Northumberland County Council and Government are working together to support businesses through this challenging time. Our businesses are vitally important to our county.

This information was last updated on 23 October at 14:55.

 

NEW - Local restrictions business support grant

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) can support businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government. Please click here to find out more.

 

⚠️IMPORTANT⚠️

Please read our guide for businesses in Northumberland to the local restrictions currently in place. We also have a guide for residents to the local restrictions that you may find helpful.

 

There were new national measures announced on September 22, what does this mean?

Residents in the region should follow the most restrictive measures – so this means following the local restrictions at this time.
 

Other information on this page:

The council has established a Business Hub with a specialist team who will work hard to support businesses and employers. We will support you both during and after the current Coronavirus outbreak.

Please click on the links below for information from the gov.uk website:
You can also find information on the government business support Facebook page.
On Friday 18th September at 00:01 local measures were put in place to help reduce the rise in positive Covid-19 cases confirmed across the North East of England.


The information below is for businesses in Northumberland. Please see wider FAQ’s to find out what this will mean for the residents of Northumberland and the wider region.
 

This information was last updated on 18 September 2020

Please click on the questions below to reveal the answers.
 

These restrictions have been introduced in an effort to support the ongoing operation of businesses and also to support the continued opening of schools in light of a rise in confirmed Covid 19 cases. It is hoped that by introducing these measures the rise in cases of Covid 19 locally will be restricted and it will avoid the need for further restrictions which could impact on businesses, schools and other amenities. 

The measures introduced will affect businesses in the following ways: 
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only.  
  • Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10pm to 5am. 
Residents have also been advised that they should not socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues. 

Business operating outside of the areas above should not be affected by the new restrictions and should continue to follow national guidelines on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19.) More information on this can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19.
Leisure, entertainment and hospitality businesses are covered by the new measures under the agreed regulations. This includes: 
  • Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels and private members’ clubs 
  • Businesses offering food and drink for consumption off the premises 
  • Cafes, including workplace canteens (there are exemptions for school, care home, prison and hospital canteens or those offering food to the homeless) Please note: Workplace canteens may remain open where there is no practical alternative for staff at the workplace to obtain food.
  • Bars, including bars in hotels and members’ clubs 
  • Public houses 
  • Casinos 
  • Social clubs 
  • Bowling alleys 
  • Cinemas 
  • Theatres 
  • Amusement arcades 
  • Fun fairs, theme parks, adventure parks (indoor and outdoor) 
  • Bingo Halls 
  • Concert Halls 
Nightclubs, Dance halls and Sexual entertainment venues & hostess bars must all remain completely closed at this time.
The new restrictions should not affect your employees and their ability to work, apart from as a result of the following: 
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only.  
  • Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10pm to 5am. 
The measures advise residents to only use public transport for essential purposes but this includes travel to work. 

National guidelines around Test and Trace should continue to be followed, more information about responsibilities and obligations as an employer can be found here.
The new restrictions will affect your customers as outlined above, through the regulations on opening hours and restrictions to table service only on food and drinks venues.  

Also, as residents have been advised not to socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues, businesses are advised to confirm with their customers that that their party is from one household, this is particularly relevant to business operating in the tourism and hospitality sector. 

National guidelines on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19,) should continue to be followed to ensure both employees and customers are safe. More information on this can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19 
Yes, businesses providing social places to the public are advised to confirm with their customers that that their party is from one household. This will be particularly relevant for those businesses in the hospitality sector, accommodation providers and visitor attractions.  
Yes, you will be able to remain open, but some areas of service provision will be restricted.  
The new measures have placed a limit to opening hours and venues are required to close between 10pm and 5am, and will not be permitted to be open to customers during this time. 

In addition all hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only. 

Also as residents have been advised not to socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues, hospitality businesses are advised to confirm with their customers that that their party is from one household. 

National guidelines on opening safely still remain. If you have any further questions or need any specialist help please contact the Tourism and Hospitality Hub at tourismsupporthub@northumberland.gov.uk 
Yes, you will still be able to host guests from both inside and outside the North East region.   

