To complete the survey please use this link https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=159783891554


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.


Businesses required to display QR codes

From today, Thursday 24 September, certain venues must by law display official NHS QR code posters.

QR codes should be displayed if:

  • A venue provides hospitality services, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés.
  • A venue provides tourism and leisure services, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos, etc.
  • A venue provides close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors.
  • At facilities provided by Local Authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres.
  • At places of worship, including use for events and other community activities.

Venues outside these categories but which have space for people to meet are encouraged to create a QR code poster.

For information to help businesses and venues please see here. To create a QR code for your business see here.


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 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.


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.

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)


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.


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.


As you’ll know, there have been some key announcements this week

Social gatherings of more than six, indoors or outdoors, will be illegal from Monday 14 September. This applies in both private and public spaces. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but these groups of up to six must not mix. 

Education and work settings are unaffected. Organised Covid safe team sports can proceed, as will weddings and funerals up to 30. More information here. The official Government guidance for working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) has been updated.

Additional specialised advice has also been updated, including guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services and visitor economy guidance.

You may also find these useful: 


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]


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.


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.


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.


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.


The Kickstarting Grant has closed

Applications for the Kickstart fund launched on Thursday 3 September. Interest in this grant has been extremely high since its announcement by central government, and it was therefore expected that demand would be significantly higher than the amount of grant available. Business Lincolnshire has provided an update on the closure of the funding

In order to provide a fair process for all businesses the window for expressions of interest was opened at 9am Thursday 3rd September 2020 precisely. Within 1hr of being open over 400 expressions of interest were received, which by themselves would significantly exceed the total value of grant available should only a proportion of them submit full application.

The decision has therefore been made to close the grant for applications. It is expected that with the volume of demand already received that once full applications have been processed from those businesses who submitted an interest that there will be no further funding available. However, if this is not the case an additional window for expressions of interest will be opened and businesses will be notified through our communications channels.


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.


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.


Changes to the Job Retention Scheme

From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. You can read more information about the changes.

Unless you’re making a new claim for an employee who is a military reservist or is returning from statutory parental leave, you can only continue to claim through the scheme if:

  • You have previously furloughed the employee for 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June
  • You submitted your claim before 31 July

Information about the Job Retention Bonus was published on 31 July.

Business Grant Funds are now closed

We are no longer able to accept any applications for the Small Buisness Grant Fund, If any future funding opportunities arise we will share them here as well as in our e-newsletter, which you can sign up to here.


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.


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


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

Business Grant Funds programme closure

£20,040,000 grants have been made to 1,785 businesses. These grants have been vital to our local economy – helping ensure the survival of shops, cafes, hotels, restaurants and many other businesses. We are in the final stages of this programme. The vast majority of eligible businesses have now claimed grant funding.

If you were registered with business rates on or before the 11 March and in receipt of small business rates relief and have not received a grant please contact [email protected] with your business name, premises address and business rates account number and we can determine eligibility. The cut-off date for applications is 5pm on Monday 24 August.


Further lockdown easing

The plan set out in the ‘roadmap to recovery’ which was paused for two weeks will resume from Saturday 15 August in England – except for specific areas where local restrictions are in place.

  • Indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences under updated performing arts guidance published by the Government.
  • Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal in a COVID-secure location for up to 30 guests will now be permitted.
  • The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume from August 15 with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October.
  • Indoor play and indoor soft play, bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will be permitted to reopen.
  • Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services – including front of the face treatments such as eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments and facials from August 15 under new guidance.
  • A number of pilots will now take place at event venues across the country to help plan how best to restart indoor business events and implement social distancing practices. Business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October provided rates of infection remain at current levels.


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.


Free Instagram course for tourism businesses

Business Lincolnshire and Visit Lincoln are offering a fully funded online Instagram course to encourage tourism businesses to develop their online marketing skills.

Visit Lincoln are keen to support businesses to take user-generated content to a new level and give visitors around the world the ability to actually book inspirational places and activities locally. For more information and to book a place see here.


HMRC Webinars

HMRC has posted a new webinar regarding the recent changes to the SEISS scheme whereby some parents can now claim support (mainly around the issues of maternity/paternity leave). This and a range of other webinars are available here.

HMRC are also inviting people to attend future webinars on a range of subjects. Each webinar (except the Sick Pay Scheme) has a series of alternative dates. If you would like to attend you can register via the links below.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – claiming the second grant

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Universal Credit and Child Benefit

Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme


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.


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.


How to reclaim “Eat Out to Help Out” money

The Government has produced new guidance for businesses on the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme which provides further details on:

  • When businesses can make a claim
  • The records that businesses will need to keep, including the number of covers being claimed for and the amount of discount that they were given

Under the scheme, businesses can make up to 5 claims before 30 September but is important to note that VAT needs to be paid on the full amount of the customer’s bill before the discount is applied.


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.


£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.



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


Extra university places for vital courses announced

Extra university places for engineering, science and nursing courses have been made available for September, the Universities Minister announced yesterday.

Michelle Donelan has confirmed that the Government has approved over 9,000 additional places at UK universities for courses that will deliver vital services, support the economy and generate positive outcomes for students and the taxpayer.

As part of the Government’s aim to drive an increase in science and innovation and encourage STEM subject take-up, it has approved more than 1,300 extra university places for engineering courses, 756 places for bio-sciences and almost 500 for maths courses.

