Coronavirus (COVID-19)

With the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, many people are facing some uncertainty in both their personal and business lives.

At North Tyneside Business Forum, we understand that there are concerns about how businesses will continue to function with frequent changes of information. We also recognise the need to address practical questions such as staff being unable to attend work due to self-isolation, how to use technology to your advantage etc.

Introduction

The Government has announced a number of measures to support businesses and their employees during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. A number of these schemes have been running since the early stages in March so are now closed, they remain here for information purposes.

Support includes:

  • Financial support packages for businesses, and on-going financial management measures
  • Advice on how to operate a business & social distancing
  • Support for employees including Job Support Schemes

Members of the Business Forum receive frequent  comprehensive round ups of the latest business support measures via email newsletters, as-it-happens updates on any new restrictions on social media  and specific messages on this page.

The elements of support highlighted on this page are: 

 

  • Current measures to stop the spread of Coronavirus in North Tyneside
  • Running a business with Covid Secure measures
  • National business support Measures
  • Local Business Support measures
  • Previous Financial Support Packages
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who to contact for further advice

Current measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in North Tyneside

The Government has set out new COVID alert levels, which came into effect on October 14. The North East region is subject to ‘high’ restrictions, which includes:

  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes
  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble indoors, such as pubs and restaurants
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only
  • Late night restriction of operating hours, with leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10pm to 5am.

Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:

  • Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
  • Holidays should be taken within your own household or support bubble
  • Residents are advised against attending outdoor amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

Further information about the measures can be found on the Government website here

Please note, the Local Restrictions Support Grant does not apply to Tier 2 (high) and will only be available should the region be placed into Tier 3 (Very-high). 

Businesses required to close from 10pm to 5am

Businesses in the following areas,  must close from 10pm to 5am:

  • Pubs
  • Bars and restaurants (including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs)
  • Cafes including workplace canteens (but not including cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, prisons, establishments intended for the use of naval, military or air force purposes and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • Social clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • Static/fixed funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks, and adventure parks and activities

During opening hours (5am to 10pm), there should be table service-only, including ordering drinks and food. If you have a commission under the Licensing Act or Gambling Act, please ensure you comply with the opening hours specified in the licence.

You must continue to socially distance in these venues.

As elsewhere in the country, venues must also take details of customers for NHS Test and Trace from September 18.

Between 10pm and 5am each day hot food takeaways can only operate a delivery service, therefore no counter service can be provided after 10pm.

Travelling funfairs are also prohibited.

Hospitality venues must take reasonable steps to ensure:

  • customers only consume food and drink while seated in the premises
  • orders are taken from customers who are seated, if the business serves alcohol for consumption on the premises
  • bookings are not accepted, or customers admitted onto the premises if:
  • groups include more than one household and support bubble if they will be located indoors
  • groups include more than one household and support bubble, or more than 6 people if the group includes multiple households, if they will be located outdoors
  • Customers do not join other groups inside the premises (including outdoor areas such as beer gardens)
  • Tables are appropriately spaced to enable social distancing

Tier 2 Business Support Measures

On the 22nd October, the Chancellor announced a new package of support for hospitality and leisure businesses operating in Tier 2 regions. Detailed information about all of the support measures announced can be found here.

Grants 

cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. 

These grants will be administered by the Local Authority. North Tyneside Council are awaiting further details from Government, but will aim to launch the scheme as soon as possible. When further details are available, we will publish here and promote via social media. In the meantime, we are unable to provide any further information regarding the process of accessing this funding. 

Job Support Scheme

The employer contribution to those unworked hours to just 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible. That means that if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the government would be contributing £543 and their employer only £44. More info can be found here

Self Employed Income Support Scheme

Increases the amount of profits covered by the two forthcoming self-employed grants from 20 per cent to 40 per cent, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750. More info can be found here

Running a business with Covid-secure measures

The majority of our business base are now open across North Tyneside. We’ve been working together with North Tyneside Council to support businesses in the borough to get back to work in a safe way through the ‘Restarting Business in North Tyneside’ campaign. This has been running since June and brings together lots of information you may need to make sure your business is Covid-Secure.