National guidelines on opening safely still remain. Please click here for government advice on working safely during Covid-19 or if you have any further questions or need any specialist help please contact the Tourism and Hospitality Hub at tourismsupporthub@northumberland.gov.uk 
Yes, you can still enter domestic properties to carry out works and deliver services, with Covid-secure measures in place. 

However, the council has written to care homes in the region to recommend that they should be closed to non-essential visitors, excluding health care professionals and those involved in end of life care (including family members.) This may affect individual care homes policies on works undertaken during this time. 

National guidelines on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19,) should continue to be followed to ensure both employees and customers are safe. More information on working safely can be found on the government website here. 
Yes, you can remain open under the new measures.  

National guidelines on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19,) should continue to be followed to ensure both employees and customers are safe. More information on working safely can found on the government website here.
Yes, you can still deliver these services under the new local restrictions. 

National guidelines on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19,) should continue to be followed to ensure both employees and customers are safe. More information on working safely can found on the government website here. 
The new measures will not affect your ability to work and you will be able to continue to offer taxi services under the new restrictions. 

As residents have been advised not to socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues, you are advised to confirm with your customers that that the party is from one household. 

National guidelines on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19,) should continue to be followed. More information on working safely can be found on the government website here.
Take away food services can continue to operate under the new restrictions, on the basis that customers will purchase food and take it away from the venue. However, between the hours of 10pm and 5am they will need to close their premises to customers but can offer a delivery service via orders placed by phone/website. 

National guidelines on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19,) should continue to be followed. More information on working safely can be found here on the government website.
A key reason for introducing the restrictions is to reduce impact on businesses and to avoid the need for businesses to face further restrictions as a result of the rise of the confirmed Covid 19 cases across the North East region. Therefore, the new local measures will not require any businesses to close and will only place limits on opening hours. This will help reduce the need for more stringent restrictions involving business and/or school closures. 

There are a number of dedicated support programmes available to Northumberland businesses covering a range of areas including fully funded digital support including websites and app development, and consultancy support to help businesses impacted by Covid 19.

Please visit the link to find out more and get in touch northumberlandbusinessresponse.co.uk
The local lockdown grant is provided from National Government via Local Authorities to businesses who have been asked to close as a result of local restrictions due to a rise in confirmed Covid 19 cases. Northumberland County Council is working to make sure we avoid businesses closing so have introduced precautionary measures to avoid businesses having to close. 
The Northumberland Business Hub provides a number of services and programmes to help support businesses across the County, please get in touch with us so our advisors can help you understand which programmes and services are right for you. 

Email address: businesshub@northumberland.gov.uk
As a council we have an obligation to enforce the new measures to protect the residents of Northumberland and help reduce the spread of the infection. However we wish this to be a last resort, and we want to work with all businesses to ensure that they can operate safely and well during this time.
 
Whilst acknowledging that many businesses are following the current rules and guidance, which we appreciate are frequently changing, we will where it is appropriate to do so, use the enforcement powers that we have been provided with, to deal with matters of non-compliance.
 
These powers allow us not only to issue on the spot fixed penalty notices of up to £1,000, to prosecute businesses, but also to close premises down with immediate effect.
 
We urge all businesses to please, follow the new measures, and use the information on these pages or get in touch with us if they are unsure.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) can support businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.


The grant supports businesses that were open as usual, providing services in person to customers from their business premises, but which were then required to close for at least 3 weeks due to local lockdown restrictions imposed by government. 
 
You can read more on the Government website here. 
 
We are currently developing a scheme for businesses in Northumberland which may be required to close due to restrictions imposed by government and will be promoting this once it is in place. 
 
Please check back on this page for updates. 
 

Further support for businesses in Tier 2 (HIGH) restriction areas 

On 22 October 2020 the Chancellor announced a new grant scheme for businesses in areas where Tier 2 restrictions are currently in place. The annoucement from the Chancellor can be read on the Government's website here.
 
