All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway and click-and-collect services of food and non-alcoholic drinks. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close. Essential shops and garden centres can remain open.
The restrictions came into effect today and are expected to last until at least the end of March. By this point, the NHS hopes to have vaccinated everyone in the top four priority groups identified by the JCVI and the strain on the NHS to have improved.
As a result of this third lockdown, further financial support and guidance measures have been put in place by the Government to help businesses. These include:
- £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs has been announced by The Chancellor, including a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Find out more about these grants.
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30th April 2021. Businesses can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
- The Local Restrictions Support Grant supports businesses that were open as usual, providing services in person to customers from their business premises, but are now required to close due to the latest national lockdown restrictions imposed by Government.
- The Additional Restrictions Grant provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates, as well as businesses that do not have to close but are impacted.
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs by providing access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance. This scheme has been extended until 31st March 2021.
- Bounce Back Loan Scheme is a fast-tracked finance scheme that provides loans of up to £50,000 with a 100% Government-backed guarantee for lenders. The scheme has been extended until 31st March 2021 and top-up loans are available to businesses that have not used all of their entitlement yet.
- Employers of businesses that can stay open have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site. Guidance on making businesses COVID secure can be found here.
- Public bodies, organisations and charities have produced additional resources that may be useful to employers and employees. These resources can be found here.
At Exemplas, we have been providing trusted, expert, advice to SMEs for over 25 years. We know this is a challenging time for many businesses across the UK, and through our delivery of public sector contracts, we continue to support them through this uncertain landscape.
Further information on our programmes and services:
Hertfordshire Growth Hub
Phone: 01707 398168
Innovate UK EDGE East of England
Contact Page: https://www.innovateukedge.ukri.org/contact-us
Phone: 01707 398442
Department of International Trade East of England
Phone: 01707 398 398
Department of International Trade Yorkshire and Humber
Phone: 0300 365 1000
Ellenbrooke Consultancy and Training
Phone: 01707 398300