Moving from furlough to the Job Support Scheme Webinar: Wednesday 21 October, 2.00-3.30pm

The session will cover:

  • How the Job Support Scheme works
  • Key differences between the Job Support Scheme and the Job Retention Scheme
  • Implications of the new Job Support Scheme – how will it affect your workforce?
  • Who does the scheme apply to?
  • How to assess its value to your business
  • Supporting employees returning to work from furlough
  • Options available to the employer in the event of further local lockdowns
  • Q&A session – with our HR expert Sarah Loates

You can book here: https://bit.ly/3jRd4FJ

Reopen, Recover, Reflect, Reset – Rethinking the Future for Tourism

Leicester Business Festival  2020 * Featured Event *

14:00 — 16:00, WEDNESDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2020

For full event programme and to book your place click here   or visit www.leicesterbusinessfestival.com

I’m delighted to announce that Foresight Factory will be joining a host of local industry leaders on the speaker panel for the forthcoming Leicester Business Festival webinar Reopen, Recover, Reflect, Reset – Rethinking the Future for Tourism .  Foresight Factory have worked closely with Visit Britain in the past to help analyse changing patterns in consumer behaviour and predict future trends to help tourism businesses adapt and stay ahead of the game.  We all talk about the “new normal” but what could that mean for the tourism and hospitality sector?

Webinar Agenda

Welcome and the visitor economy in 2020 – Pete Spriggs, Clearer Thinking

Part 1 – Reopen

  • Twycross Zoo Reopens – A story of survival, resilience and innovation – Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE – CEO, Twycross Zoo
  • Manging a social business in a time of social distance – How hospitality businesses are surviving the pandemic – Sam Hagger, Founder & Director, The Beautiful Pubs Collective

Part 2 – Recover

Supporting Local Recovery – Place Marketing Team, Leicester & Leicestershire

  • Leicester & Leicestershire Business Tourism Service – Samantha Hall, Business Tourism Manager
  • Uncover the Story – Local tourism campaign for 2021 – Susan Littlemore, Place Marketing Manager

Part 3 – Reflect

  • Reflecting on the new tourism landscape – Adapting to new consumer behaviour and future trends to ensure business survival – Foresight Factory
  • Reflections on the future for the hotel sector – James Conaghan, General Manager, Novotel & Adagio Leicester

Part 4 – Reset

Reset for a better future

  • Sustainable Tourism and a Green Recovery – John Everitt, CEO National Forest Company

Audience

This event is aimed at those involved in the management and marketing of local tourism businesses in both the leisure and business tourism sectors. These tourism sectors include sports, art and culture, heritage, indoor and outdoor visitor attractions, food and drink, hotels and other accommodation providers, conference centres, transport providers as well as the public sector and charitable trusts.

Leicester Business Festival unveils brochure of business support

The Leicester Business Festival (LBF) 2020 digital brochure has now been released. Packed full of festival news and events, it highlights the extensive range of support available to businesses across Leicester and Leicestershire.

Headline partnered by De Montfort University (DMU), the LBF, starting on 2 November, is set to play an important part in helping to re-energise and revive the local business community.

The bumper brochure, which is available on the LBF website, reveals more than 100 different business events over the fortnight, with nearly 40 offering business support in a variety of different ways.

There is help for businesses looking to identify what type of insurance they need; what to expect from an accountancy service; getting access to finance and grants, demystifying business contracts; how to turn ideas into reality and what to look for to avoid website hacks.

Several events aim to support businesses through the pandemic, such as the impact on opportunities for growth; managing change in uncertain times; adapting employee engagement in a pandemic and implications on corporate governance. The Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) will also be sharing a preview of the region’s economic recovery plan.

All events in the Festival are put on by independent companies and Leicestershire’s main business support groups, East Midlands Chamber, the Business Gateway and FSB are all heavily involved, from running events through to supporting at an organisational level.

Scott Knowles chief executive of the East Midlands Chamber said: “The Leicester Business Festival is always a special event that showcases the world-class innovation and creativity existing across Leicestershire, but this year it’s even more important to have such a positive platform that will highlight the services and products available for aiding business development – vital resources for the firms now seeking to get on with their economic recovery.”

Scott Knowles chief executive of the East Midlands Chamber said: “The Leicester Business Festival is always a special event that showcases the world-class innovation and creativity existing across Leicestershire, but this year it’s even more important to have such a positive platform that will highlight the services and products available for aiding business development – vital resources for the firms now seeking to get on with their economic recovery.”

Jennifer Thomas, Development Manager at Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland, FSB said, “There’s never been a more urgent time to focus on supporting our local business community. Small businesses will be the key to our economic recovery over the coming months and years and for them to do that, they need support. However the business support landscape across the UK can be complex and difficult for SMEs to understand and access, which is why FSB is so supportive of the Leicester Business Festival.”

Business Festival events are free and are live on the LBF website www.leicesterbusinessfestival.com as well as in the brochure. Tickets must be reserved in advance and can be booked on-line right up until the day before each event.

The LBF was originally established by the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) in 2015 and handed over to the Leicester Business Festival Community Interest Company (under which it still operates) in 2017. It is headline partnered by De Montfort University and is run in association with Associate Events. Partners are East Midlands Chamber; and the Business Gateway. Sponsors are Brewin Dolphin; Pattersons Commercial Law and the University of Leicester. Supporters are: Everards Brewery; Leicester Castle Business School (DMU); Bradgate Estates, IOD, PPL & PRS, Highcross Leicester, British Business Bank (Midlands Engine Investment Fund), Bid Leicester, Novotel, Comedy Festival, The Lionheart Trust, FSB, Digital Ethos and Team Leicester. Media partners are Metro News and the App partner is Infonote.

For more information visit the LBF website at www.leicesterbusinessfestival.com or call 0116 464 5995.

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1‌‌ October mean that employers will need to fund 20% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours they do not work and continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions.

The scheme closes on 31‌‌ October and you will need to make any final claims on or before 3‌0 November.

Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live webinar:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

We’ll provide an overview of the scheme, including flexible furloughing, examples of how to work out the amount you can claim and the changes for October.

We’ll also share the latest information on the Job Retention Bonus, including how to check if your employees are eligible, when you can claim and what you need to do now to prepare.

Register here

If you haven’t been able to join our popular webinar about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, there are still some places available. Get the latest information on:

  • who can claim
  • who you can claim for
  • how to make a claim
  • what you may be entitled to, and more.

Register here

You can ask questions during all our live webinars using the on-screen text box.

Our webinars are constantly updated to provide the latest government guidance on changes as they develop.

SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE INTO EMPLOYMENT

The Kickstart Scheme is a £2 billion government fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality, six-month job placements for young people.

Our expert teams will help employers access funding and guide them through the process to make it easy for businesses to access a large pool of young people with potential, ready for an opportunity.

The government will fund 100% of job placements, including:

  • The relevant national minimum wage for 25 hours a week
  • The associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

There will also be funding available to support young people to develop new skills and to help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart-funded job.

The initial priority will be young people, aged between 16 and 24, who are ready for an opportunity and will be supported by their Jobcentre Plus work coach to enrol in the scheme. The first placements are likely to be available from November.

Can you offer new, high-quality six-month job placements?