Businesses will not need to be legally closed to be eligible and the grants will have retrospective effect for areas which have already been under enhanced restrictions and can be backdated to the date restrictions were applied.
 
We're awaiting guidance from the Government and we'll update this page with the full details along with an application form as soon as it becomes available. 

 

Find coronavirus financial support for your business 

On the Gov.uk website there is a business support finder where you can see what support would be available for your business. 
 
Find all the latest announcements from Government here.

October announcements

Chancellor statement to the House – Plan For Jobs - 22 October

Click here to view the full announcment made on 22 October.

 

September announcements

New national measures announced - 22 September

On 22 September the Prime Minister announced further new national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England. We are awaiting the detailed regulations in relation to these measures, which include face coverings, working from home, business restrictions and meeting people safely.

Read the detail that has been published by Government here.

 

Government announces Winter Economy Plan - 24 September 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has today (24 September) announced a new Job Support Scheme which will start in November and last for six months.  

It will replace the Furlough Scheme and Government have said that it will pay part of workers' wages who have lost hours due to Covid-19.

He also announced other measures in a Winter Economy Plan including extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans.

You can read the Government's announcement about this here



New legal duty to self-isolate - 28 September

From Monday 28 September, people in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. 

You can read the Government's announcment on self-isolation compliance here.
From Thursday 24 September, some business will need to display the official NHS QR code posters to make it easier for people to check-in at different premises once the app is rolled out nationally. These posters will help trace & prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can read the latest government announcement on QR codes here. 

 

Which venues in England should display the official NHS QR code poster? 

If your business or venue falls into one of the sectors or categories that should provide a customer log, then you are also now expected to display an NHS QR code poster at your venue when the app launches nationally. This applies if you provide: 
  • hospitality services, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés 
  • tourism and leisure services, 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
     
If you have a venue outside of these categories that is visited by members of the public and has a space where people congregate, then we also encourage you to create a QR code poster for the entrance to that venue.
 

Please note: If individuals choose to check-in using the QR code poster they do not need to log in via any other route

 

Offices 

QR code posters for offices are only likely to be needed where there is a high amount of external visitors or where workers cannot easily be identified or notified (for example by email) if there was a potential outbreak linked to the site.
 

How many official NHS QR code posters do I need?

If your business, organisation or event operates across multiple venues, you will need to create at least one poster for each unique location.  
 
You should display posters at all entry points to your venue, including where you may be currently collecting visitor details for NHS Test and Trace, or NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect. You should use the same poster at each of these points unless you have a very large venue. 
 
The number of posters you will need will depend on the size of your venue. 
 

How to create a coronavirus NHS QR code poster for your venue

Businesses can create a QR code poster on the government website - click here to get started.

The above link will allow you to create a QR code poster to display in your venue. Get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavrius (COVID-19). 

The NHS have also created a guide on how to create a QR poster for your venue, which you can view here.

You should create and display a QR code if you are: 
  • a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public 
  • an event which is taking place in a physical location 
If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service. 
 
If you do not have a printer, you can show the QR code on a display screen, such as a TV or tablet. Make sure it’s within reach so visitors can scan it with their mobile phones.
 
 

NHS QR code posters - FAQs

If you operate a very large venue, such as a conference centre, stadium or music venue, you may need to create separate NHS QR code posters for different areas within the venue.  
 
We suggest that you create NHS QR code posters for different entrances, spaces, or seating and viewing areas if they are areas where people are likely to congregate for more than 15 minutes and be less than 2 metres apart.  
 
NHS QR code posters should be displayed at the entrances to these different spaces within the venue. This will allow contact tracing and public health advice to be more precise. 
 
Any notifications to app users will not mention the name of the venue, only that that the user was at a venue recently where they may have come into contact with coronavirus. 
 
From 28 September, people who are legally required to self-isolate will be fined if they breach the regulations.

The penalty will start at £1,000 for a first offence but could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offenders.  These fines will also apply to employers who refuse to allow staff the time off work to self-isolate.

