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OFFER TO BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 as at 26th March 2020
BUSINESS SUPPORT AND COVID-19 ADVICE
Offering FREE one to one support services for businesses, in partnership with Herefordshire Council the Marches Growth Hub – Herefordshire is a place where businesses can find out more about funding and finance and wider business support available to local Herefordshire businesses, regardless of size or sector, from pre-start to established businesses.
The Marches Growth Hub would like to share the following information with businesses who are concerned about the impact that COVID-19 will have on our business community.
GOVERNMENT AND COUNCIL SUPPORT – updated 26th March 2020
A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.
This page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
- Coronavirus (Covid-19) : UK government response
- Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme – https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/
- Businesses will be able to access government support from today (Monday 23 March) to keep operating in the face of the global economic emergency brought on by coronavirus. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-business-support-to-launch-from-today
- For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is gov.uk. However, government is also scaling up its Business Support Helpline so businesses in England, of all sizes, can pick up the phone and speak directly to an advisor. The number to call is: 0300 456 3565
- NEW: Cultural Sector Emergency Funding Package announced by the Arts Council – offers individuals and organisation working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis- totalling £160m – click link to find out more: live on our website,
- NEW: Companies House -Filing of accounts businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-more-time-to-file-your-companys-accounts
- NEW: Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. Further details are now available
- NEW: Department for International Trade (DIT) support for UK businesses trading internationally. Please click on link to find latest advice for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of COVID-19 has been updated.
- NEW: Employers do not have to report gender pay gaps Enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines are suspended for this reporting year (2019/20) due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
- NEW: How to place a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test kit on the market Forms and guidance on what manufacturers need to do to place test kits on the market.
- HMRC have launched a tax helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Find all the information here. The number is 0800 0159 559.
- Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts. Find all the information
- Business rate relief – The Government has announced that it is temporarily increasing the business rates relief discount in England to 100% for 2020-2021 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. As soon as the details have been passed through parliament any changes will be applied and you will be notified accordingly. https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200145/business/358/how_your_business_rates_bill_is_calculated
- Business Grants – there are still Business Grants available and we have listed some of those grants below but there are other funded schemes and programmes available – just ask your local Growth Hub.
- Business Growth Programme – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-318
- Marches Building Investment Grant – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-207
- BEEP – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-183
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING ADVICE
Every Mind Matters – https://www.wisherefordshire.org/mentalhealth
Emergency Planning Team Herefordshire Council (Business Continuity)
Update from Herefordshire Council on 24.03.20
- Herefordshire Council have a central coordination centre with a dedicated telephone line for vulnerable people, volunteers and community organisations/leaders to contact us and we will then link them back into the community organisations/leaders. This co-ordinated approach will include support for those recently identified as need shielding. Many parishes have provided us with information of the community work being undertaken. People (and groups) wishing to volunteer can register also vulnerable people needing support, on the following link: https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/covid19help the dedicated telephone number is 01432 260027 and email address email@example.com
- All Herefordshire Council owned public play areas closed until further notice – In order to protect the public from the threat of COVID-19, Herefordshire Council has taken the decision to close all public play areas from Monday 23 March until further notice. The decision (record of decision attached) has been taken due to the unprecedented threat to Public Health posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, and will help to support official guidance about social distancing. Parks are still open, however, please follow government advice by avoiding gatherings and maintaining social distancing. Visit GOV.UK for the latest coronavirus information and guidance
Letter to Businesses from Herefordshire Council – 19th March 2020
Cabinet Member – Environment, Economy and Skills
Councillor E Chowns
19th March 2020
Dear Herefordshire Business
COVID-19 SUPPORT AND RESPONSE
All of us in Herefordshire Council understand that this is a difficult time for you, your business, and your employees. This letter is the first of what will likely be many communications in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Herefordshire and how the council and others can support you through this difficult time.
