Covid 19 Business Support

Latest updates and business support for Covid 19

National lockdown

The Government has introduced a new national lockdown in England, with the main message being: Stay at home.

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where necessary. You are allowed to leave your home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person – this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form such a bubble
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local to where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

Schools are closed, except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half-term. Universities and colleges are closed.

Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues are closed.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed, except for take-aways.

Click here for more information

Keep our High Street alive and support our local independents online

Worcester Business Improvement District have launched an independent business campaign asking for quotes from the business owner pleading to the public for support and why and how they can shop local with you.

The campaign has attached attention from media partners leading to two front pages with Worcester News and Worcester Observer as well as a radio interview and a live interview on BBC Midlands today.

If you wish to be involved with this campaign please email with a quote and a picture of yourself to accompany it. Quotes will be used across the Worcester BID, Visit Worcester and Worcester City Council channels as well as shared with media partners.

Small Business, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants

Lockdown Support Grants for businesses and other organisations

If your business has been CLOSED due to the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions or is still OPEN but has suffered a loss of income because of those restrictions, you may be entitled to immediate financial support. This support is available for qualifying charities, community interest companies or other income-generating organisations.

  • If you are a Business Rates payer in Worcester and your business was required to CLOSE from January 5, or if your business is currently only able to provide takeaway services or ‘Click and Collect’, go to our Lockdown Support Grant page and apply under National Lockdown Business Support Grant 5 January Onwards.
  • If you are NOT a Business Rates payer, or your business is still OPEN from January 5, go to our Lockdown Support Grants page and apply under the  Discretionary Lockdown Support Grant.

Click here Lockdown Grants for Businesses

Furlough Scheme & Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked and further economic support announced.

People and businesses across the UK are being provided with additional financial support as part of the government’s plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Prime Minister announced today (31 October).

Throughout the crisis the government’s priority has been to protect lives and livelihoods. Today the Prime Minister said the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ends today. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October. 

Business Operations Updates

Pensions Guidance
The Pensions Regulator has published new Covid-19 guidance for employers.

Business Trading
The Government published updated guidance earlier in the month about which businesses are to close, can remain open and the situation with tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance in homes.

Debt Recovery
The Government has introduced temporary new measures to safeguard the UK high street against aggressive debt recovery actions during the coronavirus pandemic. Statutory demands and winding up petitions issued to commercial tenants are to be temporarily voided and changes made to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery.

Making Connections
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership have launched their Making Connections series of videos and podcasts for local businesses. These are updated weekly to provide advice and guidance on useful topics such as HR, finance, insurance and business leadership.

Key Information

Business Support Helpline
The Government has set up a business support helpline on 0300 456 3565. This is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm

Information and advice
Worcester City Council will issue updates on the website here and via Twitter @myworcester

How can businesses help?
Firms who wish to help the community can now easily volunteer their goods, services and time through the Worcestershire County Council #Here2Help campaign.

What is the impact on businesses? Have your say
Worcestershire Business Central is asking local businesses to complete an online survey to assist them in reporting the impact of coronavirus to the government.

Up to date information and advice from the government can be found here

Up to date information and advice from the NHS can be found here