Click here for more information from Government on the new legal duty to self-isolate.
 
Here you can find information about working safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

This information was last updated on 10 September 2020

Now that many businesses have reopened, it is important that we know how to remain safe while at work.

Businesses' duty to NHS Test and Trace

Latest announcment from government on 9 September 2020 on businesses' upcoming mandatory duty to NHS Test and Trace.

Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days. Core COVID-19 Secure requirements will be mandated for hospitality businesses, and egregious breaches enforced. The government has also published simplified COVID-19 Secure guidance - click here to view.
 

A message to businesses 

Director of Public Health Elizabeth Morgan recently issued a letter to Northumberland Businesses outlining the key actions to take and resources to use to keep our businesses COVID secure and safe. 

An important note on the use and meaning of tests for businesses

We have noticed that some businesses are responding to the occurrence of a COVID case in one of their staff by asking their remaining staff to be tested and then allowing them back to work if negative. This should not be done as test results may be negative while contacts are actually incubating the disease.

If other staff are considered to be contacts within the guidance, they must self-isolate for 14 days and should only be tested if they become symptomatic.

Extended staff testing should only be undertaken at the request of the Health Protection Team and the Team’s advice should be sought in the first instance.

See here for governement guidance on NHS Test and Trace in the workplace.
 

Useful Government guides on working safely

There are guides covering a range of different types of work on the gov.uk website. 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 note: There is different guidance for public transport operators and for remaining safe in the following:

Early outbreak managment for businesses

There are some resources on managing early outbreaks of COVID-19 for various business. Please click here to be redirected to our dedicated page on early outbreak managment strategies. 
 

Can your business repoen?

Most businesses are able to or have now reopened, however, you must not reopen if your business is closed under current government rules. Check if your business or venue can open here.

Most businesses are now able to reopen, have welcomed back more staff, and have changed how they operate. Here you can find out which businesses are now allowed to open and safety information to consider when reopening a business.

This information was last updated on 28 August 2020.

Which businesses have reopened?

  • Pubs, restaurants, and hairdressers were allowed to open from 4 July.
  • Outdoor leisure facilities such as swimming pools were allowed to reopen from 11 July.
  • Spas, nail bars and tattooists were allowed to reopen from 13 July.
  • Indoor gyms and dance studios were allowed to reopen from 25 July.
  • Leisure centres and bowling greens were allowed to reopen from 1 August
  • Casinos, bowling alleys, indoor performances, beauticians and wedding receptions for up to 30 people were able to reopen from 15 August.

For more information about which businesses are allowed to reopen, please click here.

Advice for businesses from the UK government

Other things to consider when reopening a business

Please click on the drop-down boxes below for more information about what needs to be considered as businesses reopen:

Despite the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic it is important that you continue to manage the significant potential hazard that equipment failure can pose to staff and the public.

Thorough examinations, written schemes and statutory inspections should still be undertaken if due, while adhering to social distancing measures.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance about this, including under what circumstances some examinations and inspections may be postponed, can be found on the HSE website. Please click here to access the HSE website.

Even if inspections are delayed, there remains a responsibility to ensure equipment is safe to use and if it is not, then it must be taken out of use.
All businesses should review their fire risk assessment and emergency plan considering the impact of Covid-19 on their staffing levels, operating times, business processes and evacuation arrangements.

New staff should receive robust fire safety training and all workers should be extra vigilant to potential hazards and risks, particularly if staffing is reduced, or if they are working alone or in an isolated environment.

Please click here for advice on how to keep your business safe from fire.
Guidance for food businesses operating during the coronavirus pandemic can be found on the Government website.

A checklist to support food businesses to reopen safely after a period of inaction is available to download here.

Further detailed advice can also be found on the Food Standards Agency website.

If you are setting up a new food business then you must make sure that it has been registered with a local authority. This should be completed at least 28 days before you intend to open the business.

If you have not registered your business then this can be done via www.gov.uk/food-business-registration.
If your business has gas appliances, flues, pipework or safety devices then you must make sure they are maintained and in a safe condition.

