We are acutely aware of the difficulties many businesses are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak and wanted to let you know that whilst we are working from home for the foreseeable future, we are still available by email, or for Zoom or Skype meetings.
We are here to help your business in any way that we can to get through these difficult times – by guiding you through alternative ways to keep your business going so that you are prepared to hit the ground running when things return back to normal.
Below are some questions to ask yourself:
- Can you provide your product/service online?
- Can you diversify and develop new products and services?
- Are there ways to streamline your business and its activities?
- Are you getting the best profit margins from your activities?
- Are you communicating to your customers effectively?
We can provide you with free guidance, advice and help with business continuity planning – or even to just lend you an impartial ear. We are also monitoring the government website closely for updates on grants and other financial support (see below what is currently available).
And remember the Herts Start-Up programme continues, although our in-house training workshops are currently cancelled until the end of April, except our Business Planning workshop which Mel will deliver by Zoom. This is usually a full day’s course, so we will split it into two sessions, over two mornings.
Please do contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org for impartial advice or to arrange a virtual meeting. Ginny is receiving all STANTA emails and she will forward them on to Mel or Mark, as relevant.
Government Help for Businesses
Business grants for businesses registered for Small Business Rates Relief
The Government have announced that businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of less than £15,000 and who receive small business rate relief or who are in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector will be entitled to a non-repayable grant of £10,000. Businesses with an RV of between £15,000 and £51,000 in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector will be entitled to a grant of £25,000. These grants will be paid by Local Authorities and it is not necessary to apply for them. Visit here for more information.
These grants are available throughSt Albans District Council, but they may need more information from eligible businesses in order to make payments – visit their online portal here. You will need your business rate account number to submit your details (if you pay by Direct Debit this can be found on your bank statements). If you cannot find this information, please phone the Business Rate team on 01727 819270.
The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.
If you had a PAYE account that was started or created on or before 28 February 2020 the job retention scheme could apply. See link
If you are self-employed and have, or are about to, file a self assessment return for the 2019/2020 financial year you may be eligible for the Self Employment Income Support scheme. Please visit ,
Below is the link detailing all available support at this moment, and it also contains a useful helpline number at the bottom for any further queries.
Support for diversification e.g food deliveries, manufacturing hand sanitiser
- Trading Standards, Fire Protection and Enviro Health colleagues have created guides to support businesses during this time
- The guides that fall under Trading Standards remit are: Manufacturing hand sanitiser; distance selling (aimed at businesses diversifying to online sales); T&Cs; Fulfilled by Amazon; storage of goods; packaging; postage, delivery & cancellations; price hikes
- The guide that falls under Environmental Health’s remit is: Food businesses now providing delivery services
- The guide that falls under Fire Protection’s remit is: Fire Safety guidance
- The guides are now hosted on the Better Business for All web pages on the LEP website here: https://www.hertfordshirelep.com/what-we-do/priorities/business-support/better-business-for-all/covid-19-advice-and-support/
Martin Purvis from Action Coach has run free Webinars this week, which we understand have been valuable. There is one on Friday 3rd April at 1pm;
Plan, don’t Panic – Your 90 Day Business Plan to Survive and Thrive
Cost: £50 + vat if your business can afford it. Free if it can’t.
An interactive webinar to allow you to assess your business from a distance, appraise the situation calmly and create a detailed plan of action that makes you accountable for results. This is a game changer for any business affected by the Coronavirus. Come prepared for 100% participation.
REGISTER – https://lnkd.in/gdZqKJk.
M: +44 7764 579101
Beware of scam emails claiming to be from HMRC! For more information, click here