The council is monitoring the situation closely and coordinating with Public Health England. We are taking all possible steps to keep people safe. For further information on how the council is addressing the COVID-19 situation please visit https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
We recognise that your business may be impacted in numerous ways. To enable the council and partners to support you and others, it would be helpful to know the extent of this impact and to understand what the potential solution could be. We will use this information to inform and lobby government and will share with other partners who may also be able to influence the policy for combating COVID-19.
The government is providing daily updates to reflect the constantly changing situation. For businesses wanting the latest position on COVID-19 we signpost you towards the Marches Growth Hub website (a partnership initiative between Herefordshire Council and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership) https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/advice-and-support/coronavirus-information-for-businesses/
The government announced a package of measures in the 2020 Budget to support public services, individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19, and has since announced addition measures. The latest information is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19.
We understand that the government measures, and advice, is likely to be updated as the situation develops so you should regularly visit these websites to get the latest position. Some of measures the initial package includes are:
• statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
• 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
• small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
• grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
• the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
• the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
We are awaiting further guidance from government on how these schemes will be operated and the council’s role in getting this support to business. We are ready to operate schemes as soon as this information has been received which the Government has indicated will be released by the end of the week. We will publish the details on our website as soon as we receive them.
Further information about Business Rates can also be found at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/businessrates
In addition to the national support, in Herefordshire there is a range of local support available. This includes grants available for Herefordshire based businesses. We have listed below those that may be relevant, and the Marches Growth Hub website www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk will have details of other funded schemes and programmes available:
• Business Growth Programme – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-318
• Marches Building Investment Grant – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-207
• BEEP – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-183
We recognise that aside from financial and business support you, your supply chain, or your employees may want to access mental health and wellbeing advice. Please visit https://www.wisherefordshire.org/mentalhealth for details of the local advice and services.
Alongside these economic measures, the government continues to emphasise the public health advice. If you or your staff want more information on the precautions that need to be taken (washing hands, not touching face, maintaining a minimum distance), or general guidance for a particular sector, here is a link to the public heath guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance
I am consistently amazed by the level of support that Herefordshire’s people and businesses give to each other and to their communities in times of need. If, as a result of COVID-19, you recognise that your business does have a need (deliveries, staffing problems etc.), or you can offer support to others, please do let us know.
As the COVID-19 situation develops, the council will continue to communicate with you, either via letter, social media, or the council or Growth Hub websites. Apologies if you have received this via several routes. I wish you well in the coming weeks and months as we look to support residents and businesses to the best of our abilities throughout this crisis for our county and country.
Cllr Dr Ellie Chowns
Cabinet Member- Environment, Economy & Skills
Letter from Herefordshire Council March 20th 2020
In response to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Herefordshire Council is working with community organisations and local businesses to help connect people to support being coordinated in your area.
You may have been asked to isolate yourself and stay at home. This will no doubt be a worrying and challenging time for many but also a time to come together and support one another, especially the most vulnerable in our communities.
There are some simple steps we can all do to take care of ourselves and others.
1. Protect yourself and others
Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards Minimise contact with others Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
2. Create your own plan
Over the next few months, life as we know it is going to change and to prepare for this it will be important that you have a plan that supports you to live well until the advice to isolate changes.
Think about the support you will need and those who can help you while you self-isolate. This could include family, friends, neighbours or people you know in your community.
Your plan might include support with things usually taken for granted such as shopping, picking up medication, support with pets, posting mail, picking up other urgent things, someone to check in on you or someone to just have a chat with.
Directorate/Division: Chief Executive’s Office Direct line: 01432 260027 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 20 March 2020
3. Contact us if you need further support
If there are gaps in your plan and you need further support, please contact the Herefordshire Council Talk Community team using the details below.
Contact us on 01432 260027
Or Email email@example.com
I wish you and your family well in this difficult period, but rest assured that we are doing everything possible in Herefordshire Council to maintain essential services to you and your community.
Alistair Neill Chief Executive, Herefordshire Council
For the latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19) response in Herefordshire and links to national guidance, please visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
=================================================================== Are you providing support in your local area?
If you are organising volunteering support in your local area, please contact us using the details above so that we can connect people to you.
