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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

Loans and grants

Business grants

Grants are available for businesses adversely affected by the Coronavirus restrictions. For information on the current grants available, please visit our business grants page.

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.

Go Digital Grant

COVID-19 restrictions have left many businesses facing the challenge of reaching their customers remotely by utilising digital services in new ways. 

The ‘Go Digital’ scheme is a free business support programme designed to help your business do more with digital.

Find out more on our Go Digital Grant page.

Refresh and Reopen Grant

The Refresh and Reopen Grant supports businesses who without this award would struggle to:

  • refresh their premises
  • support their reopening
  • make adaptions to meet social distancing requirements

You can find out more and apply for a grant on our Refresh and Reopen Grant page.

Business rates discounts

Retail Discount and Nursery Discount

Business rates relief may be available if your business is in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector, subject to the eligibility criteria. If you qualify, you won't have to pay business rates from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. A full discount also applies for Ofsted registered day nurseries in the business rates list.

The Government has announced these schemes will carry on for part of 2021/2022. If you qualify you won’t have to pay business rates from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. After this a 66% discount is awarded from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, subject to the cash caps.

You can find more information on our Retail Discount and Nursery Discount page.

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

Closures and re-opening

Closures

From 4 January the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown, meaning further 'non-essential' businesses must close. You can find out more on the GOV.UK - Stay at home - page.

Re-opening

This business and tourism toolkit has been prepared by the Norfolk Resilience Forum (Norfolk Public Health) to provide you with useful information and advice as you start to re-open for business.

If you don't have access to printing facilities and need to have a copy printed, or materials from within the toolkit (posters/leaflets) printed, you can request these, free of charge, by contacting  print.room@west-norfolk.gov.uk. Please state how many copies you need, and which pages. Where possible we'll ask you to collect the materials from our print facility.

There are links within the document to additional resources on the Norfolk.gov.uk website, including translated documents, which you may find useful.

Frequently asked questions

Can dog groomers continue trading?

During the national lockdown dog groomers can remain open. But they must only be used for welfare and emergency needs, and not for pet aesthetics. For more information, please view the Animal licensing - COVID-19 update.

Can riding stables open?

Riding centres and stables must remain closed, with one exception: Riding schools can provide organised lessons outdoors for the disabled.

Food and drink businesses

Food business latest information

Norfolk went into tier 4 from 26 December 2020. In tier 4 all hospitality venues must close for consumption on their premises. You can conduct deliveries or click and collect orders between certain times. To find out more on these restrictions, please visit the GOV.UK - closing certain businesses and venues - page.

Further to the above, from 4 January the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown, tightening restrictions further to combat the spread of Coronavirus. To find out how your business may be affected by the new legislation, please visit the GOV.UK - Stay at home - 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.

Pavement licence

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses across the economy. It's caused many to cease trading for several months. While others have had to significantly modify their operations.

As the economy starts to re-open, the Government has announced a relaxation to planning and licensing laws through the Business and Planning Act 2020. This will help the hospitality industry recover from the coronavirus lockdown by removing short-term obstacles that could get in their way.

As lockdown restrictions are lifted, the Business and Planning Act 2020 makes it easier for premises serving food and drink (such as bars, restaurants and pubs) to seat and serve customers outdoors through temporary changes to planning procedures and alcohol licensing. This will help while social distancing guidelines remain in place.

You can apply for a pavement licence to allow you to place chairs and tables on the highway outside your premises. Find out more on our Pavement licence page.

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 two 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

You can 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%

You can 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

No Temporary Event Notices (TENs) are currently permitted. Please visit the GOV.UK website to find out the current regulations.

Once the national lockdown is eased, and certain events can take place, you must conduct a thorough risk assessment before you apply for a 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.