If your annual gas safety inspection is due, you must ensure this is undertaken while adhering to social distancing measures.

For further advice see the Gas Safe Register website.
We have received enquiries from licensed premises wishing to diversify in light of Coronavirus concerns and the government advice regarding reduced social contact.

The vast majority of the queries relate to operators wishing to deliver food with an accompaniment of alcohol or to permit off sales of alcohol.

Before applying for a variation we recommend businesses first examine their existing premises licence to clarify what activities are permitted and whether it may already allow them to change their offer.

If however it does not then an application will need to be submitted to us as the licensing authority, with each case dealt with on its individual circumstances. Please note that due to the statutory time frame for consideration of variations it is worth contacting the licencing team as soon as possible to get the process started.

Further information can be found in the licensing section of our website, or via the links below.  or email  licensing@northumberland.gov.uk and ask for an officer to contact you.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has advice on helping the public to stay safe when shopping.

You can download it from their website here.
When buildings reopen after lockdown, it is essential that water systems are not put back into use without considering the risk of waterborne pathogens that can cause serious illnesses.

If your water systems were not drained, cleaned and disinfected before the premises were left empty, then they are deemed high risk for Legionella – which causes Legionnaires’ disease - and other bacteria.

For more information about the Legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak and what you should do to mitigate them, visit the HSE website’s dedicated page here.

You can also download the guidance leaflet from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
Find guidance about COVID-19 outbreak management for your business.

This information was last updated 7 September 2020.

Please find the guidance related to your business:

Food & drink workplace resources

Residential workplace resources

Commercial workplace resources

Institutions resources

Travel resources

Resources for hotel, B&B & holiday rental accomdation owners

The following leaflet should be used by Northumberland's hotel, B&B and holiday rental accomdation owners. It provides information for guests on what to do if they have COVID-19 symptoms while visiting Northumberland. Business owner's should print off the guide and make it available to guests. 

Click here to view the guide on what do if you have COVID-19 symptoms while visiting Northumberland.

Find out more about pavement licence available now for businesses recovering and reopening after the coronavirus lock down.

This page was last updated 3 August 2020

What is a pavement licence? 

New legislation called the Business and Planning Act 2020 came into force on 22 July 2020 allowing businesses to apply for a Pavement Licence to place removable furniture on certain highways adjacent to their premises for the purposes of selling/serving and/or consuming food and drink outdoors. Pavement Licences are a temporary measure brought in under the provisions of Part 1 of the 2020 Act. The intended aim of this new legislation is to support and make it easier for businesses serving food and drink (including - but not limited to - bars, restaurants and cafes) to survive and bounce-back from the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown. As confirmed in the 2020 Act, these measures will remain in force until 30th September 2021. 

Government guidance on pavement licences

Click here for guidance issued by the Government for the new pavement licenses (outdoor seating proposal). The guidance refers to 5 days for both the consultation and determination periods, however this has been updated to 7 days in Act itself.

The Government’s new pavement licensing regime expects that:

  • All businesses that place seating and furniture on the pavement are required to formally apply to the Council for consent, irrespective of whether this is a new arrangement or their historic practice.
  • There will be a non refundable application fee up to a maximum of £100 for the pavement licence. Northumberland County Council has however decided to waive this fee to help support businesses.
  • Applicants need to demonstrate that they are able to place seating and furniture on the pavement whilst maintaining a clear 2 metre width of pavement to ensure safe passage for pedestrians, in accordance with Government guidance.
  • The licence is only temporary and will end on or before 30 September 2021, by which time other pavement licensing arrangements will have been put in place by the local authority under the Highways Act 1980.

The Council and pavement licences

Northumberland County Council wants to do all it can to safeguard public health while supporting our economic recovery. The Council recognises that current social distancing guidelines will have considerable impact on the capacity of cafes, pubs and restaurants to accommodate customers. The Council also recognises that there may be some existing practices in relation to the placement of furniture on the highway that may not comply with this new legislation. 

