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.
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
Now that many businesses have reopened, it is important that we know how to remain safe while at work.
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:
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.
For more information about which businesses are allowed to reopen, please click here.
Please click on the drop-down boxes below for more information about what needs to be considered as businesses reopen:
Please find the guidance related to your business:
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.
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.
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:
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 click on the drop down boxes below to apply for a pavement licence and learn more:
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or click here to visit the North East Growth Hub website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Export, supply, and UK Export Finance may have also been impacted by COVID-19.
To keep up to date with the latest updates and guidance visit the North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit:
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