Please see the most recent COVID-19 bulletin below.
New small business leadership and problem-solving programmes helping businesses to survive and thrive beyond COVID
Two new leadership programmes to help small business leaders grow their companies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have been launched:
The Peer Networks Programme will focus on helping business owners improve their problem-solving skills, through a series of guided exercises. Members of the programme will be given skills in areas such as leadership and management, sales and marketing that they need to tackle these challenges head-on while growing their business. Find out more and apply here.
Shielding guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable
From Saturday 1 August, shielding guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable was paused across England. This means those who have been shielding over the course of the pandemic will no longer be advised to do so, and can begin to go back to work as long as the sites are COVID-secure. The easing of restrictions will not apply for those currently shielding in: Blackburn with Darwen; Blaby and Charnwood; Luton; Leicester City; Wigston; and Oadby. Find out more here.
New and updated guidance
Support for zoos and aquariums: If you run a licensed zoo or aquarium in England and are experiencing severe financial difficulties because of lost revenue, you can apply for a grant. Find out more here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Guidance has been updated with new information on the maximum number of employees you can claim for.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: Guidance has been updated with details about how to ask HMRC to verify if having a new child affected your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships has been updated, including information on post-ceremony receptions. Wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place and any celebration after the ceremony should follow the broader social distancing guidance of involving no more than 2 households in any location or, if outdoors, up to 6 people from different households. The government’s roadmap to reopening in England, set out the ambition of allowing small wedding receptions when it is safe to do so. This remains the ambition, but it is not expected that such a change would take place until at least 15 August, at the earliest.
North of England local restrictions:
Eat out to help out scheme: A new YouTube video about the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme is now available here.
Covid-19 SME Cyber survey: The National Cyber Security Centre and Cybercrime Awareness Clinic at the University of Portsmouth have launched the Covid-19 SME Cyber survey to understand SMEs experiences of working from home and dealing with organisational cybersecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is open to owners/managers of micro, small and medium businesses and should take no more than ten minutes to complete. You can complete it here.
Reminder – UK Internal Market Consultation: The UK government is consulting on new measures to protect internal trade within the UK when powers return from the EU in January 2021. A consultation is open until 13 August, sourcing views from businesses across all 4 nations of the UK. You can find and respond to the consultation here.
#ShopLocal week - next week: The UK Government is running a #ShopLocal week next week, as part of its #EnjoySummerSafely campaign. The week aims to celebrate the British high street – encouraging customers to come back to their safe local shops, supporting the local economy and local jobs. Please do look out for content on the BEIS social media channels. Please also consider posting yourself about #ShopLocal week, and BEIS will look to amplify some of the best content. Further information about the week is available here.