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.

Latest Updates

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.'

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


⁦‪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

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


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.

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.

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.

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.


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

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


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

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


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.