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Business Support

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for Employers and Businesses

Business support

This page will be regularly updated with information and guidance for businesses and employers regarding business continuity and local support during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Scroll down to access sector-specific information and guidance.

Get support from our business navigators

Our business navigators in Essex, Southend and Thurrock are available for free discussions via phone or email to answer your questions and concerns, as well as point you in the right direction for external or government advice.

If you would like to receive direct support from your local business navigator please complete our Business Support form and indicate what support you are interested in and how COVID-19 affected you so far.

Click here

A.R.U. COVID-19 Support for business

A.R.U. are offering organisations impacted by COVID-19 access to two new initiatives:

Innovation vouchers – access expertise

The innovation voucher initiative gives businesses access to academic knowledge that can help your business through this difficult time. It could be advice (consultancy) on how to develop your innovative idea, learning more about diversifying your business offer through R&D activities or how you should make the most of intellectual property.

The innovation vouchers provide businesses with funding which can be used to access our research and innovation support such as consultancy and contract research. Each voucher is worth up to £5,000. Successful applicants will need to match the value of the innovation voucher, meaning for each £1 received from ARU, the applicant must also contribute £1. For example, if you applied for the maximum voucher value of £5,000, you would also contribute £5,000 (plus the full VAT cost). The minimum contribution from businesses is £1,000.

Internships – access the student and graduate talent

If you have a new business challenge that has arisen as a result of the pandemic you could benefit from an eight-week internship.

This fully-funded internship programme will connect you to a recent A.R.U. graduate, giving you the opportunity to inject fresh ideas into your organisation and them the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.

Projects can vary depending on the nature of your organisation and your business challenge, but must demonstrate how the project connects to COVID-19 and its impact upon your organisation. A.R.U. can work with you to identify a suitable internship project and match you to the most suitable intern based on your needs and their skill-set.

Get in touch

Find out more and register your interest by contacting

Additional information

  • There are a limited amount of innovation vouchers and fully-funded internships available.
  • Any organisation (including charities and local government authorities) can take advantage of these initiatives, regardless of size, sector or location.
  • A.R.U. will work with you to learn more about your needs and how we might be able to help you.

Don’t forget, you can also take advantage of one of their existing initiatives that support general business growth and access to student and graduate talent:

NHS Test & Trace

What is the NHS Test and Trace service?

The NHS Test and Trace service:

  • provides testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) to find out if they have the virus.
  • gets in touch with anyone who has had a positive test result to help them share information about any close recent contacts they have had.
  • alerts those contacts, where necessary, and notifies them they need to selfisolate to help stop the spread of the virus.

By following instructions to self-isolate, people who have had close recent contact with someone with coronavirus will be protecting their family, friends, colleagues and other people around them, and will play a direct role in stopping the spread of the virus.

Click here to view the Government’s guidance for businesses, including information on the role of employers to ensure workplaces are COVID-19 secure, the risks in the workplace, how to support employers, contact tracing and guidance for self-employed.

£300 million additional funding for local authorities to support new test and trace service

Local authorities will be central to supporting the new test and trace service in England, with the government providing a new funding package of £300 million. Click here for more detail.

Government’s recovery document

Click here to view the government’s recovery document, OUR PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

Government Coronavirus Business Support

Follow the link below to access the Government Coronavirus Business Support site, which includes information on:

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme (CBILS)
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure
  • Cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure
  • Coronavirus Job Retention scheme
  • Small business grant funding
  • Statutory sick pay rebate
  • Time to Pay
  • COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
  • Business rates holiday for nurseries
  • VAT deferral
  • Income tax deferral for the self-employed

BEIS and Public Health England: guidance for employers and businesses

This guidance from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Public Health England will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff on:

  • The novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • How to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • What to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • What advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas
  • Actions to take if staff come into contact with someone who is self-isolating or is a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19

Request for business intelligence: How is COVID-19 impacting businesses?

The Government is closely monitoring developments in relation to potential economic impacts on the UK economy and individual businesses and supply chain and is keen that businesses feed back any specific concerns.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy seeks business intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting individual businesses and business sectors. It welcomes information from you and your members on:

  • The impacts across supply, demand and labour markets
  • Actions being taken by firms to address these impacts
  • Any gaps in the Government response from your perspective

Please send this information to We understand that individual company information may be commercially sensitive, and it will be treated accordingly.

Resources to support your business

Government Coronavirus Business Support Hub

You can go here to find out all the latest information about what funding and support is available for your business, managing your business during coronavirus and business closures. There is also a new ‘support finder’ tool (available here) to help businesses easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic through a quick and simple online questionnaire. You can find out more about the tool here.

Government Coronavirus Business Support Whatsapp

The government has also launched a Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp which is now updated with business support advice. Text ‘hi’ to 07860064422 via Whatsapp and there are business support measures highlighted under option 5 with the relevant links to pages. Click here for more information.

Government Business support helpline

The government’s dedicated business support helpline has switched to a new FREEPHONE number to provide further business support. It can now be accessed on: 0800 998 1098 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. You can also contact them by email:

HMRC Helpline

HMRC have online help set up to help businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus.

The best way to get help from HMRC on any topic is to contact them online – click here. Alternatively, you can call them on 0800 0159 559

Coronavirus Business Support blog

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have created the Coronavirus Business Support Blog to help business get the support they need to help with the impact of coronavirus. Click here to find out more.

Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations are providing coronavirus related  support for specific sectors. Click here to access the full list.

A new Coronavirus Business Support Hub is now available at

The hub brings together key information for businesses including on funding and support, business closures, your responsibilities as an employer and managing your business during coronavirus. The hub also includes information for self-employed people and sole traders.

