COVID-19 Business Guidance


This regularly updated central resource page aims to provide official support, guidance and links to ensure our strong business community has the latest information and support they need.

The page will act as a central point for businesses to minimise the impact on their own communities and support the UK Government’s strategy.  Please find below useful links to a range of resources and organisations offering guidance with managing the impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

To speak to anyone here at the Chamber please contact us on 01753 870 500 or email


Support for businesses and self-employed people

The Government have announced it will significantly increase the reach of its winter support schemes – find out more here and you can see TVCC and BCC response here

Job Support Scheme

The Government have produced a Job Support Scheme factsheet which explains what is covered by the grant, which employers and employees are eligible, and how to claim.

Local Alert Levels

The Prime Minister has set out how the Govt will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three tired system of local COVID Alert Levels in England. Full details can be found here and there is also a postcode checker which shows which alert level applies in each area.

Test & Track App launch 

The NHS Covid-19 app has been launched, to help control C19 transmission alongside national and local contact tracing.  Businesses are now required by law to display the official NHS QR code posters, so people can check-inn at difference premises within the App.  

Winter Economy Plan

A package of measures have been announced by the Chancellor, that will continue to protect jobs and help businesses through the uncertain months ahead.  It includes a new Jobs Support Scheme, to protect millions of returning workers, extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, a 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors and help for businesses in repaying Govt backed loads.  You can see the full document here 

Kickstart Scheme

The Government have introduced a new Kickstart Scheme, which is a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6 month work placements, aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. Funding available for each jon will coer 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer NI contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contrinutions.  To help smaller businesses, employers offering fewer than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through an intermediary, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses.  This will make the process easier and less labour intensive to apply for these smaller companies, who only want to hire one or two Kickstarters. Find out more here 

If you are an employer looking to create jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme You can also read this Guide for Employers 






BCC’s resource page which is regularly updated with useful content for businesses including FAQs on recent UK Government support measures

As part of Membership, Chamber Members have access to a 24/7 Legal Advice Line As part our strategy to provide continuity and speed in relation to trade documents during this ever-changing environment, we would ask wherever possible applications are submitted via the Express option






Keep updated with all the latest information from the UK government in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak The Department of International Trade and UK Export Finance have added a page to provide support for businesses or exporters effected by COVID-19 Weekly TVCC ‘Keep Business Moving’ bulletins
Encouraging members to share news on-line through the Members Zone Weekly Members News bulletinSharing member news on Twitter & LinkedIn

Our CEO issued an open letter to all our members and also to Local Authorities 

September Updates

Start Up Loans 

The British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans (SUL) programme has announced it has issued its 75,000th loan, marking more than £623 million invested in small businesses since its launch in 2012. Start Up Loans saw a significant rise in loans issued since the start of the pandemic in the UK, with July 2020 a record month for drawdowns since 2014. The SUL programme has lent money and provided mentoring support to aspiring business owners in every region of the United Kingdom. More information available here

August Updates

Customer Logging Toolkit

If you are a business or organisation which has been advised to collect customer, staff and visitor details, a customer logging toolkit is now available 

Journey Planning 

DfT have provided information that aims to help passengers plan for their journey, including messages around active travel and car sharing.  Information can be found here

July Updates

Friday 31st July - The PM's statement on plans to reopen higher risk settings from 1st August can be found here

Thursday 30th July - NHS Track and Trace launch a new campaign to encourage everyone to get a free test as soon as they get symptoms.

Wednesday 29th July - COVID-19 early outbreak management information has been created

Friday 24th July - Full details on the updated face covering guidance can be found here

Tuesday 21st JulyGovt launches consultation on the UK Internal Market

Friday 17th JulyDuring his speech, the Prime Minister sets out the next steps in the Governments COVID-19 recovery strategy 

Wednesday 15th JulyNew guidance on how to dispose of business waste, including PPE and face coverings

Monday 13th July -  The Government has published a guide to how the border with the EU will work after the transition period.  There is also further information for traders on importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU after 1st Jan 2021.

Monday 13th JulyFind out how to register your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme  

Wednesday 8th JulyThe Chancellor delivers his Summer Economic Update in Parliament.

Wednesday 8th July -  Govt announces Kickstart Scheme, to create more jobs for young people.