Further details here: https://bit.ly/2X9xekW


£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


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.


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


Updated workplace guidance for going to work

Workplace guidance has been updated to reflect the Prime Minister’s statement (17 July), which highlighted that the government’s advice on going to work will change from 1 August. From this date, employers should ensure workplaces are safe whilst also enabling working from home.

In order to keep the virus under control, it is important that people work safely. Working from home remains one way to do this. However, the risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely.

Employers should consult with their employees to determine who, from the 1 August 2020, can come into the workplace safely taking account of a person’s use of public transport, childcare responsibilities, protected characteristics, and other individual circumstances. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

When it is decided that workers should come into their place of work then this will need to be reflected in the COVID-19 risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance. It is vital employers engage with workers to ensure they feel safe returning to work, and they should avoid forcing anyone into an unsafe workplace. Updated guidance for your sector can be found here: https://bit.ly/sectorsocialdist.


Face covering exemptions

From today, face coverings are mandatory in additional enclosed spaces. Exemptions to this include anyone under the age of 11, or those with disabilities, or hidden health conditions such as breathing difficulties, mental health conditions or autism.

People are not required to prove they are exempt and it is for individuals to choose how they would want to communicate this to others. For those who would feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering, exemption cards are available to print or display on mobile phones – https://bit.ly/FCExemptionBadges.

Full guidance on face coverings can be found here.

The attached guide provides advice on handling face covering exemptions in stores and branches. We ask that you consider taking the steps and use the language suggested in the guide if you see someone entering or inside a store not wearing a face covering. Please note charity organisations working with the government have been made aware of this too.


Business events & conferences

Business events, conferences and events centres will be given the go ahead to reopen on 1 October adhering to social distancing. A number of pilots will take place at event venues across the country to plan for a return to large-scale events and test how best to implement social distancing practises. Details of these pilots will be finalised in partnership with the sector in the coming weeks.

New guidance, published by the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport and the Association of Event Organisers, will help event organisers, venue operators and participants in the UK understand how they can work and host business events and conferences and keep both their guests and staff safe.

Full guidance can be found here: https://bit.ly/VisitorEconomyGuidance.


Face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets from tomorrow (24 July)

From tomorrow (24 July) face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets, this is to protect those who work in shops and to give people more confidence to shop safely. Those who do not wear a face covering in shops will face a fine of up to £100. Shops can refuse entry to someone not wearing a face covering and can call the police if someone fails to comply.

Further guidance on face covering, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus, the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored is available here.

To dowload posters to display in your shops, please see here.

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.


Support for business from outside government

Public bodies, organisations and charities have produced additional resources that may be useful to employers and employees. To access the resources please see here.



Boris Johnson unveils plan to return England ‘to normality’ by Christmas

Coronavirus restrictions will ease further in England under plans for a “significant return to normality” by Christmas, Boris Johnson has announced.

The latest changes in England

  • From 25 July indoor gyms, pools and other sports facilities can reopen
  • On 1 August the government will update its advice on going to work, asking employers to make decisions about how and where their staff can work safely
  • From the same date, most remaining leisure settings, including bowling, skating rinks, casinos and all close contact services such as beauticians, will be allowed to reopen
  • Live indoor theatre and concerts will be able to resume with socially distanced audience
  • Wedding receptions for up to 30 people will also be allowed from next month
  • From September, nurseries, schools and colleges will be open for all children and young people on a full-time basis, while universities are also working to reopen as fully as possible
  • From October, the government intends to allow audiences to return to stadiums, while conferences and other business events can recommence, subject to the outcome of pilots

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



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.



The Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Plan for Jobs will help Britain bounce back

The Chancellor delivered his Summer Economic Update in Parliament yesterday  (8th July), which outlined a package of measures to support jobs in every part of the country, give businesses the confidence to retain and hire, and provide people with the tools they need to get better jobs. Key points to note:

  • Job Retention Bonus: To help firms keep on furloughed workers, UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.
  • Kickstart Scheme: A new £2 billion scheme will also be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.
  • Employment and support schemes: A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job.
  • Creating jobs: The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects. In addition, £5.8 billion will be spent on shovel-ready construction projects to get Britain building.
  • Eat Out to Help Out: To encourage people to safely return to eating out at restaurants the Government’s new discount scheme will provide a 50% reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020.
  • VAT: The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will be cut from 20% to 5%.
  • Stamp Duty: A temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 has been introduced until 31 March 2021.

Full details of the announcement can be found here.



Is your business good to go in England?

“We’re Good To Go” is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. Apply now to confirm your business has taken the necessary measures and is operating in line with the Government guidelines and Public Health guidance (relating to English businesses) clearly set out in your COVID-19 Risk Assessment.

Upon successful completion of the application, you will be sent a secure link to download your certificate, mark and a toolkit with practical steps for telling your customers that your business is Good to Go. The application will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and you need to make sure you have read the relevant Government and Public Health guidance for your country before you begin. Please also make sure you have read the Terms & Conditions. To apply please see here.


On Saturday 4th July the government’s travel advice changed, with exemptions for travelling to certain countries and territories that no longer pose a high risk for British travellers. The government continues to advise against non-essential international travel, except to countries and territories listed. You can view the full list of exempted destinations here. Full guidance for British people travelling overseas during the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.