Want to volunteer in your local area?
Many of the people who regularly volunteer in our communities will be people who are being asked to self-isolate (people over 70 years old).
If you want to provide support and are not sure where to go, please contact us on the above details, or register your details with us at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/covid19help and we can connect you to local volunteers in your area.
Be scam aware: Do not give your bank details to anyone claiming to be able to help you Do not click on emails from people and organisations that you do not know Do not sign contracts with third parties who claim they are acting on behalf of the council
If you have any concerns about a group or individual asking you for money, please call 101.
If you are a business wishing to have further information on Covid-19 then the details of the local support are available on the Marches Growth Hub Website – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/advice-and-support/coronavirus-information-for-businesses/
Also see the Herefordshire Council pages here
On-line Interactive Maps of Herefordshire
This is an interesting interactive map – You can turn on and off different view modes by using the left column, which contains numerous subjects such as gritting routes, polling stations, planning applications, public rights of way and areas of outstanding natural beauty to name but a few. There are search, zoom and move tools
Parish councils and wards map
This map shows parishes, parish councils, county wards and county wards from 2015
On this webpage you can check live traffic jams in Herefordshire – if you select the ‘live traffic congestion’ box it shows you where all the traffic jams are. You can also sign up for email alerts.
Letter from Herefordshire Council to all flood affected households and businesses.
Supporting you and the community Homes and businesses across Herefordshire were affected by significant flooding last month. The multi-agency response that followed this severe weather dealt with a large number of road closures, flooded homes and businesses, stranded people and abandoned vehicles. We also followed this up with staff from Herefordshire Council and other partner agencies going out to areas impacted by flooding, providing advice, completing applications for grants and helping directly in the big clean up.
It is possible of course that you were not there when we called, or may have mislaid information, therefore I am sending out this letter to ensure that you are fully aware of the package of support and information that is now available:
Community Flood Recovery Grants of £500 for residential properties If you have not already applied and have been flooded, we can provide households with £500 of financial assistance to help support any short term needs due to the flood damage. If flood water has entered the habitable areas of your property, or if your residence is considered unliveable for any period of time due to flooding, apply for the Grant at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/floods and we will either arrange for this to be paid directly into your bank account or via cheque.
100% Council Tax discount for three months For those households who have been awarded the £500 Community Flood Recovery Grant, we are arranging for three months of Council Tax discount to be automatically applied to your Council Tax account.
Property Flood Resilience Recovery Support Scheme  Central government has announced that flood-hit homes and businesses will be able to apply for up to £5,000 to help protect them from future flooding. The grant is to fund property flood resilience measures which make the property less likely to flood in the future, or reduce the impact if flooding does occur. We will publicise details of these grants as soon as we receive these details from government.
Your Wellbeing Support following a flood If you have felt stressed, anxious or depressed following the flood and would like some psychological or emotional support the mental health provider in Herefordshire can offer a service to support your wellbeing during this difficult time, please visit https://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/ or contact them on 0800 073 2200.
Help with removing flood damaged items We have been providing a free service to collect flood damaged household items from outside residents’ houses. If your house has been flooded and you have water damaged items to dispose
Directorate/Division: Chief Executive’s Office Please ask for: Steve Hodges Direct line: 01432 383514 Email: Steve.Hodges@herefordshire.gov.uk Date: 11 March 2020
of that are not included as part of your insurance cover, please register your need at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/floods and we will look to provide you with some help.
If the property is insured for flood damage, don’t remove or replace any damaged items without your insurance company’s approval.
Flood damage All Household Recycling Centres in Herefordshire are currently waiving the need for a permit for a commercial type vehicle until Sunday 15 March for any resident with flood damaged items needing to be disposed of. You will need a Commercial vehicle and trailer (CVT) permit if you intend to use Tenbury or Malvern Household Recycling Centres in Worcestershire. Normal rules prohibiting the use of these facilities by businesses and the deposit of commercial waste still apply.
