Support for business

Updated 24.11.20 10:39

The Government have introduced new national restrictions in place until December 2.

More information about the existing financial support available from the Government.

The Government have published guidance on their plan for managing Covid-19 through the end of 2020 and into the start of 2021. This includes what will happen when the national lockdown ends. We will update our website pages when further detail is released.

Business grants

Support Grant

The Government has announced further funding to support businesses that are required to close to due to either local or national restrictions.

Businesses that are eligible to claim the grant are those that have a business rates assessment and have been forced to close by the Government, and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses. This will also include those businesses that were required to close under the Tier 3 local restrictions, in place from the 17th October 2020.

How to apply

To apply for the support grant you must be registered for business rates with Blackburn with Darwen BC and have a business rates account number. Businesses who have been required to close and who do not have a business rates number, or open businesses severely impacted by the restrictions, should go to the “Discretionary grants” section below.

Apply

Watch a tutorial on how to create an account.

Rateable value and amount of support available

If you are successful with your application the payments will be made as soon as possible, based on the rateable value of your property:-

Rateable value and amount of support available
Rateable value of premises Grant payment per 2 weeks (Tier 3 closures) Grant payment per 4 weeks (National lockdown)
£15,000 or under £667 £1334
£15,001-£50,999 £1000 £2000
£51,000 or over £1500 £3000

Discretionary grant

The Council’s discretionary grant programme will deliver limited financial support for businesses required to close who do not have a Business Rates assessment (such as those in shared accommodation), as well as businesses severely impacted by the Government’s announcement of a further national lockdown from 5th November.

The Council will look to provide financial support to cover fixed property costs up to a maximum of £3,000 per month for businesses who must close and £2,100 for severely impacted open businesses, subject to eligibility and available funds. Businesses which have successfully applied for a support grant should not apply to the discretionary programme in respect of additional support, as we already hold details regarding your business.

The window for applications will be open from the 16th November until midnight on 2nd December 2020. Further calls for applications will be made subject to local business need and available funds.

Apply

Watch a tutorial on how to create an account.

State aid rules

The Local and National Restrictions Support Grant counts towards state aid. The rules are fully explained in the Government state aid guidance.

By accepting a grant you are confirming that you are not in breach of these rules.

Business and venues that must close

National guidance on closing certain businesses and venues: full list

The Health and Safety Executive are carrying out spot checks and inspections on all types of businesses in all areas to ensure they are Covid-secure.

The businesses and premises outlined below must close:

  • Retail: These business premises must close but may continue offering delivery and click-and-collect services with items pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises: Clothing stores and tailors; homeware stores; tobacco and vape shops; electronic goods and mobile phone shops; charity shops; photography studios and antique stores; Markets (except livestock markets or stalls which fall under the list of essential businesses above, for example those selling food or hardware); car and other vehicle showrooms and other premises, including outdoor areas, used for the sale or hire of caravans, boats; car washes; auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment).
  • Hospitality: Restaurants; pubs; bars, including those in hotels or members’ clubs; social clubs; cafes and canteens, including workplace canteens where there is no reasonable alternatives. However, these business can continue to provide food and drink on a takeaway basis.
  • Accommodation: Holiday accommodation must close but there are some exemptions including those who use the accommodation as their main residence; need accommodation to move house, attend a funeral or self-isolate; need accommodation for work; elite athletes for the purpose of training or competition; visiting from abroad; to relieve homelessness or refuge; hosting blood donations; making a film, TV programme.
  • Personal care facilities and close contact services: Hair, beauty and nail salons; tattoo parlours; spas; massage centres; body and skin piercing services; tanning salons. These services must also not be provided in your own home or other people’s homes. Non medical acupuncture and other cosmetic services should not go ahead, but personal care services required for medical reasons or prescribed by a qualified practitioner may continue.
  • Entertainment and tourism: Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques; bingo halls, casinos, betting shops, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, bowling alleys, indoor games, recreation and entertainment venues (such as escape rooms and laser quest), go-karting, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars, cinemas, museums and galleries, model villages and visitor attractions at film studios, circuses, funfairs and fairgrounds (whether outdoors or indoors), theme parks and adventure playgrounds, parks and activities, conference centres and exhibition halls for the purposes of private dining and banquets, conference, exhibitions or trade shows must also close. Aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction. Indoor attractions at visitor attractions such as botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses; stately or historic homes, castles or other heritage sites; landmarks, including observation wheels or viewing platforms; sculpture parks. The outdoor elements of these attractions can remain open, such as the gardens at a stately home. Theatres, concert halls, and other music venues (whether outdoors or indoors) must close to the public but can continue to be used for training, rehearsals, and performances without an audience for broadcast or recording purposes.
  • Leisure: Skating rinks, dance studios and fitness studios, gyms, sports courts, swimming pools, water sports venues, water parks and aqua parks, golf courses and driving ranges, shooting and archery venues, indoor playgrounds or play areas, including soft play centres and areas, trampolining centres. Schools and colleges can continue to use gyms, fitness studios, swimming pools, sports courts and other indoor leisure centres. Indoor gyms, fitness studios, indoor sports facilities and leisure centres can be used for supervised activities for children. Elite sportspersons can use facilities such as stables, indoor gyms, fitness studios and other indoor or outdoor sports facilities for training or competition. Professional dancers and choreographers can use indoor fitness and dance studios. Personal trainers can conduct lessons but these should be one-to-one and take place in an outdoor public space, such as a park, rather than in private homes or gardens. The premises required to close above can be opened for the purposes of making a film, television programme, audio programme or audio-visual advertisement. Out-of-school activities, such as recreational sports and martial arts clubs, should not take place, except when they are providing childcare to enable parents/carers to work.
Business and venues which can stay open