£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.


All applications for the discretionary grant funding have now been assessed and validated. In regards to the outcome, all businesses will be contacted tomorrow.


Flexible furlough scheme starts today

Businesses will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time from today as part of the governments plan to re-open the UK and kick-start our economy.


The Department for International Trade launches modelling review to support economic recovery

The Department for International Trade is reviewing its trade modelling to ensure that all of Britain’s new trade deals are specifically tailored to shape the country’s economy as it recovers from the impacts of Coronavirus. Modelling trade is an important part of the Department for International Trade’s negotiation capability. Given the significant global impact of Coronavirus, it’s an appropriate time for DIT to review its trade models, as free trade agreements will play a crucial role in our economic recovery. For more information please see here.


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. 



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.

Reopen your business safely during coronavirus

Guidance tool: Employers in England that want to reopen their business have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site. Use this guidance to help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce. If you do not carry out a risk assessment, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or your local council can issue an enforcement notice. Employees can use this guidance to check what their workplace needs to do to keep people safe. This guidance is only for businesses that are allowed to reopen in England.





Reopening of certain Businesses

COVID Secure guides continue to be developed covering a range of workplaces:

  • Find the new hotel and guest accomodation guidance here.
  • Find the new close contact guidance here.
  • Find the new visitor economy (hotels, guest accomodation, indoor and outfoor attractions, business events and consumer shows) guidance here.
  • Find the updated restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services guidance here.


This document sets out Pub opening guidance on how to open workplaces safely while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19. It gives practical considerations of how this can be applied in the workplace.


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.


The Prime Minister in his Commons address this afternoon has announched the following milestone headline changes in further steps towards Recovery. More information will follow in due course once guidance is available.

From July 4th:

  • 2m social distancing requirement is reduced to 1m+, with extra ‘mitigating measures’ required
  • Members of two households can meet inside or out in groups of any size, and stay overnight
  • Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, museums, galleries, theatres and cinemas can reopen, with limitations and measures in place
  • Hotels, campsites and caravan parks can operate, again with limitations and measures in place
  • Playgrounds and certain play spaces can re-open, but close-proximity vensues such as pools, indoor gyms, nightclubs, beauty salons and other specified businesses MUST REMAIN CLOSED until further notice
  • Weddings can take place and places of worships open for up to 30 attendees, subject to social distancing
  • For more detailed guidance as it emerges please see here.


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.


To help employers reopen their businesses safely, government has launched a new tool to identify the most relevant guidance for your business. The guidance highlighted will help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce.
Employees can also use this guidance to check what their workplace needs to do to keep people safe. This guidance is only for businesses that are allowed to reopen in England and can be found here.

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.



Updated working safely guidance 

Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic has been updated to reflect industry feedback, guidance on Test & Trace, guidance on safer travel and to provide guidance on managing seurity risks. The full guidance can be found 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.


Applications for the Disretionary grant fund are closed. Due to the high volume of applications, the grant will not be reopening.  Payments will not be made until the 1st July at the earliest.


Applications for the Disretionary grant fund are now closed. Due to the high volume of applications, the grant will not be reopening.  The district council will not make any final decisions or payments until 1st July.


OpenForBusiness campaign

Many retailers across the country will be reopening today, and the Government is keen to help welcome back shoppers and celebrate the hard work businesses and retail workers are putting in to ensure their workplaces are COVID-19 Secure. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is encouraging business owners and shop workers to take photos in front of their ‘open’ sign next week and post these on their social media channels as part of the #OpenForBusiness Campaign.

To support the campaign, please do the following:

  • Take a photo of yourself in front of your reopening business, preferably infront of an ‘Open’ sign
  • Post the picture on your social media channels
  • Use #openforbusiness
  • Tag the Department for Business: Instagram: @beisgovuk / Twitter: @beisgovuk / Facebook: @industrialstrategygovuk


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.


Today is the last day for employers to place any new employees on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retension Scheme, as they must be on furlough leave for a minimum of 3 weeks before the scheme closes for new entrants on 30 June.


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.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

As part of changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), outlined below are important dates that may impact you in the coming weeks.

Important dates – what you need to know now

  • The scheme will close to anyone who hasn’t been furloughed for 3 weeks by 30 June, so you will only be able to claim for employees after that if they have been furloughed for a full three-week period at any time before the end of June.
  • So, if you intend to furlough an employee who hasn’t been furloughed before, you will need to agree that with them and start their period of furlough on or before 10 J‌un‌e – this is the last day on which someone who has never been furloughed before can start a period of furlough and qualify for the scheme – this ensures the minimum three-week period is complete by 30 J‌un‌e.
  • You will then have until 31 J‌ul‌y to make a claim for any periods of furlough up until 30 J‌un‌e – this applies to both employees furloughed for the first time and those you have previously furloughed and claimed for.