Loughborough College’s Ofsted outstanding-rated Apprenticeship and Employer Engagement Team will support your application, help you access funding and pass on relevant payments from the DWP. We can also share our expertise and provide employability support directly to young people employed through the scheme.

Can I apply directly?

Yes you can. However, without using a supporting organisation like Loughborough, College there is a minimum recruitment of 30 job placements per organisation. As this places the scheme out of the reach of most small and medium enterprises, the college is stepping in to act as a broker to put it within the reach of companies who wish to take on one or more people.

Are there any restrictions?

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • Replace existing or planned vacancies
  • Cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • A minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • Paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • Should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

Geo-Sense Monthly Venue vs National Stats Report

Please see the latest scheduled Venue vs National Stats report.

analytics

Coronavirus Update – Your questions answered!

 

Job Support Scheme

There has been considerable confusion regarding the level of contribution that both the employer and the Government will provide under the new job Support Scheme announced today. The team at Tourism South East have put together this handy set of pie charts that explain how the contribution varies depending on the hours that an employee works.

Q&A on Curfew, QR Codes, Rule of Six and Face Coverings

Find a copy of an excellent Q&A and that UKHospitality, BBPA and BII have produced that pulls together the various new requirements on Tourism and Hospitality Businesses. Please note that this Q&A is a work in progress as government guidance is constantly changing and is advisory only – but it is a great resource for answering a wide range of questions on these issues.

Visors and Face Coverings

DCMS has provided guidance that visors are not acceptable as face coverings. Similarly staff working behind Perspex barriers on counters are still deemed to be in the public space of a business are required to wear face coverings. In addition, theatres have just been added to the list of places where a face covering ins mandatory.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Self-Employment Scheme Extension Guidance

Guidance on the extension of the Self-Employment Scheme announced today has been published. To be eligible for the grant extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

    • currently be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
    • declare that they are currently actively trading and intend to continue to trade
    • declare that they are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus in the qualifying period (the qualifying period for the grant extension is between 1 November and the date of claim)

The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. HMRC will provide a taxable grant covering 20 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

There is also a video on the extended scheme

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19#history

Rule of Six in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland England

In England the Rule of Six means that up to six people from any number of different households are able to meet-up indoors and outdoors although the members of each household have to maintain social distancing from the members of other households.  If the number of people in a single household (including support bubble) that is larger than six, they are allowed to meet-up.

Scotland

In Scotland, you can meet in groups of up to six from two different households outdoors (children under 12 don’t count towards the total). However, in indoor settings you cannot meet with members of another household unless they are part of your extended household. An extended household is one where two households have joined together to form a single household and can be formed by a person who lives alone – or only with children under 18. They and another household of any size can agree to form an extended household. An extended household can also be formed by a couple who do not live together, and their children.

Wales

In Wales the Rule of Six only applies indoors where up to six people from an extended household can meet. Unlike in England, children under 11 are exempt and will not count towards that total.

Northern Ireland

Like Wales, the Rule of Six only applies indoors but the six people can only be from two households and Children are counted as being part of the six.

New Legislation

Find a copy of the new legislation that came into effect today that introduces the curfew and increases fines for non-compliance. As a result of these changes in legislation, the following guidance as also been updated.

Places of Worship

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july

Community Facilities

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities

Businesses urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app

Ahead of the national launch of the NHS COVID-19 app across England and Wales on Thursday 24 September, the government today (11 September) urged businesses like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

Announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/businesses-urged-to-prepare-for-nhs-covid-19-app

The government has published a stakeholder briefing pack on the NHS COVID-19 app.

Briefing pack: https://bit.ly/33ia8uB

Downloadable resources have been made available.

Assets: https://covid19.nhs.uk/information-and-resources.html

Getting Customers Back

Business Gateway is running a series of social media webinars to help businesses in the tourism, retail and night-time hospitality sectors. These sessions will include practical tips from expert coaches as well as short presentations from local businesses that are using innovative ideas to get people through their doors. The webinars are free and can be booked at www.bizgateway.org.uk/events

8 September: Getting your customers back –  retail sector

How can you attract more customers to come through your doors using #socialmedia? 🛍️ Find out at this free webinar with expert coaches plus hear from businesses that are already doing it! Book a free place here: https://bit.ly/2CgpWVg

15 September: Getting your customers back – night-time hospitality

Do you need ideas on how to restart your night-time hospitality business? 🍴 🍹 Hear from businesses that are using innovative ways to bring customers back and learn how to use #socialmedia from expert coaches. Book now: https://bit.ly/3isKn0x

18 September – Getting your customers back – tourism sector

Do you know what content on social media will bring your customers back 🧳or where to find them? Hear from businesses and experts who will show you innovative ideas to rebuild your tourism business. Book a free place now: https://bit.ly/3acAam2

Food and Drink sector webinars

The Business Gateway Growth Hub has organised a series of free one hour webinars to support businesses in the food and drink sector in Leicester and Leicestershire, particularly those affected by Covid-19 looking to recover and restart.  Webinars will be delivered by the Food and Drink Forum and topics have been chosen based on demand from the sector in a recent survey.

Sessions will run from 10.00 to 11.00am and include topics such as: product and supply chain development, regulatory compliance, pricing, selling online, extending shelf life, selling to independent retailers and more. Visit the website for details and to book a free place: www.bizgateway.org.uk/events

Business Gateway Growth Hub –

Webinars: 26 June to 4 Sept 2020

The Business Gateway Growth Hub has created a range of free business webinars aimed at business owners and their employees. These sessions provide advice, top tips and information on a range of business subjects including business strategy, marketing, innovation, finance, how to complete grant applications, people and contingency planning. View full list of webinars here https://bit.ly/39LRPza

Webinar on Getting Customers Back – Tourism Sector

Join this webinar to hear from businesses in the tourism sector who have successfully used social media whilst reopening following Covid-19. You will be able to hear all about the innovative ideas they implemented that worked for their businesses following lockdown.

Apply these ideas to your business when it comes to restarting and welcoming customers into your premises again.
They’ll be an opportunity to reach out & speak to professional social media coaches and discuss best practices using social media platforms to help you use them to communicate & attract customers back into your business.

About the Session:

The session will be led by a highly experienced independent Social Media Coaching Business, Get Savvy Club who can provide advice & guidance on how to effectively attract customers through the doors of your business using Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The webinar will help participants consider how they can best communicate with customers following lockdown using social media to market their businesses for the best results & renewed footfall.

Topics included:

  • Which Social Media Platforms should you use?
  • Work out exactly who your ideal clients is and what content to post to attract more of them to your business.
  • How to connect and get in front of more of your ideal clients
  • What marketing campaigns and offer ideas you can use to help raise awareness that your business has reopened to the public and why they should come back.
  • How to find the time to fit social media in with running your business?

Building customers confidence that your business is now open, safe to visit and will be a positive experience for them
There will also be the opportunity to hear from some of our panel members about the practical usage of social media during preparations to reopen. Our panellists are from a range of organisations across the tourism sector.

Who Should Attend:

Sole traders, businesses, clubs and organisations operating in the tourism sector who want to implement social media strategies to attract existing customers back into their business and new customers following Covid-19.

