14 July 2020

Free advice for businesses

Spelthorne Borough Council is making small businesses aware of free online advice available to help them bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Recovery Advice for Business scheme, which is supported by the government, will be hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, which can be found here: https://www.enterprisenation.com/freesupport/. Small firms will gain access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the pandemic and prepare for a long-term recovery.

Bespoke, specialist assistance is available for a number of sectors and each adviser has offered at least one hour of free advise a month until the end of 2020.

Further information can be found on the government's website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-business-advisers-to-offer-free-services-to-small-firms?utm_source=af1e6d32-33e5-499c-8c32-903801a5c1a3&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily

16 June 2020

Business Support Helpline

The Business Support Helpline is a free advice and guidance service operating across England. They can help all businesses, from those thinking about starting a business, through to those who are already established and trading.

Telephone: freephone 0800 998 1098

Email: enquiries@businesssupporthelpline.org

Twitter: @businessgov

Facebook: @businesssupportgov

1 June 2020

Working safely

Guidance from central government about working safely, CIEH advice on Legionella and a FSA food safety checklist.

20 May 2020

Larger businesses to benefit from loans up to £200 million

The government has announced that businesses will be able to benefit from larger loans under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

Under the scheme the maximum loan size available will be increased from £50 million to £200 million. This will help ensure large firms which do not qualify for the Bank of England's COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) have enough finance to meet cashflow needs during the outbreak.

The expanded loans will be available from Tuesday, May 26.

You can find more information by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/news/larger-businesses-to-benefit-from-loans-of-up-to-200-million

13 May 2020

Business grants payments top £11million

As of Monday 11 May, Spelthorne Borough Council has paid out a total of £11.29million to 856 businesses. We are in regular contact with business groups and last week sent out an eNewsletter with all the key information for local businesses. You can sign up to our eNewsletter to receive regular updates by visiting: https://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/article/16475/eNewsletter

12 May 2020

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

From 13 May you can check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.

Find out if you can make a claim

Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October

The Chancellor has announced that the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October.

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website

Working safely during coronavirus Covid-19

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

There are eight guides covering a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through how to keep people safe.

View the guidance for working safely during coronavirus Covid-19

28 April 2020

Bounce back loans for small businesses

A new 100% government back grant has been announced by the government to help small businesses.

Small businesses will be able to able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 through a network of accredited lenders. The loan should reach businesses within days providing immediate support to those that need it as easily as possible and will be interest free for the first 12 months.

The government will work with lenders to agree a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The loans will be easy to apply for through a short, standardised online application. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.

The scheme will launch for applications on Monday 4 May.

For further information visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/small-businesses-boosted-by-bounce-back-loans

21 April 2020 

Coronavirus Support Finder

Find out what government support you are entitled to by visiting their website.

20 April 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for applications.

Employers can furlough anyone they employ, provided that on or before 19 March they were on PAYE payroll and HMRC has been notified of payment via the RTI system.

Employers can go online to claim cash grants worth up to 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 a month per worker. HMRC staff will operate the scheme. Further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Please note the following key guidelines: 

  • to receive payment by 30 April you will need to complete an application by 22 April as it will take six working days for the claim to be processed, issued and received
  • decide whether you want to make your own claim or if you want your agent to act on your behalf - if you have an agent that has authorisation to act for you on PAYE matters, they can make a claim for CJRS on your behalf
  • only call HMRC if you can't find what you need on GOV.UK - all applications will be processed online and after a claim has been submitted it will take six working days for it to be paid - please do not chase up payment during this time
  • employees should speak to their employers with any questions, not HMRC as they won't be able to answer queries from individual employees

15 April 2020

Business Grants payments

Spelthorne Borough Council has begun making payments to eligible businesses under the Government's Coronavirus business support grants programme.

The Government has made £15 million available to small and medium sized businesses in Spelthorne. As of 14 April, Spelthorne has provided £3.025m to these firms and the total is increasing daily. Grants are available for business ratepayers who are exempt from paying rates under Small Business Rates Relief and to business rates payers in retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of less than £51,000. The Council has to go through a checking process before it is able to issue the grants. It commenced issuing grants on 7 April by BACS transfer and will be processing them on a daily working day basis until they are all distributed. There are around 830 businesses in the borough which need to be assessed individually by a small team of our staff.

Payments will go to businesses for which we have bank account details first, so if we do not have your details please visit this webpage: https://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/CV19Grant.

Cllr Ian Harvey, Leader of the Council said: "It is essential that we support our local businesses to ensure that, after this pandemic is over, we are able to return to normality as quickly as possible. If your business is eligible to receive a grant you will have received a letter from us confirming it and asking for details. During these challenging times we hope that this will go some way towards providing relief."