The future of the scheme

  • The rules of the scheme are changing from 1 J‌ul‌y.
  • On 12 J‌un‌e, we’ll publish full guidance on all the scheme changes on GOV.UK – search for ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ to find this – webinars offering more support on the changes will also be available to book online from 12 June – please do not call us for more information, as everything you need to know about the scheme changes will be published online on GOV‌.UK.
  • From 1 July, you’ll have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time, you can decide the hours and shift patterns they work to suit the needs of your business – you’ll pay their wages for the time they’re in work and can apply for a scheme grant to cover any of their normal hours they are still furloughed for.
  • Also, for periods starting on or after the 1 J‌ul‌y, the maximum number of employees you can claim for in any period cannot be higher than the maximum number you have claimed for in a previous period. For example, if your highest single claim for periods up to 30 J‌un‌e was for 100 people, you can’t claim for more than this number in later periods.
  • From 1 Au‌gu‌st, you will need to contribute towards the wage costs of your furloughed employees until the scheme ends on 31 Oc‌to‌be‌r.


Before applying for the Discretionary grant we urge businesses to read the policy on the website. This will indicate what documents are required for the application.


As we enter the next phase of the Covid-19 measures, with lockdown restrictions starting to be relaxed we hope this will assist retailers across the district going forward. However it is clear that the need for social distancing is expected to continue for some time. Given this, ensuring businesses and our high streets can operate safely will be a key priority for us all going forward. We have produced a business toolkit containing a range of resources that could assist your business going forward, this can be found at Covid-19 Public Posters.


For the Discretionary grant you are required to upload all documents as part of the application. Applications will only be considered with all the relevant documents attached as there will not be another opportunity to send documents.


Applications for the Discretionary Fund are now open.

North Kesteven District Council has received £1,035,000 to support local businesses. Grants will be awarded in payments under £10k or in some exceptions £10k or £25k. The fund will target small and micro businesses not eligible for support under the existing grant funds; the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG).

We would like to remind businesses they must attach all relevant documents in their application, to avoid delays in the process.


New £1m COVID-19 grant fund for small businesses in NK to open

Following the Government’s announcement of a new top up grant to support those affected by Covid-19, the District Council has received £1,035,000 to support local businesses. Grants will be awarded in payments under £10k or in some exceptions £10k or £25k.

The fund will target small and micro businesses not eligible for support under the existing grant funds; the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG. Businesses which have already taken advantage of the Government ‘furlough scheme’ or ‘bounce back’ loans can apply for support from this fund.

Eligible businesses must have:

    1. Significant ongoing property costs
      Suffered a significant drop in income due to Covid -19
      Evidence will be required for either of these key determining factors.
    2. Have been trading on 11th March 2020.
    3. A plan to continue trading when circumstances allow.

Applications will open on Monday 1st June, and remain open for an initial two week period before closing to allow the Council to evaluate demand. Final decisions will not be made until Wednesday 1st July.

The Grant Team will contact businesses directly should further information be required during this period. Please note applications will not be open until 9am on Monday 1st June.


NHS Test and Trace

The government has announced that the new NHS Test and Trace service will be launched from today (Thursday 28th May) across England. Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace and will need t share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

To support this announcement the Department for Health & Social Care has developed workplace guidance on the NHS test and trace service for employers, businesses and workers.


£40m grant funding confirmed for business projects tackling post COVID-19 global impact

Innovate UK has confirmed that over 800 companies – nearly twice as many winners as any previous Innovate UK competition – will share grant funding of £40 million – double the amount first planned – to develop new projects and services designed to boost economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19.  For more information please see here.



Yesterday evening the Prime Minister set out a timeline for retail to reopen from 1st June and further guidance has been published for how to operate safely to protect staff and customers. Full details of the announcement can be found here: https://bit.ly/RetailTimeline. Guidance for reopening can be found here: https://bit.ly/UpdatedRetailGuidance.


UK Government sets out a timeline for retail to reopen in June

The UK Government announced today, Monday 25 May 2020, a roadmap for reopening a broader range of shops starting from next month.  From 1 June 2020, it intends to allow outdoor markets to reopen, subject to all premises being made COVID-secure, as well as car showrooms, which often have significant outdoor space and where it is generally easier to apply social distancing.

From 15 June 2020, UK Government intends to allow all other retailers, ranging from shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.  You can read the full statement here. Updated guidance for the retail sector has been published alongside this announcement, detailing the measures retailers should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards.  You can find the guidance here.

We are providing links to a range of pertinent information that we hope you find useful:


BEIS Working safely seminars

Join a free webinar, hosted by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to find out more about how to make your workplace COVID-secure. The webinars cover a range of different types of workplace settings which are allowed to be open in England.  You can also find the full written guidance for a range of different types of work and practical actions for businesses to take based on 5 main steps here.


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.


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.


Pick for Britain helps bring workers and employers together.

The UK Government and Prince of Wales have urged students and furloughed workers to apply for seasonal farm work. As part of efforts to support British farmers and growers to recruit workers throughout the harvest period, the UK Government launched the Pick for Britain website in partnership with industry to help match up available opportunities with local jobseekers.


Future Fund open for applications today

The Future Fund uses an online platform for applications, which today opens for applications. The new Future Fund will support innovative UK companies with good potential that are essential in ensuring the UK retains its world leading position in science, innovation and technology. These companies typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by Covid-19.

Until now these companies have been unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit. The financing supports companies facing a significantly extended length of time between funding rounds, due to the impact of the current economic situation. Developed by government and delivered by the British Business Bank, the Future Fund will help these companies through the current period of economic disruption and recovery, so they are able to continue their growth trajectory and reach their full economic potential. For more information on eligibility and to apply please see here.


