About

Support and updates for businesses during the Coronavirus period.

To support businesses in this challenging time, we will have regular updates on this page to provide factual information for businesses.

We send regular tourism industry email updates to members and non-members. If you are a non-member you can subscribe to our regular updates here: http://eepurl.com/gZ6zU1. Members will receive them automatically.


The VisitEngland Business Advice Hub also contains lots of useful resources for tourism businesses:

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Latest Updates

03/06/2020
The government has published new guidance on the introduction of flexible furlough from 1 July. You can read it here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-self-employment-support-scheme-and-confirms-furlough-next-steps


03/06/2020
The Government announced in early May extra funding to be targeted at certain types of small businesses. The funding for this in West Suffolk is limited to just under £2m and West Suffolk Council has developed a scheme which prioritises the four areas only at this stage in line with the Government’s requirements. These are: Regular market traders, bed and breakfast accommodation where the owners pay Council Tax instead of business rates (National Non Domestic Rates) and small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment, Plus small charity properties. For more information visit https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-support-for-business.cfm


22/5/2020
BT has created a series of free webinars to help small business owners and their employees on a wide range of topics including digital marketing, using collaboration tools and how to get a business online. These have been developed by BT, Small Business Britain and Google Digital Garage. View the full list of webinars


19/05/2020
How has COVID-19 affected UK tourism? Industry leaders gave their views to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee this morning. Watch the discussion here:
https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/1eb56332-0a9b-40dc-b5e4-f0978415c119


12/5/2020
Businesses looking for advice on working safely during the pandemic can check out the latest government guidance here. Eight types of work are covered: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19


12/5/2020
The Chancellor has today announced that the job retention scheme will be extended, for four months, until the end of October. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-scheme-until-october


11/5/2020
The Government's Covid-19 Recovery Strategy has now been published and can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy

Tourism is the third step in the Government's reopening process and will happen no earlier than 4 July. In the meantime, Bury St Edmunds and Beyond will continue to engage with our audiences online to encourage visitors not to visit at the present time but to plan a future trip.


11/5/2020
Starting this Wednesday, applications will be open for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Use the online checker to see if you're eligible and have the money in your account by 25th May. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme


4/5/2020
New top-up to local business grant funds scheme announced to help small businesses including bed and breakfasts + Bounce Back Loans Scheme opens today. More details http://maxemail.visitbritain.com/rsps/m/fMggOxqsunmgx-PQMzMRtOW4im7pq2JHXU05Zfc24VM

30/4/2020
Croydon BID are leading on a national petition calling on the Government to expand the rateable value threshold for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from £51,000 to any business with a rateable value up to and including £150,000 in these sectors, allowing further businesses the opportunity to access the £25,000 grant.

As part of a unified national campaign, #RaiseTheBar, they have written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP. More details can be found at www.raisethebarcampaign.com

The petition can be signed here: https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-increase-rateable-value-grant-cap-from-51k-to-150k-for-retail-hospitality-leisure-businesses


30/4/2020
The Norfolk and Suffolk Tourist Attractions (NSTA) is working to establish if attractions in Norfolk and Suffolk would be interested in group sourcing of PPE supplies. Please do complete their survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/M9CQZDZ


30/4/2020
NSTA has also taken on the task of seeking the views of all attractions in Norfolk and Suffolk in terms of what the issues are if attractions were to re-open within the next two months and what additional support might be needed. Deadline Friday May 1st.

Andy Wood (Chairman of VEE, Board member of VisitEngland and CEO of Adnams PLC) has agreed to personally present findings to Fiona Pollard (Chairman of VisitEngland) to ensure that our voice is heard at the highest level and at a time when it can really shape the future for the attractions industry. Complete the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MLNRJ7F


30/4/2020
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) invites you to take part in a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions. Your answers will remain anonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts.

The survey should take around 10-20 minutes and the deadline for responses is 15 May 2020. Please follow this link https://dcms.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9oXRfgNvZZUn3gh to access the survey to begin submitting your response.


28/4/2020

The Chancellor has announced new “bounce back loans” for SMEs will be available from 9am next Monday 4 May. Small businesses will be able to access loans worth 25 per cent of their turnover, up to £50,000, and the government will pay the interest for the first 12 months.

The loans will be 100 per cent guaranteed by the Treasury. Find out more here; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/small-businesses-boosted-by-bounce-back-loans


16/4/2020

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism is launching an urgent inquiry to establish the best ways to support the recovery of businesses hit by Covid-19 at the right time and in line with Government health advice. The inquiry will assess what is needed to get businesses in these sectors back on their feet at the right time for the country, providing forward-looking recommendations to guide Government as it moves to thinking about recovery. It aims to publish its findings and report by the middle of May, well ahead of any planned reopening. The inquiry will look at a number of critical areas, including: the right timing for the reopening of the sector and measures need to make sure it is safe; business support to help the sector transition to the new normality; guidance for businesses to help them get business-ready; reigniting the sector’s supply chain; and marketing the sector. https://www.hospitalityandcateringnews.com/2020/04/all-party-parliamentary-group-launch-inquiry-to-help-hospitality-back-into-work/

15/4/2020
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) eligibility date has been extended to 19 March 2020. This will enable thousands more workers to be furloughed. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-cut-off-date-extended-to-19-march


15/4/2020
The Heritage Emergency Fund is open for applications from 2pm on Wednesday 15 April. The Heritage Emergency Fund is accepting applications for funding from £3,000 to £50,000. The deadline is 30 June 2020.https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/heritage-emergency-fund


14/4/2020
A petition, supported by the B&B Association, calling on the Government to make grants available to B&Bs paying Council Tax (rather than Business Rates) has already reached over 3,000 signatures. https://www.change.org/p/chancellor-equal-rights-for-small-businesses-paying-council-tax


