Covid-19 Essential links to information and helplines for business
Essential links and information updated regularly
These links are updated frequently and so you should visit this page on a regular basis.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to communicate frequently with all your staff, suppliers, customers and creditors. These are challenging times for every individual, family and business, and supporting each other will have a huge impact on minimising the negative effects of coronavirus and giving your suppliers and creditors assurance that your business can survive.
Government central website for all links and information for businesses and individuals:
- Support finder tool to get you quickly to the support that is available for you here
- Summary pages here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus and https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/
- Industry guides for safe re-opening workplaces safely here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme application https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme and main information pages https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Industry and sector specific advice from Government on social distancing measures in the workplace and while working can be found here.
Several useful webinars can be found here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy-18685150848
Coronavirus WhatsApp Information Service
To use this free service, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
Havering Council - small business cash grant and other measures
If your business premises is currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (i.e. your premises has a rateable value under £15,000), or Rural Rate Relief, grants of up to £10,000 are being made available. Information and application through Havering Council here. If the Council has your correct details you may also receive an email or letter inviting you to make an application.
If you are unable to pay business rates you MUST inform Havering Council. We have been advised that they will not chase for payment for 3 months. Your business rates will still be due in full thereafter. This is a payment holiday, not a waiver of the rates.
Havering Council has launched a new dedicated helpline and webpage to support local businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.
The helpline - 0345 017 0743 - is available Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 4 pm, and launches at 9 am tomorrow (Wednesday 8 April). You can also email their helpdesk at email@example.com
If you wish to report a business that you believe is not complying with COVID-19 restrictions, or you have any queries regarding the legislation, then please do not call the hotline number but instead send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Companies House for information on tax returns, payments and support available https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-guidance-for-companies-house-customers-employees-and-suppliers
Wrongful trading legislation temporarily suspended - The UK Business Secretary has announced that the Government will implement certain changes to enable UK companies undergoing a rescue or restructuring process to continue trading, giving them breathing space that could help them avoid insolvency.
The changes include temporarily suspending wrongful trading provisions retrospectively from 1 March 2020 for three months for company directors so they can keep their businesses going without the threat of personal liability. You should consult your accountant or legal representatives for full details.
On The Mayor's London Growth Hub you will find a wealth of information for London businesses and can also arrange to speak to one of their advisers who can help you navigate what can sometimes seem like an endless flow of new information and discuss your specific circumstances
Mayor's Pay It Forward Crodwfunding Campaign - free for all SMEs to use to sell products and services in advance to help ease cashflow. Link here: payitforward.london.gov.uk/
We also recommend Havering Council's partnership with Building Legacies to deliver a range of useful webinars featuring experts and Goverment representatives. Delegates will be able to ask questions https://buildinglegacies.co.uk/event/navigating-covid-19-procurement-and-government-contracts/
Working from home might reduce connectivity speeds. Ofcom has provided some tips and advice on staying connected https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/stay-connected
The Associations of British Insurers (ABI) has published valuable information on how you should communicate with your insurers and measures you should take to safeguard your business https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-hub/#a
Acas has also published important information regarding relations with your workforce and action you can take to safeguard employment and rights https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
For those of you registered as self employed, or with contract workers who are self employed, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has a helpine and offers independent advice https://www.ipse.co.uk/coronavirus-hub.html
Revised guidance on moving goods through customs can be found here . And temporary changes to customs policy and authorisations to assist businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak are here. Your handler/freight forwarder should also have the most up to date information.
Various industry bodies have dedicated coronavirus information pages, where you can also sign up for regular updates. There are also industry specific guidelines from Government:
Construction: Build UK https://builduk.org/coronavirus/
Letter to the Construction industry from the Secretary of State https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-letter-to-the-construction-sector
CITB Covid-19 info pages https://www.citb.co.uk/urgent-messages/
Freight Transport: FTA https://fta.co.uk/coronavirus
CPC Driver training rules have been temporarily changed The Department for Transport has put in place temporary changes in professional driver qualification requirements, which means that drivers whose Driver CPC card expires in the period from 1 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 can continue driving https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-temporary-changes-to-driver-cpc-requirements
Freight, bus and road transport business and driver guidelines from Govt here