This process should be used only when applying to use a pavement adjacent to the premises for the purposes of selling/serving and/or consuming food and drink outdoors.

Please note - a pavement licence DOES NOT:

  • permit the sale of alcohol, so if you do also wish to serve alcohol as part of your business, you must hold a separate Premises Licence under The Licensing Act 2003 in addition to any Pavement Licence granted.
  • allow the use of other parts of the highway such as parking bays, roads, etc. If this is something you want us to consider then contact us via email at pavementlicence@northumberland.gov.uk providing details of your specific request. Please note that you must be willing to meet any costs associated with legal orders and traffic management arrangements etc for use of other parts of the highway, if you wish us to consider such requests.

Please click on the drop down boxes below to apply for a pavement licence and learn more:

Please ensure you have read the ‘Pavement Licence Information Sheet’ for detailed information on the legislation, statutory guidance, the application process, size and layout requirements, furniture, etc.
 
All applications must be submitted electronically using the online application process.
 
All Pavement Licences granted by the Council are subject to ‘Standard Pavement Licence Conditions’.  
 
Prior to filling in the online application you must;-
  • Complete, print and display a copy of the ‘Notice of Application’ in your premises window
  • Prepare a plan of the proposed layout and display a copy in your premises’ window
  • Take a photo of the Notice of Application and proposed layout showing that they are in place and easily readable by the public
Examples of pavement licence area layouts can be found in Section 3 of the Pavement Licence Information Sheet.
  
In order for your application to be processed you also must ensure that the following documents are attached to the online application at the time of submission;-
  • A copy of your public liability insurance (this must be to the value of £5,000,000)
  • A plan of the proposed layout (a scale plan showing the area of relevant highway in respect of which the Pavement Licence is sought and the layout of the furniture to be placed on it)
  • A photo of the Notice of Application and proposed layout plan affixed to your premises’ window

The link to the pavement licence application form can be found here.
Prior to applying for your pavement licence you are encouraged to discuss your proposal with neighbouring businesses and other occupiers with particular regard to noise and nuisance. You are also encouraged to discuss your proposals with any services operated in the vicinity for vulnerable customers (e.g. care homes, disability organisations etc.) where individuals are at particular risk.

The ‘Notice of Application’ which is affixed to your premises’ window forms part of the publication. In addition to this, once your application has been submitted and verified, it will be made public on the Council’s Pavement Licence portal which can be viewed here.

The 7 day public consultation period starts on the day after your online application has been submitted.  

Members of the public will be able to view your application on our website and make representations either in support or to object.
Members of the public can view any application made on our website and make comments either in support or to object to proposals submitted. You can view an application and make a representation here.
Applicants should also be aware of the following statutory guidance which may affect the suitability of any application made: The Council has the power under these provisions to licence such activities and to ensure that they are properly regulated.
The Council aims to make a decision either to ‘grant’ or ‘refuse’ all applications within the timescales as set out in the 2020 Act.  Where this is not possible a pavement licence application will automatically ‘deem’. 
 
Applicants will receive an email confirming the decision. Where an application is granted, a link to the licence will also be included; the licence will need to be printed off and stored on the premises. 
 
A link to the ‘Request for a review’ form will be included with any application that has been refused. Once completed, a review will be undertaken by a senior manager of the Council who has not been previously involved in the determination of your application.
 
Following the granting of a pavement licence, should you no longer require your licence, we ask that you email a completed ‘Notice of Surrender of licence’ form to pavementlicence@northumberland.gov.uk.
The Council will undertake checks to ensure that businesses who have furniture out on the pavement have a valid Pavement Licence authorising this activity. For those businesses who do not have a valid Pavement Licence, the Council may use its powers under the Highways Act 1980 to remove any unauthorised obstructions of the highway and to recover its costs incurred in doing so.
 