The page brings together information about which businesses can and cannot open, being workplace ready, operating a test & trace system, information about the local outbreak plan if you have a case in your workplace/premises/business and a reminder to Support not Report.

National support measures for businesses

The below information is regularly updated by us from UK Government advice. It is correct as of 19/10/2020.

The current measures to support businesses, as announced in the Winter Economy Plan, include:

  • Statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • 100% Business Rate Retail Discount for businesses in the Retail, Leisure & Hospitality sectors* for 2020/21
  • Nurseries Business Rate Discount
  • Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service
  • Protection from eviction for commercial tenants
  • New Job Support Scheme, a 6 month scheme from 1 Nov for Small & Medium Firms
  • Kickstart Scheme – 100% funding for 6-month placements for 16-24 year olds (see below for more local details)
  • Pay as you Grow scheme for businesses which took out Government loans including Bounce Back Loans – loans can now be extended from six to ten years nearly halving the average monthly repayment.
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme extension will support viable traders who face reduced demand over the winter covering 20% of average monthly trading profits
  • VAT at 5% for Hospitality & Tourism will be extended to 31 March 2021
  • Businesses who deferred their VAT will no longer have to pay a lump sum at the end of March next year. They will have the option of splitting it into smaller, interest free payments over the course of 11 months

More information about all of these schemes can be found on the Government website here

Local Business Support Measures

North Tyneside Business Recovery Programme

Quick-access, free and practical hands-on support for North Tyneside businesses to aid their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital, Business Rescue, Low Carbon and Sales support including identifying new markets, online trading & booking systems, social media support, financial and business advice to trade out of difficulty and more.

More info can be found on the North Tyneside Council website here

Kickstart Scheme

Kickstart is a new Government initiative that provides funding to employers to create 6-month job placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit. Additional funding is available to employers to ensure the young person is fully supported and leaves the scheme prepared to enter work.

You can find out more about the Kickstart Scheme here

Employers who can offer 30 or more placements can apply directly to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  Those unable to offer 30 placements can apply through a Kickstart gateway.

The North of Tyne Combined Authority is our recommended Kickstart Gateway and we actively encourage you to register your interest with them here

If you would like to chat to someone about creating a position and whether it is right for your business, please contact the Employment & Skills team on 0191 643 2111 or email employability.skills@northtyneside.gov.uk.

Previous Financial Support Packages

Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure & Local Authority Discretionary Grant Funds

These grant funds have now closed as per Government instruction on Friday 28 August. 

If you have a query about the grant funds or your application, please contact the Business Rates team (for the Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant) directly on 0191 643 2365 or business.rates@northtyneside.gov.uk.

For queries about the Discretionary Grant fund, email business@northtyneside.gov.uk

Culture Recovery Fund

This fund offered financial support for cultural organisations that were financially stable before Covid-19, but were at imminent risk of failure.

This was managed by Arts Council England and closed on 4 September for applications.

For more information visit the Arts Council website here

Frequently asked questions

You may have additional questions depending on your specific circumstances.

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers which we hope will help.

Who to contact for further advice

Business Support Helpline

 Our friendly business advisers from the North Tyneside Business Factory are on hand to help with anything not listed here. 

0191 516 6699

An experienced business adviser will be available between 9am and 5pm from Monday 30 March. Messages will be taken out of hours and an adviser will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Alternatively, you can email business@northtyneside.gov.uk out of hours.

North Tyneside Business Forum 

The Forum members also have a vast amount of business experience between them and our Facebook page will continue to offer practical business advice and guidance to our members. 

 We are frequently posting practical ideas on how your business can continue to function in these unprecedented times such as tips on working from home, how to use technology to our advantage, using Zoom etc. Our Facebook group is also an ideal platform to share advice and minimise the feeling of social isolation too. 

Please urge your fellow North Tyneside businesses to join the Forum so that they too can benefit from this important communications platform. 

Business Support Helpline

Our friendly business advisers from the North Tyneside Business Factory are on hand to help with anything not listed here. 

0191 516 6699

An experienced business adviser will be available between 9am and 5pm. Messages will be taken out of hours and an adviser will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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