Tuesday 7th JulyTravel Corridor Exemption list - 14 day isolation lifted for lower risk countries 

Tuesday 7th July -  Support NHS Track and Trace scheme by keeping records -  see more here 

Monday 6th July - £1.57 billion support announced for cultural and heritage organisations 

Monday 6th July -  BCC re-launch COVID-19 Business Tracker survey - have your say here 

Thursday 2nd July - The Dept for Transport produce new guidance for aviation operators which can be seen here   

June Updates

Tuesday 30th June – Prime Ministers economy speech available here

Friday 26th June – Guidance has been released to help businesses in England reopen safely here

Wednesday 24th June – From Saturday 4th July, the Prime Minister has announce that –

Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines –  guidance can be found here 

Two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures – updated guidance on social distancing can be found here

People can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites – guidance on opening up the visitor economy can also be found here

In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres – guidance on opening up the visitor economy can also be found here

Tuesday 23rd June – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Claiming for 100 or more employees – For claims on or after 1 July 2020, employers will need to download and complete a template when claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Monday 15th June – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update. As the Chancellor announced previously, from 1st July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for their normal hours not worked. Find out more here

Thursday 11th June – As the UK moves to the next phase in the fight against Coronavirus, find out more about Restart Guidance here

Tuesday 9th June – There are new rules in place for entering the UK during the Coronavirus outbreak. Find out more here

Monday 8th June – The Business Secretary announces the creation of 5 new business-focused groups to unleash Britain’s growth potential and create jobs.  Full details can be seen here

Friday 5th June – Key changes and deadlines you need to be aware of for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be seen here

Friday 5th June – Government to provide guarantees of up to £10 billion to Trade Credit Insurance schemes for business-to-business transactions.  Full details can be seen here

Thursday 4th June – As per the Transport Secretary’s announcement, wearing face coverings on public transport will be mandatory in England from Monday 15th June. You can see the full statement here

Wednesday 3rd June – The Government release details on how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.  Full details can be seen here

May Updates

Tuesday 26th May – The Prime Minister sets out a timeline for retail to open from 1st June and further guidance has been published for how to operate safely to protect staff and customers.  Full details can be seen here

Monday 25th May – BCC comments on Prime Ministers announcement on reopening of the retail sector – see the full release here 

Thursday 21st May – The BCC respond to 14-day quarantine for air passengers – see the full release here

Wednesday 20th May – The results from the eighth week of the BCC COVID-19 Business Tracker are now live

Monday 18th May – The Future Fund is launching on Wednesday 20th May. This can be viewed here

Wednesday 13th May – Launch of Government guarantee to support provision of Trade Credit Insurance. This can be viewed here

Tuesday 12th May – The British Chambers of Commerce have produced a summary document following a review of the Governments strategy. This can be viewed here

Monday 11th May – The Government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis can be seen here

Monday 11th May – The Government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. This can be seen here

Wednesday 6th May – The results from the sixth tranche of the BCC COVID-19 Business Tracker are now live

Monday 4th May – Bounce Back Loans are now open. Find out more

Sunday 3rd May – British Chambers of Commerce President, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, has written an open letter to the Prime Minister setting out principles for phased restart of the UK economy.  Read the full letter and policy document here.

Friday 1st May – Coronavirus mandate fraud.  In response to the increased threat from mandate fraud during the Coronavirus outbreak, the UK Government Counter Fraud Function has issued a mandate fraud guidance document.  The guidance covers recent case studies, useful contacts and simple checks organisations can take to significantly reduce the likelihood of falling victim to it.

April Updates

Wednesday 29th April – Coronavirus testing is available for millions more people in England from today after the government loosened rules on who can apply. Find out more

Wednesday 29th April – The results from the fifth tranche of the BCC COVID-19 Business Tracker are now live

Monday 27th April –The Chancellor announced a new loan scheme. A simple, quick, easy solution for those in need of smaller loans. Businesses can apply for new Bounce Back Loans up to a maximum of £50,000, or 25% of turnover, with the Government paying the interest for the first 12 months.  Find out more here

Wednesday 21st April – The British Business Bank (BBB) has produced revised and updated Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) FAQs for SMEs with more complex questions that SMEs have been asking Lenders including a Q&A on exporting.