Funding and support

  • Financial support for businesses – click here
  • Claim for your employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – click here
  • Apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – click here
  • Defer your VAT payments – click here
  • Prevent your business from being evicted – click here

Support for the retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery sectors

  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 – click here
  • 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England – click here

Self-employed people and sole traders

  • Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme – click here
  • Self-employment and Universal Credit – click here
  • If you cannot pay your tax bill on time – click here
  • Carry out work in people’s homes safely (tradespeople) – click here
  • Drivers’ hours rules relaxations – click here
  • Negotiate a mortgage payment holiday – click here

Your responsibilities as an employer

  • What you need to do and how to keep your employees safe – click here
  • Claim for your employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – click here
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): employer guide – click here
  • Claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – click here
  • Find out what to do if your employee needs time off to look after dependants – click here
  • Which expenses are taxable if your employees work from home – click here
  • Apprenticeships: how they can continue – click here
  • Guidance for Tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors of people affected by coronavirus – click here

Managing your business during coronavirus

  • Cleaning your workplace safely – click here
  • Handwashing advice posters – click here
  • Rules that have been relaxed to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic – click here
  • Construction sites and safe working – click here
  • Farmers, landowners and rural businesses – click here
  • Food businesses – click here
  • Freight transport businesses – click here
  • Medical and healthcare industry – click here
  • Shipping and sea ports businesses – click here
  • Supported accommodation, residential care and home care – click here
  • Transport businesses – click here

Business closures

  • Businesses that must close – click here
  • If you’re staying open for business: safe working guidance – click here
  • Closing holiday accommodation to temporary residents – click here

Advice from Local Authorities in SELEP area

ACAS: advice for employers and employees on sick pay and leave

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has published advice for employers and employees in case coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads more widely in the UK.

It has set out some simple steps that employers should consider to help protect the health and safety of staff, including:

  • Good practice for employers
  • Sick pay
  • If employees do not want to go to work
  • If someone becomes unwell at work
  • If someone with coronavirus comes to work
  • If an employer needs to close the workplace

Association of British Insurers

The Association of British Insurers has produced a Q&A to help and support insurance customers. It has produced guides for some of the most commonly asked questions regarding:

  • Travel Insurance
  • Business insurance
  • Insurance for schools
  • Home insurance
  • Motor Insurance
  • Wedding insurance
  • Income protection
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Trade credit insurance
  • Pensions and investments

Be the Business

Business support during coronavirus outbreak

Be the Business has created a dedicated coronavirus page specifically for business owners and leaders, bringing together the latest government support, advice across themes such as supporting your staff and communicating with customers, how leaders like you are reacting right now and the best of what the rest of the web has to offer. Click here to find out more.

There are case study video available, where business leaders from a wide variety of sectors and locations explain how they’ve reacted and what their priorities going forward will be. Click here to view the videos.

Rapid Response Mentoring

Be the Business’s new 12-week Rapid Response Mentoring Programme aims to help guide owners and managers of these businesses through the next few months, provide a sounding board for difficult decisions, and support them to develop suitable strategies for the future.

Click here to find out more and register.

Business rates

Business rates revaluation postponed

A revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus. Click here for more information.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for UK employers

Understand how to support your business and workforce through this global health emergency. Click here for more information.

Companies House

Sending your forms to Companies House during the coronavirus outbreak

As an emergency response to coronavirus Companies House has developed a temporary online service to upload a number of completed forms and send them to Companies House digitally. Find out which documents you can upload here.

Coronavirus guidance for Companies House customers, employees and suppliers

Companies House has robust plans in place to maintain services for our customers and protect the welfare of our employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Click here for more information.

Competition law exclusion orders relating to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Click here to view a register of agreements relating to exclusion orders made by powers under paragraph 7 of Schedule 3 to The Competition Act 1998.

Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is regularly updating its website with news, advice and guidance for businesses regarding Coronavirus.

It is also holding a daily webinar – click here for more information on Coronavirus-related webinars for businesses and follow the link below to head to the CBI site.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

From Tuesday May 26, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, are able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.

Employers will be able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. Click here to find out more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Community Interest Companies (CICs)

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CICs) has robust plans in place to maintain services for CICs and protect the welfare of employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Click here for more information.

Dismissal: your rights

There is new guidance for employees who may have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The latest government guidance on dismissal states that if an employee has lost their job because of coronavirus (COVID-19), the employer may be able to re-employ and pay 80% of wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme – click here to view.

Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation has created a page to keep businesses updated of government moves, support schemes for small business, and pro-active advice on how to keep trading through the epidemic.

During this challenging time for small business owners Enterprise Nation wants to ensure you have access to advice, so it is offering three months free membership. Please apply coupon code COVID19ENFREE at the checkout.

Click here to find out more and register.

Exemptions for critical workers in UK’s new COVID-19 quarantine rules

New measures at the UK borders to guard against a second wave of coronavirus infections have been announced by the Home Secretary. They include 14 days’ self-isolation for anyone entering the UK, bar a short list of exemptions. The arrangements are due to come into effect on June 8 2020.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said a full list of the exemptions will be published on They will include:

  • road haulage and freight workers, to ensure the supply of goods is not impacted
  • medical professionals who are travelling to help with the fight against coronavirus
  • anyone moving from within the Common Travel Area, covering Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
  • seasonal Agricultural Workers who will self-isolate on the property where they are working

The Home Office says it has been working closely with industry partners ahead of announcing the changes (click here for more detail). They will be subject to review every three weeks, to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific evidence and remain effective and necessary.

The Home Secretary added that the government will continue to look at further options including ‘air bridges’ – agreements between countries who both have low transmission rates to recognise each other’s departure screening measures for passengers and removing the need for quarantine.

Federation of Small Businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has a section on its website offering advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed.

It has also published an on-demand webinar with help and support for businesses during the COVID-19 crisis – click here for more information on Coronavirus-related webinars for businesses and follow the link below to head to the FSB site.

Find a job

There is currently significant demand for nurses, healthcare assistants, social care workers, delivery drivers, warehouse workers and retail workers.

Click here to head to jobhelp from Jobcentre Plus.

Click here for employer help and support from Jobcentre Plus.