£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.


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.


Government Business Support Helpline – change of telephone number

From 18 May 2020, the Business Support Helpline phone number will change to Freephone 0800 998 1098. This new number will go live when the helpline opens at 9am. The old number will still be active to redirect callers for a few weeks.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

It’s nearly a month since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened and many businesses will be preparing to make another claim in order to receive money by the end of May. To ensure you receive a payment by the end of May, you need to apply by Wednesday 20‌‌ May. When you make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you’ll receive the money within six working days. After making a claim, please keep all records and calculations, in case we need to contact you to discuss these.


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.


Webinars for the week ahead


Since government announced its commitment to further support businesses through the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, the district council has paid out a total of £19,315,000 to 1,723 businesses across the district.

The portal to access business grants for small businesses and those in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector is temporarily closed whilst we await further guidance from government. For any queries you have in relation to the support on offer for your business please contact our team at www.businessnk.co.uk/contact


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.


Update on Business Grants

The portal inviting applications for the Covid-19 business grants for small businesses and those in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector will be temporarily closing today at 5pm. The portal will be temporarily closed whilst we await further guidance from government. So, if you are an eligible business, and do still wish to make a claim, please do so by 5pm today.

To be eligible for Small Business Grant Funding you must be in receipt of or eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief (for properties with a Rateable Value of between £2500 and £15,000).To be eligible for the Retail Hospitality Leisure Grant you must be in Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector and receipt of or eligible for the expanded retail discount relief (for properties with a rateable value of between £15001 and £50,999). Retail discount can only be applied to hereditaments that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public. Properties with a rateable value of more than £51,000 are not eligible. If you think you are eligible please apply here.


Applications for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are open

From 8am Wednesday morning self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits. Millions are expected to benefit from the scheme with the payments to be paid in a single instalment covering three months and capped at £7,500. Payments are expected to land in bank accounts within six working days of each claim.

People will be able to make their claim on a specified date between 13-18 May, based on their Unique Tax Reference number. HMRC has assigned eligible self-employed individuals a specific date to apply on and this can be checked on HMRC’s online checker. For more information and to apply please see here.


Government have produced guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Please see here for the complete guidance.


Guidance on working safely during coronavirus

Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic has been produced by government. These eight guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Please see here for the complete guidance.


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.


Please see here for updated advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.


Update on Business Grants

The portal inviting applications for the Covid-19 business grants for small businesses and those in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector will be temporarily closing on May 13th whilst we await further guidance from government. So, if you are an eligible business, and do still wish to make a claim, please do so by this date.

To be eligible for Small Business Grant Funding you must be in receipt of or eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief (for properties with a Rateable Value of between £2500 and £15,000).To be eligible for the Retail Hospitality Leisure Grant you must be in Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector and receipt of or eligible for the expanded retail discount relief (for properties with a rateable value of between £15001 and £50,999). Retail discount can only be applied to hereditaments that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public. Properties with a rateable value of more than £51,000 are not eligible. If you think you are eligible please apply here.


Webinars for the week ahead

The Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub are hosting two ‘Business Lincolnshire Advice Clinics’. These free drop-in sessions are a great opportunity to discuss any questions you may have with a panel of experienced advisors.

The sessions are suitable for Lincolnshire Businesses who:

  • Want to know how best to survive and thrive in the current pandemic
  • Are in an established business and are having growing pains
  • Have just started a business, have met difficulties and want some feedback on how   they might overcome them
  • Have a specific idea and want to bounce thoughts off an experienced business adviser, or
  • Perhaps the business has reached a plateau and you’re not sure what steps to take next.

The two sessions are scheduled for 11th May 2020, 10am-11am, and 18th May 2020, 10am-11am


The University of Lincoln are hosting two webinars next week on Digital Engagement and Digital Capabilities and Fall Out of Covid-19 and Challenges for a Global Recovery Response. For more information on the webinars please see below.

  • Digital Engagement and Digital Capabilities – Be Ready for the Next Normal. Join the University of Lincoln on Tuesday 12th May at 12 noon for a discussion with Ben Hill, Global Head of Sales and Projects at Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd along with a panel of our postgraduate students to delve into how developing digital capabilities may offer an opportunity to build a future-proof workforce
  • Fall Out of Covid-19 and Challenges for a Global Recovery Response. Join the University of Lincoln on Monday 11th May at 3pm with the panel of experts who will be exploring the impact of Covid-19 and the challenges of an economic recovery from a global perspective.


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.


Self-employed invited to get ready to make their claims for coronavirus (COVID-19) support

HMRC are beginning to contact customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment. You can check your eligibility using the new online checker tool. Once the online check is complete, those who are eligible will be given a date when they can submit their claim.

The claims service will open on 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. The claims process will be very simple, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, or within six working days of completing a claim. There is also further guidance available on ‘How HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’ and ‘How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’.


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.


Clarifications regarding furloughed workers and training

This guidance has been lifted from the government website:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

If your employee undertakes training:

  • Furloughed employees can engage in training, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.
  • Where training is undertaken by furloughed employees, at the request of their employer, they are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate national minimum wage for this time. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of an employee’s regular wage, up to the value of £2,500, will provide sufficient monies to cover these training hours. However, where the time spent training attracts a minimum wage entitlement in excess of the furlough payment, employers will need to pay the additional wages (see National Minimum Wage Section for more details).


