Covid-19 Advice and Support
(Updated 3rd June)
Food Drink Devon will be keeping this page up-to-date with links to useful and relevant Covid-19 advice and support.
Health and Safety Executive:
Don't forget to check out ' The Skills Toolkit' - theskillstoolkit.campaign.gov.uk/
Updated on 29th May:
Updated on 28th May:
Food Standards Agency:
Devon County Council:
The Skills Toolkit - made up of free online courses, tools and resources to help you improve your digital and numeracy skills.
Sign up to The Caterer's Live Webinar on 30th April - FREE
Leading your business out of the Coronavirus crisis.
Insitute of Hospitality:
Sign up to the IoH's Live Webinar on 23rd April - FREE
React, Respond, Recover... An industry-led panel focused on how hoteliers can find the best way forward in a changed world.
The Rockefeller Foundation:
Job Retention Scheme guidance
HMRC has published further guidance for employees to check if their employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Updated guidance on grants for self-employed people
HMRC has updated guidance on how to claim a grant through the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and published guidance on how total income and trading profits are calculated for the scheme.
VisitBritain | VisitEngland:
Devon County Council - Funding News:
Devon County Council continues to update its dedicated webpage listing the grants that have been launched for organisations and individuals in need of financial support as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Continue reading →
Grants and support for people starting up or developing a social or community enterprise Continue reading →
Food Standards Agency:
Peplows Chartered Accountants:
Mind Map and Toolkit - detailing the range of support available depending on criteria such as business structure and sector.
The latest news from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs:
At this busy time, Government communications are increasing to ensure that stakeholders are aware of updated guidance. As a result, you may have received the information below from different sources.
Latest guidance from Public Health England can be found here.
Defra has posted a new video highlighting that many food and drink businesses are still open and delivering to homes.
Please share or highlight your own examples of hidden heroes using #FoodHeroes.
Latest Government press conference
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove has hosted today’s #coronavirus press conference (04 April 2020).
Material published by Public Health England
Public Health England update a daily dashboard later the same day, to show trends in UK data on positive tests and deaths and to provide confirmed cases in each local authority and NHS region in England.
Coronavirus: Latest retailer activity
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is providing a daily update on the actions taken by retailers to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.
You can read today’s update on the BRC website.
COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses
Organisations should pay particular attention to the guidance for employees, employers and businesses which is being updated regularly with the latest advice.
UK Hospitality guidance
UK Hospitality is providing detailed guidance and an FAQ for members of the hospitality industry, as well as a daily newsletter.
Business impact reporting for farmers and growers
The NFU is gathering information on the impact of coronavirus on the agricultural and horticultural industries across the UK.
Farmers and growers can provide information on any business-critical issues they have encountered, or expect to encounter, which will then be used in an anonymised format to flag the key issues agriculture and horticulture are facing to government on a daily basis.
You can provide this information on the NFU website.
Please continue to send your sector insight to firstname.lastname@example.org
Heart of the South West Growth Hub support: regularly updated with Covid-19 support for businesses - www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/covid-19-support-for-business/
There are a number of surveys underway to measure effects and to capture data so that helpful interventions can be made. The Government one is available here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business
And the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service is carrying out a survey specifically about the manufacturing sector until 17 April: survey.zohopublic.eu/zs/dMB8VI
Farmers and growers can provide information on business critical issues on the NFU Covid-19 Impact Form and we’ll be issuing our next Quarterly Economic Survey shortly in partnership with the business representative organisations.
To receive regular updates from the Heart of the SW Growth Hub, please sign up to their newsletter at the bottom of their homepage here: heartofswlep.co.uk/
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy:
Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations...
Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations are providing coronavirus related support for specific sectors.
Devon County Council:
Information about grant and funding support
In addition to the grants that they are making available, there are other grants for care workers, community organisations, businesses and individuals, charities, hospitality industry, sports sector, and grants for the arts industry. Devon County Council have brought information about all of them together on their coronavirus webpages.
Plymouth County Council:
Thousands apply for business grants
Since writing to all businesses eligible for the new Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Fund last week, Plymouth County Council have received nearly 2,300 completed submissions.
The funds offer grants of up to £25,000 to help businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. They've paid out £18 million so far and are aiming to make all payments within two weeks of receiving the request.
Plymouth County Council are also running a dedicated helpline to support businesses who haven’t received a letter, or who are unable to access their business premises but believe they are eligible for the grants. You can find more details, including eligibility criteria, on the Invest in Plymouth website.
Visit England/Visit Britain:
The Chancellor has today announced the following:
- An extension of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to ensure all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, rather than just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.
- The Government has also announced it will be stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000, and will be making changes to speed up approvals.
- The Government will continue to cover the first 12 months of interest fees.
- A new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.
The full announcement can be read here. We will share any further information and updates on these schemes as they become available.
Additional recent Government announcements include:
- Cash support for food redistribution during the coronavirus outbreak to prevent food waste.
- Update on deferring VAT payments because of coronavirus, clarifying that import VAT payments are not included.