8/4/2020
Self employed? The page below will be updated when the Coronavirus Self Employed Support Scheme becomes available.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

6/4/2020
£50 million Heritage Emergency Fund launched. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50 million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It is available to organisations across the full breadth of the heritage sector, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature. https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/news/heritage-emergency-fund-launches-help-sector


6/6/2020

UK Theatre have appealed to theatre venues & producers to complete their latest survey by 2pm TODAY. Let them know the impact of Coronavirus on your business, so they can lobby for support to ensure the survival of theatres across the UK >> https://surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2GNGFHC


2/4/2020

The first Small Business Grants Fund grants to West Suffolk businesses are to be paid from tomorrow (Friday 3 April). West Suffolk Council's economic development team will be contacting Retail, Leisure and Hospitality businesses from Monday (April 6) and have awarded £34 million of Business Rate Relief.

There are thousands of businesses to contact. Please help the team trying to reach you by:

1. Setting up call forwarding from your business to a number you have access to.

2. Update contacts on your website.

30/3/2020
Guidance for the public on the mental health and well being aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public

30/3/2020
Helpful crime prevention tips for businesses during coronavirus from The National Business Crime Centre https://nbcc.police.uk/news/letter-from-the-nbcc-regarding-covid-19

30/3/2020
A new HMRC helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to support businesses and individuals when needed. The new number is 0800 024 1222.

26/3/2020
Businesses will be contacted by West Suffolk Council over the coming days and encouraged to take up £32m in grants while they will also get a further £34m in rate relief to help them survive COVID19.

The Council will be contacting an estimated 2,300 eligible businesses encouraging and supporting them to take up grants of £10,000 available under the Government’s Small Business Grants Fund.

It will also contact the business owners of another 610 properties that are eligible as part of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund. Grants of £10,000 and £25,000 are available under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund. The level is decided by the business properties rateable value and businesses with multiple outlets will be eligible for more than one grant. Eligible businesses will also qualify for Business Rates Relief.

In total West Suffolk Council estimates that it will be paying out over £32m in business grants from 1 April. On top of this it will be paying out more than £34m in Business Rate Relief.

In the past week the team has spoken to over 100 businesses, listening to their concerns and signposting to all the available support and advice. Some of those concerns, such as help for self-employed people, for businesses not eligible for the small business grants and advice for large businesses, are being taken up by West Suffolk Council as it speaks to Government officials and raises issues and concerns on behalf of local businesses.

The Council has set up a webpage which it is regularly updating, directing businesses to the various support that is available. It also includes contact details for the economic development team should business need advice. This can be viewed at http://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business


26/3/2020
Read Dr Andy Wood's letter to East of England MPs - Help us now – so we can help secure the recovery.

'On behalf of the thousands of tourism businesses in the East, we are writing to you again following our correspondence of March 20, to highlight the catastrophic impact Coronavirus is having on the region’s visitor economy and to ask you to pressure the Government to help alleviate what is now an existential crisis for thousands of SMEs.' This was sent on behalf of all DMOs in Suffolk and the East of England.

Visit East of England - Support the Visitor Economy Now

Letter from Dr Andy Wood, Chair of Visit East of England asking MPs 26 March 2020


25/3/2020

⁦‪VisitBritain‬⁩ have reopened their tracker survey to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on all aspects of the UK tourism industry. The results will provide impact data to brief Ministers & Government. If you have time please do fill in their survey: research.net/r/COVID-19-VB1


24/3/2020
VisitBritain has launched a social marketing campaign to keep Britain top of visitors’ minds during international travel bans. The campaign aims to share inspirational content based on popular British culture such as recipes, TV and film shows, literature and more, for people to enjoy in their own homes. Join the conversation via @lovegreatbritain and #lovegreatbritain on:

• @VisitBritain Twitter

• @VisitEngland Twitter

• VisitBritain Instagram

• VisitEngland Instagram

• Love Great Britain Facebook

• EnjoyEngland Facebook


23/3/2020

You can get free business support and advice during the COVID-19 emergency from qualified advisers at New Anglia Growth Hub (New Anglia LEP) on 0300 333 6536.

20/3/2020
Bury St Edmunds and Beyond is working closely with the Economic Development Team at West Suffolk Council to provide you access to the most up to date information to assist your business. Visit https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-support-for-business.cfm. For any businesses in the West Suffolk area concerned about their specific circumstances or confused about where they can go for support, they have a dedicated email address as follows: economic.development@westsuffolk.gov.uk. Alternatively, call 01284 757114.

19/3/2020
You can sign up here to receive email alerts with the latest updates and guidance around COVID-19 from the UK Government. https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?link=/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response.


19/3/2020
If you have questions or concerns about leave, pay, remoteworking and what steps you can take to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, join Acas experts this Friday at 10:30am to chat live on Twitter. Send your questions in advance to @acasorguk #AskAcas.


19/3/2020

Acas are also running a number of free webinars to provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus on businesses. Register here: https://www.acas.org.uk/webinars

19/3/2020
VisitEngland has set up a dedicated COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates and key links for tourism businesses and industry: https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-new-coronavirus-latest-information-and-advice-for-businesses


18/3/2020

Owner of Casa in Bury St Edmunds, Maria Broadbent, appeared on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show at lunchtime today to talk about how her business is adapting to the current challenges. A number of Bury St Edmunds restaurants have started to offer takeaways, click and collect and delivery during this period. You can listen to the interview again here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000gc92

18/3/2020
For a good guide for business owners in regards of their rights and responsibilities visit ACAS (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus


18/3/2020

For information about support for businesses from the government visit; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses Please note accessing this support will be via the Local Authority and we await details of this process.