National guidance on closing certain businesses and venues: full list

The businesses and venues below that provide goods for sale or hire are permitted to remain open, including if they operate from an outdoor market stall, or at a defined concession within a shopping centre.

  • Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops. This also includes fresh food retailers (such as butchers, bakers, greengrocers, fishmongers, and delicatessens)
  • Off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol
  • Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
  • Newsagents
  • Hardware (such as tools, builders’ hardware, paint and glass) stores, building merchants and building services
  • Petrol stations, car repair shops, bicycle shops and MOT services. Other vehicle repair can also go ahead at these venues.
  • Car parks and motorway service areas
  • Taxi or vehicle hire businesses
  • Banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points and undertakings which by way of business operate currency exchange offices, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers
  • Post offices
  • Funeral directors
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
  • Veterinary surgeons, animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and pet shops. Animal grooming facilities may also stay open but must only be used for the purposes of the animal’s welfare (and not for aesthetic purposes).Under bullet point for veterinary surgeons and within second sentence add: Animal grooming facilities, including mobile, may also stay open….
  • Garden centres and agricultural supplies shops. This does not include florists.
  • Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points, where the facilities are in the premises of a business allowed to remain open. For example, you can return an order to a drop box in a supermarket or drop it off for collection in a newsagents. Deliveries of supplies can also go ahead for premises that are otherwise required to close by law.
  • From 21 November businesses selling or supplying natural Christmas trees can open.
Hospitality venues, including restaurants and takeaways

National guidance on closing certain businesses and venues: full list

The following hospitality venues are required to close for consumption on the premises.

  • Restaurants; pubs; bars, including those in hotels or members’ clubs; social clubs
  • Cafes and canteens, including workplace canteens where there is no reasonable alternative

These businesses can continue to provide:

  • Food and non-alcoholic drinks on a takeaway basis between 5am and 10pm. This means that customers can enter the premises to place and collect their order. Food and non-alcoholic drinks can also be sold for delivery where orders are made online, by telephone or by post, and via click and collect; and drive through;
  • Food and drinks for delivery, via click and collect and drive through only between 10pm and 5am. Click-and-collect and delivery services can only operate where goods are pre-ordered (by phone, online, via a mobile app or by post) and collected without entering the premises
  • Alcohol for consumption off the premises for delivery, click and collect and drive through. As above, this means it must be pre-ordered (by phone, online, via a mobile app or by post) and must be collected without entering the premises. Venues offering click-and-collect or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages if their license does not already permit.

Hospitality venues providing food and drink for consumption off the premises are not permitted to allow customers to consume from any adjacent seating to the premises.

Services providing food and/or drink to people experiencing homelessness can also remain open.

Taxi drivers and operators

Please see the full information for taxi drivers and operators.

Covid-secure/test and trace in the work place

Making your workplace covid-secure

Use the guidance below to complete your risk assessment and inform your decisions and control measures.

When you have completed your risk assessment you could let your staff and/or customers know by displaying the poster.

Test and Trace for Employees

The NHS Test and Trace system is in place to provide testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus, to make contact with people who have tested positive and to help them share information about who they have had close contact with recently and finally, to identify these contacts and ask them to self-isolate where necessary.

