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Trading Through Coronavirus

The government has moved from the 'delay' to the 'restart' phase of coronavirus control. Following the Prime Minister’s conditional plan for the next phase of the response to Covid-19, businesses are searching for clarity, support and advice.

 

This page has been created to provide you with guidance to mitigate the impact of the virus, 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.

  

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TRADING THROUGH CORONAVIRUS

  

 

Public transport guidance

 

Face coverings on public transport
From 15 June travellers on public transport in England, including buses, trains and aircraft passengers, must, with some very limited exemptions, wear mouth and nose coverings. Other than public transport workers, the responsibility for (and cost of) providing coverings will be on the passengers. There is no requirement for a particular type or standard of face mask; indeed, the government asks passengers to not use medical standard ones. 


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. 

 

 

Exemption guidance template letter for specific travellers

Following confirmation of a 14-day quarantine and requirement to provide information for those arriving in the UK from 8 June, the government has published exemption guidance for specific travellers. Many of the exemptions are highly specific, although some are slightly more general (e.g. exemptions 26 and 37). Click here to review the template exemption letter.

 

 

Coronavirus recovery strategy and workplace guidance

The UK government  has now published their Coronavirus recovery strategy. This document describes the progress the UK has made to date in tackling the Coronavirus outbreak and sets out the government’s plans for the next phases of its response. The government has also updated its guidance for businesses on working safely during Coronavirus.

 

The BCC team has reviewed the government's strategy and prepared a summary document for Chambers and member businesses.

 

 

Working safely during Coronavirus - shops and branches

 The Prime Minister has set out a timeline for retail to reopen this month. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published further guidance for the 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.

 

 

AVAILABLE SUPPORT

 

 

Supporting Our Members

To support our members managing the impact of the Coronavirus, please email this address: info@sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

 

  • 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

  

 

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 IMPACT DATA

 

 

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 in June.

 

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