This webinar is delivered by the Business Gateway Growth Hub and Experienced Social Media Coaches Anita Baldwin and Anna Geary from the Get Savvy Club. Get Savvy Club operate helping businesses globally, they live in Leicestershire and are keen to help businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire get back on their feet as fast as possible following lockdown.

To reserve your place Book Now or if you are unable to attend Decline Event Invite.

NEW – Forthcoming Sector Specific Webinars – Book Today!

Registration Link: Getting Customers Back – Retail Sector 8 September 2020 17:00-18:30

Registration Link: Getting Customers Back – Night-Time Hospitality Sector – 15 September 2020 13:00-14:30

If you have any questions please email bgevents@bizgateway.org.uk or call 0116 454 4304.

COVID-19 Support Update

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1‌‌ September mean that employers will need to fund 10% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours they do not work and continue to pay their National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions, as these will not be covered by future grants.

Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live webinar:

Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing

We’ll provide an overview of the scheme, including flexible furloughing, examples of how to work out the amount you can claim, and the changes due in September and October.

We’ll also share information on the Job Retention Bonus, including how to check if you’re eligible.

Choose a date and time

If you haven’t been able to join our popular webinar about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, more dates have now been added. Get the latest information on:

  • who can claim
  • who you can claim for
  • how to make a claim
  • what you may be entitled to, and more.

Choose a date and time

You can ask questions during all our live webinars using the on-screen text box.

Our webinars are constantly updated to provide the latest government guidance on changes as they develop.

Contact tracing – protecting customer and visitor details

We understand that organisations have lots of new measures to put in place so that they can re-open safely to the public. For many, this includes collecting customers’ and visitors’ personal information for the first time, to support the various contact tracing schemes in the UK.

It doesn’t need to be complicated – there’s no need for you to develop special apps or digital solutions – just choose the process that best suits your business.

Follow our five simple steps to help ensure that data protection is not a barrier to your recovery.

1. Ask for only what’s needed

You should only ask people for the specific information that has been set out in government guidance. This may include things like their name, contact details and time of arrival for example.

You should not ask people to prove their details with identity verification, unless this is a standard practice for your business, eg ID checks for age verification in pubs.

2. Be transparent with customers

You should be clear, open and honest with people about what you are doing with their personal information. Tell them why you need it and what you’ll do with it. You could do this by displaying a notice in your premises, including it on your website or even just telling people.

If you already collect customer data for bookings, you should make it clear that their personal data may also be used for contact tracing purposes.

3. Carefully store the data

You must look after the personal data you collect. That means keeping it secure on a device if you’re collecting the records digitally or, for paper records, keeping the information locked away.

See our guidance on simple security measures you can take here.

4. Don’t use it for other purposes

You cannot use the personal information that you collect for contact tracing for other purposes, such as direct marketing, profiling or data analytics.

5. Erase it in line with government guidance

You should not keep the personal data for longer than the government guidelines specify. It’s important that you dispose of the data securely to reduce the risk of someone else accessing the data. Shred paper documents and permanently delete digital files from your recycle bin or back-up cloud storage, for example.

New Grant Scheme – 100% funded revenue grants

As we are all aware, the retail sector has been one of the hardest hit by the recent pandemic. The Government recognises this and recently announced a new support package for retail businesses –  to help them adapt. The grants are 100% funded by the European Regional Development Fund and there will be no requirement to contribute financially however businesses will need to demonstrate the need for any proposed activity.

The allocation of this grant fund for Leicester & Leicestershire will be administered by the LLEP Business Gateway Growth Hub who are keen to evaluate the demand for a grant scheme specifically aimed at enterprises in the retail sector.  Grants would typically be in the range of £1,000 to £3,000.

The kinds of activities the grants could support include:

*   Specialist advice which businesses could call on to address their immediate needs in response to the impact of COVID-19 e.g. HR, accountants, legal, financial, Health & Safety, IT/digital or sector specialists.

*   Supporting businesses to develop ways to improve their productivity for example digital tools, eCommerce Solutions, CRM platforms or commissioning new photography, video or virtual tours to better promote their offer online.

*   To help assess demand, the Growth Hub would appreciate your time in completing this short and simple Grant interest questionnaire https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=cdYz4ZCnbUan9UtTXt75T1roOJkRSQ9HkMwAkw6r5ExUN0tCSDRESkNUVExWRDNTUkEyMVlQWUVTTi4u

PLEASE NOTE:

*  The programme is only open to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s) based in Leicester and Leicestershire

*  We do not anticipate that this funding will be available until late August 2020

The Business Gateway Growth Hub may need to contact you by phone and/or email in order to discuss your response. By submitting this enquiry form you are agreeing to let them contact you.

Are you new to the digital landscape?

There is digital support available to help your business get up-to-speed with the latest digital trends. Take a look at the FREE webinars being delivered by the Chamber’s Digital Growth Programme during August >> https://bit.ly/2A6JSJe

Social Media
13 | Getting started with Social Media Marketing tools
18 | Building a stronger LinkedIn network
26 | Elevating your Business profile on Facebook
27 | Getting started with Video for your Business

Website and Ecommerce
05 | Maximising on-page optimisation and SEO copywriting
11 | Getting started with Ecommerce
12 | Maximising your Website’s Potential
20 | Getting started with Keyword Research
21 | Diving deeper into WordPress
25 | Optimise your Website for Success

Email Marketing, CRM and Cloud
04 | Getting started with Microsoft 365 including SharePoint and Teams
06 | Getting started with Email Marketing
11 | Maximising your Email Marketing skills
19 | How to grow your Email Marketing list
26 | Getting started with Microsoft 365 Power APPS and Power Automate
27 | Getting started with CRM

Paid Digital Advertising
05 | How to use LinkedIn Ads to attract new clients
18 | How to use Facebook and Instagram Ads to attract new clients
19 | Getting started with Paid Search for Ecommerce

Digital Growth Programme – Toolkit August Webinars

Digital support for SMEs

The Digital Growth Programme is delivering a range of webinars for businesses across Leicester and Leicestershire. Whether you are new to the digital landscape or want to keep-up-to-date with the latest digital marketing techniques, you can access a range of topics from website planning, ecommerce, social media, email marketing and automation.

They are free to attend – the programme, managed by East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Chamber and Leicestershire County Council designed to help SMEs embrace new digital technology to improve productivity to aid growth.

To see the latest webinars dates, visit: https://bit.ly/2A6JSJe

Are you looking to invest in technology to help get your business back on track? Grants from £2k to £25K are available to SMEs across Leicester and Leicestershire

The Digital Growth Programme grant scheme provides financial support of up to 35% of funding towards a technology project that introduces new systems and software, to improve business performance and productivity.

Projects can include remote working solutions, CRM systems, Cloud-based solutions, Warehousing ERP solutions, Cybersecurity, Telecommunications, Broadband connectivity, Website, and Ecommerce integration.

Find out more: https://bit.ly/2Yxbalh

Support to Retail/Hospitality

Next Friday the Growth Hub will be delivering a Webinar titled “How simple technology and local collaboration can get Leicestershire trading again”

This webinar explores how small business owners can implement existing technology alongside new business processes to facilitate safe trading, improved customer service, increased levels of sales and profitability whilst complying with government guidelines.

