Covid 19 Business Support

Latest updates and business support for Covid 19

New national lockdown

A new national lockdown begins in England on Thursday 5 November, intended to last for four weeks

You need to stay at home except:

  • for childcare or education
  • for work purposes, if you cannot work from home
  • to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place
  • for a medical reason
  • shopping for basic necessities, such as food or medicine
  • to visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people.

You should continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly and wear a mask when required.
You can only meet with one other person outside your household or support bubble, and you must meet them in an outdoor public place.
Non-essential retail, leisure, hospitality, entertainment and personal care businesses must close. Non-essential retail can provide click-and-collect services.
Most religious services and weddings may not go ahead. Funerals and private prayer are permitted, with restrictions.
You should work from home if you can, but travel to work if that is not possible.
Schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
Most childcare and children’s activities can continue.
Elderly and clinically vulnerable people are advised to minimise their contacts with others.
You should avoid travelling in or out of your local area, and you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make. Travel is permitted in certain circumstances.

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

National grants provision from 5 November

The Government have announced further grant funding to support businesses affected by the national lockdown from Thursday 5 November – Wednesday 2 December.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant is for businesses in a rateable value property that are required to close under the national lockdown.  During this period a single grant to cover the four-week period will be paid to each eligible business.

We will update this page when the scheme is open for applications.

The Additional Restrictions Grant will be a discretionary grant to support certain businesses which are not eligible for funding under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) .  We will update this web page and our social media accounts when the scheme is open for applications

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