- Update to the guidance for local authorities setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), outlining information on state aid, monitoring and reporting requirements, post-payment checks and the eligibility of charities.
- The 2020 National Living Wage came into effect on Wednesday 1 April.
- The Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance has been updated to confirm that the government’s assessment that the expanded retail discount is not a state aid, and that local authorities should therefore award relief to all eligible properties.
Further to this, the Local Government Association and the Tourism Alliance have identified some tourism businesses that are not explicitly mentioned in the business rates relief guidance, but it is felt that they fall into the intended category. Councils are being asked to give consideration to the premises listed below for inclusion in their local schemes:
- Amusement arcades
- Vehicle rental sites
- Conference and exhibition venues
- Travel and tour operators
- Tourism Information Centres
- Tourism Boards/Destination Management Organisations
- Coach operators
- English language schools
- Travel/hospitality industry charities (offices)
- Marinas/boat hire/passenger boat facilities
£50 million Heritage Emergency Fund launched
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50 million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
It is available to organisations across the full breadth of the heritage sector, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.
Local Growth Hubs
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is encouraging businesses across England to contact their local Growth Hub, which can provide a free to use, impartial and local single point of contact to all businesses so that they can access the right advice and support. The hubs can advise businesses on local and national business support including schemes in place to help businesses through the current COVID-19 situation. Find your local Growth Hub.
Upcoming business support webinars
UK Government’s Business Support website has a list of upcoming webinar events from government and non-government partners.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption. You can watch a video of the recorded webinar on the HMRC YouTube channel Coronavirus – (COVID-19): helping employers to support employees.
With best wishes from the team at VisitBritain/VisitEngland.
Food Made Good
Regular updates are available here.
Food Made Good hosted a Webinar: Delivery Made Good. You can listen to this or read the summary here.
Government advice and support:
- Guidance for food businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Support for people who are self-employed
- Self-employment Income Support Scheme
- NEW Tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19
- Business rates: expanded retail discount - guidance
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
- Closing certain businesses and venues
Visit Britain/ Visit England:
- IP, tech and data protection support for UK organisations affected by COVID-19
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – What do we know so far?
- Key digital trends for food and drink businesses
- Tackling the problem of food waste
- Decision taking by Directors – Business Resilience and Recovery
- Brewer beware - Legal and optional requirements for labelling that brewers should know
- COVID-19 – Our response to the challenges ahead
Government advice and support:
- Guidance on the closure of all non-essential business and premises
- Guidance and advance for those providing hotel, other accomodation in the UK
- Guidance for UK businesses trading internationally
- Advice for accommodation providers
- Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19
- Cleaning of non-healthcare settings
- Guidance for employers and businesses on COVID-19 poster
- Support for business - including information on Commercial insurance, Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees, Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates and more
- Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
- Guidance for employees
- Guidance on business support grant funding
- Extra protection for businesses with ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments
You can also join their new social marketing activity to remind visitors of Britain with inspirational content including food & drink (British recipes from iconic restaurants, food traditions and culture, pubs).
For the most up to date advice and support from the government, please continue to visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Heart of the South West Growth Hub support:
The LEP is working hard with key partners in Government, Local Authorities, Business Representative Organisations and other agencies to support businesses through the unprecedented health and economic shock we are facing due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The Heart of the South West Growth Hub is being promoted as a single point of contact for all advice and guidance, and its website is continually update as new information comes in about the measures and support packages that are emerging from Government.
Details on specific financial packages, eligibility and processes for applying are still being developed.
At the same time local and free support and assistance is being offered by local partners and they are including details and links to these schemes on the Growth Hub website.
The Growth Hub team have capacity and interim support has been put into place by LEP partners to ensure increased volumes of enquiries can be managed. Longer term capacity is also being reviewed considering the budget announcement of more funding for Growth Hubs.
Updates and communications on latest advice will also begin shortly from the Growth Hub and businesses can sign up to receive this service. In the meantime, the Growth Hub’s contact details are:
And regular updates on relevant themes are being promoted through the LEP’s main Twitter accounts: @HeartofSWLEP @GrowthHubHotSW @HotSWSkillsCareers and on LinkedIn.
The LEP and its partners are also collating through the Growth Hub real-time local impacts on businesses from the pandemic to escalate key issues straight to Government, and advise them on what additional support and measures that are needed.
For example, they are setting up conversations with key sectors including food production; tourism; nuclear; maritime; aviation; digital.
They are also seeking clarity on the current mechanisms and support being announced.
The HotSW DSP have recently published updated information including advice to business on remote working, useful tools and resources to support staff’s digital competency to use digital solutions. This information will be updated regularly as new resources and webinars come online, viewed either through the newsletter (sign up at the bottom of their website) or Growth Hub website.
You can sign up for future Digital Skills Partnership newsletters.
Heart of the South West Virtual Careers Fairs
The HotSW Skills and Careers team have put together a set of resources to help employees in businesses adversely affected by COVID-19, as well as those who recently lost their jobs by two major employers in our area – Flybe and Axminister Carpets – going into administration. There is new information on the LEP’s website published today, and to be updated as further resources come in from our partners in all Heart of the South West areas.