Coronavirus Support & Guidance – What you need to know

As the uncertainty around COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to grow, the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce would like to reassure our members and partners that we are here to help. Below you will find the most up to date information to help guide you through this challenging time.



UPDATE: Chancellor increases financial support for businesses and workers. The government has announced it will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus.

UPDATE: To support individuals and businesses to deal with the challenges created by coronavirus (COVID-19) during this winter (2020 to 2021), the government is providing additional support to help employers retain their employees through the Job Support Scheme (JSS) .

All Chamber members have the benefit Chamber HR –  access 24/7 to online HR support including templates for policies and guidance

All Chamber members have access to Chamber Finance Finder. Simply register for a free account, provide the relevant information, and within minutes you’ll be matched to all available finance opportunities on the market, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). Check your eligibility for these and other COVID-19 funding solutions and track your progress via the online portal  find out more information here

  • A number of private lenders are making funds available to small businesses impacted by Coronavirus, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.
  • The Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) is open for grants of up to £50,000 for the very best small British development charities tackling coronavirus.
  • HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have set out new timelines for tax policy consultations and other work in the light of the current Coronavirus crisis. This includes a three-month extension to a number of consultations
  • PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period. Treasury cut taxes to reduce PPE costs
  • The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders. This scheme is not available yet.
  • The online service to claim under the Job Retention Scheme is live. Companies will need a Government Gateway ID and password and will need to have enrolled for PAYE online. The following information is required for each employee – name, national insurance number, claim period and claim amount CLAIM NOW  A step by step guide for employers has been released details can be found here.
  • The Cabinet Office have published a tool for businesses to ascertain what support is available to them. Find coronavirus financial support for your business
  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has urged insurers to pay out for business interruption claims that covered a coronavirus shutdown
  • Future Fund – New government funding announced. Future Fund will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. This scheme is not available yet.
  • All firms with a turnover of more than £45 million will now be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance, and up to £50 million for firms with a turnover of more than £250 million. Chancellor expands loan scheme for large businesses
  • Delaying import duty payments as a result of Coronavirus. HMRC has released guidance on how to request an extension to the payment period for import duty/import VAT payments. Deferment is not automatic and requires immediate action. The account holder should contact the Duty Deferment Office 03000 594243 or by email or the Coronavirus helpline on 0800 024 1222. Account holders will be asked to provide an explanation of how Coronavirus has impacted their business finances and cash flow.
  • The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.
  • Find out what equipment, services or supplies are taxable if your employees are working from home due to coronavirus Check which expenses are taxable if your employee works from home due to coronavirus 
  • HMRC Covid-19 tax helpline 08000 241222
  • HMRC have produced guidance on temporary changes to the use and supply of denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits, to help businesses who produce hand sanitiser and gel
  • Insurers know this is an incredibly difficult time for families and businesses as people seek to make the right decisions for their own health and that of their family. The Association of Business Insurers (ABI) has provided guidance and answers to common questions. If you are unsure what your policy covers you for then check with your insurer or insurance broker.
  • Insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19. However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease may be able to make a claim
  • The government have issued the following guidance Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance
  • Covid Corporate Financing Facility – what steps does my company need to take?
  • In response to extensive BRC pressure and widespread consumer demand, the contactless limit for in-store card transactions will increase from £30 to £45. This is being introduced as a measure in response to the coronavirus epidemic, to reduce the need for physical contact with PIN-Entry Devices (PEDs) at points of sale.
  • Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. Commercial tenants unable to pay rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. Measures support ongoing conversations between landlords and tenants about voluntary arrangements. Latest measure builds on the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced

If you have any concerns or would like to ask our professional team a question please contact contact our team

Our phone lines are open and we are on hand to answer any questions you may have 01274 230049

HAVE YOUR SAY: As a chamber network we have answered a number of questions around coronavirus, these can be found here  If you have a question that you would like answered about these issues or any other Coronavirus support announced by the government, please email our policy team

Working Safely at the West and North Yorkshire Chamber during the Covid 19 pandemic –  West and North Yorkshire Chamber Covid-19 Office Risk Assessment

Page last updated 26/10/20  10:20