Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for businesses

  • Updated 03 August 2020

Many of our businesses have been seriously affected by Coronavirus and we are working to provide support in whatever way we can.  We have strengthened our teams to refocus resources where they can do most to support our communities. We will be regularly updating this webpage as we receive more information.

You can also sign up to our Business e-newsletter and/or read the latest issue. We will be publishing this more frequently as we receive important information to share with you.

On this page:

Social Distancing measures for businesses 

Register your business for the Eat Out Help Out scheme – new

Guidance on reduced VAT rate - new

Legionella Risk

Support for businesses

Business Grants – Applications close on 28 August 2020

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund – Applications have now closed

Business Rates relief

Future Fund support for innovative businesses 

Bounce Back loans

Government financial support measures

Other Government advice and support

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

Protection for high street shops from aggressive rent collection

Employees with children

Useful links

Social Distancing measures for businesses

On 23 March the Government stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives and has instructed people to stay at home.

On 11 May, new guidance was published to help get people safely back to work. There are also a range workplace guidance documents for different employment settings. The Government also published guidance for those that own or manage public spaces.

Reopening of businesses and venues in England from 04 July 2020

On 23 June the government published guidance on the re-opening of businesses and venues from the 04 July.

All businesses and venues can reopen from 4 July, except for the list below, which must remain closed:

Nightclubs; casinos; bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks; indoor play areas including soft-play; spas, nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons; massage, tattoo and piercing parlours; indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities; swimming pools including water parks.

Exhibition or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue.

All indoor and outdoor hospitality that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside can open from 04 July. This includes restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and workplace canteens. People should only visit a restaurant in their household groups (or support bubbles), or with one other household, or with up to five other people outdoors.

Read the guidance in full

Re-opening of further businesses and venues

Sport and recreation:

From Saturday 11 July, outdoor swimming pools and outdoor water parks are permitted in law to reopen. From Saturday 25 July it is proposed that sports facilities and venues, such as indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks will be permitted to open. All recreation and leisure businesses and facilities are strongly advised to follow guidance on operating within the visitor economy and guidance for providers of sports and leisure facilities.

Close-contact service providers:

Close-contact service providers, including beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses and spas across England will be able to reopen from Monday 13 July, excluding any services in the highest risk zone. All close-contact service providers are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to work safely.

Performing arts:

Performing arts including outdoor theatres, opera, dance and music can resume from Saturday 11 July provided they take place outside and with a limited and socially distanced audience. People who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants should follow guidance on working safely.

Guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services has also been updated with information on entertainment permitted in venues and fire risk assessments for repurposed spaces.

If your business is reopening soon, you can use our guidance finder tool to help you find the information most relevant to you.

Top of page

Register your business for the Eat Out Help Out scheme

You can register if your establishment:

  • sells food for immediate consumption on the premises
  • provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
  • was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July

You cannot register:

  • an establishment that only offers takeaway food or drink
  • catering services for private functions
  • a hotel that provides room service only
  • dining services (such as packaged dinner cruises)
  • mobile food vans or trailers

Full guidance is available on the website.


Guidance on reduced VAT rate

The government has published guidanc on the reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions on the website.

Test and Trace guidance – Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors

The easing of social and economic lockdown measures following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. Organisations in certain sectors should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days, to assist NHS Test and Trace who will request the data if needed. 

Sectors that this guidance applies to:

  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • Tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
  • Close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
  • Facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres
  • Places of worship, including use for events and other community activities.

Full guidance is available on the website

Top of page

Do you offer a ‘contactless’ delivery service?

We are building a directory of ‘Stay at Home support’ to help residents as they observe social distancing. Please email: with details of your product or service.

Top of page

Legionella Risk

Legionella poses a significant public health risk in th water systems of buildings buildings that have closed during the lockdown period. Buildings should have in place a risk assessment and a Water Safety Plan. Public Health England have prepared a short information sheet for building owners and managers.


Support for businesses 

The Government has set out a package of measures to support businesses through the economic disruption. You can read about the package of measures on its new Business Support website.

The Government has also launched a business support finder tool, to help businesses find out what support they are eligible for.

Business support finder

There is also a tool for the self-employed to check their eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme eligibility tool

Be fraud aware

Please protect your personal information by only completing the Waverley business grant claim on the Council’s website. Waverley Borough Council and the Government will never ask you to follow an email link to complete your grant claim form or upload your documents. Never give out your personal information over the telephone.

If you are uncertain of the validity of the council’s website, you can contact us by using the telephone number on your business rates bill or looking up contact details for the council on social media.

Top of page 

Business Grants 

Please note: Grant schemes will close to new applications on 28 August 2020.

Business Support Grant

Small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief will qualify for a grant of £10,000. 

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant 

Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, will receive a one-off grant of £10,000. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, will receive a one-off grant of £25,000. 

For more information and to claim grants visit our Coronavirus Business Grants page.

