Covid-19 (coronavirus) Business Support

The coronavirus pandemic is currently causing major disruption to how we lead our daily lives and this page contains information on business support. 

 
The Government has announced measures to support businesses – you can see all the information here​.​​


For the latest information on Coronavirus, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus


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  • Local Restrictions - Support for Businesses 



    On 16 October 2020 the Government announced further restrictions and closures for some businesses in Lancashire to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

    See government website for ‘Local COVID-19 Alert Level – Very High’ https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-very-high​

    As these latest local restrictions were announced very recently, we are currently waiting for further information on guidance and financial support available so that we can support affected eligible businesses – we will update this page as soon as possible.

  • Resource area for businesses

    We are here to help businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic. Below you'll find information that you may find useful for your business.


    - Guidance on local restrictions can be found HERE​


    - Information on Maintaining records or staff, customers and visitors to help with NHS Test and Trace, including the QR Code that must be displayed by certain businesses from 24 September can be found HERE


    - Information on Face Coverings can be found HERE​


    - Government Guidance on working safely (includes information on various business types) can be found HERE


    - Information for food businesses from the Food Standards Agency can be found HERE.


    - Important information relating to potential health risks such as legionella, of dormant water systems in businesses that have been closed during lockdown can be found HERE.

    - A guide to Recommisioning of Water Systems (reopening of buildings) can be found HERE.



    Downloadable signs



    Businesses who are required to display the official NHS QR Code poster can generate their unique poster HERE 


    Further information on maintaining records for staff, visitors and customers to support NHS Test and Trace, can be found HERE


    To help support you, we’ve created a pack of downloadable signage should you wish to use it.


    These are generic but please refer to latest guidance to determine what’s appropriate for your business.


    - Face Covering Signage

    - Hand-Face-Space Signage

    Directional Signage


    Social distancing signage​

    Signage useful for takeaway/delivery businesses​

    Card/contactless payments only signage​

    Signage useful for staff areas​ of businesses
    (e.g. hand washing, cleaning, restricted access signs)





  • Coronavirus ‘Tier Three’ Guidance for Licensed Premises 


    Produced and issued 20th October 2020


    Under The Health Prot
    ection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Very High) (England) Regulations 2020, pubs and bars must close; they can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal; they may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.

     

    What is a ‘substantial meal’?

    A substantial meal is described as something that would be a main lunchtime or evening meal.  Clearly this is open to interpretation, and some degree of common-sense has to be applied.  For instance, it would be difficult to argue that a sausage roll or a snack pork pie constitutes a main meal, whereas if it was served plated with accompaniments such as vegetables, salad, potatoes it could be considered substantial.

     

    Can someone order a drink and then a meal afterwards?

    No, the alcoholic drink must be secondary to the meal, and so cannot be ordered separately. 

     

    Can customers share a meal?

    No, each customer must each order a meal to be able to have an alcoholic drink.

     

    How many drinks can be ordered with a meal?

    Again, this is open to interpretation, and we have to consider the spirit of the regulations, which is not to allow alcohol to be consumed unless part of a substantial meal.  We need to think about what is reasonable.  If someone was eating a light meal (for example a jacket potato, or a sandwich with side salad) it would not be reasonable for them to order three or four drinks with it.  On the other hand, someone ordering a three-course meal that might be eaten over an hour or couple of hours might reasonably have several drinks or a bottle of wine during the entire meal.  It would similarly not be reasonable for someone to order just a sandwich and eat it slowly over the course of an hour or more whilst having numerous alcoholic drinks.

     

    Can customers order more drinks once they have finished eating?

    No, once they have finished their meal, alcohol cannot be served to them.   

     

    I don’t currently serve food in my premises – can I start preparing food, or buy ready to eat food in and serve it so that I can stay open?

    If you don’t currently offer meals, your premises must close.  We recognise however that businesses may want to diversify in order to reopen as a restaurant, and we will do what we can to support this.  We will look at each business on a case by case basis.  If you wish to start offering food, please contact us for advice.  This is not only to ensure you are complying with Coronavirus regulations, but also that you are able to meet required food hygiene standards.  You need to ensure that your storage, preparation and serving areas are suitable, and that anyone handling food has been trained to a level commensurate with their activity.  If you wish to serve food that has been prepared elsewhere, you still have a responsibility to ensure that the food is safe to eat using the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), and must show that it has been handled safely all the way from preparation through delivery to service.

     

    Can my customers bring a takeaway meal in and just order alcohol from my premises?

    No.  This would not meet the requirement of a premises ‘operating as if they were a restaurant’.  A restaurant would not permit customers to bring in their own food.

     

    What are the rules about people from different households meeting up?

    In ‘Tier 3’ areas, people from different households or support bubbles must not mix either indoors or outdoors.  The only exception is that up to 6 people may meet in public locations such as public parks and gardens, beaches, woodlands).  This means that you must not allow people from different households to meet on your premises, either indoors or outdoors. 

     

    Could I host a party of people from different households (for example a hen party or baby shower) if I sat each household on different tables?

    No, this would not be acceptable – this would be classed as a gathering and not permitted.  It would not extremely difficult to ensure that people from different tables did not mix.

     

    What are the rules about weddings, wedding receptions, funerals and wakes?

    Weddings and civil partnerships may only take place with 15 people or less.  Wedding receptions (i.e. any form of social gathering after the ceremony itself) are not permitted.

    Funeral services maybe attended by up to 30 people, and wakes up to 15.  Where food or drink is served at wakes, this should be in the form of a sit-down meal to discourage people from mixing outside their household / bubble groups.

    For all such events, people must adhere to the rules on social distancing. 

     

    Do people still need to wear masks, give details for Test and Trace etc.?

