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Information for businesses

Information for businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak

We'll keep this page updated with information for businesses and those self-employed. And we'll answer some of our most frequently asked questions. 

It's a rapidly changing situation, but we'll update this page as soon as possible following any further Government announcements or changes.

Latest business information

Business rates discounts

Business rates holiday

Business rates relief will be available for all companies in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector. If you qualify, you won't have to pay business rates for this financial year. We have updated the business rates accounts for all qualifying ratepayers and updated bills have been sent.

There is a 100% discount for non-local authority day nurseries. Those who qualify won't need to pay business rates for 12 months from 1 April 2020. We have updated the business rates accounts for all qualifying ratepayers and revised bills have been sent.

You can check your My Revenues account to see if you have a business rates holiday applied to your bill.

Closures and re-opening

Re-opening

If you're re-opening your business, you'll need to conduct a risk assessment to ensure you are covid-secure. You can find out more on our re-opening guidance page.

Closures

Certain businesses must stay closed, in line with the government's order. GOV.UK has a full list of businesses that must stay closed.

Food and drink businesses

Food business latest information

The Prime Minister announced on 23 June that food and drink businesses could re-open from 4 July.

From 24 September it was announced that all hospitality premises must close at 10:00pm (this is not drinking up time, the premises must be closed by 10:00pm). Also:

  • any licensed premises must only operate on a table service basis
  • there must be a maximum of six people at tables and no mixing between groups
  • customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
  • staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings

After 10:00pm, food premises can continue to offer takeaways, by delivery only, not onsite collection.

For full details on the new guidance please visit the GOV.UK - what has changed - website page. You may also find GOV.UK's what you can and can't do page useful. Or your can visit our COVID advice for food and drink businesses page.

Guidance for businesses

Advice and help available locally

Norfolk businesses who have been affected by coronavirus should seek advice from the New Anglia Growth Hub. Their qualified business advisers are offering free support and advice and can help you to access the support measures put in place by Government.

You can contact them by emailing growthhub@newanglia.co.uk or telephoning 0300 333 6536, Monday – Friday between the hours of 9am - 5pm. Or you can use their contact form.

Government guidance

The Government has supplied a series of resources to keep employers up to date on the latest developments and advice on protecting themselves and their employees.

Read the latest government advice for businesses and for self-employed people.

Business security

You may wish to review your business security. If you have goods that are currently in short supply, it could leave your business vulnerable to break-ins. Likewise, a temporary closure means that you won't be present at your business to provide that extra level of protection. The Police have some guidance on the steps you can take to help. View their Coronavirus business security leaflet

Changes from 22 September

On 22 September the Government announced further national measures to address the rising cases of Coronavirus in England. Some of these changes will have an impact on certain businesses, with new rules coming into force. You can find out more on the GOV.UK - what has changed - webpage. You may also find GOV.UK's what you can and can't do page useful.

Loans and grants

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Government Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000
  • The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months
  • Loan terms will be up to six years
  • The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan
  • The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders

You can find out more on the GOV.UK - Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan website page.

Local Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme

New Anglia Growth Hub have announced a Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme. This funding scheme will help qualifying businesses through the pandemic and into economic recovery. You can find out more on the New Anglia Growth Hub website

Report a breach of COVID-19 safety rules

Businesses have a legal responsibility to keep employers and visitors safe. They must follow the Government advice when operating.

If you've seen a business who isn't adhering to the COVID-secure guidelines, find out how to report this on our Report a breach of COVID-19 safety rules page.

Self-employed

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Government has announced a new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. It will pay self-employed people who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years up to £2,500 a month. See the government advice for information.

If you can’t work because you’ve had symptoms of COVID-19 or have self isolated, you can apply for:

GOV.UK has information about:

Advice for tradespeople

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms. Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a 2 metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

Staff support

Support available

The HMRC have introduced:

As part of the summer economic update on the 8 July the Government also announced the following measures:

  • 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 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
  • 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

When the scheme details have been finalised, you'll be able to find out more on the GOV.UK website.

 

Support for your business

GOV.UK information

GOV.UK has information about support for businesses, including:

Use the GOV.UK coronavirus business support finder to find out what support your business is eligible for.

Summer economic update

On 8 July the Chancellor outlined a package of measures to:

  • support jobs in every part of the country
  • give businesses the confidence to retain and hire
  • provide people with the tools they need to get better jobs

The measures include:

  • 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 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
  • 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
  • VAT - the rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will be cut from 20% to 5%

When the scheme details have been finalised, you'll be able to find out more on the GOV.UK website.

Taxi businesses

Face coverings became mandatory for private hire and taxi passengers from 23 September.

To find out more, and for answers to your frequently asked questions, please visit our Taxi update - COVID-19 page.

Temporary Event Notices

The Government updated the working safely during coronavirus guidance for performing arts on 13 August 2020.

The guidance confirms that performing arts can now take place both indoors and outdoors with limited and socially distanced audiences present.

We recommend that a thorough risk assessment take place before you apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). You can find out more on our Temporary Event Notices during COVID-19 page.

Test and Trace

Businesses and those who manage public venues are in a position to influence the actions of other people inside the premises. They should take measures to promote these actions wherever possible.

NHS Test and Trace is now fully operational in England. Having a test to detect current infection is now available to anyone in Norfolk who has symptoms. All tests are free of charge. The Test and Trace business toolkit document helps guide you on what to do if you have a customer or staff member test positive for covid-19.

If you're a tourism business, please see our flowchart document to help guide you if a guest has suspected coronavirus.

QR codes

From 24 September it is a legal requirement for certain business premises to have a QR code poster displayed at their venue. Businesses that don't comply are at risk of a fine. Find out more about the Test and Trace system, and how to get a QR code, on our guidance for businesses page.