Covid-19 business support - latest updates
We understand the concerns of businesses and self-employed people across the county at this very difficult time. We are here to give advice and support to all County Durham businesses, large and small.
Boost for high street as opening hours extended for Christmas shopping
Source: government, published 1 December 2020
From Wednesday 2 December, as England returns to a system of tiered restrictions, all non-essential retail across England will be able to reopen, and planning rules limiting opening hours will be eased to allow shops to be open for longer Monday to Saturday throughout December and into January.
Source: DCC press release, published November 13, 2020 4.40pm
Eligible businesses affected by local and national coronavirus restrictions are being encouraged to apply for the latest round of government grants.
Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
Source: government, published November 9, 2020
The government has updated guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways (hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs in England had to close from 5 November but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. Sale of alcohol is permitted via pre-order for collection or delivery services only).
Support for County Durham residents and businesses
Source: DCC press release, published November 6, 2020 4.45pm
Help and support remains available for people and businesses in County Durham during the current lockdown period.
Business grants update
Source: DCC, published November 6, 2020, 12:03
While we wait for further information from government, we've published information currently available, along with an email address for you to request an email alert when you're able to apply.
Furlough extended to March 2021 and increases in self-employed support
Source: government, published November 5, 2020, 2.35pm
The government announced on 5 November that they will extend the furlough or Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which will now run until the end of March with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.
In addition, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.
We will continue to provide detail as it is announced.
- Gov.uk: Government extends Furlough to March and increases self-employed support
- Gov.uk: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension
Furlough Scheme extended and further economic support announced
Source: government, published November 2, 2020, 10.05am
The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) - also known as the Furlough scheme - will remain open until December, with staff receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:
- for properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks
- for properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks
- for properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks
Chancellor increases financial support for businesses and workers
Source: government, published October 23, 2020, 5.30pm
The government has announced it will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus.
Local restrictions business support grant
Source: DCC, published October 23, 2020, 1.20pm
On 22 October 2020 the Chancellor announced a new grant scheme for businesses in areas where Tier 2 restrictions are currently in place. Businesses will not need to be legally closed to be eligible for these payments, but the funding, types of businesses and circumstances in which they will receive additional support is limited.
The funding we receive will be based on the number of hospitality, hotel, B&B, and leisure businesses in our area which are severely impacted by reduced demand caused by Tier 2 restrictions on socialising. Funding is linked to the businesses in these categories in a rated business premises, though there will also be a small discretionary fund for businesses in these categories who do not have a rated premises. The grants do not cover general retail sectors.
We're awaiting guidance from the Government and we'll update this page with the full details along with an application form as soon as it becomes available. We will also contact all businesses that will be eligible and invite them to make an application.
We understand that these grants are to be paid fortnightly or potentially monthly in arrears and qualifying businesses in Tier 2 areas will have this support backdated to the date at which the area went into Tier 2. Qualifying businesses will need to evidence they have ongoing fixed property costs and have been impacted by socialising restrictions. Any grants paid will be subject to State Aid.
Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to Covid restrictions
Source: government, published October 12, 2020, 9.45am
The government's Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses required to close due to Covi-19 restrictions. The government will pay two thirds of staff salaries to protect jobs. Cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns also increased to up to £3,000 per month.
Covid-19 Business Support Brochure
Source: Business Durham, published October 6, 2020
Business Durham has produced a COVID-19 Business Support Brochure to highlight the support currently available for businesses from them and their partners across the North East.
Chancellor outlines Winter Economy Plan
Source: government, published September 24, 2020
Rishi Sunak unveils government's plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months.
Find out more: Gov.uk: News story - Chancellor outlines Winter Economy Plan.
Venues required to enforce rule of six, NHS QR code posters and contact logs
Source: government, published September 18, 2020 5.00pm
Hospitality venues in England are from today (18 September) legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000.
Regulations come into force today to ensure that businesses comply with the 'rule of 6' and maintain social distancing between customers. Businesses failing to comply could be issued with fines of up to £4,000. Designated venues will also now have a legal requirement to maintain records of customer contact details and display an official NHS QR code poster ahead of the rollout of the NHS COVID-19 app on Thursday 24 September.
Businesses urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app
Source: NHS, published September 16, 2020 3.00pm
Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across England and Wales are being urged to download NHS QR codes via a website to display as posters at their entrances so customers can use the new COVID-19 app to easily check-in. The app is being launched across England and Wales on Thursday 24 September and the posters will play an important role in NHS Test and Trace, allowing multiple people to be contacted if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues.
Find out more: NHS: Venue check-in for organisations.
Ministers announce new grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns
Source: government, published September 9, 2020
Businesses in England that are required to shut because of local COVID-19 interventions will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks. The scheme provides a safety net to further protect jobs where a business is required to close.
The largest businesses will receive £1,500 every three weeks they are required to close and smaller businesses will receive £1,000.
Payments are triggered by a national decision to close businesses in a high incidence area. Each payment will be made for a 3-week lockdown period. Each new 3-week lockdown period triggers an additional payment.
See our Covid-19 business support - previous news and updates page for previous news and updates.