This webinar aims to explain that the secret of unlocking innovative opportunities within our region lies within the control of individual business owners, local supply chains, collaboration clusters and community networks.

Topics will include:

  • Embedding legislation into new business models
  • Utilising local technology supply chain
  • Hot Topics: Eat Out to Help Out | Track & Trace | At Table Ordering
  • New Business Model – Safe Brand, New Sales Channels, Cost Efficiencies
  • Adapt to Survive & Thrive – Doing nothing is not a strategy

The Seminar will follow the panel based approach with representation form local businesses including:

  • Peter Dean, CEO Business Intelligence and Strategy (BIAS), Loughborough, UK
  • Eugene Blaine, CEO Rhino Software, Leicestershire

Case studies include, Chandlers Arms, Shearsby, Leicestershire and re-opening insights from other local businesses.

PPE Equipment at Low Cost Prices for Loughborough Businesses

A local company is offering a affordable solution for PPE equipment such as face masks, thermometers, face shields and overalls. All items are in stock at their Loughborough warehouse and orders can be fulfilled within 24/48 hours.

To view the products and order at discounted prices visit https://www.jkr3distribution.co.uk/ , email info@jkr3distribution.co.uk or call 07732 836699

Register your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to offer a discount to diners and encourage them to eat at your restaurant.

You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:

  • all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020
  • to offer a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in
  • to claim the money back from the government

There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme. Your customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking.

Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer.

Registration will close on 31 August.

Who can register

You can register if your establishment:

  • sells food for immediate consumption on the premises
  • provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
  • was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July

You cannot register:

  • an establishment that only offers takeaway food or drink
  • catering services for private functions
  • a hotel that provides room service only
  • dining services (such as packaged dinner cruises)
  • mobile food vans or trailers

If your application is based on dishonest or inaccurate information, your registration will be revoked.

What you’ll need

To register, you must have:

  • the Government Gateway ID and password for your business (if you do not have one, you can create one when you register)
  • the name and address of each establishment to be registered, unless you are registering more than 25
  • the UK bank account number and sort code for the business (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the address on your bank account for the business (this is the address on your bank statements)

You may also need your:

  • VAT registration number (if applicable)
  • employer PAYE scheme reference number (if applicable)
  • Corporation Tax or Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference

If you are registering 25 establishments or less, you must provide the details of each.

If you’re registering more than 25 establishments

If you’re registering more than 25 establishments that are part of the same business, you do not have to provide details for each one.

You should provide a link to a website which contains details of each establishment participating in the scheme including the trading name and address.

You may also need to provide a list to HMRC on request, with details of all participating establishments.

Register

You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password for your business. If you do not have one, you can create one when you register.

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

Register now

What happens next

You’ll be registered instantly and will receive a registration reference number – you’ll need this when you claim the reimbursement.

You can download promotional materials to help you promote the scheme and let your customers know that you’re taking part.

You’ll be added to a list of registered establishments that will be available to the public. The list of registered establishments is not available yet.

Businesses that have more than one establishment are encouraged to register all establishments that are eligible to offer the scheme. Once you have registered your business it may be possible to add new establishments, but you will have to contact HMRC again and this may delay the establishment being included in the scheme.

If you want to be removed from the list of registered establishments, you should contact HMRC who will remove you manually. This is not immediate, so you must tell customers that you are no longer offering the discount.

When you start offering the discount

You should wait until you’re registered before you offer discounts to your customers. You cannot offer discounts before 3 August.

When you register for the scheme, it is expected that you will offer it during the whole of your opening hours on all the eligible days that you are open and on all qualifying sales of food or drink.

If a customer purchases a meal with the intention of eating it but then takes it away and leaves the premises, you can still apply the discount.

Records you must keep

For each day you’re using the scheme, you must keep records of the:

  • total number of people who have used the scheme in your establishment
  • total value of transactions under the scheme
  • total amount of discounts you’ve given

If you are using the scheme for more than one establishment, you must keep these records for each.

Making a claim

You cannot claim yet. The service you’ll use to claim reimbursements will be available on 7 August 2020.

The service will close on 30 September.

You must wait 7 days from registration to make your first claim. HMRC will pay eligible claims within 5 working days.

You will be able to submit claims on a weekly basis.

You’ll still need to pay VAT based on the full amount of your customers’ bills.

Any money you receive through the scheme will be treated as taxable income.

HMRC will provide more guidance on how to make a claim when the registration service is open.

Other help you can get

HMRC have published guidance with more information on eligibility and how to offer the discount.

NHS have introduced the test and trace service to help track the spread of coronavirus.

Find coronavirus financial support for your business.

Contact HMRC

You can contact HMRC about the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, if you cannot get the help you need online.

Keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

From 1‌‌ July 2020, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

Employers will be able to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time and decide the hours and shift patterns they work to suit the needs of their business. From 1‌‌ August, employers will be asked to contribute towards wages costs.

For the latest information, join the following live webinar:

Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing – we’ll take you through the changes, flexible furloughing, claim periods and key dates.

Choose a date and time

If you haven’t managed to join, we’ve also added more dates for our popular live webinar:

Coronavirus COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme – you can get the latest on who can claim, who you can claim for, how to make a claim, what you may be entitled to, and more.

Choose a date and time

You can ask questions using the on-screen text box.

We will endeavour to bring you the most up-to-date information to keep you fully informed of changes as they develop.

Get help. Protect your business. Save jobs.

Coronavirus-Related Scams – How To Protect Yourself

Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.

How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:

There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:

1 – Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk

2 – Shopping online
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

3 – Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.

NHS Test and Trace scams:

The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

What you need to know:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Find out how busy your area is

If you are feeling anxious about going out please check out this guide to visiting Loughborough town centre so you can see whether social distancing can be easily adhered to and  give you a guide to plan what time you may want to visit

https://loughborough.geo-sense.co.uk/

Do you need to order PPE?

Love Loughborough BID can source a supplier for PPE Equipment if required but please check that the specifications for the products we can source are suitable for your purpose. The specifications can be found at http://www.halo-ppe.co.uk/index.html

The products have been made locally and the company can make alternative products for bespoke applications.

The Halo 3 Visor and Counter Shield are suitable for a general shop trading environment. If you require anything over and above this specification then please contact the company direct or an alternative supplier.

Please see our website for the details of what you can purchase/specifications and the link to the order form: https://loveloughborough.co.uk/love-bid/ppe-orders/

If you would like social distancing stickers, BID Businesses can order 5 FREE stickers from the link above. If you are a Charnwood Business you can order them for £3 per sticker, or download the print ready artwork to print independently.

COVID-19 employer support – live webinars

HMRC has a range of online support to guide you through the new measures announced by the Chancellor, to help deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

As part of the government’s commitment to support businesses and individuals, the coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live on GOV‌.UK.

Find out if you can use the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, or how to make a claim on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, by joining one of the following updated webinars.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme: Providing an overview of the scheme, this webinar looks at who can claim, when to start paying SSP, employees you can claim for, making a claim, keeping records, and more.

Choose a date and time

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to make a claim: This guides you through making a claim, including the essential information you need, what to do before you make your claim, calculating and processing your claim.