Government brings forward bill to temporarily change insolvency law

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has introduced the new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill which it hopes will help to relieve the burden on businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The bill will:

  • introduce temporary easements on filing requirements and Annual General Meetings (AGMs)
  • introduce new corporate restructuring tools to the insolvency regime to give companies the time they need to maximise their chance of survival
  • temporarily suspend parts of insolvency law to support directors during this difficult time

Click here for more information.

Government to publish code of practice with commercial sector in boost to high street

A working group has been established by the government with the commercial rental sector to develop a code which encourages fair and transparent discussions between landlords and tenants over rental payments during the coronavirus pandemic, and to provide guidance on rent arrear payments and treatment of sub-letter and suppliers. Click here for more information.

Information Commissioner's Office

Data protection and coronavirus information hub

Our information hub will help individuals and organisations navigate data protection during this unprecedented time.

We will add new and relevant information as the pandemic continues. Click here to find out more.


Staying Informed and Connected: Resources to Help Navigate Work and Coronavirus

Click here to read a blog from LinkedIn on how best to use the platform during the Coronavirus crisis.

Mental health and wellbeing

Click here for advice and information on how employees can look after their mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Mind has put together information covering:

  • Practical advice for staying at home
  • Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing
  • Support for work, benefits and housing
  • Checklist for staying at home

Click here for more information.

Mental Health at Work

Coronavirus and isolation: supporting yourself and your colleagues

Mental Health at Work has put together some useful and practical information for employers. Click here to find out more.

Together Networking

Together is a space for all businesses affected by self isolation to come together in support of one another. We will be holding virtual conferences, webinars and online networking for people to get involved in, learn and thrive during this difficult time.

Click here to head to

Pay It Forward campaign

Supporting businesses through the coronavirus crisis

The Business Support campaign is working with Crowdfunder to build awareness about the support provided to small businesses through the Pay it Forward campaign. Small businesses can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign to pre-sell their services and diversify trading now to ensure continuous cash flow.

Crowdfunder is covering all platform and transaction fees making it free to small businesses. Enterprise Nation is providing access to free training and support for business, to help with online sales, marketing, cashflow, and diversifying, if necessary. This campaign is nationwide and someone who is self-employed, a micro or small businesses can set up a Pay it Forward campaign here.

Safety in the workplace

Social distancing in the workplace

To support businesses that remain open during this period in England, the government has published additional guidance to assist employers, businesses and their staff in staying open safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) – click here to view. For specific settings please refer to sector specific guidance, available here. Guidance has been published for:

These guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive or to represent every business’s situation, but are illustrative examples. Businesses should also look at the advice being published by trade associations and similar groups on how to apply government guidance in their sector. Click here to read the general guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus.

Using face masks in workplaces and the community

The guidance for employees, employers and businesses has been updated with guidance on use of face masks in the community – click here to view. The UK government does not currently advise use of face masks outside of care settings, in line with PPE guidance. Therefore, Public Health England (PHE) does not advise masks in public places and for those working in supermarkets, waste collection, schools and similar settings. PHE recommends that employers should ensure that:

  • spaces in the workplace are optimised to allow social distancing to occur, wherever possible
  • signs are visible in the workplace reminding employees not to attend work if they have a fever or cough and to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • employees are provided with hand sanitiser for frequent use and regular breaks to allow them to wash their hands for 20 seconds.

How to host business events and meetings online

Click here to read our blog

Closing certain businesses and venues

Local emergency workspace for businesses

The Hive Enterprise Centre in Southend-on-Sea has a mix of private, lockable, fully serviced office, semi-private “Snugs” and single workstations in its open plan Atrium HomeDesk area that can accommodate individuals within the recommended high degree of social distancing.

1. Emergency Workspace As A Service (WAAS)

  • Daily, weekly, monthly and annual flexible workspaces including desks, serviced offices and meeting & conference rooms (cleaned between hires)


2. Virtual Hive Administrative Fallback Services

  • Virtual Receptionist, Virtual PA & Virtual Office (Mail Holding Only) services including printing & scanning bundles, secretarial/PA services, call answering & messaging services, Social Media Management email receipt and forwarding, call handling and mail holding. (NB We don’t offer mail forwarding and all calls will be answered with a generic, non-company specific live receptionist between 9am and 5pm).


Decontamination in non-healthcare settings

Guidance on cleaning and decontamination for workplaces, offices, waiting rooms, hotel rooms, student accommodation and other non-healthcare settings.

Find your nearest Health Protection Team

If someone suspected to have the virus has come into contact with your business offices/place of work, contact your local Health Protection Team for guidance.

ScaleUp Institute

The ScaleUp Institute is closely engaging in coronavirus response planning and support.

We are working closely with Government, Innovate UK, the British Business Bank and the Private sector on the response packages for scaling businesses and will continue to work with them over the coming days, weeks and months as solutions evolve, recognising the issues our scaleups are flagging to us.

Click here for more information.

Self employed

Additional guidance for self-employed to get ready to make their claims for COVID-19 support

You can check your eligibility for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) using the new online checker tool – click here. There is also further guidance available on:

  • ‘How HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’ – click here
  • ‘How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’ – click here

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Click here for more information.

A list of FAQs for the scheme can be found here.

Supply chain support

The Chartered Institute of Transport (CILT) has set up a database for organisations in urgent need of supply chain resources.

The database has been made up from information provided by industry and provides a service that matches organisations together, so that those who have capacity can help those organisations in urgent need, such as the NHS and the grocery retail sector, by making available staff, vehicles, warehouse space and expertise to support the supply chain.

Click here for more information.

Testing for all workers

Eligibility for COVID-19 testing has been expanded to all workers who have to leave their home in order to work. People can self-refer, or be referred by their employer. Details can be found here.

The link for self-referral for testing can be found here.