Coronavirus Business Grants

Top of page

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund  

This scheme is aimed at some small businesses that don’t qualify for existing schemes. Recipients will have to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income. 

Local authorities have been asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties and bed and breakfasts that pay Council Tax rather than Business Rates.

Applications for the second round have now closed

For more information visit our Discretionary Grants page.

Local Authority Discretionary Grants

Top of page

Future Fund support for innovative businesses 

The Chancellor announced a new coronavirus package on 20 April, to protect firms driving innovation. The 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 £500 million Future Fund, delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and launching in May, will provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5 million, with private investors at least matching the government commitment.

The £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.

Further information on the future fund is available on the GOV.UK website.

Top of page

Business Rates relief

The Government will provide 100% business rates retail relief for the current year 2020/21 for the following occupied premises:

  • Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, bingo halls and live music venues
  • Sports, assembly and leisure premises
  • Hotels, guest and boarding houses, holiday accommodation, caravan parks
  • Nurseries on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • Estate agents, Letting agents, Betting Shops

More information is available on the official Government website

There is no need to contact the council as these changes will automatically be applied to your account. Businesses within these categories will receive a revised business rates bill removing their liability (i.e. zero business rates) over the next few days.

If your business has not been included in any of these categories and you feel that your premises should be included please email with an explanation of how you qualify.

Arrears on your 2019/2020 tax year Business Rates

Businesses with 2019/2020 arrears should contact the Business Rates team on 01483 523522 or to discuss options available.

Privacy notice for business rates - national non domestic rates NNDR

Top of page

Bounce Back Loans

On 4 May, the Treasury announced a new scheme in which businesses will be able to apply for loans of between £2,000 and £50,000. The new scheme, dubbed Bounce Back Loans, will offer smaller amounts than the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The Government will cover the cost of fees and interest for the first year. Businesses will only begin repaying the loan after 12 months. Businesses can apply for a Bounce Back Loan directly from any British Business Bank accredited lender.

Top of page

Government financial support measures

The government has launched a business support finder to help businesses see what support they are eligible for.

Information on all of the Government's support measures is available on its Business Support website including:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Claim now – scheme opened 20 April

Deferred VAT payments

Deferred Self-assessment Income Tax payments

HMRC Time to Pay Service

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Support for businesses who are paying Covid-19 sick pay to employees

Top of page

Other Government advice and support

DIT support for UK businesses trading internationally

DIT can support businesses by providing assistance with customs authorities to ensure smooth clearance of their products and by offering advice on intellectual property and other issues with business continuity. Contact DIT’s dedicated business support team by emailing You can view the full guidance on the GOV.UK website.

Financial assistance for employers unable to pay statutory redundancy payments

If you cannot afford to pay your employees redundancy pay you can apply to the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) for financial assistance. If approved, the RPS will make statutory redundancy payments directly to redundant employees on an employer’s behalf.


HM Revenue & Customs is running a series of webinars to help employers and their staff in addressing Coronavirus. These webinars will provide an overview of the support available for businesses and will include information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, refunding eligible Statutory Sick Pay costs, furloughed employees and more.

Sign up for the webinar or read further information.

Top of page

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction.These measures will mean no business will automatically forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment up until 30 June.There is the option for the government to extend this period if needed. This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent. The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent. No action is required.

Support for tenants of commercial property owned by Waverley

The package of measures put in place by the Chancellor is designed to give financial assistance to sustain business. However, we also recognise the impact on businesses' cashflow during this time, so will offer support by working with tenants with regard to paying their rent.  Whilst we are not in a financial position to waive rent, we can offer payment plans, allow longer periods over which to pay rent or offer other assistance as appropriate to the individual circumstances. 

Should you require this assistance please contact the Corporate Asset Manager at or phone 01483 523250.

Top of page

Protection for high street shops from aggressive rent collection

High street shops and some other businesses are to be protected from aggressive rent collection by commercia landlords.

Any winding-up petition that claims that the company is unable to pay its debts must first be reviewed by the court to determine why. The law will not permit petitions to be presented, or winding-up orders made, where the company’s inability to pay is the result of coronavirus.

The new legislation to protect tenants will be in force until 30 June. The government is also laying secondary legislation to provide tenants with more breathing space to pay rent by preventing landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent.

Full details are available on the GOV.UK website.

Top of page

Employees with children

Schools are closed for most pupils from Friday 20 March until further notice. However, schools will stay open for vulnerable children and children of keyworkers.  

Please see Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision ( for more information.

Top of page

Useful links

Find government guidance for employers and businesses, including advice for staff, decontamination plus a downloadable poster to display within work spaces by clicking on the links below. 

Waverley Business Rates Homepage

COVID-19 guidance for employers

Business advice on decontamination

Downloadable NHS Coronavirus poster

Business Waverley website

More information


Top of page

Page owner: Vanessa de Chazal. Last updated: 30/07/2020 17:15

We use cookies to improve your experience. By viewing our content you are accepting the use of cookies. Read about cookies we use.