Help for Businesses – all in one place
Help for Businesses – all in one place. Note: Employers are responsible for keeping employees safe. This is not a new duty but the Coronavirus means that all risk assessments should be reviewed and reasonable measures put in place to protect staff and customers, from the virus.
ADVICE TO EMPLOYERS/ SMALL BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATION ON PROTECTING STAFF AND ORGANISING WORKING FROM HOME
This is independent advice from ACAS: Keeping staff safe/ working from home
Self-Employed: There will be information of help to you, throughout this post BUT, some specific info at the end.
Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership are acutely aware that the restrictions put in place are having a significant impact on businesses. The government’s announcements that support will be available through loans, tax breaks/ delays, business rate relief and grants is a welcome start. It seems likely that these measures will apply to not-for-profit sector as well as commercial businesses. Business Rates Relief and info
Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Mark Duddridge said: “We should not underestimate the pressure businesses are under and whilst we welcome the governments announcements that support to businesses will be forthcoming through loans, business rate relief and grants, we need to make sure that the scale of the support matches the scale of the challenges businesses are facing and that the support available focuses on both ensuring businesses and individuals are supported through the crisis.
“We are committed to listening to business and are already working with representative organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Business and Visit Cornwall to understand the challenges the business community are facing.
“We will continue to work in partnership to do all we can to support our business community. Our immediate focus is to get business support schemes up and running as quickly as possible and to signpost businesses to the right business support and application processes, however, it may take a short period to be able to provide clarity on all the support available.”
The most up to date information for businesses from both Cornwall Council and national government will be provided through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub. This can be accessed via www.ciosgrowthhub.com/business-resilience or 01209 708660.
For cafe and restaurants and pubs: The Government has closed such businesses down to stop social gatherings that are putting people at risk and enabling those businesses to claim on their insurance. However, it is recognised that some will still want to serve their communities and Cornwall Council has put together a useful guide on how they can provide take away services or deliver. This is well worth a read and consideration. It does cove all aspects, from what I can make out. Changing your business from eat in to eat at home (this is a Cornwall Council document so is safe to open)
The Council’s website was updated today to provide additional information for businesses on Business Rates and grants – please see https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/business/business-rates/business-rates-and-coronavirus/ The rates bills are being recalculated at the moment.
Regarding Council Tax, the latest information is at https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/public-health-cornwall/information-about-coronavirus-covid-19/ The Council has suspended debt recovery action until at least the end of April, and people are encouraged to apply for Council Tax Support if their income has dropped due to the virus.
HMRC has launched a helpline for those concerned with how they will meet their HMRC liabilities due to the impact of coronavirus and the details of this can be found on the link below. It may be prudent to speak to HMRC about any potential cashflow concerns and making arrangements with managing payments to ease cashflow when your business may be experiencing a downturn in trade:
HMRC have also published a document outlining the various support initiatives for small businesses and employers that have been introduced as part of the budget and targeted to helping SME’s through the Coronavirus pandemic. This document can be found on the link below:
HELP FROM THE TIN COAST
With everyone’s efforts focusing on keeping all of us safe and healthy the project is finding as many ways as we can to stay connected with you and to keep you connected with each other.
If you haven’t done so already, we would encourage local businesses to join the online ‘CoaST Network’. In this very uncertain time the CoaST Team are holding and supporting business conversations across the tourism sector. They are following business announcements and posting what they find, and also helping businesses find each other for morale support. With the hospitality industry being hard hit, be a part of the discussion – this crisis is definitely better managed together:
CoAST project resources
As the Tin CoaST Network team won’t be in the Miners’ Chapel for our usual drop-in sessions for the time being, we have set up a digital drop-in instead. All you need to do is follow this link between 1pm – 3pm on a Thursday and you’ll find Jill and/or Beth there. Come and have a chat, tell us what’s going on in your world and get the latest about the project. https://whereby.com/information/ios/?room-name=/tin-coast
What will happen next with the local visitor economy is impossible to predict. Feelings so far vary. Cornwall and the local area may be facing an immediate future where visitor numbers drastically decrease but, by direct contrast, there may be a large increase in visitors to Cornwall as people stop travelling overseas. For businesses and communities the impact, either way, could be significant.