Trading Standards

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has produced a series of Coronavirus Bulletins aimed at the home improvement, travel and food sectors. These guides are updated regularly to capture changes in government advice and legislation changes. Guidance includes:

  • safe working conditions
  • prioritising work as restrictions are relaxed or lifted
  • practices and expectations around obligations and consumer rights
  • food business diversification
  • wholesale to retail restrictions
  • allergen controls
  • understanding the package travel regs and the supply of services
  • what businesses should be doing for their customers
  • what to do if a customer doesn’t want to travel once restrictions are lifted
  • food packaging – specific risk
  • labelling implications
  • preventing food waste
  • illegal slaughter due to food shortages

Click here for more information.

Let’s Talk initiative

CTSI Chief Executive encourages dialogue to help business navigate safely through Brexit and COVID-19 uncertainty.

Click here to find out more.

Transporting goods

Notice to exporters 2020/10: processing licence applications during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Department for International Trade has revised arrangements for processing licence applications during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Find out more here.

Notice to exporters 2020/09: Export Control Joint Unit updates guidance on compliance checks for open licences

Details of changes and further clarification on compliance checks for open licences can be found here.

Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the drivers’ hours rules: all sectors carriage of goods by road

Anyone driving under the EU drivers’ hours rules or the GB drivers’ hours rules and undertaking carriage of goods by road can use the relevant relaxation where necessary. The relaxations are not limited to specific sectors or journeys. These two temporary relaxations will run until 23:59 on Tuesday 21 April 2020.

Annual inspection waiver for tank vehicles

The notice allowing tank vehicles, with extended roadworthiness test certificates, to remain in service and on our roads without a valid ADR 1(C) certificate has been updated to say authorisation now includes class VII ADR vehicles.

Personal protective equipment (PPE): export control process

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, anyone wishing to export personal protective equipment (PPE) to areas outside the EU, European Free Trade Association member states and certain other territories will temporarily need a PPE export licence. The guidance has been updated with a link to a question and answer document by the EU.

Moving goods through customs during the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find out about moving goods and clearing customs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak here.

Customs authorisations

Find out about temporary changes to customs policy and authorisations to assist businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak here.

DIT: guidance for UK businesses

Follow the link below for information on what the Department for International Trade (DIT) is doing to provide support to businesses impacted by COVID-19, including:

  • Supply chain support
  • UKEF facilities available to cover exporters disrupted by COVID-19
  • Further guidance from PHE and BEIS
  • Contact information

DIT offers support to exporters and investors

The Department for International Trade has sent guidance directly to 160,000 exporters and investors on how to help secure export finance to keep trading during the coronavirus outbreak. In addition, UK businesses are now eligible to secure export insurance cover to major international markets.

As well as advice on what financial support is available for companies to manage the impacts of coronavirus, DIT stands ready to provide assistance with customs authorities to ensure smooth clearance of businesses’ products, and to offer advice on intellectual property and other issues with business continuity.

The message follows the news that UK businesses will now be eligible to secure export insurance cover to markets including the EU, US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland with immediate effect, following UK Export Finance expanding the scope of its Export Insurance Policy (EXIP) – click here.

The Department for International Trade’s 170 International Trade Advisers are already reaching out to businesses across the country to provide advice on keeping trade flowing. DIT is also working closely with trade bodies and business organisations to support the government’s business campaign. To find an ITA in your area, click here.

Universal Credit

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a new website around Universal Credit and COVID-19.

The website has been created to provide clear, factual information on employment and benefits support with advice on housing, furlough, sick pay and self-employment, alongside advice and FAQs for employers, those already claiming and those making a new claim.

Click here for more information.

Sector-specific information


The Basic Payment Scheme: information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications, Country Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) annual revenue claims, close on 15 June. To support applications, the Rural Payments helpline will be open on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June (8:30am-2pm) on 03000 200 301. Find out more here.

Coming to the UK for seasonal agricultural work on English farms

Advice for seasonal agricultural workers coming to England to work on farms and their employers has been published. Find out more here.

Dairy response fund set to open for applications

Eligible English dairy farmers will be able to apply for up to £10,000 to overcome the impact of coronavirus thanks to a new dairy response fund due to open for applications on June 18 (click here for more information).

With some dairy farmers facing financial difficulties and excess milk due to the coronavirus outbreak, the new fund will provide up to £10,000 each to help those dairy farmers most in need of support to sustain their business.

This funding, which will be paid out from 6 July, will help farmers maintain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare, following reduced demand for milk products as restaurants, bars and cafes have closed.

Qualifying farmers can apply for support to cover up to 70% of their losses due to coronavirus disruption across April and May, up to a total amount of £10,000 each.

New funding to support dairy farmers through coronavirus

A new fund will enable eligible dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The new funding (click here to find out more) will help support dairy farmers – who together continue to produce over 40 million litres of milk every day – who have seen decreased demand for their products as bars, restaurants and cafes have had to close.

Eligible dairy farmers will be entitled to up to £10,000 each, to cover 70% of their lost income during April and May to ensure they can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare.

National Farmers’ Union: Pick for Britain

Growers can now register their vacancies on Pick for Britain, a central, online recruitment hub, for this year’s harvest. Developed by government and the industry, the site helps to bring workers and employers together and ensures the UK can continue to deliver the best fruit and veg.

Click here for more information.

Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)

The AHDB equip the industry with easy to use, practical know-how. AHDB is a statutory levy board and is funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain. Click here to visit their coronavirus page for more information.


National Farmers Union (NFU)

The NFU is the representative body for agriculture and horticulture in England and Wales. Click here to visit their coronavirus page for more information. If you are a farmer or a grower, you can also fill out a form to request information about your specific issue – click here.

If you are an NFU member, you can access advice and information as normal through the CallFirst service.


Information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

The latest information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Click here for regular updates


£1 million grants payouts to support fishing industry

A £1 million grants scheme supporting innovative ways to sell fish and shellfish has awarded the first grants to projects across England.  The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme was set up in April to help projects that will increase the sale and consumption of locally caught seafood.  It has approved 13 significant projects that have the potential to deliver wider collective benefits. It is seeking further clarification on a number of other projects which will be considered at a further panel meeting on 8 June 2020.

