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COVID-19: Guidance for Businesses

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UPDATED - 05 August 2020

COVID-19 Response: Support to Business



Key/Latest Updates from National & Local Government


Coronavirus advice for businesses - Reopening 

The Northumberland Covid Business Response (NCBRP) programme 

Chancellor's Plan for Jobs 

Business advisers offering free services 

Eat Out to Help Out Discount Scheme 

Tourism & Hospitality Hub | Northumberland Business Hub 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for hospitality businesses 

We're Good to Go - VisitBritain Industry Standard - Apply now 

Sign up for free Business Recovery Webinars 

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do 

COVID-19 Discretionary Grant Fund Scheme

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme guidance updated

COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Find Coronavirus Financial Support for your Business 

VisitBritain/VisitEngland Business Advice Hub

VisitBritain/VisitEngland COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker

Local Funding eBulletins from Northumberland County Council 





The Northumberland Covid Business Response programme


The Northumberland Covid Business Response (NCBRP) programme has been designed to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic to recover and restart

It is funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Covid-19 Capacity Fund and delivered by Advance Northumberland on behalf of the County Council and the Northumberland Business Hub.

There are two strands to the programme:

Business Advantage

This provides access to 12 hours of 1-2-1 coaching or consultancy for businesses looking to explore new methods of business delivery, increase productivity or become more resilient. It is open to large businesses and SMEs across the county.

Digital Advantage

This support will enable SMEs from across the county to introduce digital tools into their day to day business activity. These tools include e-commerce websites and proactive digital marketing campaigns to expand and reach new customers. Businesses in the hospitality sector could have the chance to create bespoke apps fully funded for their business.

For more details and to register your interest go to: or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



Coronavirus advice for businesses - Reopening

As lockdown eases, businesses look to reopen, welcome back more staff, and change how they operate. See below for safety tips, and the latest advice about reopening. 

Pubs, restaurants, and hairdressers were allowed to open from 4 July.

Outdoor leisure facilities such as swimming pools were allowed to reopen from 11 July.

Spas, nail bars and tattooists were allowed to reopen from 13 July.

Indoor gyms and dance studios will reopen from 25 July.

Leisure centres, bowling greens, casinos and beauticians may be able to reopen from 1 August.

Please click here for business information from the website.

For more information about which businesses are reopening, please click here.

Advice for businesses from the UK Government

Chancellor's Plan for Jobs

Business advisers offering free services

The 'Eat Out to Help Out' Scheme

As town centres have begun to reopen, so have restaurants. From 3 to 31 August, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme will ensure that some restaurants will be able to offer discounts for their customers.

Find out more about the Eat Out to Help Out scheme here.

Find out which restaurants are offering discounts.

Please click here for further information on reopening your business.



Tourism and Hospitality Hub

Northumberland County Council has established a dedicated Tourism and Hospitality Hub to support businesses in the sector looking to reopen. 

They have a specialist team available to offer you help and advice prior to the industry’s permitted reopening on July 4 and throughout the first few weeks of opening.

Contact the team by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


How can I get help?

If you are a business in the tourism or hospitality sector and need help or advice on reopening your business, we can help.

Contact the Tourism and Hospitality Response Hub.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


What can they help with?

A specialist team of advisers can help with:

Understanding social distancing measures and how to apply them in your business

Cleaning protocols

Support for staff

Licensing and permission issues

Accessing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)


Who can access the Tourism and Hospitality Hub?

Their specialist team can offer help, advice and support to the following sectors:

Heritage locations

Hotels and other guest accommodation

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway outlets

Wider visitor / tourism economy (including attractions, events and shows)


VisitBritain - We're Good to Go

We’re Good to Go - Visit Britain has launched a new industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to Government and public health guidance.

All you have to do is complete an online self-assessment and ensure you have all the necessary processes in place.

Please click here for more information


Pavement Licensing

New legislation on pavement licensing is due to be introduced later this month. Find out more about this legislation on our page by clicking here. For more information about the national draft guidence visit the website here.


Other Support for businesses

As businesses look to reopen, welcome back more staff, or change how they operate, there are a number of areas you may need to consider to ensure both staff and customers remain safe.

This information was last updated on 24 June 2020.

Please click here for the latest information from the website



Grant funding and loans


The latest updates in business grant funding and loans as a response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

This information was last updated 29 July 2020

Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund

The Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund is primarily aimed at small and micro businesses with high ongoing fixed property-related costs, and businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The fund is currently open for the following categories of business:

Leisure and tourism businesses:

This includes museums, educational and outdoor learning businesses for example a museum or attraction celebrating unique aspects of the county’s history, heritage or culture or a. outdoor learning centre, including those aimed at people with specialist educational needs.  

Also eligible are organisations providing access to inaccessible landmarks and areas of the county as tourist and / or educational attractions, for example educational trips to islands off the Northumberland coast.