The government is asking employers to support the NHS Test and Trace system by:

  • making their workplaces as safe as possible (where working from home is not possible)
  • requesting that workers self-isolate if they have been asked to do so
  • supporting their workers when in isolation

If a worker develops symptoms they should request a test as soon as possible. NHS Test and Trace will ask them for details of their close contacts in the 48 hours before their symptoms started. These contacts will only be asked to self-isolate if the test is positive. You may need to keep your workers informed about COVID-19 cases amongst staff members but you are asked not to name individuals.

If an employee is asked to self-isolate you should:

  • not ask them to come into work and tell them to stay at home for their period of self-isolation
  • continue to communicate with them and provide support
  • allow them to work from home if they remain well and it is practicable to do so, for example, by finding alternative work that can be completed at home

If a worker cannot work from home, you:

  • must ensure they receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provided they meet the eligibility criteria
  • may consider giving them the option to use their paid leave days if they prefer

If multiple cases occur in a workplace then you should contact the local health protection team on 0344 225 0562 (option 2) or email cl.hpt@phe.gov.uk or PHE.clhpt@nhs.net.

Collecting customer and visitor data for NHS Test and Trace

The following information must be recorded:

  • ask at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to 6 people) to provide their name and contact details if they have not scanned the official NHS QR code
  • keep a record of all staff working on the premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details
  • keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
  • display an official NHS QR code poster, so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details
  • the hospitality sector is required to ensure that anyone visiting pubs, restaurants and other venues provides their contact information or checks in using the official NHS QR code before being allowed entry to the venue
  • adhere to General Data Protection Regulations

A business or venue may face financial penalties if these rules are not adhered to. Official NHS QR posters can be generated online. Organisations can find out more about NHS QR codes and how to generate them on the NHS COVID-19 app website.

Further resources and support

The government is also supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures.

Guidance for people who are self-employed is available on the government website.

You can also watch videos and register for free webinars to learn about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

Support offer for care providers

Support to providers that the local authority has contracts with:

  • PPE offer - same day supply of quantity and quality.
  • Trained and ready to deploy auxiliary workforce supply
  • Flexible Template for providers to request financial assistance/ submit additional costs - including changes to care packages, PPE purchases and other costs including staffing, agency staff, food supplies
  • Established weekly group for review of financial assistance claims and immediate payment.
  • Infection Prevention and Control Training Offer delivered through Health.
  • Help Hub support with food to service users and accommodation provision where individuals self-isolating or no access to food helping providers to focus on care provision
  • Co-ordinated support with health colleagues and Neighbourhood teams including Infection Prevention Control, Telemeds and virtual ward rounds.
  • BwD Online Learning portal available for all regulated care staff including training on IPC amongst many other areas.

Support being offered specifically to domiciliary care:

  • Daily payment of invoices
  • Commissioned additional crisis support hours

Support being offered specifically to residential care:

  • Moved to fortnightly payment in advance
  • Support of additional recovery beds within the system
  • Review of occupancy levels for average occupancy payments

Support being offered specifically to other provisions:

  • Block Contracts paid at commissioned levels

Support to providers that the local authority does not have contracts with:

  • PPE offer - same day supply of quantity and quality.
  • Trained and ready to deploy auxiliary workforce supply
  • Flexible Template for providers to request financial assistance/ submit additional costs - including changes to care packages, PPE purchases and other costs including staffing, agency staff, food supplies
  • Established weekly group for review of financial assistance claims and immediate payment.
  • Infection Prevention and Control Training Offer delivered through Health.
  • Help Hub support with food to service users and accommodation provision where individuals self-isolating or no access to food helping providers to focus on care provision
  • BwD Online Learning portal available for all regulated care staff including training on IPC amongst many other areas.
Reporting a business for breaching restrictions

How to report a business

If you want to report a businesses that remains open when you believe it should be closed or if you have concerns that a retail business, office or warehouse does not have proper social distancing precautions in place you can report them using our online form.

Open non retail premises which are failing with social distancing

Please report manufacturing businesses if they are failing to comply with social distancing using the Health and Safety Executive's online form.

The responsible persons (Owners, Managers, and Directors etc.) can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecuted if steps haven’t been taken to make the workplace Covid secure.

Events

If you are thinking about holding an event for the public, particularly in the lead up to seasonal activities, please register and tell us about it so that we can provide guidance.