Our website is the most up to date place for information about grant payments. Further details on the scheme can be found here: https://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/CV19Grant

So that we can prioritise our resources in getting funds paid to you please only call us on 01784 451459 if your business is likely to fold in the next seven days due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please note:

  • payments can only be made into a bank account - we cannot issue cheques or advance cash
  • your bank account must have the same details as our business rates record
  • we will need to carry out validation checks to make sure your business qualifies

In the first instance we will be dealing with the government's two grants and this will be followed by the retail discounts.

31 March 2020

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees' salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

Eligibility: All UK businesses are eligible and must be processed by business not individuals.

How to access the scheme

Your employer will need to:

  • designate affected employees as 'furloughed workers,' and notify employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers
  • if the business needs short term cash flow support, it may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan

Icon for pdf Job Retention Scheme FAQs [437.08KB]

Statutory Sick Pay - SSP - and Universal Credit

If you think you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), please read the following information:

You can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you're too ill to work. It's paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.

If you are self-isolating because of COVID-19:

From 13 March, you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people self-isolating in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine.

Further relaxation of the Minimum Income Floor for all self-employed claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, ensuring their UC award will increase to reflect their lower earnings.

To check your sick pay entitlement, you should talk to your employer, and visit https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay for more information.

When does SSP apply?

The government is legislating for SSP to be paid from day 1, rather than day 4, of your absence from work if you are absent from work due to sickness or need to self-isolate caused by COVID-19. Once the legislation has been passed, this will apply retrospectively from 13 March. You should talk to your employer if you are eligible for SSP and need to claim. 

Do I need a sick note?

From Friday 20 March onwards, those who have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate will be able to obtain an "isolation note" by visiting NHS 111 online and completing an online form, rather than visiting a doctor. For COVID-19 cases this replaces the usual need to provide a "fit note" after seven days of sickness absence. Isolation notes will also be accepted by Jobcentre Plus as evidence of your inability to attend.

Extension of Statutory Sick Pay to self-isolaters and those in the same household caring for self-isolaters - payable from day 1 not day 4.

Contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be now be available from Day 1 not Day 8 for eligible people unable to work because they are directly affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating.

WHO TO CONTACT :your employer or Jobcentre Plus

What if I am self-employed or not eligible for SSP?

If you are not eligible for SSP - for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week - and you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit (UC) or new style Employment and Support Allowance.

For more information on how to claim, please visithttps://www.gov.uk/universal-creditandhttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance.

What if I am self-employed and receiving Universal Credit?

If you are self-employed and receiving Universal Credit and you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate, the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. This change took effect on 13 March and will last for the duration of the outbreak, to ensure that self-employed UC claimants will receive support. 

WHO TO CONTACT: the DWP - If you need to claim Universal Credit but have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, you will now be able to claim and to access advance payments upfront without needing to attend a Jobcentre Plus. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit for more information.

If you are eligible for new style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate.

WHO TO CONTACT:The DWP - Please visithttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance

27 March 2020

Business Grants

Businesses looking for information or to apply for business grants as a result of the covid-19 outbreak can visit https://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/CV19Grant

Advice for self-employed people

The following links provide advice and support for self-employed people.



23 March 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees' salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as 'furloughed workers'. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary


What we are doing for local businesses

Guidance for Expanded Rate Relief

To qualify for the relief the hereditament should be wholly or mainly being used for the Icon for pdf qualifying purposes [297.26KB].  This confirms no rateable value limit on relief for retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.  Please see the document for detailed information.

Please note, the proposed scheme is provisional until the Government receives approval from EU under State Aid rule.

Business Rates - Covid-19 Business Rates provisions

Due to Covid-19 outbreak the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a number of initiatives including provision for 12 months exemption for Business Rates payers in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors- see the definitions below as to type of businesses which qualify and which do not.

To determine your eligibility please check the official legislation

This authority is now identifying all those eligible for the new provisions whereupon their business rates accounts will automatically be credited and revised bills, confirming businesses' rates liability, will be issued over the next 7-10 days.

Before the new rules can be implemented in full, the Government is awaiting confirmation of approval of the proposals by the EU under the State Aid rules which continue to operate under the EU Withdrawal Agreement period.

Further updates will be published here once official notifications have been received from the Government.

Icon for pdf Coronavirus or COVID-19 update from Surrey Chamber of Commerce [1.11MB]

The websites below provide information and advice from the government that has implications for businesses.

Federation of Small Businesses - https://www.fsb.org.uk/resources-page/advice-to-small-businesses-and-fsb-members-about-the-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.html

British Chamber of Commerce - https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/page/coronavirus?k=30cdfbcf8e205792be8adadf43630166035c27d5