Coronavirus Outbreak - Advice for Businesses

I'm sure you're all very aware of the current outbreak of coronavirus, the virus responsible for disease COVID-19. We have compiled some useful information from different government sources regarding help and advice available for businesses. 

We know these are very uncertain times for all but please get in touch with us if you have any concerns, we may not have the answers but we are committed to doing all we can to support businesses through these tough times. 

We have decided to postpone our Breakfast at John Lewis that was scheduled for Wednesday 25th May and will be setting a new date for it.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss how we may be able to support please give me a call on 01707497930 or email 


Government Help for Businesses

The government announced the ways in which it will be helping businesses over this year, these are some of the measures:

Firms with less than 250 staff members can reclaim SSP (Statuary Sick Pay) payments for up to two weeks.
If your company has 250 members of staff or less, the government are bringing forward legislation to allow small and medium size businesses and employers to relaim any SSP paid due to COVID-19. Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism as soon as possible. More information here.
Business Rates Holiday
The government will increase the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year and expand it to the leisure and hospitality sectors, and increase the planned rates discount for pubs to £5,000. Taken together with existing small business rate relief,  an 45% of all properties in England, will receive 100% business rates relief in 2020 to 2021 More information here
Small firms will be able to access 'business interruption' loans of up to £1.2 million
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will launch in a matter of weeks to support businesses in accessing bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value. More information here.
HMRC's Time to Pay
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. These businesses can contact HMRC’s new dedicated HMRC Coronavirus Helpline 0800 015 9559 . You can read more about Time to Pay here.

Breakfast Meeting at John Lewis POSTPONED

Due to the coronavirus outbreak we have decided to postpone the breakfast meeting that was due to take place at John Lewis on the 25th March at 8.30am.

We will let you know as soon as a new date is set. 

In the meantime you can read all about the Centenary Carnival clicking here 

It's still business as usual in our office so please if you want to discuss any issues or would like to hear about your plans for 2020 pop in or give me a call on 01707 497 930 or email 

You've heard this all before...

but we still want to remind you of the basic advice for employers
  • keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace
  • make sure everyone's contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date
  • make sure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace develops the virus
  • make sure there are clean places to wash hands with hot water and soap, and encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly
  • provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them
  • consider if protective face masks might help for people working in particularly vulnerable situations
  • consider if any travel / meetings are essential

Some more useful links

Guidance and support for businesses:
HMRC Time to Pay:
NHS information:
Latest information and advice for employers:
Latest information and advice for employees:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
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Welwyn Garden City BID · The Gate House · Fretherne Road · Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL8 6NS · United Kingdom

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