Covid-19 Advice and Support

Event Date: 
March, 2020

(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.




Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees


Health and Safety Executive:

Managing risks and risk assessment at work



Don't forget to check out ' The Skills Toolkit' -

Offer coronavirus support from your business

Coronavirus Business Support

Updated on 29th May:

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Chancellor extends Self-Employment Support Scheme and confirms furlough next steps

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Work out 80% of your employees' wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Updated on 28th May:

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

20th May:

Government introduces legislation to relieve burden on businesses and support economic recovery

19th May:

Check which expenses are taxable if your employee works from home due to coronavirus (COVID-19) - Updated

Larger businesses to benefit from loans of up to £200 million

UK Global Tariff backs UK businesses and consumers

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme set to launch

Check the tax rules on waiving your income or donating to charity


Food Standards Agency:

Reopening and adapting your food business during COVID-19



18th May:

Business Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 17 May 2020

COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses - Updated

15th May:

COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings

14th May:

Work out 80% of your employees' wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Updated

Coronavirus support for business from outside government - Updated

11th May:

Rules that have been relaxed to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic

New guidance launched to help get Brits safely back to work

Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do

Public advised to cover faces in enclosed spaces

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)


Stephens Scown:

11th May:

How to carry out a compliant right to work check during the Coronavirus pandemic

How to change employment contracts to reduce pay and/or hours



5th May:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses - Updated

4th May: 

New webinars to boost support for SMEs during coronavirus

New Bounce Back Loans to launch today

Self-employed invited to get ready to make their claims for coronavirus (COVID-19) support

Apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Pick for Britain Webiste​

2nd May: 

Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

1st May: 

How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

£6.1 million funding boost to help high streets and town centres through pandemic

Destroying spoilt beer, cider, wine or made-wine during coronavirus (COVID-19)


Devon County Council:

1st May: 

More than 100 free Learn Devon online courses now available



30th April


The Skills Toolkit - made up of free online courses, tools and resources to help you improve your digital and numeracy skills.

From the sea to the door: New grant scheme to support seafood businesses in England to sell catches

Seasonal work on farms: guidance for workers

Additional government resources to support your business during coronavirus disruptions

Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

PCA Statement – Update on Support for Tied Pub Tenants in Relation to COVID-19



27th April


Small businesses boosted by bounce back loans

Extra month to claim for farm payments

Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)



Sign up for DEFRA Daily Bulletin with COVID-19 updates



23rd April


Manage financial difficulties in your charity caused by coronavirus

Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Work out 80% of your employees' wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme



SW Business Support Solutions

They also offer financial solutions as well as the implementation of remote working systems like a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) or compliance trackerBook a FREE meeting to discuss more.


Stephens Scown:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Key Questions Answered (Updated)



22nd April

Stephens Scown:

How businesses can survive and thrive during Coronavirus

Coronavirus Business Update – Government announces £1.25 billion support package for start-up and scale-up businesses



20th/21st April


The Health and Safety Executive has written an open letter to the food industry including advice on PPE



Apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Find coronavirus financial support for your business tool

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme up and running

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Grant funding provided to businesses by local authorities in England

Coronavirus grant funding: local authority payments to small and medium businesses

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for UK businesses

New measures to protect UK high street from aggressive rent collection and closure

Fisheries Response Fund - support for fishing and aquaculture businesses

Information on Farm Advice for farmers and land managers



17th April


Chancellor extends furlough scheme to end of June



16th April


Chancellor expands loan scheme for large businesses

Guidance for consumers on coronavirus (COVID-19) and food

Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to the retail sector


The Caterer:

Urgent government inquiry to examine how sector can be supported to reopen

Sign up to The Caterer's Live Webinar on 30th April - FREE

Leading your business out of the Coronavirus crisis.

Click here to register.


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. 

Click here to register.


The Rockefeller Foundation:

Five COVID-19 Reflections from a Food System Perspective—and How We Could Take Action



15th April


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.



8th April


Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Business Support


VisitBritain | VisitEngland:

Reach media around the world with your heart-warming stories

COVID-19 support and advice for businesses now available on the Business Advice Hub



7th April

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 →

Social Entrepreneurs Programme

Grants and support for people starting up or developing a social or community enterprise Continue reading →


Food Standards Agency:

Open letter to the meat industry in England in response to coronavirus


Stephens Scown:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Directors Key Questions Answered

Key areas businesses should not forget about during Coronavirus

Zoom terms and conditions – legal points to consider


Peplows Chartered Accountants:

Mind Map and Toolkit - detailing the range of support available depending on criteria such as business structure and sector.



4th April

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.

There is also separate information for businesses in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

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


Heart of the South West Growth Hub support: regularly updated with Covid-19 support for businesses -

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:
And the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service is carrying out a survey specifically about the manufacturing sector until 17 April:
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:



3rd April

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: 

  • 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.

See all Covid-19 updates for businesses



1st April

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



26th March

Government advice and support:

Letter from the Environment Secretary to the food and drink industry




Visit Britain/ Visit England:


Stephens Scown:



24th March

Government advice and support:


Visit Britain and Visit England have a new section on their Business Advice Hub dedicated to supporting tourism and event business affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

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:


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:
Phone: 03456 047 047

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.

Digital Skills

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.

Find out more.

You can sign up for future Digital Skills Partnership newsletters.

Sign up.

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.

Visit Virtual Careers Fairs web pages.