A discretionary fund has been set up by the Government to accomodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). North Kesteven District Council is currently awaiting guidance from government as to how this additional funding will be allocated, this is expected in the near future. Our website and social media accounts will be updated accordingly. No action is required from business at this time.


East Midlands Cabinet office is looking for case studies of businesses who have successfully used the Government business support and are asking businesses to provide short videos about their experience. Case studies will be shared on government social media channels, and also on the business support sections of GOV.UK


If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus find out if you can use the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to claim a grant. The grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance. HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get. For more information please see here.


Updates to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance (CJRS)

The following changes have been made to the CJRS guidance

 Employee guidance

  • Furloughed employees who are union or non-union representatives may undertake duties and activities for the purpose of individual or collective representation of employees or other workers.
  • Confirmation that Company Directors paid annually are eligible to claim.
  • Employees receiving Maternity Allowance during a period of Maternity Leave should not receive furlough pay at the same time. 

Employer guidance: eligibility

  • Updated in line with changes to Employee guidance.
  • CJRS grants are not classed as state aid.
  • Changed the date from 28 February to 19 March 2020 in the section on TUPE transfers and payroll consolidation.

Employer guidance: how to calculate the grant

  • The June daily maximum wage rates have been added to the table now the scheme has been extended.
  • Improved clarity in the employer National Insurance contributions section, confirmed the direct percentage method or tables method can be used and added new information for company directors.

The scheme opened for applications last week on Monday 20th April, this week the first grants have been paid.


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.


Please be aware of fraudulent emails cicruclating. Please see an example of a fraudulent email about the grants to small businesses that impersonates the authorities.


BEIS Business Support Webinar

Register to join a free webinar hosted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at 11am on Monday 5 May to find out how small business can access the coronavirus business support measures that have been made available to UK businesses.

The webinar will cover:

  • Eligibility for small business grants
  • Applying for a loan
  • Tax
  • Claiming for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

You will have the opportunity to ask questions during the webinar.


Retail and shopper behavioural experts Grounded Places have developed three new webinars to help your business adapt to COVID-19. The three webinars are free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis to a maximum of 20 people on each (and up to two attendees per business).

The tailored webinars are designed to support businesses that are; still trading and open for business, retailers wo are closed but have stock to sell and Leisure, hospitality and visitor attractions which are closed and usually sell a service.

For details on the different events and booking please see below.

  1. Wednesday 6 May 2020 – 10.30 am to 11.30 am
    Support for businesses that are currently open – Are you open for business but struggling to keep on top of things and want expert advice on customer behaviour. If you can answer ‘Yes’ book your place here.
  2. Thursday 7 May 2020 – 10.30 am to 11.30 am
    Support for businesses currently closed but with stock to sell – Are you currently closed and have concerns as to how to optimise your business when you are able to reopen? Does your business sell products from your shop (as opposed to a service selling experiences) and are you unsure how you are able to optimise cash flow and profitability at the point of re-opening?  If you can answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions you should join this webinar by booking here.
  3. Tuesday 12 May 2020 – 10.30 am to 11.30 am
    Support leisure, hospitality and visitor attractions which are closed and usually sell a service – Are you currently closed and have concerns as to how to optimise your business when you are able to reopen? Is your business a service proposition (as opposed to primarily selling products) and you are unsure how you are going to create the most appropriate engagement going forward.  If you can answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions you should join this webinar by booking here.


The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) invite businesses to take part in a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions.

This survey has been commissioned by DCMS to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answers will remain annonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts. The survey should take around 10-20 minutes. The deadline for responses to the survey will be at 23:59 GMT on 15/05/2020. To more information and to take part in the survey click here.


The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) invite businesses to take part in a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions.

This survey has been commissioned by DCMS to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answers will remain annonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts. The survey should take around 10-20 minutes. The deadline for responses to the survey will be at 23:59 GMT on 15/05/2020. To take part in the survey please see here.


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.


To date the district council has paid £17,350,000 to 1,549 businesses.


Small businesses boosted by bounce back loans

Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders, the Chancellor announced on Monday 27 April.
  • Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

Rishi Sunak said the new Bounce Back Loans scheme, which will provide loans of up to £50,000, would help bolster the existing package of support available to the smallest businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme has been designed to ensure that small firms who need vital cash injections to keep operating can get finance in a matter of days, and comes alongside the £6 billion awarded in business grants, supporting 4 million jobs through the job retention scheme and generous tax deferrals supporting hundreds of thousands of firms. For more information please see here.

This scheme is not available yet. It will launch on 4 May 2020.


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.


Please see here for information on a range of topics which includes redundancies and how to make a claim for those former or furloughed employees who will need to. This is aimed at both employers and their employees. Information is also available here, for those now looking to seek work and provides some hints and tips.


To provide businesses with further clarification on Covid-19 Business Support Grants, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have compiled a series of FAQ.


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.


In order to sustain an effective flood warning service during the Coronavirus pandemic, the Environment Agency (EA) will be making some minor changes to the service. Please see the update from Environment Agency on Protecting our Flood Warning Service offering during the Coronavirus pan.._


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.