Choose a date and time

There are a limited number of spaces, so save your place now.

We’ll bring you the most up-to-date information to keep you fully informed of changes as they develop.

Get help. Protect your business. Save jobs.

Update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Today (29‌‌ May) the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced more details about the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), with the key details outlined below for you.

Flexible furloughing

From 1‌‌ July 2020, you’ll have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time – with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of their normal hours they do not work up until the end of August. This flexibility comes a month earlier than previously announced to help people get back to work.

You can decide the hours and shift patterns that your employees will work on their return and you will be responsible for paying their wages in full while working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as your business needs, with no minimum time that you can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement that you agree with your employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, you will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. You can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two weekly cycles if you prefer. You will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.

If your employees are unable to return to work, or you do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and you can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

Employer contributions

From August, the government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered.

  • in June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICs) and pension contributions for the hours the employee doesn’t work – employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work
  • in August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 but employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs that they would have incurred if the employee had not been furloughed
  • in September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • in October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • the cap on the furlough grant will be proportional to the hours not worked.

If you are a smaller employer, some or all of your employer NIC bills will be covered by the Employment Allowance, so you should not be significantly impacted by that part of the tapering of the government contribution.

Around a quarter of CJRS monthly claims relate to wages that are below the threshold where employer NICs and auto enrolment contributions are due, and so no employer contribution will be required for these furloughed employees in August.

Important dates

It’s important to note that the scheme will close to new entrants from 30‌‌ June. From this point onwards, you will only be able to furlough employees that you have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30‌‌ June.

This means that the final date that you can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10‌‌ June for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30‌‌ June. Employers will have until 31‌‌ July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30‌‌ June.

Guidance and support

Further support for employers and agents on how to calculate claims with this extra flexibility will be available by 12‌‌ June, including webinars and detailed online guidance. For information about how to claim, go to GOV‌.‌‌UK and search ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. Please do not call us for more information, everything you need to know about this scheme will be published online on GOV‌.‌‌UK.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌.‌‌UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

Council given £1.6million to support more businesses

An extra £1.6 million has been allocated to Charnwood Borough Council to support local businesses who have struggled to access Coronavirus grants.

Funding has been awarded to all councils to provide additional top up grants to small businesses who have so far been ineligible for government funding.

Grants are for companies employing fewer than 50 people who have been impacted by the pandemic and have building costs such as rent.

Councils have the discretion to introduce their own eligibility criteria, the council is now working to ensure the local scheme supports as many businesses as possible.

To date Charnwood has issued £28.7 million in government business grants.

Details of the finalised top up grant scheme will be published as soon as possible, along with eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Covid-19 Update – Gov.uk

This is the latest information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, including updates to guidance and the online service based on your feedback, and how to avoid common mistakes that can lead to a wrong or delayed payment.

Save and return option now added

In response to feedback from customers using the service, we’ve added a ‘save and return’ option. This means that you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go.

Avoiding common mistakes

When you make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you will receive the funds within six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme. Making sure that you submit your claim correctly will reduce the chance of any delayed or wrong payments.

These steps should help keep the process as simple as possible:

  • read the guidance before you apply, to find this go to GOV‌.UK and search for ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’, there’s a step-by-step guide to applying and a calculator
  • check your employees are eligible, by looking at the guidance on GOV‌.UK
  • check your calculations each time you submit a claim, in case any details have changed
  • only submit one claim per pay period – you can’t submit another claim for overlapping periods; this means that in each claim you should include all furloughed employees paid during that period
  • if you have missing National Insurance numbers for employees, do try and find them so it doesn’t delay your claim; if an employee doesn’t have a National Insurance number yet, you should contact HMRC in order to complete your claim; go to GOV‌.UK and search for ‘get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ to find out how to contact us
  • double check all of the information in the claim before you submit it, including your bank details.

We understand that sometimes you might make an error in your claim, and we’re working on a process to enable you to amend a claim. In the meantime, please don’t amend your next claim to reflect any errors that you may have made in a previous one, as this could delay payment. If we spot an error then, where possible, we’ll contact you or your agent to correct the claim.

After you make a claim – reporting employees’ wages to HMRC

If you’ve claimed a grant through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you should check if you need to report payments on the PAYE Real Time Information system. This will depend on whether you are using the grant to pay wages or to reimburse wages that you’ve already paid. To find guidance on this, go to GOV‌.UK and search for ‘report wages Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.

Find out more in our recorded webinars

Want more information? There are two HMRC webinars about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on our YouTube channel ‘HMRCgovuk’ – an overview of the scheme and a detailed session about how to make a claim.

A note about scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees. Read more at the Government’s Business Support website.

CBILS has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. The changes mean even more smaller businesses across the UK impacted by the coronavirus crisis can access the funding they need.

Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses that would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme.

This significantly increases the number of businesses eligible for the scheme.

How it works

British Business Bank operates CBILS via its accredited lenders. There are over 40 of these lenders currently working to provide finance. They include:

  • high-street banks
  • challenger banks
  • asset-based lenders
  • smaller specialist local lenders

A lender can provide up to £5 million in the form of:

  • term loans
  • overdrafts
  • invoice finance
  • asset finance

CBILS gives the lender a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments to encourage more lending.

The borrower remains fully liable for the debt.

Under the scheme, personal guarantees of any form will not be taken for facilities below £250,000.

For facilities above £250,000, personal guarantees may still be required, at a lender’s discretion, but:

  • recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied;
  • a Principal Private Residence (PPR) cannot be taken as security to support a personal guarantee or as security for a CBILS-backed facility

Bounce Back Loan

Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – will be eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

From 9am this morning, small business owners can apply to accredited lenders by filling out a simple online form, with only seven questions.

The government has also agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. And any business that has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of £50,000 or less can apply to have these switched over to this generous new scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is the latest step in a package of world-leading support measures launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak – with £7.5 billion already awarded in business grants, 4 million jobs supported through the job retention scheme and generous tax deferrals supporting hundreds of thousands of firms.

More about this announcement here.

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

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic.

Find out more

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Employer Bulletin (April 2020, Issue 83) includes the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, along with updates on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and the deferral of VAT payments.

Please go online at GOV.UK if you need further support.

New Emergency Core Funding from Leicestershire and Rutland Sports – Replacing Lost Revenue

Up to £3,000 emergency funding can be applied for to support organisations to continue to operate and trade and will be available to those that have been unsuccessful in their attempts to access other funding sources or are ineligible to do so. Funding is limited and there is a clear message that organisations should only apply for the funding they need to get through this difficult period.

Eligible organisations include:

  • Local sports clubs.
  • Voluntary, community sector organisations and community interest companies that deliver or enable sport and/or physical activity, including organisations that are not solely or primarily sports organisations and have an important role to play in keeping people active in hard to reach communities, that may need support for other parts of their organisation to remain open.
  • Small charitable trusts that deliver or enable sport and/or physical activity, that do not qualify for financial help elsewhere.
  • County level organisations or leagues that have already paid out funds for activities that are now cancelled and are not able to claim funds from elsewhere.
  • Micro businesses and sole traders who are risk of insolvency as a direct result of Covid-19 and are able demonstrate they have played their part to deliver or enable sport and physical activity opportunities in Leicestershire, Leicester or Rutland.