Sandbags You are very welcome to keep any sandbags that were delivered. Wherever possible, please store full sandbags which have not come into contact with flood waters in a dry area. These are able to be used again in the future. Should you not be able to store full sandbags, they can be emptied and the pile of sand can be dug into your garden, and the bags, if kept in a dry, shady space, can be refilled when necessary. If you are unable to spread the contents of the sandbag in a garden, they should be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre.
Rogue Traders Please beware of rogue traders and cowboy builders exploiting the devastation and misery caused by the recent flooding. If you are concerned about the activity of a trader, cold caller or doorstep seller then contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. Citizens Advice will give advice on what to do next and report the matter to Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards team for investigation.
Clean up If your home or property has been flooded it could be contaminated by oil, silt and sewage. This will need to be carefully and completely cleaned up to remove any health risk. Basic precautions will help to keep you and your family safe. This will include wearing waterproof protective clothing, covering cuts and abrasions with waterproof dressings and following detailed advice about cleaning household items. You should make sure that you wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
If you have been in contact with flood water and find that you are experiencing flu like symptoms, in the first instance you should call NHS 111. This service will be able to provide you with advice and guidance and refer you for treatment if needed. You should make NHS111 aware that you have been in contact with flood water. If you are concerned about contaminated water or sewage in floodwater, call our environmental health team on 01432 261761.
Drop-in sessions We will be running sessions across the county at which you can drop-in at any time and talk to organisations who are directly involved in managing flood risk and responding during flood events. We will publicise details of these sessions as soon as possible.
Additional small grants We have been aware that financial support, in the form of small grants, is also available from the Herefordshire Community Foundation. This can help with urgent needs like the cost of living in temporary accommodation or for items people need to stay in their homes, for example dehumidifiers. To apply for the Herefordshire Community Foundation support grant, visit www.herefordshirecf.org/storm-dennis-application/
Insurance We appreciate that not everyone had flood insurance. It is worth knowing that Flood Re is the national scheme designed to help provide better access to affordable home insurance for those in high flood-risk areas across the UK. It represents a long-term, sustainable approach to providing home insurance for those at flood risk. For more information visit the Flood Re website at www.floodre.co.uk.
In the longer term We have written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to request further ‘vital support’ from central government following February’s unprecedented flood events. I published this letter on our council website in case you would like to read it.
A huge capital investment is now required in our highways and bridges to address the damage caused to what are also nationally important assets, our local roads and bridges. We anticipate the bill for repairing the immediate impact of Storm Dennis could be at least £10 million, which would be an unplanned and unfunded cost for Herefordshire Council to carry. Looking to the future, more infrastructure funds need to be made available in the longer-term for the management of bridges, roads and drainage assets that have been put under severe pressure by not only this storm, but the events that are yet to come.
Please can I encourage you to report defects you see, by logging on our website where all defects will be dealt with in a timely manner. https://myaccount.herefordshire.gov.uk/report-apothole. If you see any defects which need looking at as an EMERGENCY then please phone 01432 261800.
During the recent flooding events, we have been amazed by the resilience of our local community. We will continue to work hard to support you during these challenging times.
Whilst we will continue to update our webpage www.herefordshire.gov.uk/floods with the very latest information, we will write again with further information. You can get more advice from the National Flood Forum at www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk. In the meantime, please let us know if there are other ways in which we can help.
Alistair Neill Chief Executive Herefordshire Council
- If you need assistance with flooding problems, please contact Herefordshire Council directly or your Ward Councillor Paul Andrews on firstname.lastname@example.org
Hereford Hospital Wye Valley NHS Trust
For general Wye Valley NHS Trust enquiries, call 01432 355444 for switchboard.
Hereford Leisure Centre
Holmer Road, Hereford HR4 9UD
0845 241 0978
Halo is a community based not for profit organisation that manages leisure centres and swimming pools on behalf of Herefordshire Council.
Fitness Network Herefordshire
The Herefordshire Junior Football League
Pegasus Juniors Football club
Pegasus Juniors F.C
Old School Lane
Hereford United FC
The Planning Portal
UK Government’s online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.