As of today, NKDC has paid a total of £15,070,000 to 1,354  businesses acros the district. There are still a significant number of businesses that have not applied for grant funding. If you own a business in North Kesteven and recieve Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief on your premise you might be eligible for a government Covid-19 support grant. If you think you are eligible please apply here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Open for applications today

The coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for application. Employers can now claim online for a grant for 80% of their furloughed employees’ salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee. Click here to make a claim.

HMRC have produced this step by step guidance on how to make a claim. There is also a calculator to help work out your claim. The system can process up to 450,000 applications per hour and employers should receive the money within 6 working days of making an application. To receive payment by 30 April, you will need to complete an application by 22 April. Please keep a note or print-out of your claim reference number as you won’t receive a confirmation SMS or email.

The Chancellor has also announced one month extension to the scheme. This means that the scheme will now be open until the end of June, to reflect continuing lockdown measures. HMRC are holding live webinars providing an overview of the scheme to help employers and employees deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus. Register for a live webinar 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.


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.



Updates from the Greater Lincolnshire LEP:

A helpline has been set up to take calls from businesses in Greater Lincolnshire who need advice and support relating to the coronavirus pandemic. Your local Covid-19 helpline number is 01522 782189. The lines are open from 9am until 5pm to book an appointment with an adviser. Choose option 3 for business support.

There is also help available for individuals whose jobs have been affected, for those that have lost their job, been made redundant or are worried about reduced hours. GLLEP are working with the National Careers Service to ensure that people out of work or at risk of redundancy know what their options are. To access tailored support individuals should call the relevant freephone number:

  • Lincolnshire and Rutland: 0800 917 9419
  • North and North East Lincolnshire: 0800 100 900

For a comprehensive page outlining the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s efforts to support businesses and workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic please see here.


Today the district council has paid out a total of £14,190,000 to 1,275 businesses across the district. 1,179 businesses have benefited from the £10,000 grant and 96 have recieved the £25,000 grant.

Further clarifications on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme include:

  • Confirmation of what should form the basis for furlough pay for employees furloughed on return from (maternity/paternity/shared parental/adoption/sick/parental bereavement) leave
  • Confirming employees subject to TUPE transfer/ business reorganisation/ payroll consolidation can be furloughed
  • Confirming position for contractors in scope of IR35 in the public sector
  • More information on what information employers need to claim the grant
  • Clarifying circumstances where an employee shhttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-schemeouldn’t be furloughed by multiple employers

Further details can be found on the government website.


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/


To help businesses respond to new and urgent needs during and following Covid-19 Innovate UK is giving UK registered businesses the opportunity to apply for a share of up to £20m. Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research-focussed businesses. Grants are available to develop new ways of working and help build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport, as well as support people at home in circumstances like those during the coronavirus outbreak.

For more information and eligibility criteria please see here.


Today, the district council has paid out £12,415,000 in business grants. 1,044 businesses have received grants of £10,000 and 79 businesses have received grants of £25,000.

There are still a number of businesses we haven’t heard from, if you own a business in North Kesteven and receieve SBRR or RRR on your premise you might be eligible for a government Covid-19 support grant, please apply here.


Updated guidance for businesses

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business support grant funding –  Updated Guidance for businesses setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) – The information has been updated about State Aid. For further details please see here.

Business rates: expanded retail discount – Guidance on the operation of expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021 coronavirus response, announced at Budget 2020. Guidance updated to confirm that the government’s assessment that the expanded retail discount is not a state aid, and that local authorities should therefore award relief to all eligible properties.

£20 million for ambitious technologies to build UK resilience following coronavirus outbreak – Businesses to help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of coronavirus and similar future situations as a result of £20 million government funding. Find out more here.

Extended Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – The UK Government has extended the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible, should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time. Please find further details here.


Today the district council has paid out £11,345,000 to 1,028 businesses in the form of support grants from the Government for small businesses and firms in retail, hospitality and leisure. We are working hard to get the remaining applications through the process.


To provide businesses with further clarification on Covid-19 Business Support Grants,  the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have compiled a series of FAQ BEIS FAQs General Covid-19 Business Support Grants


Urgent request for assistance to help with Covid19 NHS front line supplies, as they cannot obtain the required protective wear fast enough to cope. Lincolnshire businesses are asked to assist in the donation of any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help fight Covid19.

The products can be collected or dropped off at a central hub, and are guaranteed to be delivered to the NHS where they are needed. The products are not limited to rubber gloves and masks, however include everything you can spare as protective wear, or are not using due to being furloughed. The only stipulation is that to protect the NHS the products need to be in unbroken packaging please.

Storage in Lincoln has been secured at Castlet Ltd. Please contact Ray Newell by either telephone on 07883 222607, or email [email protected], if you can provide any PPE to either deliver or for collection.


We have now paid a total of £9,590,000 to local businesses through the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant fund. A total of 872 have benefitted from these grants to date. We are working extremely hard to get the remaining applications through the process. However, we still have a number of businesses who have not applied.