As a project we are looking at how to prepare for this unpredictability and what we can do with the short timeframe that we have to ensure the Coastal Communities funded project plans for (as best we can) and remains flexible to the unknown impact that the visitor season ahead will bring to the Tin Coast.
READY AND RESPONSIVE
We are determined to keep project progress moving forward as appropriate and future planning responsive to the current climate so that the project will be ready to play it’s part alongside you all in whatever the local recovery plan will look like for the Tin Coast once this crisis eases and, eventually stops.
The project will continue to prepare and manage work on visitor information, transport, the Visitor Charter, finding new ways to connect visitors to the local area in a way that encourages respectful tourism, harmonious with and beneficial to the current way of life in the area.
AND IN THE MEANTIME
Think about how we can best support you all and tell us.
We will keep updating you in our normal way but right now – here’s what we say:
Tell us what you need. It might be government advice on insurance or income or mortgages; or something specific on travel advice; or how to keep all our marbles when it feels like they’re all rolling off a cliff. Tell any of us (our details are right below) and use the CoaST Tourism website spaces to ask, share, connect.
We want to continue to share with you and learn from you about how this project can help with the local area, but if you feel that now is not the time for us to be doing so then please tell us. We want to make sure that the Tin CoaST Network is yours and working for you in the way you want it to.
And stay well. Use the outside. We are lucky to have this and to be able to use our local footpaths safely (and we are working as a project to improve them even more..) If you can, a brief walk every day will help keep our heads and hearts strong. Walk with others, keeping your distance. But this is a time to know how connected we are to our place, and how it keeps us well.
PLEASE don’t hesitate. Ask us whatever you feel can be useful right now. We will do everything we possibly can to help in these strange, worrying and unpredictable times. We are undoubtedly better off tackling it together.
HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE TIN CoaST NETWORK
The Tin CoaST Network team are always available on email and by phone. And, as we can’t have face-to-face drop-ins at the Miner’s Chapel for the time being, we’ve set up a digital drop in instead. All you need to do is follow this link between 1pm – 3pm on a Thursday and you’ll find Jill and/or Beth there. Link
SELF EMPLOYED AND UNABLE TO WORK
This is the group where advice is least clear. However, from what I can make out, people will now be able to claim benefits BUT, I suspect Job Centre’s will become overwhelmed unless there is a simple on-line process. Here is a good website to find out what is open to you. Info from Federation of Small Business
Government offer to self-employed: Government Grant Scheme for Self Employed
As I understand it, this will not offer hard cash till June and some might not be able to access. I would like to hear from people who anticipate extreme hardship before June – use my email address, available on this website. Please give me a BRIEF summary of your situation, why you might not manage till June and what bills are worrying you. I can only offer this to residents of St Just Parish (so from about Lands End Airport, through St Just and all the hamlets down to the Rose Valley, just beyond Bojewyan).
Local Enterprise Partnership survey
The Government is being urged to accelerate the roll-out of business support measures in response to the coronavirus after a survey in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly found that 40% of businesses said they may not last another month.
The survey, which is ongoing, has been commissioned by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and was launched earlier this week in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub, Cornwall Council, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Ninety percent of respondents said coronavirus has had a ‘significant’ impact on their business, with none unaffected by the outbreak.
Three-quarters are reporting cashflow issues, with 88% saying they have seen reduced demand for products and services. More than a quarter have already laid of staff, at an average of five per business.
Almost 90% of respondents said their business will not survive more than six months if current restrictions continue, and 40% said they may not last a month.
Businesses are urged to visit the Growth Hub website, which is regularly updated with the latest information, or call 01209-708660 during office hours. The service is free.