What can be funded:

The fund has been developed to help sport and physical activity organisations meet their obligations, in particular fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of Covid-19. You will need to evidence lost revenue that would ordinarily cover expenditure on outgoings such as:

  • Rent
  • Utility costs
  • Insurances
  • Facility or equipment hire
  • Critical maintenance costs
  • Core staffing costs (including casual workers) that cannot be met elsewhere by other government funds
  • Retrospective losses dating from 1 March 2020

The application form and guidance notes can be found here  https://www.lrsport.org/sosfund

Furloughed Employees Update

You can now claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This scheme will be open until the end of June 2020.

Before you make a claim:

  • please read all the available guidance on GOV.UK before you apply
  • gather all the information and the precise calculations you need before you start your application – if you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this
  • you can find out more in the calculation guidance where you can access a claim calculator – this will allow you to check your claim for most employees who are paid the same amount each pay period
  • access our simple step-by-step guide for additional help.

After you’ve made a claim:

  • keep a note or a print-out of your claim reference number – you won’t receive a confirmation SMS or email
  • retain all records and calculations for your claims, in case we need to contact you about them
  • expect to receive the funds six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme – please do not contact us before this time
  • to receive payment by 30‌‌ April, you will need to complete an application by 22‌‌ April
  • please ask your furloughed employees not to contact us directly – we will not be able to provide them with any information on individual claims.

We expect to be very busy so we would ask that you only call us if you can’t find what you need on GOV‌.UK or through our webchat service – this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

HMRC will check claims made through the scheme and will act to protect public money against anyone who makes a claim using dishonest or fraudulent information.

We’d encourage you to also protect your own credentials from potential scammers and opportunist criminal activity.

Urgent Update: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS)

The Government has issued a Treasury Direction which sets the CJRS on a legislative footing and which, in theory, overrides the informal guidance.

Our guidance sets out the changes that have been made.

Letter of agreement

There is a provision that, to be eligible for the CJRS, an employee must have been instructed by their employer not to carry out any work during furlough leave. Previously the Government guidance was that employees simply needed to be notified of furlough leave.

This new wording suggests that unless there is a written agreement between employer and employee, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will not pay out. Meaning the employee must have signed or confirmed via email they were in agreement with furlough, that they could not work and the subsequent pay reduction.

Duncan & Toplis’ advice and template letter we provided on request was for employees to sign the letter to indicate their agreement, which does meet this new requirement. However, we appreciate not all clients will have followed this advice or used our template letter, instead following previous Government guidance.

Unfortunately, whilst the Government may provide further guidance on this matter, if they do not then it is clear that they have changed their guidance from “notification” to “written agreement” just before the portal opens for claims on Monday 20 April.

This would mean that for employers who have not received written agreement from their employees, there is a risk that HMRC will not accept their claim. This seems on the surface to be very unfair and will have huge ramifications for many employers.

Therefore, in the absence of clarification from the Government, our advice remains that if you have furloughed employees, ensure that you have a written agreement in place for each employee that they will cease all work during the furlough period before the portal opens on Monday.

New Guidance for Retailers that are still open

If you run a retail outlet which, in line with the government advice on retail, remains open.

  • To protect staff and customers, you should manage entry into the store, only allowing a limited number of people into your store at any given time.
  • You should put up signage to ask customers with symptoms not to enter the store, and to remind both staff and customers to always keep 2 metres from other people, wherever possible.
  • You should regularly encourage staff to wash their hands with soap and water as often as possible and for 20 seconds every time.
  • If feasible, you should also put up plexiglass barriers at all points of regular interaction to further reduce the risk of infection for all parties involved, cleaning the barriers regularly. You should still advise staff to keep 2 metres apart as much as possible.
  • To protect your staff, you should remind colleagues daily to only come into work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.

Read the guidance for supermarkets.

A video to explain how Loughborough Businesses can apply for Business Support Grants and Funding

Business Support

  • Business Rates Expanded Retail Discount – Full information HERE
  • Business Interruption Loan up to £5m, for SME’s with T/O under £41m, 80% loan guarantee, no additional fees, 6 months no interest payable period – will launch on Monday
  • Please visit the LLEP Site to access up to date information

We know that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing concern for businesses. If your business is feeling the impact of this economic shock, and is in need of advice of how to prepare and communicate with your staff, or are looking for the latest guidance for dealing with customers in your business please find below a useful links to the current information available:

  • Coronavirus Guidance to Employers and Businesses: guidance to employers, employees and support for businesses:
    • Guidance to Employers: on providing advice to your staff on COVID-19, how to help prevent the spread of respiratory infections, what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in business settings and advice on travelling overseas.
    • Guidance to Employees: advice to employees on working from home, sick pay, and frequently asked questions
    • Support for Businesses: government guidance on what support is being provided to businesses. Including paying sick pay, small business rate relief, and business interruption loan scheme
    • COVID-19 and Business Crime Impact: Information and guidance on how to tackle increased criminal activity in lock-down.
  • HMRC Covid-19 Helpline: If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 0159 559.
  • FSB Advice to Small Businesses: advice and guidance on reducing risks of disruption from the COVID-19 virus to you and your business and other funding options.
  • Business Interruption Load Scheme: details on how to apply for the business interruption loan scheme. This will temporarily replace the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG); with details being made available over the coming days.
  • ACAS Advice to Employers and Employees: practical HR advice and a simple step guide on how to protect the health and safety of staff.
  • VisitBritain website is continually being updated and includes Travel Advice.

Find out how busy your area is

If you are feeling anxious about going out please check out this guide to visiting Loughborough town centre so you can see whether social distancing can be easily adhered to and  give you a guide to plan what time you may want to visit

https://loughborough.geo-sense.co.uk/

Do you need to order PPE?

Love Loughborough BID can source a supplier for PPE Equipment if required but please check that the specifications for the products we can source are suitable for your purpose. The specifications can be found at http://www.halo-ppe.co.uk/index.html

The products have been made locally and the company can make alternative products for bespoke applications.

The Halo 3 Visor and Counter Shield are suitable for a general shop trading environment. If you require anything over and above this specification then please contact the company direct or an alternative supplier.

Please see our website for the details of what you can purchase/specifications and the link to the order form: https://loveloughborough.co.uk/love-bid/ppe-orders/

If you would like social distancing stickers, BID Businesses can order 5 FREE stickers from the link above. If you are a Charnwood Business you can order them for £3 per sticker, or download the print ready artwork to print independently.

COVID-19 employer support – live webinars

HMRC has a range of online support to guide you through the new measures announced by the Chancellor, to help deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

As part of the government’s commitment to support businesses and individuals, the coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live on GOV‌.UK.

Find out if you can use the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, or how to make a claim on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, by joining one of the following updated webinars.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme: Providing an overview of the scheme, this webinar looks at who can claim, when to start paying SSP, employees you can claim for, making a claim, keeping records, and more.

Choose a date and time

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to make a claim: This guides you through making a claim, including the essential information you need, what to do before you make your claim, calculating and processing your claim.

Choose a date and time

There are a limited number of spaces, so save your place now.

