Trading Through Coronavirus

This page has been created to provide you with guidance with links to essential information and available support for your business. This page will be updated on a regular basis as new information is available.


We’re here to help however we can.







On 23 June, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out further changes to lockdown measures in England to enable people to see more of their friends and family, help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs. From Saturday 4 July, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers were permitted to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines. Review the guidance on the further easing of Coronavirus restrictions from 4 July 2020. 



Restriction on participating in gatherings: ‘The rule of six’

As the pandemic has developed, guidance and legislation has been produced and amended. Click here to view the policing breif in response to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restriction) (No.2) (England) Regulations 2020. 



Face coverings mandatory in various settings across England

Face coverings must be worn in additional enclosed public spaces from 24 July in England. Face coverings are not mandatory for anyone under the age of 11 or those with disabilities or certain health conditions. Review the list of face covering exemptionsSee further guidance and details of the legislation from the College of Policing.


From 8 August the requirement to wear a face covering will be extended to other indoor settings where people are likely to come into contact with others they do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. 



Advice to employers on public transport use

The Rail Delivery Group, whose Director of Strategy spoke to UK Chamber CEOs last week, has recently issued guidance for employers on train journeys. It asks for support in reducing the number of journeys taken, suggests booking tickets in advance and asks passengers to carry and use hand sanitiser. Details will shortly be announced of a new online system for showing in realtime which trains are more, or less, busy. 



Coronavirus workplace guidance

The government has updated its guidance for businesses on working safely during Coronavirus.



Working safely during Coronavirus - shops and branches

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published guidance for the retail sector on how they can reopen and operate safely to protect their staff and customers. 



Importers and Exporters

Ana Christie, Chief Executive of Sussex Chamber of Commerce, said: “The outbreak is already affecting businesses all around the world. With some factories on extended shutdown, we anticipate interruptions to shipments of goods. As we enter the 'delay' phase, there is a risk of staff sickness, self-isolation or travel disruption. This could affect our ability to deliver documentation services. Click here for Export Documentation guidance



Risk Assessments

“Our advice to businesses is strikingly similar to the advice we issued last year for coping with a potential no-deal Brexit. Do a risk assessment. Look at your supply chain, identify vulnerabilities if supplies are interrupted and make contingency plans. Review whether systems are in place to allow staff to work from home.



Security advice for UK businesses preparing to reopen

Counter Terrorism Policing have said that they feel "confident that terrorist activity in the UK will return to previous norms after restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are eased". They have therefore advised that businesses consider adding a security review into their ‘to do’ list. Read the full guidance here.



Networking Events, Training Courses and meetings:

Discover expert advice and resources on key business issues - click here to see our upcoming virtual meetings with experts. 


Our training courses are back - but this time online! Click here to view our upcoming courses.


Did you miss one of our webinars? No worries, we have been recording them for you! Click here to view our latest recorded webinars.






Supporting Our Members

To support our members managing the impact of the Coronavirus, please email this address:


  • To share examples of the impact on your local business community
  • To get Chamber support on any questions; and
  • Any other related queries on the issue.



Chamber Protect (Legal, HR, Tax and Health & Safety) 

As Coronavirus (COVID -19) continues to impact the operations of organisations, we understand the importance to take the correct steps in order to support the governments strategy as well as your business.  Our advisors can help you and your members. Call the Chamber HR advice line on 01455 852037 or alternatively, find out more about the Chamber Protect services here 

For Quest's updated FAQs document on the Job Retention Scheme, click here.



Government advice

Government will deliver help and financial support during this period of unprecedented disruption. Click here to see their dedicated support page for businesses and employees 


Click below for further Government business support and information:



British Chambers of Commerce Coronavirus hub

 As the Coronavirus continues to impact the operations of businesses, the British Chambers team has collated information and resources from the UK government and the Chamber Network in an online support hub. This will be a constantly evolving resource and we will continue to amend guidance as and when we receive updated information.



A reminder about scams

A reminder to you, your colleagues and your customers to stay vigilant about scams which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Review the information on how to recognise genuine HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) contact and how to avoid and report scams. Suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC can reported by email.







Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) updated guidance

The UK government has updated guidance to reflect recent changes to the CJRS. From 1 September, the UK government will pay 70% and employers will pay 10% of employees’ wages for the time they are being furloughed. Employers will also continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions. The scheme ends on 31 October 2020. 



Job Retention Bonus

A one-off payment will be made to UK employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021 as a means of providing additional support to retain workers.  To find out if you are eligible visit the Job Retention Bonus pages on the government website. 



Recovery Grants for SME’s

Grants are available between £1,000 - £5,000 for new equipment, technology and specialist advice for small and medium sized businesses.  The funding is aimed to help businesses get back on track following the period of financial hardship and reduction in trade.  For more information visit the Government website.  



BT Small Business Support scheme 

Support for UK SMEs to grow, following the disruption caused by COVID-19up to £2.5k available funding, to find out more visit BT’s website.


Social Enterprise Support Fund

Grants are available to support social enterprises during COVID-19 delivered through The National Lottery Community Fund. The Fund awards grants between £10,000 -  £300,000.   It’s aimed at social enterprises supporting people at high health risk from COVID-19, and those supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19.  Round 2 closes on the 20th August and round 3 closes on 17th September.  For more information and to apply visit the Social Enterprise Support Fund website.  



Small business leadership and problem solving programmes

Two new leadership programmes to help small business leaders grow their companies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have been launched: The Small Business Leadership Programme will equip business leaders with the confidence and leadership skills to plan for the future of their business, and ensure that they are in a great position to recover from the impacts of coronavirus.  The Peer Networks Programme will focus on helping business owners improve their problem-solving skills, through a series of guided exercises. Members of the programme will be given skills in areas such as leadership and management, sales and marketing that they need to tackle these challenges head-on while growing their business.



Arts Council Grants

The Arts Council have recently re-opened their National Lottery Project Grants to help fund independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers.  The fund is open until April 2021, for more information visit the Arts Council website



Changes to Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

The changes to CLBILS announced by HM Treasury on 19 May have now come into effect. As you will be aware, CLBILS facilitates access to finance for mid-sized and larger businesses with a group turnover of more than £45m affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Take a look at further information on changes, including new provisions on seniority of CLBILS facilities, on the British Business Bank website.



Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) now open for applications

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will offer loans from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower. The UK government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. Click here for more information.



Ambitious Technologies Funding

Businesses could help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of the coronavirus outbreak and similar situations in the future, as a result of £20 million government funding announced today (Friday 3 April).

Click here to read the full release.








Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker

The BCC’s new tracker will serve as a barometer of business’ response to the government’s measures and changes to business’ working practices over the next few months. It will also track how quickly new government interventions, introduced to deal with the real-world impact of this crisis, are getting to the businesses at the front line.

Click here to view the results so far.



Thank you to everyone who participated in our first 'Impact of COVID-19 on Sussex Business' survey. 

In this first tranche of data collection (31 March—6 April 2020) close to 200 businesses in Sussex responded. 89% of the respondents were SMEs, 20% were manufacturers and 40% had their entire business home-working whilst 13% told us they have closed for the duration of lockdown.  Click here to read the results.
Results from our second 'Impact of COVID-19 on Sussex Business' Survey will be released shortly.

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