Follow this link for full details of eligibility and how to apply.

You can access the application form here.

Applications will close at midnight on Sunday 16 August 2020.

If you have queries about the Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Small Business and Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Funds

Small Business Grant Fund

Any small business (properties with a Rateable Value less than £15,000) in any sector who were in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief on 11 March 2020 may be eligible for a £10,000 small business grant payment.

Please complete the online form if you think you may be eligible. Your details and business bank details will need to be validated by the Council before we can pay the grant. 


Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant

Any retail/hospitality/leisure business operating from premises with a Rateable Value of £15,000 or under, may be eligible for a grant of £10,000. A property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 but less than £51,000, may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.

Please complete the online form if you think you may be eligible. Your details and business bank details need to be validated by the Council before we can pay the grant.

If you are having difficulty completing the form please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Please provide a contact telephone number in your email in case we need to get in touch with you.

Further guidance and detail on the criteria for the above grants is available here.

Answers to some frequently asked questions about the grant schemes can be found here.

Download the EU State Aid Declaration Form here (PDF)


Future Fund

This fund is for companies which are facing financing difficulties due to COVID-19. The loans range from £125,000 to £5 million (subject to at least equal match funding from private investors), and may be an option for businesses unable to access other government support.

Please click here to apply


Fishing and aquaculture businesses

There are two funds for England’s fishing and aquaculture businesses, administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and that target those most in need. 

Fisheries Response Fund

Qualifying fishing vessel owners will be contacted directly in stages by MMO, starting from Monday 20 April 2020.

Qualifying aquaculture businesses are being contacted directly by MMO from Thursday 07 May 2020.

Domestic Seafood Supply Fund

The second fund is a grant scheme to support the sale of fish locally.


Bounce Back Loan

The Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan will help both small and medium-sized businesses affected by the pandemic.

Businesses will be able to apply for loans from £2,000 to £50,000, with no fees or interest for the first 12 months.

Please click here to apply.


Larger Businesses

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

The government has introduced a financing facility where the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. Operating initially for 12 months, it’s intended to relieve cash flow pressures. 

Find out if the Corporate Financing Facility is right for you.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of up to £45m to apply for Government-backed finance up to £5m. The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. 

Please click here for more information about the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.





Local Updates


North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit

Providing local businesses with the latest advice, guidance and support available from the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered include:

• Financial support available for businesses

• Official guidance for employees, employers and businesses

• Advice on effective home working

• How to care for staff/suppliers/customers and prevent the spread of COVID-19



Other Updates


Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK (PASC UK)

The Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK (PASC UK) have made their weekly COVID-19 newsletter freely available to anyone in British self-catering. Please the latest weekly editions below:

COVID-19 Update 8 June 2020

Other PASC UK Updates


Association  of Scottish Self Caterers (ASSC)

The ASSC is the primary source of news and information for all self-catering businesses in Scotland:

Important Legionella Action


Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance on insurance

The FCA has set up the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) - an independent body to provide arbitration for insurance claims of smaller businesses (with turnover of less than £6.5 million and fewer than 50 employees). The decision of the FOS is binding on insurers up to £350,000. 

To take your complaint directly to the FOS, please contact: 

The Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower
E14 9SR
Telephone: 0300 123 9123
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID-19 

The UK Government has produced guidance for employers about the signs and symptoms and how to treat staff presenting with symptoms. As well as information on the support available. Click here to find out more


Business Rate Measures

Government has announced the intention to increase the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for the 2020 to 2021 tax year for properties below £51,000 rateable value.

Government will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that are eligible for the increased retail discount will receive a new bill from the Council as soon as possible. As this relief will mean that eligible businesses have no business rates to pay in 2020/21 the direct debit payments previously notified for 2020/21 will not be collected.


Other measures from UK Government

Time to Pay - A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress caused by COVID-19 and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement Tel: 0800 0159 559

Support for UK exporters - Other support for export, supply and UK Export Finance impacted by COVID-19 can be found by clicking here  

Request for UK Industry support The UK Government has issued a call to action to companies who have the capabilities to repurpose their staff and facilities to making ventilators to assist in treating patients affected COVID-19. If your business is able to support this request - please either call 0300 456 3565 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Further background to the request can be found by clicking here 




This page and the external links contained in the page may change regularly so please keep checking our communication channels for further updates along with the Government, Public Health England & NHS websites.

VisitEngland Business Advice

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Nland Business Hub

Local Funding e-Bulletin

The Regeneration Programmes and External Funding team at Northumberland County Council produce a regular Funding eBulletin, which currently includes useful support information around COVID-19.

Download the latest eBulletins


COVID-19 Industry Updates

COVID-19 Consumer Tracker

A weekly COVID-19 consumer sentiment tracker is now available, providing insights into domestic intent to take holidays within the UK.

Download the latest report



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