Visit Lincoln are asking tourism businesses that have been affected by Covid19 to provide their views on the impact. The feedback will be crucial in understanding the impact of Covid19 has had on Lincolnshire businesses and will aid in shaping a recovery plan.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey, https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NZHN5JY


Visit Lincoln have provided a Coronavirus Update for tourism businesses in Lincolnshire. The insight newsletter focuses on Grants for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses through a Lincolnshire Q&A session. Officers from each district council will be joining an online webinar, hosted by the Lincs Chamber of Commerce, to discuss the local grants that are available in Lincolnshire. There will also be a HMRC YouTube Channel, which will consist of a video overview of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Statutory Sick Pay, furloughed employees and more. In addition to free resources for businesses, which include Legal advice and HR letter templates, the ‘ready to go’ template document can be downloaded.


The Prince’s trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund

The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30 year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.

To be eligible, you must be a business owner aged between 18-30, who set up their business in the last four years and don’t have any other source of income during the crisis. Every young person who gets in touch will be offered personalised one to one support to connect with mentors or build their skills.

You can register your interest for grants and tailored support today here.


Lincoln College offer 28 fully funded Level 2 online courses that you can access through the Governments Adult Education Budget. If you are over 19 years old, you may be eligible to enrol. To find out more about the courses and eligibility please see here


Today, the district council has paid out £6,930,000 to 633 businesses in the form of support grants from the Government for small businesses and firms in retail, hospitality and leisure. We are working extremely hard to get the remaining applications through the process. Thank you for your patience during this time.


Please read before contacting the council.

We are experiencing an unprecedented amount of emails and calls in relation to the business grant funding scheme and applications for it. Please note:

  • We have received a high number of applications and are currently working as hard as possible to validate them. The validation process is not automated and requires a certain amount of time to check applications.
  • We are aiming to notify businesses via email or telephone later this week or early next week if they have been successful with grant funding
  • Do include your Business Rates Account Number on your application as this will speed up the validation process

Please bear with us at this extremely busy time, rest assured we are working as quickly as we can and do only contact the Council if your query does not relate to the above.


The Government are encouraging businesses to help with the response to Covid-19

Some of the key products and services required include:

  • Medical testing equipment
  • Medical equipment design
  • Protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • Hotel rooms
  • Transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • Expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • Social care or childcare

If any businesses are able to support the response to Covid-19, please use the following link to inform the government about the type of support you can provide https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business


Reminder to all businesses applying for grant funding. Please only submit one application for grant funding and only submit more than one application if you operate more than one premise.


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.

Latest is rent relief for tenants of the Council’s portfolio of 111 commercial units, workshops and work spaces spread across the District.


We are working hard to collate information that we hold on all businesses eligible for grant funding announced by government to support businesses impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. We will be making contact with eligible businesses directly by email or by post (where we do not hold an email address).

Full guidance on the grant funding schemes is available here: www.gov.uk. If you think you are eligible and have not already made direct contact with us or if you do not receive an email or letter from us by Tuesday 31st March 2020, please complete the declaration form available here https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/business/apply-for-a-business-grant-covd-19/  Please have your company details to hand.


Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by Covid-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

For more information on whether you are eligible please see here.


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.


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.


The government is looking for businesses who can support in the supply of ventialtors and ventilator components across the UK as part of the repsonse to COVID-19.

As well as manufacturers, the government are looking for businesses wit the following skills:

  • design/specification
  • rapid prototyping
  • contract/product assembly
  • certification/regulation/testing
  • logistics
  • medical training

If you think your business could help, please register your details. https://ventilator.herokuapp.com/


For the latest news on Covid-19 please see www.businesslincolnshire.com  where you can find information on funding and support available, guidance and FAQ from businesses.

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This can be found on the government website  www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Update on Business Grants

In light of the CV19 situation, the Chancellor has announced support for business both in the form of business rates reliefs and grants. Work has been going on in the background around the eligibility criteria for these grants and guidance should be issued in the very near future. As it currently stands there are two proposed schemes:-

Scheme 1 – Business Support Grants Fund

This scheme is the scheme originally announced in the budget on the 11th March, albeit the level of grant has increased from £3,000 to £10,000.
The current proposal is that all properties in receipt of rural rate relief or small business rates relief on 11th March, including those in receipt of tapered relief, will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000. Properties whose liability is calculated using the small business multiplier but not in receipt of small business rates relief will not qualify for this grant and neither will properties which are occupied for personal use, e.g. private stables, beach huts and moorings even if they are in receipt of relief.

Scheme 2 – Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund

Announced by the Chancellor on the 17th March the current proposal is that properties which would have qualified for retail discount on 11th March will be entitled to either, £10,000 where the RV is £15,000 or less or £25,000 where the RV is greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000.
The guidance will make clear the situation with regard retrospective changes, both in terms of ratepayer changes and changes to the rating list.

The expectation is that, subject to an exceptional discretion held by the local authority, subsequent retrospective changes will be ignored.  Government are not expecting local authorities to make payments to eligible businesses until such time they have received funding and they are hoping to have this in place early April using NNDR1 and VOA data.

The intention is that this will be followed by a data capture exercise to determine whether the initial award was sufficient to cover the amount of grant paid out with additional payments being made where required. There will then be a reconciliation process at some point in the future to ensure the amount of grant to local government matches the actual grant paid to business. A new burdens assessment will be undertaken to compensate local authorities for the cost of administering these grants.


We understand many businesses in North Kesteven will be keen to know how to access the grants announced by the Chancellor yesterday to support small businesses during the Covid-19 crisis. Rest assured as soon as we have any information on the application process we will share it with you as soon as possible.