    Yes, all customers must wear masks unless seated at their table; all staff who are ‘front of house’ and not behind a screen must also wear a mask.

    You must also display the NHS Test and Trace QR code, and have your own method of recording customer details for people who don’t have smart phones.

     

    If you have any other questions, please contact the Council on 01257 515151

     

    Please note that this advice may change at short notice. If in doubt, check.

     

    This advice is for guidance only to ensure consistency, it does not constitute legal advice

     

  • LOCAL AUTHORITY DISCRETIONARY GRANT FUND 


    In line with the request from the government to bring this type of grant to a close, the process for these grants has now ended. Businesses have been informed on the outcome of their application and grants paid to those who were eligible for the fund.​

    To discuss what other support may be available to your business, please contact our Business Engagement Team on edu@chorley.gov.uk



    You’ll be aware that the government recently announced additional grant funds made available to eligible businesses, previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme, in the form of Local Authority Discretionary Grants: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-local-authority-discretionary-grants-fund​

     The fund is limited, and local authorities are required to distribute the funds in line with the recently published government guidance. This guidance also offers local authorities some flexibility in establishing local criteria for grant awards.

    There are a number of mandatory government criteria including;

    - Businesses must not be in receipt of other COVID-19 funding such as Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) or the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

    - Business must have been trading and in occupation on 11 March 2020

    - Must not be eligible for other central government COVID-related grant schemes. 

    - Must not be in administration, insolvent, or a striking off notice made


    In addition to the mandatory criteria provided in the guidance, the government suggests that certain types of business are prioritised for these grant awards, which include:


    -Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment.

    -Businesses with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.

    -Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates​

    -Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.


     

    Chorley Council intends to prioritise these types of business in line with the government guidelines. In addition to this the council has set out additional local criteria, including:

    - The scheme is to be aimed at small and micro businesses with up to 50 employees, however we will also consider requests from businesses with up to 250 employees.

    - Grant requests will be considered for occupied business premises with a rateable value, annual rent or annual mortgage payments of up to £52,020.


     

    A number of types of business premises will be excluded, which include:

     

    - Telecommunications masts

    - ATMs

    - EDLs

    - Advertising boards

    - Utility infrastructure

    - Utilities

    - Public sector organisations

    - Housing Associations

    - Offices of local MPs

    - Car Parks (exempt from previous grant scheme)

    - Financial services except Credit Unions

    - Schools

    - Professional services

    - Medical services

     On receipt of forms, we will be reviewing the details provided by local businesses against criteria to determine eligibility.

    Different levels of grants will be awarded based on the individual applicant’s gross rates payable or annual rent payable. Applicants that successfully meet the criteria and provide the requested supporting documentation will receive a minimum grant of £5K. The maximum grant value is £25K.

    In line with the request from the government to bring this type of grant to a close, the process for these grants has now ended. Businesses have been informed on the outcome of their application and grants paid to those who were eligible for the fund.​

    To discuss what other support may be available to your business, please contact our Business Engagement Team on edu@chorley.gov.uk​



  • Coronavirus Business Grants 


    In line with the request from the government to bring this type of grant to a close, the process for these grants has now ended. Businesses have been informed on the outcome of their application and grants paid to those who were eligible for the fund.​

    To discuss what other support may be available to your business, please contact our Business Engagement Team on edu@chorley.gov.uk


    The government announced support in the form of grant funding schemes for businesses eligible for small and rural business grant funding (£10,000) and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector with property with a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 (£10,000) or between £15,001 and £51,000 (£25,000) – you find guidance and eligibility criteria on these Grant Funding Schemes on the Government website HERE

    Please click here to access the Government’s FrequentlyAsked Questions (FAQ) regarding Grant Funding Schemes.
     

    Please note that these are not the same as the Local Authority Discretionary Grants (see tab above).


     

  • Keep up to date with business support 

    If you are experiencing any issues that are not covered by current Government support, or would like to be kept up to date on business services, please provide details HERE​ so that we can include you in future communications and also feedback these issues to the Government.

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  • Pavement Licensing 

    For information on pavement licences and the application form, please visit: https://chorley.gov.uk/Pages/AtoZ/Licensing.aspx
     

  • Chorley Council commercial tenants 

    If you are a Chorley Council Commercial Tenant, please contact the Asset/Building Manager responsible should you have any difficulty fulfilling the terms of your lease/license. For further information on business support, please email edu@chorley.gov.uk

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 


    The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered through 40+ British Business Bank accredited lenders and partners, is designed to support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses (SMEs) during the Covid-19 outbreak. Please click HERE​ for more information.

  • Coronavirus support from the Government 


    Self Employed Income Support
    The Government have announced measures of support for those who are self-employed through the (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. You can find out more information including eligibility criteria on the Government website HERE.​ HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

    Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
    The coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Please see guidance on the Government website HERE​

    Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan
    The Chancellor has announced a new loan scheme, the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan, to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus. The scheme will be delivered through a network. For full details, please click HERE​

  • Useful Links 


    Government Website - There is a lot of useful information for businesses on the Government website -please click here.

    Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub - As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on businesses, Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, is refocussing all its efforts from growth support to business resilience support. Click here to find out more

    Business Crime Advice

    Lancashire Constabulary have produced crime prevention tips and guidance that may assist your organisation and your employees. Click here to view

    Cyber Crime - At this unprecedented time, cyber criminals have been taking advantage of ransomware. The following document can help develop knowledge to ensure you are aware of scams and crimes taking place. Click HERE

    Important information on water supply at business premises Public Health England has produced a document concerning water supply and the potential for Legionella (and other microbiological contaminants) to proliferate in the stagnant water supply systems of currently closed businesses. Please click HERE for guidance and advice on what action to take​.

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