The Council will also undertake checks of businesses that have a valid Pavement Licence to ensure the conditions are being adhered to. If it is found that there are any breaches of the conditions, appropriate enforcement action in accordance with the Business and Planning Act 2020 will be taken. This action may result in a pavement licence being revoked.
If you have any queries regarding Pavement Licences please contact us via email at pavementlicence@northumberland.gov.uk.
The Northumberland Covid Business Response (NCBRP) programme has been designed to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic to recover and restart

It is funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Covid-19 Capacity Fund and delivered by Advance Northumberland on behalf of the County Council and the Northumberland Business Hub.

There are two strands to the programme:
 

Business Advantage

This provides access to 12 hours of 1-2-1 coaching or consultancy for businesses looking to explore new methods of business delivery, increase productivity or become more resilient. It is open to large businesses and SMEs across the county.
 

Digital Advantage

This support will enable SMEs from across the county to introduce digital tools into their day to day business activity. These tools include e-commerce websites and proactive digital marketing campaigns to expand and reach new customers. Businesses in the hospitality sector could have the chance to create bespoke apps fully funded for their business.

For more details and to register your interest go to: www.northumberlandbusinessresponse.co.uk or email business@advancenorthumberland.co.uk
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme have been able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

This information was last updated 1 September 2020

 

What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

Employers have been able to claim for 80% of their employees wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
 

Recent developments - 1 September 2020

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 at the link below.

You can find the latest information on the job retention scheme on the Government website by clicking this link.

Employers can contact the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) to arrange a meeting to discuss support needs and how the National Careers Service can support the work force with access to Rapid Response training and other areas of training, skills, CVs, job searching, employment opportunities and benefits.

Please click on the links below for more information:
The lastest updates in business grant funding and loans as a response to COVID-19. Find out about the Kick-starting Tourism Package, the Bounce Back Loan, Future Fund, help for Fishing and Aquaculture businesses, and help for larger businesses. Please note that the COVID-19 Discretionary Grant Fund, alongside the Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funds are now closed.

This information was last updated 9 September 2020

Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund

The Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund was launched by Government in May and closed on Friday 28 August at midnight.

The fund was primarily aimed at small and micro businesses with high ongoing fixed property-related costs, and businesses which could demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

If you have queries about the Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund, please email NCCdiscretionarygrant@northumberland.gov.uk.

Small Business and Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Funds

These grant funds were launched by Government in March.

The Small Business Grant Fund was for local businesses which usually receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief may qualify for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) of £10,000.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund was for retail, hospitality or leisure businesses may qualify for a grant of £10,000 (if their rateable value is below £15,000), or a grant of £25,000 (if their rateable value is between £15,001 and £51,000), under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Both funds are now closed.

If you have any queries about applications please email covidbusinessgrants@northumberland.gov.uk.

Kick-starting Tourism Package

Businesses in tourist destinations across the North East LEP region (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland) that depend on visitors for income can apply for grants of £3,000.

This fund is administered by the North East LEP.  The first phase of the package had many Expressions of Interest. The second round for applications is now open from Wednesday 9 September at 10:30am. Before you apply, please read the eligibility criteria (available at the link below) in full. 

For any other queries relating to either scheme, please email info@northeastgrowthhub.co.uk or click here to visit the North East Growth Hub website.

Future Fund

This fund is for companies which are facing financing difficulties due to COVID-19. The loans range from £125,000 to £5 million (subject to at least equal match funding from private investors), and may be an option for businesses unable to access other government support. 

The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020. 

Please click here to apply for the coronavirus Future Fund.

Fishing and aquaculture businesses

There are two funds for England’s fishing and aquaculture businesses, administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and that target those most in need. 

Fisheries Response Fund
  • Qualifying fishing vessel owners will be contacted directly in stages by MMO, starting from Monday 20 April 2020.
  • Qualifying aquaculture businesses are being contacted directly by MMO from Thursday 07 May 2020.
Domestic Seafood Supply Fund

The second fund is a grant scheme to support the sale of fish locally.




Bounce Back Loan

The Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan will help both small and medium-sized businesses affected by the pandemic.

