Coronavirus hub


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.

– Andrew Goodacre, CEO of BAGMA’s parent company, Bira.

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+

BAGMA is advising machinery dealers can be open as they offer a necessary service as has been the case in previous lockdowns. Dealers are advised there should be restricted access to showrooms, operating safely under Covid restrictions for both their staff and customers.

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.

Read the full government guidance here – updated January 2021

In other areas of retail, shops up and down the country have been forced to shut their doors following the Government-imposed lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of Coronavirus.Boris Johnson announced that Brits will only be able to shop for essential items such as food, and all non-essential traders and services must close for the at least three weeks. Supermarkets, pharmacies, DIY stores and most recently Health Stores have been announced that they are still allowed to continue to trade.
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 +

Government Support: In response to the outbreak of coronavirus Covid-19, the Government has put together an emergency package of financial support for independent retailers. These include:

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.

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+

Regional support+

How you can help us to help more retailers+

Transitioning out of lockdown+

Further Coronavirus related content

View the latest advice and guidance from the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association.