Guidance for businesses
- Updated 11 May 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.
On this page:
Social Distancing measures for businesses – updated 11 May
Business Grants – updated 7 May
Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund – updated 14May
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. The guidance sets out 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as it is practical:
1. Work from home, if you can
2. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
3. Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
4. Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
5. Reinforcing cleaning processes
There are also a range workplace guidance documents for different employment settings.
The Government has also published guidance for those that own or manage public spaces.
The Government has set out measures so that pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways to serve people having to stay at home. If you are considering this, please also see our Food delivery advice for food businesses.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your product or service.
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.
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.
There is also a tool for the self-employed to check their eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
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.
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.
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 whave 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.
We are working with the government to put this scheme in place by early June.
Please signup to our business newsletter and we will notify you when the scheme goes live.
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.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options available.
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.
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
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 COVID19@trade.gov.uk. 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.
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 email@example.com or phone 01483 523250.
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.
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 (gov.uk) for more information.
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.
Page owner: Vanessa de Chazal. Last updated: 21/05/2020 09:53