We’ll bring you the most up-to-date information to keep you fully informed of changes as they develop.

Get help. Protect your business. Save jobs.

Update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Today (29‌‌ May) the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced more details about the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), with the key details outlined below for you.

Flexible furloughing

From 1‌‌ July 2020, you’ll have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time – with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of their normal hours they do not work up until the end of August. This flexibility comes a month earlier than previously announced to help people get back to work.

You can decide the hours and shift patterns that your employees will work on their return and you will be responsible for paying their wages in full while working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as your business needs, with no minimum time that you can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement that you agree with your employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, you will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. You can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two weekly cycles if you prefer. You will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.

If your employees are unable to return to work, or you do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and you can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

Employer contributions

From August, the government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered.

  • in June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICs) and pension contributions for the hours the employee doesn’t work – employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work
  • in August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 but employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs that they would have incurred if the employee had not been furloughed
  • in September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • in October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • the cap on the furlough grant will be proportional to the hours not worked.

If you are a smaller employer, some or all of your employer NIC bills will be covered by the Employment Allowance, so you should not be significantly impacted by that part of the tapering of the government contribution.

Around a quarter of CJRS monthly claims relate to wages that are below the threshold where employer NICs and auto enrolment contributions are due, and so no employer contribution will be required for these furloughed employees in August.

Important dates

It’s important to note that the scheme will close to new entrants from 30‌‌ June. From this point onwards, you will only be able to furlough employees that you have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30‌‌ June.

This means that the final date that you can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10‌‌ June for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30‌‌ June. Employers will have until 31‌‌ July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30‌‌ June.

Guidance and support

Further support for employers and agents on how to calculate claims with this extra flexibility will be available by 12‌‌ June, including webinars and detailed online guidance. For information about how to claim, go to GOV‌.‌‌UK and search ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. Please do not call us for more information, everything you need to know about this scheme will be published online on GOV‌.‌‌UK.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌.‌‌UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

Council given £1.6million to support more businesses

An extra £1.6 million has been allocated to Charnwood Borough Council to support local businesses who have struggled to access Coronavirus grants.

Funding has been awarded to all councils to provide additional top up grants to small businesses who have so far been ineligible for government funding.

Grants are for companies employing fewer than 50 people who have been impacted by the pandemic and have building costs such as rent.

Councils have the discretion to introduce their own eligibility criteria, the council is now working to ensure the local scheme supports as many businesses as possible.

To date Charnwood has issued £28.7 million in government business grants.

Details of the finalised top up grant scheme will be published as soon as possible, along with eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Covid-19 Update – Gov.uk

This is the latest information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, including updates to guidance and the online service based on your feedback, and how to avoid common mistakes that can lead to a wrong or delayed payment.

Save and return option now added

In response to feedback from customers using the service, we’ve added a ‘save and return’ option. This means that you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go.

Avoiding common mistakes

When you make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you will receive the funds within six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme. Making sure that you submit your claim correctly will reduce the chance of any delayed or wrong payments.

These steps should help keep the process as simple as possible:

  • read the guidance before you apply, to find this go to GOV‌.UK and search for ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’, there’s a step-by-step guide to applying and a calculator
  • check your employees are eligible, by looking at the guidance on GOV‌.UK
  • check your calculations each time you submit a claim, in case any details have changed
  • only submit one claim per pay period – you can’t submit another claim for overlapping periods; this means that in each claim you should include all furloughed employees paid during that period
  • if you have missing National Insurance numbers for employees, do try and find them so it doesn’t delay your claim; if an employee doesn’t have a National Insurance number yet, you should contact HMRC in order to complete your claim; go to GOV‌.UK and search for ‘get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ to find out how to contact us
  • double check all of the information in the claim before you submit it, including your bank details.

We understand that sometimes you might make an error in your claim, and we’re working on a process to enable you to amend a claim. In the meantime, please don’t amend your next claim to reflect any errors that you may have made in a previous one, as this could delay payment. If we spot an error then, where possible, we’ll contact you or your agent to correct the claim.

After you make a claim – reporting employees’ wages to HMRC

If you’ve claimed a grant through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you should check if you need to report payments on the PAYE Real Time Information system. This will depend on whether you are using the grant to pay wages or to reimburse wages that you’ve already paid. To find guidance on this, go to GOV‌.UK and search for ‘report wages Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.

Find out more in our recorded webinars

Want more information? There are two HMRC webinars about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on our YouTube channel ‘HMRCgovuk’ – an overview of the scheme and a detailed session about how to make a claim.

A note about scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees. Read more at the Government’s Business Support website.

CBILS has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. The changes mean even more smaller businesses across the UK impacted by the coronavirus crisis can access the funding they need.

Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses that would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme.

This significantly increases the number of businesses eligible for the scheme.

How it works

British Business Bank operates CBILS via its accredited lenders. There are over 40 of these lenders currently working to provide finance. They include:

  • high-street banks
  • challenger banks
  • asset-based lenders
  • smaller specialist local lenders

A lender can provide up to £5 million in the form of:

  • term loans
  • overdrafts
  • invoice finance
  • asset finance

CBILS gives the lender a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments to encourage more lending.

The borrower remains fully liable for the debt.

Under the scheme, personal guarantees of any form will not be taken for facilities below £250,000.

For facilities above £250,000, personal guarantees may still be required, at a lender’s discretion, but:

  • recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied;
  • a Principal Private Residence (PPR) cannot be taken as security to support a personal guarantee or as security for a CBILS-backed facility

Bounce Back Loan

Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – will be eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

From 9am this morning, small business owners can apply to accredited lenders by filling out a simple online form, with only seven questions.

The government has also agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. And any business that has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of £50,000 or less can apply to have these switched over to this generous new scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is the latest step in a package of world-leading support measures launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak – with £7.5 billion already awarded in business grants, 4 million jobs supported through the job retention scheme and generous tax deferrals supporting hundreds of thousands of firms.

More about this announcement here.

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

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic.

Find out more

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Employer Bulletin (April 2020, Issue 83) includes the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, along with updates on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and the deferral of VAT payments.

Please go online at GOV.UK if you need further support.

New Emergency Core Funding from Leicestershire and Rutland Sports – Replacing Lost Revenue

Up to £3,000 emergency funding can be applied for to support organisations to continue to operate and trade and will be available to those that have been unsuccessful in their attempts to access other funding sources or are ineligible to do so. Funding is limited and there is a clear message that organisations should only apply for the funding they need to get through this difficult period.

Eligible organisations include:

  • Local sports clubs.
  • Voluntary, community sector organisations and community interest companies that deliver or enable sport and/or physical activity, including organisations that are not solely or primarily sports organisations and have an important role to play in keeping people active in hard to reach communities, that may need support for other parts of their organisation to remain open.
  • Small charitable trusts that deliver or enable sport and/or physical activity, that do not qualify for financial help elsewhere.
  • County level organisations or leagues that have already paid out funds for activities that are now cancelled and are not able to claim funds from elsewhere.
  • Micro businesses and sole traders who are risk of insolvency as a direct result of Covid-19 and are able demonstrate they have played their part to deliver or enable sport and physical activity opportunities in Leicestershire, Leicester or Rutland.