Guidance has also been published on the further support available for the fishing industry which can be viewed here.

A guide to current financial and welfare support for the fishing industry

Useful contacts for the fishing industry are available here. FAQs from Defra are also available here to provide financial support to the fishing industry.

Update on Fisheries Response Fund: support for aquaculture businesses

Update on the support for aquaculture businesses under the Fisheries Response Fund is available to view here.

Government announces £10 million fund for England’s fishing businesses

More than 1,000 fishing and aquaculture businesses in England will receive direct cash grants through a fisheries support scheme announced by Environment Secretary George Eustice and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay.

In the latest step to protect businesses affected by coronavirus, plans unveiled mean that up to £9 million will be available for grants to eligible fishing and aquaculture businesses.

A further £1 million will be made available to support projects to assist fishermen to sell their catch in their local communities. This money will help fishing businesses find new ways to market and sell their catch while traditional markets are restricted, not only supporting the sector but also the local communities that depend on the industry.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay MP said: “Fishing is at the heart of many of England’s coastal communities – providing local jobs as well as valued produce to their communities and through exports around the world.

“Given the loss of trade particularly to restaurants as a result of Covid-19, this support will help fishing businesses weather the current challenges they face, and facilitate new growth in retail markets through innovative local distribution.”

More information is available here.

Charities and Social Enterprise

Charities encouraged to bid for £15 million Tampon Tax Fund

Organisations supporting women and girls are invited to apply for a share of £15 million from the Tampon Tax Fund. The Tampon Tax Fund comes entirely from VAT receipts on women’s sanitary products. Click here for more information.

Government unlocks £150 million from dormant accounts for coronavirus response

The Culture Secretary has announced that £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts is to be unlocked to help charities, social enterprises and vulnerable individuals during the coronavirus outbreak.

This includes accelerating the release of £71 million of new funds from dormant accounts alongside £79 million already unlocked that will be repurposed to help charities’ coronavirus response and recovery.

The funding will support urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

Click here for more information.

Chancellor reveals £750m funding to support charities’ ‘unsung heroes’ in the front line against COVID-19

Charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Tens of thousands of charities providing vital services will benefit from direct cash grants to ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the virus as well as continuing their day-to-day activities supporting those in need.

As part of a UK-wide package of support, £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.

As well as this, £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support those organisations at the heart of local communities which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector

Government guidance to help with running your charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Good Finance: COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities & Social Enterprises

This page contains information, resources and tools designed to support charities and social enterprises navigating COVID-19.

Small Charities Coalition

Click here to access the page with information on:

  • National Lottery Community Fund
  • UK Community Foundations
  • UK Wide Funders
  • Country Specific Funders
  • Regional and Local Funders
  • Global Funders
  • Government Financial Support
  • Specialist Funding Stream
  • Platforms
  • Fundraising Offers

The Charity Bank: COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities and Social Enterprises

Click here for information from The Charity Bank.

Charities Aid Foundation: Coronavirus Emergency Fund

Currently paused

This Fund is to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.

Click here to find out more.


Introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services delayed until 1 March 2021

The introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed for a period of 5 months from 1 October 2020 until 1 March 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the construction sector. You can find more information here.

Homes England commissions research study to drive construction innovation

Homes England has commissioned its own research study into modern methods of construction to drive innovation in the construction industry.

Atkins and Faithful+Gould have been appointed as the agency’s research and development partner for the project. More details are available here.

Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Build UK

Build UK is a representative organisation for the UK construction industry. Click here to visit their coronavirus page for more information about COVID-19’s impact on construction.

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

CITB is the industry training board for the construction sector in England, Scotland and Wales. Click here to visit their coronavirus page for more information on how CITB is supporting the construction industry.

Click here to read a letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to the UK’s construction sector.


Culture Secretary announces Cultural Renewal Taskforce to get industry up and running

The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced representatives from the arts, cultural and sporting worlds who will join a new taskforce aimed at helping getting the country’s recreation and leisure sector up and running again.

Mr Dowden said five new ministerial-led taskforces had been set up to develop blueprints for how and when closed businesses and venues could reopen safely.

Click here for more information.

South East Creatives programme

Webinars and workshops: If you are a business or sole trader in the creative, cultural or digital sector, there are a number of webinars coming up to help your business during the COVID-19 crisis from the South East Creatives’ Workshop + Mentoring Online Programme – click here. Workshops are running until the end of September.

Grants: The programme is also still offering grants for creatives across the South East. If you are sole trader or company trading in the creative, cultural or digital sector you could consider applying for a Top-up Grant. If you’re looking to spend between £3k and £4k, South East Creatives could fund 35% of your costs. Click here to find out more.

Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Arts, Libraries and Museums

Arts Council England

The Arts Council England champions and develops art and culture across England. Click here to see their COVID-19 support page.

Independent Publishers Guild (IPG)

The IPG is a trade body that represents independent book publishers in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Click here to visit their website for more coronavirus related information.

Museums Association

Museums Association represents the interests of privately owned museums. Click here to visit their website for more coronavirus related information.

National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC)

NMDC represents the leaders of the UK’s national collections and major regional museums. Click here to visit their website for more coronavirus related information.

Publishers Association

The Publisher Association is a member organisation for UK publishing, representing companies of all sizes and specialisms. Click here to visit their website for more coronavirus related information.

Creative Industries Federation

Creative Industries Federation has collated advice from across the sector to provide guidance to those in the creative industries who are affected by the Coronavirus and its fallout.

Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund

The BFI and The Film and TV Charity have partnered to create the new fund, established with a £1m donation from Netflix, to help support the creative community.

Support for music industry

PRS for Music has announced an Emergency Relief Fund for artists to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Money will be available for all members of PRS worldwide providing they have been part of the organisation for at least two years, and earned over £500 in that time. Grants will be allocated on an individual basis, with a maximum value of £1000.

