Coronavirus: Advice and guidance for small businesses
We’ve compiled Government and employment law advice and guidance for businesses and employers regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
With the rapidly changing nature of the Coronavirus information and measurements advised by the Government can change quickly. Please take the time to visit the Government website, the Scottish Government website, the Welsh Government website or the Northern Irish Government website.
Comment from BAGMA:
“I know these are unforeseen, uncertain and troubling times for independent businesses. We are taking our responsibilities to respond to coronavirus – Covid 19 – very seriously. First and foremost, let me promise you that looking after you, the rest of our members and the team here at Bira and BAGMA is our top priority. I can assure you I am keeping abreast of all the latest Government information which I will be sharing with you on this web page. The information in this section will likely be updated regularly throughout the day, each day, as the situation unfolds, so please be sure to keep revisiting and please share it with other businesses as we need to come together to help each other through the challenge of the coming weeks and months.
In response to the Government’s action plan to help tackle the Coronavirus, we’ve outlined information on what business owners and employers can do to mitigate the impact to them.
Dealers that are allowed to continue to trade under lock-down measures+
Use an appointment system for customers and operate Covid safe collection and drop of points. The main need will be for service and repair which is covered by the guidance.
Agricultural dealers may stay open. Unfortunately, any shop or showroom for dealers [of] garden products is likely to be considered ‘non-essential’ retail and is required currently to close. Rules would allow dealers to operate ‘click-and-collect’ (where goods are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises) and delivery services. Servicing, repairs and maintenance of machines can continue. Again these should be managed by appointment rather than walk in service provision.
It is unlikely that the Trade Counter provision would apply here as it to allow essential building and building maintenance operations to continue
BAGMA also recommend that the business provide staff who have to travel for work, to and from and for deliveries and collections, a letter on company headed paper signed by the owner or a director explaining that they are allowed to do what they are doing.
Click here to take a look at the full list of shops and services that are still allowed to trade.
Click here for list of premises that are allowed to re-openTake a look at the Governments list of businesses that are required to close.
Financial business support +
- Business rates relief
- Cash grants of up to £25,000
- £10,000 grants for businesses who pay little or no business rates
- Bounce Back Loan Scheme
- Business Interruption loans of up to £5 million
- Deferral of VAT payments
- Restrictions lifted to help traders during Covid-19 outbreak
In addition, there is information on financial support from devolved governments:
HMRC support: If you have any concerns and fears about not being able to pay your tax bills as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) then we recommend you contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in relation to the following business support:
Bank support: If you feel the impact of COVID-19 will cause your business to struggle financially, it is a good idea to speak to your bank about the options you have as soon as possible. Our advice is that prevention is better than cure and that you are in a better position knowing the options you have available. Find out more here
Existing Supplier support: Check with your existing business service suppliers to see what support you may be able to receive from them during the Coronavirus outbreak.
- Talk to your Business Insurance provider
- Talk to your Utilities provider
- Chasing outstanding payments
Local Authority support: You may be able to receive support with your Business Rates during the Coronavirus outbreak. Take a look at the information below to see if you can get a discount from your local council or whether you may be eligible for one or more business rates relief schemes.
Employer and employee support+
The Government has outlined various support for employers and employees during the Covid-19 pandemic covering:
How you can help us to help more retailers+
Bira members have access to crucial services that could be beneficial to your business at this critical time. Now more than ever, independent retailers like you may need our support and guidance. It’s important that you explore and share all of the services that are freely available to you through your Bira membership. View and share all member benefits.Share the Coronavirus Hub on social media: We want as many retailers to keep informed of the rapidly changing guidance and information available to support them during the Coronavirus outbreak. Share our Coronavirus Hub on social media or via email
Transitioning out of lockdown+
Further Coronavirus related content
Guidance for employers and businesses
Employers should consider these steps to protect the heath and safety of their staff
New HMRC helpline launched to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Employment Law and Health & Safety advice
Employment Law and H&S FAQs answered by our qualified Employment Law advisers
Reaction to the announcement of new emergency funds
The new emergency funds are welcomed - but must be available immediately