Support for business

Updated 23.09.21

On 14th September, the government released its Autumn and Winter Plan in response to COVID-19 outlining steps that will be taken throughout the autumn and winter period to help the fight against the Coronavirus.

Full details of the plan can be found on the Government website.

Business grants

Information on business grants is available here.

Reopening businesses and venues

From 19th July all remaining closed businesses and venues such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues are able to reopen. All capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events have been lifted.

Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars are no longer required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules

Full guidance.

Hospitality venues, including restaurants and takeaways

Indoor and outdoor hospitality is now open with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew.

Pavement licences granted in 2020 will continue to apply into summer 2021 and subject to parliamentary approval, will be extended until 30 September 2022 without the need for reapplication or further application fees. There is a £100 application fee for new licences and they are subject to a 10-working day consultation and determination period. More information.

What to do if you have cases of COVID-19 in your workplace

COVID-19 Resource pack for workplaces including templates to assist with the management of individual cases and their contacts, for recording details of staff absence/illness and letters to distribute to staff in the event of one or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the workplace.

SMART testing in the workplace

Information on smart testing in the workplace is available here.

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.

We have created FAQ for those businesses who are part of the SMART testing programme. If you are interested in joining the programme please email: bwd.covid19@blackburn.gov.uk

Collecting customer and visitor data for NHS Test and Trace

The following information must be recorded:

  • all members of a party of customers need 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.

Taxi drivers and operators

Blackburn with Darwen Taxi Driver Covid 19 grant

The application window for this grant closed on Sunday 14th March 2021.

As part of its Covid19 discretionary business grant programme, the Council will award a one-off grant payment of £500 to taxi drivers who have continued to operate but are affected by the current restrictions.

The Council recognises that restrictions on travel, as well as the closure of many venues across the hospitality and leisure sectors, has reduced overall demand for taxi services.

To be eligible, a driver must be:

  • a resident of Blackburn with Darwen,
  • hold an existing Taxi Driver license issued by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
  • able to provide evidence of trading since September 2020
  • able to identify the impact of Covid19, such as loss of income
  • able to provide information which allows the Council to verify the applicant’s bank account details

Given the volume of applications, payments are unlikely to be made until after the application window has closed

How to create a customer account on DCP - YouTube

Please see the full information for taxi drivers and operators.

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 have concerns that a retail business, office or warehouse does not have precautions in place along with current guidelines 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.