UK charity Help Musicians has set up a £5 million Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians may be facing.

UK Arts Council: £160 million emergency fund

The UK Arts Council is making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and has also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of its funding, to help alleviate pressure on them.

Defence and security

DASA (Defence And Security Accelerator)

The Defence and Security Accelerator is part of the Ministry of Defence. We provide funding to help innovators develop solutions to Defence and Security problems. At present, we have a £1m fund to support innovation related to COVID19 and have accelerated our review processes to turn proposals around rapidly. If you have a potential innovation, you can submit an outline and request a discussion with your regional Innovation Partner through our website – click here.

DASA has a wide rage of competitions and offers of funding open to businesses including COVID-19 – click here to find out more.

Education, early years and children’s social care

Information for parents and carers about wider opening of educational facilities

Updated information for parents and carers about the wider opening of nurseries, schools and colleges, transport, attendance, free school meals and remote education is available here.

Funding and financial support available for education, childcare and children’s social care organisations. Find out more here.


Letter to energy sector

Click here to read a letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to the UK’s energy sector.

Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE)

The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) is the leading trade association for decentralised energy, representing more than 160 interested parties across the industrial, commercial and public sectors. Email

Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology (REA)

The REA represents the interests of the UK’s renewable energy and clean technology. Click here to visit the REA website for coronavirus related information or email

Energy Industries Council (EIC)

The EIC is a not-for-profit organisation for UK-registered companies who deliver goods and services to the energy industries worldwide and covers across energy sectors including renewable energy, civil nuclear and oil and gas.

For COVID-19 support, contact Neil Golding at

Energy UK

Energy UK is a trade association for the UK energy industry with members across all energy sectors including the electricity transmission and system operator National Grid.

Click here to visit Energy UK’s COVID-19 hub to find more information on operating in the UK energy market under coronavirus impact.

Oil & Gas UK (OGUK)

OGUK is a representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Click here to read their COVID-19 guidance..

Renewable UK

Renewable UK works on ensuring increased amounts of renewable electricity are deployed across the UK and access markets to export all over the world.

For further information and support, please contact:

UK District Energy Association (ukDEA)

The ukDEA brings together organisations from all parts of the district energy sector in the UK, including owners, developers, operators, contractors and suppliers of equipment and services, and is open for all in the sector to link into that network of expertise and best practice.

Click here to visit their website for more information or email


Letter from Economic Secretary

Click here to read a letter from the Economic Secretary, John Glen, to front line staff working to provide essential banking services.

Fire services


Click here to read a letter from James Brokenshire and Lord Stephen Greenhalgh in response to the Fire Brigades Union on the government’s actions to support fire services.


New £1 million grant scheme opened today to increase supply of local seafood

The government has opened for applications its new Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (click here to view), which will fund projects that will help seafood businesses in England increase the supply of local seafood to domestic markets.

The £1 million scheme, first announced by Defra and HM Treasury on 17 April, is part of a £10 million fund for England’s fishing and aquaculture sectors (click here to view) that have been adversely impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As well as this financial support, qualifying seafood businesses may also qualify for other Government support. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has produced a guide to what is available – click here to view.

Competition rules temporarily relaxed to allow dairy industry to work together more during coronavirus crisis

The government will temporarily relax elements of UK competition law to support the dairy industry through the coronavirus outbreak. With the UK’s dairy farmers producing over 40 million litres of milk every day, the legislation, which will be laid shortly, will allow the industry to adapt to changes in the supply chain including decreased demand from the hospitality sector and reduced collection by retailers who have had to close. Details are available here.

Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Click here to access a list of business representative organisations and trade associations providing coronavirus related support.

Cash support for food redistribution during coronavirus outbreak

The government has announced a £3 million fund for organisations redistributing safe surplus food to those who need it during the coronavirus outbreak.

Fish Local campaign supports Kent and Essex fishing industry

A major campaign to help the inshore fishing industry of Kent and Essex to survive the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and support the ports along the coastline, has been launched to help protect local jobs and coastal economies.

The Fish Local campaign is designed to persuade local residents to buy and cook seafood bought fresh from local independent fishmongers and fishermen selling direct to the public across Kent and Essex, during the Covid-19 crisis.

Operating under very strict guidelines from the Government in terms of socially distancing, the campaign will let the public know where they can still buy fresh fish with tips on how to cook simple and tasty dishes.

The campaign’s champion is the Kent & Essex Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (KEIFCA) as part of its role in supporting and managing our sustainable marine environment and coastal fishing industry. It is being delivered online and via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #FishLocalSupplyEssex or #FishLocalSupplyKent hashtags


UK Space technologies to boost NHS Coronavirus response

A new drive to fund space-enabled technology and services that can strengthen the NHS response to coronavirus has been launched by the UK Space Agency.

Satellite data and drone technology can help meet challenges such as delivering test kits, masks, gowns and goggles, managing infectious disease outbreaks and supporting the health and wellbeing of the nation.

An initial £2.6 million is being made available to fund a number of projects to develop hi-tech solutions to these challenges, in a joint initiative with the European Space Agency (ESA) in support of NHS England.

The funding is for projects which will address at least one of the following:

  • Logistics within the health delivery system, e.g. with drone deliveries
  • Managing infectious disease outbreaks
  • Population health and wellbeing
  • Recovering health system function and handling backlogs after the crisis
  • Preparedness for future epidemics

Find out more and apply for funding here.

MHRA guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance has been produced for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry covering the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including information on:

  • Supporting and authorising the development of vaccines
  • Clinical trials of new medicines
  • Managing the supply of medicines and healthcare products
  • British Pharmacopoeia products and services during the COVID-19 outbreak,
  • new guidance on medical devices clinical investigations, and
  • new guidance for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) facilities.

MHRA also provide information to patients, manufacturers and healthcare professionals through their established information channels and alert systems.