What can be funded:

The fund has been developed to help sport and physical activity organisations meet their obligations, in particular fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of Covid-19. You will need to evidence lost revenue that would ordinarily cover expenditure on outgoings such as:

  • Rent
  • Utility costs
  • Insurances
  • Facility or equipment hire
  • Critical maintenance costs
  • Core staffing costs (including casual workers) that cannot be met elsewhere by other government funds
  • Retrospective losses dating from 1 March 2020

The application form and guidance notes can be found here  https://www.lrsport.org/sosfund

Furloughed Employees Update

You can now claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This scheme will be open until the end of June 2020.

Before you make a claim:

  • please read all the available guidance on GOV.UK before you apply
  • gather all the information and the precise calculations you need before you start your application – if you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this
  • you can find out more in the calculation guidance where you can access a claim calculator – this will allow you to check your claim for most employees who are paid the same amount each pay period
  • access our simple step-by-step guide for additional help.

After you’ve made a claim:

  • keep a note or a print-out of your claim reference number – you won’t receive a confirmation SMS or email
  • retain all records and calculations for your claims, in case we need to contact you about them
  • expect to receive the funds six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme – please do not contact us before this time
  • to receive payment by 30‌‌ April, you will need to complete an application by 22‌‌ April
  • please ask your furloughed employees not to contact us directly – we will not be able to provide them with any information on individual claims.

We expect to be very busy so we would ask that you only call us if you can’t find what you need on GOV‌.UK or through our webchat service – this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

HMRC will check claims made through the scheme and will act to protect public money against anyone who makes a claim using dishonest or fraudulent information.

We’d encourage you to also protect your own credentials from potential scammers and opportunist criminal activity.

Urgent Update: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS)

The Government has issued a Treasury Direction which sets the CJRS on a legislative footing and which, in theory, overrides the informal guidance.

Our guidance sets out the changes that have been made.

Letter of agreement

There is a provision that, to be eligible for the CJRS, an employee must have been instructed by their employer not to carry out any work during furlough leave. Previously the Government guidance was that employees simply needed to be notified of furlough leave.

This new wording suggests that unless there is a written agreement between employer and employee, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will not pay out. Meaning the employee must have signed or confirmed via email they were in agreement with furlough, that they could not work and the subsequent pay reduction.

Duncan & Toplis’ advice and template letter we provided on request was for employees to sign the letter to indicate their agreement, which does meet this new requirement. However, we appreciate not all clients will have followed this advice or used our template letter, instead following previous Government guidance.

Unfortunately, whilst the Government may provide further guidance on this matter, if they do not then it is clear that they have changed their guidance from “notification” to “written agreement” just before the portal opens for claims on Monday 20 April.

This would mean that for employers who have not received written agreement from their employees, there is a risk that HMRC will not accept their claim. This seems on the surface to be very unfair and will have huge ramifications for many employers.

Therefore, in the absence of clarification from the Government, our advice remains that if you have furloughed employees, ensure that you have a written agreement in place for each employee that they will cease all work during the furlough period before the portal opens on Monday.

New Guidance for Retailers that are still open

If you run a retail outlet which, in line with the government advice on retail, remains open.

  • To protect staff and customers, you should manage entry into the store, only allowing a limited number of people into your store at any given time.
  • You should put up signage to ask customers with symptoms not to enter the store, and to remind both staff and customers to always keep 2 metres from other people, wherever possible.
  • You should regularly encourage staff to wash their hands with soap and water as often as possible and for 20 seconds every time.
  • If feasible, you should also put up plexiglass barriers at all points of regular interaction to further reduce the risk of infection for all parties involved, cleaning the barriers regularly. You should still advise staff to keep 2 metres apart as much as possible.
  • To protect your staff, you should remind colleagues daily to only come into work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.

Read the guidance for supermarkets.

A video to explain how Loughborough Businesses can apply for Business Support Grants and Funding

Business Support

  • Business Rates Expanded Retail Discount – Full information HERE
  • Business Interruption Loan up to £5m, for SME’s with T/O under £41m, 80% loan guarantee, no additional fees, 6 months no interest payable period – will launch on Monday
  • Please visit the LLEP Site to access up to date information

We know that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing concern for businesses. If your business is feeling the impact of this economic shock, and is in need of advice of how to prepare and communicate with your staff, or are looking for the latest guidance for dealing with customers in your business please find below a useful links to the current information available:

  • Coronavirus Guidance to Employers and Businesses: guidance to employers, employees and support for businesses:
    • Guidance to Employers: on providing advice to your staff on COVID-19, how to help prevent the spread of respiratory infections, what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in business settings and advice on travelling overseas.
    • Guidance to Employees: advice to employees on working from home, sick pay, and frequently asked questions
    • Support for Businesses: government guidance on what support is being provided to businesses. Including paying sick pay, small business rate relief, and business interruption loan scheme
    • COVID-19 and Business Crime Impact: Information and guidance on how to tackle increased criminal activity in lock-down.
  • HMRC Covid-19 Helpline: If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 0159 559.
  • FSB Advice to Small Businesses: advice and guidance on reducing risks of disruption from the COVID-19 virus to you and your business and other funding options.
  • Business Interruption Load Scheme: details on how to apply for the business interruption loan scheme. This will temporarily replace the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG); with details being made available over the coming days.
  • ACAS Advice to Employers and Employees: practical HR advice and a simple step guide on how to protect the health and safety of staff.
  • VisitBritain website is continually being updated and includes Travel Advice.

Business Financial Support

We have put together a basic crib sheet for businesses so that you can see all of the financial support information on one page. You can download this here.

For detailed financial information please visit the following website which gives details of every grant/funding/payment holiday available.

Business Support Website

Team Update

Our Digital Engagement Advisor, Charlotte Havis, will now work remotely on Monday and will deliver digital support. No face to face contact is advised – for those who have training support booked, Charlotte will be in contact with further information.

Our Events Co-ordinator, Kelly Hill, will work remotely. Kelly will focus her attentions on business support and assistance through social media and website marketing for businesses and one to one support via the phone & email.

Our BID Ambassador, Celine Patel, will work remotely. Celine will be available on retail radio and offer support and assistance via the telephone, radio or email. Celine will also be available for any Pubwatch inquiries to support pubs and clubs.

The BID Manager, Lisa Brown, will work remotely and offer advice and guidance via telephone or email.

Love Loughborough Actions and Events

Love Loughborough have made the decision to postpone / suspend the following activities:

  • Bike Show – Postponed
  • 2020 & Beyond Meeting – postponed
  • No bag deliveries – collect only from outside the BID office
  • Hanging Baskets & Troughs – Cancelled for 2020 (BUT the contractor has already bought the plants so he will look to install baskets for free if necessary)
  • Monthly Market Stall promotion – suspended until further notice

Other Events (Car Show / LBoro by the Sea – awaiting further confirmation.

More Information Links

If you are self isolating here is a list of businesses in Loughborough that are offering delivery services.

Charnwood Borough Council Updates
https://www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/coronavirus

Government Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses

BBC – National News and Live Updates
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers

Leicester Mercury – Local News and Live Updates
https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/local-news/live-updates-person-leicestershire-tests-3926033

This page will be regularly updated when new information is available.