Wednesday 21st April – The results from the fourth tranche of the BCC COVID-19 Business Tracker are now live 

Tuesday 21st April – Government have released a Corona Business Support Finder, to help businesses ascertain what support is available to them. Find out more here

Monday 20th April – The Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme opens today – find out all the information here There is a also a step-by-step guide available here

Friday 17th April –  Good news as the Chancellor has listened and responded to the real-world concerns of businesses facing challenges as a result of Coronavirus.  Changes to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme should fill an important gap in Government support for medium-sized and larger firms.  Updated guidance available here

Thursday 16th April –  Following lobbying from the British Chambers of Commerce and the Chamber Network, the UK Government has extended the eligibility for the Coronavirus Job Retention (CJR) Scheme to new starters on the PAYE system up to 19 March. Updated guidance available here

Wednesday 15th April – The results from the third tranche of the BCC COVID-19 Business Tracker are now live 

Wednesday 8th April – Job Retention Scheme date announced at Treasury Select Committee. During an evidence session with the Treasury Select Committee, HMRC’s Chief Executive, Jim Harra, announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be open for claim submissions in the week commencing 20 April, with payments starting to arrive by 30 April. More information is expected next week for employers on how to prepare applications.  The BCC have updated a FAQ document to reflect this.

Tuesday 7th April – The results from the second tranche of the BCC COVID-19 Business Tracker are now live 

Monday 6th April – Latest update from our International Trade Department

Friday 3rd April – Welcome news this morning that the Government has taken further action to support firms affected by COVID-19 by bolstering business interruption loans for small businesses and announcing a new scheme for larger companies. Find out more here 

Thursday 2nd April – The chancellor is preparing to unveil an overhaul of his emergency aid scheme for small businesses (SMEs) amid warnings about a deluge of insolvencies as companies struggle to access funds from a banking system creaking under the COVID-19 crisis. Find out more here

Wednesday 1st April –  The BCC have launched the second tranche of the COVID-19 Business Impacts Tracker and we continue to seek views from our members on the challenges they are currently facing, so now more than ever, we need your views. Have your say here

March Updates

Saturday 28th March – New measures announced today will give vital support to frontline NHS staff battling COVID-19 and support businesses under pressure as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more here

Friday 27th March – Great news for SMEs this afternoon. A result of a national push by Chambers of Commerce to get HMG pledges of money to the front line for businesss, the Big Four banks have agreed that personal guarantees will not be taken as security for lending below £250k. Find out more here

Thursday 26th March – The Self-employment Income Support Scheme – what is it?  Useful FAQ document here and details of the scheme here

Thursday 26th March –  Government gives support to millions of self-employed individuals as Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces world-leading scheme to support the UK’s self-employed affected by the coronavirus outbreak.  Find out more here

Thursday 26th March – New HMRC Tax helpline launched to support businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Find out more here

Wednesday 25th March – COVID-19 Business Impacts Tracker.  As the Coronavirus continues to impact the day-to-day operations of businesses across the UK, local Chambers of Commerce stand ready to support you. Given the rapid pace of developments, we now need to understand the immediate short term impacts on your business. We are in constant contact with the UK Government and Bank of England as business support packages have been developed. In this 2-3 minute poll, please tell us the immediate business conditions you are facing and whether your business is aware of or has used the recently announced support packages from Government. Your input is essential to our work on behalf of your business. We intend to seek your views over the next few weeks to track progress. As a business leader, your views have never been more important. The survey can be accessed here

Tuesday 24th March – Following the latest announcement from Government in regards to the strict new measures now in place to tackle the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people, here is the latest from the British Chambers of Commerce

Monday 23rd March –  The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders.  CBILS is a new scheme, announced by The Chancellor at Budget 2020, that can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.  CBILS supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance. The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.  See here for all the information.

Friday 20th March, 7pm – Tonight the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a range of measures to further protect the economy, protect people’s jobs and support businesses through the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  The Prime Minister has made a firm commitment to “stand by businesses” through the coming weeks and that by the nations collective will, the country has the ability to tackle the coronavirus now. Mr Johnson announced that starting from tonight all cafes, pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, nightclubs, gyms and leisure centres are to close as soon as possible and remain closed indefinitely. Some premises may be able to continue operating for take-away services. For further information on the new business support measures that have been announced, click here