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.