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NEW UPDATE - grant of up to £25,000 for Retail, Hospitality or Leisure businesses with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000 is now live!!!!! Forms are now live here

Key Public Health Messages for Calderdale Businesses and Employees

People who work for businesses in Calderdale are understandably concerned about COVID-19, and we’ve had a number of requests for clarity on what the Public Health messages should be – both for employees and employers. Please find below the key messages for local businesses:

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Staff should work from home unless it is impossible for them to do so. Exceptions may be where staff operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.

  • businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible
  • where employees are travelling to work, they should avoid public transport if they can. They should also avoid travelling with others if possible, unless they can do so maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres between each person – known as socially distancing.
  • if someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow the advice to self-isolate
  • if someone lives in a household where someone has a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should self-isolate and not attend the workplace
  • employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently, avoid touching their face and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
  • employees should be supported to work at least 2 metres away from others wherever practicable – including facilities used at rest breaks
  • frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products
  • employees will need your support to adhere to the recommendation to stay at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to others
  • those who follow advice to self-isolate, either because they or someone they live with has symptoms of coronavirus, will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) from the first day of their absence from work
  • employers should use their discretion concerning the need for medical evidence for certification for employees who are unwell. This will allow GPs to focus on their patients
  • if evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online, and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • employees from defined vulnerable groups should be strongly advised and supported to stay at home and work from there if possible

Key guidance for businesses:

Businesses and premises that should be closed

Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 – Guidance for employees

Guidance for food businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19: support for businesses

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for UK businesses trading internationally

Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)

Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

Further Guidelines Regarding the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Chancellor had announced a generous package of financial support to small and large businesses across the UK which included the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). We have sought to make this as easy as possible and are therefore making further clarification on the subject of personal guarantees.

Whether a lender requires a personal guarantee for a loan supported by the (CBILS) is at the discretion of the lender, who is accredited by the British Business Bank. However, a lender is not allowed to take a personal guarantee against a borrower's principle residence under the scheme. So even if a personal guarantee is required under the lender's credit policy, it cannot be taken against the borrower's home.

Some major lenders have announced that they are not going to require personal guarantees on loans under CBILS the scheme (of any size).

If businesses are worried about the specific terms of finance facilities available under this scheme, they should speak to their usual lender. More information can be found here.

New Updates and Guidance

HMRC’s tax helpline is changing

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus. The tax helpline number is changing. You can now call them on 08000 241222. Opening hours are from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Calls to the old helpline number will be redirected automatically.

Business Rates Expanded Retail Discount

Guidance on the operation of expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021 has been updated so that certain properties previously excluded from the relief, but that have been the forced to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions, will now be eligible for the relief. Many high street businesses that have closed due to Covid-19 restrictions will now be exempt from business rates including retail, leisure, and hospitality properties, estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls.

Vehicle owners to be granted MOT exemption in battle against coronavirus

Temporary exemption will enable vital services to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine. Further information can be found here.

Producing hand sanitiser and gel for coronavirus (COVID-19)

HMRC have produced guidance on temporary changes to the use and supply of denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits, to help businesses who produce hand sanitiser and gel. All guidance on the production and supply of hand sanitiser can be found here.

Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp

The UK Government has launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice. To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. Further information can be found here.

Hotel accommodation to support key workers and vulnerable people

Guidance has been updated to clarify the exemption for hotels, hostels, and B&Bs to open so they can offer accommodation to key workers and support rough sleepers to keep them off the streets and in suitable accommodation. Further guidance can be found here.

That’s it for now… please keep an eye on the webpage too

Kind regards

Paul Collins| SME Business Growth Manager

3rd Floor| Princess Buildings | Princess Street | Halifax | HX1 1TS

Mobile: 07849304815

Email: paul.collins@calderdale.gov.uk

Twitter: @PaulSMEgrowth

Part funded by the European Union - England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions are the managing authorities for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund funding through the Growth Programme, funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects the funds will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs.


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