Businesses will be able to apply for loans from £2,000 to £50,000, with no fees or interest for the first 12 months. 

Please click here to apply for the coronavirus Bounce Back Loan.

Larger Businesses

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility
The government has introduced a financing facility where the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. Operating initially for 12 months, it’s intended to relieve cash flow pressures. 

Click here to find out if the Corporate Financing Facility is right for you.
 
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of up to £45m to apply for Government-backed finance up to £5m. The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. 
 

We’ve heard from lots of self-employed residents who are worried about their current situation. Here you can find out how to claim for a grant if you are self-employed.

This information was last updated on 8 September 2020.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is a scheme issued by Government. If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be able use this scheme to claim a grant.

The first scheme allowed you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months. Applications for the first grant closed on 13 July 2020. 
 

Apply for the second grant from 14 July 2020

The second and final taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Applications for the second and final grant are now open.

Find out more about the self-employment income support scheme and how to claim here.
 
Changes in business rates as a response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This information was last updated 16 October 2020

 

Business Rate Relief

The Government has announced the intention to increase the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for the 2020-21 tax year for properties below £51,000 rateable value.

All retail/hospitality/leisure businesses in England will get a 100% retail rates relief discount for the next 12 months.

 

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

There is a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. There is no action for you. This will apply to your bill in April 2020. 
Find other support for businesses below:

This information was updated on 7 September 2020



Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID-19

The UK Government has produced guidance for employers about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and how to treat staff presenting with symptoms. The guide also provides information on support for employers and businesses.



Deferring your self-assessment payment

If you are due to make a self-assessment payment to HMRC on 31 July 2020, you can now have this payment deferred until January 2021. 

There is no need to apply for this. If you choose to defer, you won’t be charged any penalties or interest.



Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the UK Government in full.
 
The scheme launched on Tuesday 26 May and the HMRC has published online guidance here, which includes information about who can use the scheme, what you can claim and how to claim.



Time to Pay

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress caused by COVID-19 and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. 

Your business may be able to agree to a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. Please call 0800 0159 559 for more information.



Support for UK exporters

Export, supply, and UK Export Finance may have also been impacted by COVID-19.

 

North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit 

To keep up to date with the latest updates and guidance visit the North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit:



Useful links for businesses

Please click on the links below for information from the gov.uk website:
Enquiries relating to business support measures in Northumberland should be emailed to businesshub@northumberland.gov.uk
Northumberland County Council has established a dedicated Tourism and Hospitality Hub to support businesses in the sector.

We have a specialist team available to offer you help and signpost you to specific advice and guidance where this has been made available by Government and other industry bodies.
 

How can I get help?

If you are a business in the tourism or hospitality sector and need help or advice on reopening your business, we can help.

Contact Tourism and Hospitality:  

What can we help with?

A specialist team of advisers can help with:
  • Providing information on social distancing measures and how to apply them in your business
  • Identifying business suport grant opportunities and organisations
  • Working safely during COVID-19
  • Interpretation of specific guidance and regulations for tourism businesses
  • Regular updates on all matters affecting the visitor economy

Who can access the Tourism and Hospitality hub?

Our specialist team can offer help, advice and support to the following sectors:
  • Heritage locations
  • Hotels and other guest accommodation
  • Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway outlets
  • Wider visitor / tourism economy (including attractions, events and shows)

Visit Britain - We’re Good to Go 

We’re Good to Go - Visit Britain has launched a new industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to Government and public health guidance.

Over 600 Northumberland businesses have already signed up. All you have to do is complete an online self-assessment and ensure you have all the necessary processes in place.

Please click here for more information

 

Other support for businesses

We recommend all tourism and hospitality businesses sign up to the COVID-19 Business Support Weekly Update, which can be found here on Northumberland Tourism's website. 

The mail includes all updates and important news on developments, business support, opportunities to be featured in Visit Northumberland activity and news relating to Northumberland's tourism sector.

Follow the latest tourism industry news in Northumberland via:
Please click here for the latest business support information from the gov.uk website