Historic England has launched an emergency fund to help tackle the impact of Coronavirus on the heritage sector.

The aim of the fund, which will be up to £2m, is to extend the safety net as far as possible for the sector by helping small heritage organisations both to survive the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, and to prepare for recovery.

Historic England, which is responsible for protecting and championing the nation’s historic environment, has developed the Covid-19 emergency fund in response to its own comprehensive survey of heritage organisations. This survey revealed the serious impact of Coronavirus on the sector, particularly on small organisations (10 employees or fewer).

We’re inviting applications from heritage organisations, self-employed contractors, third-sector organisations and voluntary groups that have been severely affected by the impact of Coronavirus and which need additional short-term emergency financial support to ensure their survival.

We’ll also consider supporting projects and activities that respond to the current crisis and contribute to recovery in the heritage sector.

The fund is designed to complement the measures already put in place by the Government, as well as the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s recently announced £50 million emergency fund.

Applicants are invited to apply for grants of up to £25,000 to address financial difficulties arising from Coronavirus. Grants of £50,000 are also available for projects and activities that reduce risks to heritage by providing information, resources and skills. Existing Historic England grant recipients should get in contact with their individual project contacts to discuss what flexibility they might require at this time.

The deadline for new applications is midnight on 3 May 2020 and the funding for successful applications will be awarded from mid-May.

More information on how to apply can be found here.


£14 million financial support for England’s zoos unveiled

Support fund for licensed zoos and aquariums affected by coronavirus – click here.


3D printing (additive manufacturing) of medical devices or component parts during the coronavirus pandemic

The requirements on manufacturing 3D printing will depend on whether the item is classed as a medical device or personal protective equipment (PPE). There has been an increased number of enquiries about the use of 3D printing to manufacture medical devices and personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic. Find out more here.

Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Engineering and Manufacturing

Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA)

AMDEA is working to ensure the continued supply of critical appliances and support to householders and the emergency services. Click here to find more information on COVID-19 on their website and click here for Register My Appliance’s website.

British Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA)

The BCFA is the British business association for the contract furnishing industry, covering the full spectrum of interior products and services in the UK and globally. Click here to visit their website for more coronavirus related information.

British Footwear Association

The British Footwear Association (BFA) supports new, growing and established businesses and manufacturers within the UK footwear industry.

During COVID-19, the BFA is dedicated to ensuring the government is aware of the issues affecting the industry while providing support and guidance to members and non-members within the footwear sector. Click here to visit their website for more information.

British Furniture Manufacturers Association (BFM)

The BFM is the trade association that represents domestic UK furniture and furnishing manufacturers. For the latest information and updates, please click here to visit the BFM’s COVID-19 webpage.

Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA)

The ECA is a trade association for those working in electrical and engineering services. Click here to find out more at the ECA’s free information portal.

Engineering and Machinery Alliance (EAMA)

EAMA promotes the machinery and manufacturing supply chain, and the work of trade associations. Email to link up with sector specialists.

Furniture Makers’ Company

The Furniture Makers’ Company is the furniture industry’s charity and supports UK furniture and furnishing manufacturers. For the latest information and updates, please click here to visit the Furniture Makers’ COVID-19 webpage.

Make UK

Make UK represents British manufacturing and manufacturers. Click here to visit their coronavirus page for more information.

National Bed Federation (NBF)

The NBF is the trade association that represents the bed and mattress manufacturing sector. For the latest information and updates, please click here to visit the NBF’s COVID-19 webpage.

Surface Engineering Association (SEA)

SEA represents companies across the surface engineering supply chain from suppliers of specialty chemicals through to applicators of all types of surface coatings. SEA website has a regularly updated blog area with all the latest government guidance on COVID-19.

Click here to read the letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to those working in manufacturing. The letter thanks all those who are working in manufacturing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Operating safely in the workplace

Click here to read the latest guidance on operating safely in the workplace for manufacturing and processing businesses during coronavirus.

The Manufacturing Barometer is live and we’re seeking your input!

Now, more than ever, it is vital that SME manufacturers are able to communicate their business needs.

The impact of COVID-19 will vary from business to business depending on the type of product being manufactured. Whether you are experiencing a spike in demand or a reduction in sales, we want to better understand the support you need as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Click here to take the survey.

Your response will help identify and call for the support you, and other manufacturing SMEs, need to help mitigate the impact that COVID-19 has on your business.


Maritime and Coastguard Agency guidance

For the latest Maritime and Coastguard Agency guidance and information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Contingency Plan and Guidelines for the Services provided to seafarers, please use these links:

  • Guidance and information to follow in the event of COVID-19 outbreak impacting UK seafarer services (click here)
  • Coronavirus contingency plan and guidelines for the services provided to seafarers and shipowners by the MCA (click here)
  • The Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) Fund During the COVID-19 Period (click here)
  • Amendment 2 COVID 19 – minimising risk to ships’ crews and maritime sector workers (click here)


The Basic Payment Scheme: information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications, Country Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) annual revenue claims, close on 15 June. To support applications, the Rural Payments helpline will be open on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June (8:30am-2pm) on 03000 200 301. Find out more here.

Suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation extended by 2 months

The government has extended the suspension of new evictions until 23 August. More information is available here.

Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in England

Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK has been updated here.

Public sector

Letter on parks and public spaces

Click here to read a letter to local authorities regarding continued access to parks and public spaces including burial grounds and cemeteries.

Letter from Local Government Minister

Click here to read a letter from the Local Government Minister Simon Clarke to councils thanking them again for their efforts responding to the coronavirus pandemic and setting out further details of additional funding.


Click here to read the letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to those working in retail. The letter thanks all those who are working in retail during the coronavirus pandemic.

Operating safely in the workplace

The latest guidance on operating safely in the workplace during coronavirus for the retail sector is available here.

British Retail Consortium

The British Retail Consortium has also developed sector specific guidance on social distancing in warehouses and distribution centres aligned with this advice – click here to view.


