COVID-19 Business Guidance


HELPING BUSINESSES PREPARE – COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)

To help businesses during these unprecedented times, the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce has set up a central resource page.

Updated regularly, this page will 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 get in touch, please contact us on 01753 870 500 or email customerservices@tvchamber.co.uk

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

LATEST 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 

BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

CHAMBER LEGAL ADVICE LINE

THAMES VALLEY TRADE DOCUMENTATION

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
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PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADVICE

DIGITAL COMMUNICATION

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
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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 MayBritish 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 MayCoronavirus mandate fraudIn 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. 

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 AprilThe 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 

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