Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supporting businesses

Introduction

We are aware that Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to many business sectors. These pages help businesses to navigate to the information and support that is available to them.

We recognise that cashflow and keeping your business afloat are major concerns but finding the right information can be difficult. We will try to keep the information and links here as current as possible.

Funding for businesses during Covid-19

Business grants

The District Council’s are responsible for administering the Local Restriction Support Grants and Additional Restrictions Grants. For more information visit their respective pages below:

Financial support from Government

To find out what funding is available to support your business visit the financial support for business section on the GOV.UK website or call their business support helpline.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme from the British Business Bank

To find out more visit the British Business Bank website. The scheme is open until 31 March 2021.

Other funding sources

In addition to the above, Combined Authority Growth Hub can signpost businesses to relevant funding streams and grant providers through their 1-2-1 advice session, both in terms of Covid and non-Covid related funding provision.

Advice and support from other organisations

Central Government signposting

The Government webpages offer signposting to a wide range of organisations who can provide support to businesses in relation to Covid-19 issues.

Federation of Small Businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses website contains a lot of useful information and Webinars including "Coronavirus: Financial help explained for SMEs and the self-employed" This can be found on their website

British Chamber of Commerce

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

  • Business Support One to Ones

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Growth Hub is offering consultations, on the phone or via video link, from an experienced business adviser to discuss your needs and provide guidance on how to access relevant support from our services and central government.

This might include how you can address immediate challenges, how you can engage with broader resilience issues, helping you to explore different ways to conduct your business or diversify. The CPCA business support sessions can also help you to understand and mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on your clients, staff, suppliers and others, and help you to lay out an initial roadmap for a return to business. Visit the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority website to find out more.

  • Business Support Webinars

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Growth Hub has also developed a series of webinars covering the key topics from crisis communications, to international trade during a pandemic. All of our webinars can be found here.
Covid-19 Business Resilience Webinar: Government initiatives and how to access them – YouTube video

  • The Knowledge Hub

The CPCA Growth Hub has also developed a Knowledge Hub resource that provides detailed information on several different subjects including funding and support, resources for employers and employees and specific sector resources. Take a look at the CPCA Knowledge Hub website.

Accelerator Programme offered by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Accelerator is offering free support to help SMEs rapidly innovate during the Covid-19 crisis. SMEs based in the Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough area will be eligible for support to enable them to find new innovative ways to operate, rewire supply chains, and ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable are met. Support will be delivered through a combination of one-to-one business support, capacity building and mentoring, as well as convening partnerships, and drawing on the collective knowledge of CISL’s global network to support small businesses via webinars tailored to local business needs. SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs can express their interest here.

Anglia Ruskin Covid-19 support for businesses

Anglia Ruskin University is offering vouchers to enable businesses to access expertise/consultancy within their organisation and also offering access to their graduates in terms of internships. More information is available on their webpages.

Digital connectivity

The Connecting Cambridgeshire digital connectivity programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, is working with businesses and communities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to keep everyone connected during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Read the business brief about improving your broadband / mobile and grants available for gigabit-capable fibre connections on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website.

Advice on business closures and restrictions

From Wednesday 6 January, the UK has been placed in a national lockdown and associated business closures and restrictions are in place.

The summary of the business restrictions can be found on the GOV.UK website, with more detailed guidance available on the Government's 'Closing certain businesses and venues' gov.uk page. If you need the detail, the full legislation can be viewed here.

You can seek advice from Peterborough City Council’s dedicated Covid business support team on covidcompliance@peterborough.gov.uk. Where your business is an SME based in Peterborough and your enquiry relates to the lockdown restrictions the advice will be free of charge. For larger businesses, there may be a small charge. Any charges will be detailed upfront so that you can decide whether to take up our offer of advice. Our hourly rate is £68p/h plus VAT.

Operating safely during Covid-19

For those businesses that continue to operate, ensuring businesses can operate safely and reduce the spread of disease continues to be vital. To find the latest guidance related to your type of business visit the GOV.UK website.

This guidance has been updated to reflect the Tier restrictions.

A number of webinars have also been produced by Government and the NHS on working safely during Covid, covering a wide range of sectors. Guidance has also been produced on maintaining records of staff, customers to support the NHS Test and Trace.

Additional guidance on risk assessments for those businesses looking to re-open is also available here. In addition, the Food Standards Agency has produced guidance specific to the Food sector on safe re-opening and adapting your food business during Covid-19 and operating a food business safely in the pandemic.

Government advice is that anyone who can work from home should. Furthermore, employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.

Advice on responding to compliance challenges arising from Covid-19

Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing teams have worked together to provide advice about the compliance challenges businesses are facing in having to rapidly respond to coronavirus. We want businesses to feel confident in taking these major steps. The advice below is intended to help you adapt.

Trading Standards is offering all SMEs in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough free initial business compliance advice on any matters arising from the government’s emergency controls that fall within its remit. Where it does not fall within Trading Standards’ remit, the team will signpost you. There is a short form to complete after which one of our dedicated businesses advisers will then be in touch.

In addition, a range of guidance is available on the Business Companion website, run by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, covering the home improvement, travel and food sectors.

Fair trading

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Hand sanitiser

Restrictions on supply

Claims

Food products

The Government has published extensive guidance on the GOV.UK website on Coronavirus for Food Businesses which you should read in conjunction with the food related frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.

Making food

Alcohol Licensing

Register with TrustMark to become an approved installer under the Green Home Grant Scheme

Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on numerous sectors within our economy. We recognise that many businesses may be looking to diversify and green energy is likely to be a popular field to move in to. The Green Homes Grant will create 100,000 jobs for tradespeople this winter. If your business is certified to install energy efficiency and/or low carbon heating improvements in homes, you can now register to become a Green Homes Grant installer so you can deliver work in the 600,000 homes that will receive vouchers.

Only TrustMark-registered tradespeople can carry out work for the 600,000 households receiving grants for green home improvements. If you install energy efficiency and/or low carbon heating improvements, you must register for TrustMark accreditation to carry out improvements through the Green Homes Grant.

Find out more and register online.

Mental health

We recognise that this will be a stressful time for many so looking after your physical and mental health is important. The following links may be useful:-