The Basic Payment Scheme: information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications, Country Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) annual revenue claims, close on 15 June. To support applications, the Rural Payments helpline will be open on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June (8:30am-2pm) on 03000 200 301. Find out more here.

Rural Payments Agency

Rural Payments Agency have rural payments, grants and services available including: Countryside Stewardship, Environmental Stewardship and the Basic Payment Scheme with a closing date of 15 June. Details on how to submit applications, claims and supporting documents during the coronavirus can be found here.

Social care

Whole home testing rolled out to all care homes in England

Every care home in England will now be offered a coronavirus test for all residents and staff, even if they have no symptoms. Find out more here.

New guidance on the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund is also available for adult social care providers. You can find it here.


New measures to boost digital trade and help turn the UK into a global tech powerhouse

New measures to boost digital trade and help turn the UK into a global tech powerhouse have been announced by the International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, answering industry calls for support for UK tech firms.

The new measures will seek to increase tech exports to fast-growing international markets, including Asia-Pacific, strengthen scaleups’ market readiness to export, and attract investment to drive innovation and create jobs.

The measures include the creation of a new Digital Trade Network for Asia-Pacific, which will support UK SMEs to break into the Asian market. The plans also include the launch of a new Tech Exporting Academy, which will provide expert advice to UK scaleups on subject areas essential to expansion, including regulation, intellectual property, and compliance.

The measures are being announced as part of a wider programme of support for UK tech to ensure the industry benefits from trade opportunities, including future free trade agreements (FTAs).

The full range of measures announced today can be found here.


Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in England

Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK has been updated here.

New £1.3m emergency fund to support tourism industry

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston launched a new emergency fund to support Destination Management Organisations in England at risk of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding, which is available to any at-risk DMO in England which usually receives at least 50% of its income from commercial sources, will be used to cover operating costs and the cost of employees that cannot be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme because they provide crucial business support services.

Under the scheme, DMOs will be able to receive up to £2,500 per month for two members of non-furloughed staff who provide crucial business support services and up to £5,000 to cover operating costs.


Airlines among businesses given Bank of England support

Airlines, transport and travel companies are among the largest recipients of emergency funding under a Bank of England scheme to assist larger companies facing acute short-term cash flow problems as a result of the outbreak.

British Airways, easyjet, Ryanair and Wizz Air have all received hundreds of millions of pounds from the Bank’s Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).

Under the CCFF the Bank buys commercial paper from the companies in exchange for a short-term loan repayable at rates of between 0.2 and 0.6%.

To be eligible, firms have to be investment-grade rated, make a “material contribution” to the UK, and in sound financial health prior to the outbreak.

The CCFF has paid £16.18bn to 53 companies to date and is in a position to lend £67.7bn in total if required.

Vital transport routes for freight and people kept open through Coronavirus support package

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced a multi-million pound support package to keep the flow of goods and services running smoothly in and out of the UK and around the country throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

He has announced a raft of measures, including:

  • support for critical routes between Britain and the European mainland – click here
  • up to £17 million for critical routes between Northern Ireland and Great Britain – click here
  • up to £10.5 million for lifeline ferry and freight services to the Isle of Wight and the Scilly Isles – click here

The funding will ensure the ongoing supply of critical goods into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, with up to 31 routes eligible for support, subject to discussions with operators.

Mr Shapps said the UK is working closely alongside French and Irish partners and pledged in a joint statement to “strengthen partnership and share best practices”, to ensure the continued movement of freight across the continent. Click here to view the statement in full.

The freight and passenger support package covers:

  • Twenty-six routes between Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden, including Eurotunnel
  • Seven routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Routes to the Isle of Wight
  • The Penzance-Scilly ferry

The Transport Secretary also announced thousands of volunteers, vehicles, aircraft and ships from the transport sector have been placed on standby in a new ‘Transport Support Unit’ (TSU) to assist frontline responders during the crisis across the whole of the UK. They will be able to distribute packages to vulnerable people and essential medical supplies and PPE to hospitals and care homes.

New hub

A new hub on (click here to view) brings together information for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes information on:

• Using public transport – click here
• Driving private vehicles – cars, vans, motorbikes – click here
• Bus and lorry drivers – click here
• Freight, bus and road transport businesses – click here
• Transport workers – click here
• Maritime and shipping – click here
• Aviation and flying – click here
• Overseas travel – click here

Air Navigation Service Provider (NATS) eligible for funding of up to £92 million to maintain services

The UK’s enroute air navigation service provider, NATS is eligible for £92 million in support from EUROCONTROL, the organisation which manages charging for air navigation services across Europe, enabling it to continue providing services, supporting cargo and repatriation flights as well as ensuring the organisation can return to full operations at the appropriate time, to help the recovery of the aviation sector. More information is available here.


Ministers urge councils to plan for safe re-opening of recycling centres

The government has published new guidance – available here – on how recycling centres can be safely re-opened during the coronavirus outbreak.

Waste sector

A message from Environment Minister Rebecca Pow to thank those working in the waste business is available to read here.


Relaxation of Veterinary Medicines Regulations

In light of the enhanced precautions on social distancing, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate has relaxed the enforcement of specific provisions of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) to allow a suitably qualified person (SQP) to supply veterinary medicines from temporary premise (click here for more information).

Wholesale dealers will be allowed to supply veterinary medicines to SQPs at such temporary premises. More information is available on the statement from the VMD here.

Changes to exemptions from the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) for small pet animals

Changes to exemptions from the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) for small pet animals – click here to view.

Veterinary practices: changes to support the distribution of veterinary medicines

A number of rules and regulations have been relaxed to support veterinary practice. They include:

  • SQPs temporarily allowed to prescribe and authorise supply of veterinary medicines remotely – click here
  • Veterinary practice premises: temporary change of premises – click here
  • Veterinary surgeons: temporary changes to the retail supply of veterinary medicines – click here

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) have issued guidance for veterinary professionals on how to continue to undertake veterinary work – click here to view.

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