As the situation continues to progress with Coronavirus, please make sure you stay up to date with all of the advice, support and tips the Council and the Government has to offer.
Latest information – helping you stay up to date
You can also view the NHS website for more updates.
If you'd like to sign up for our Important Updates or Emergency Updates newsletters, visit rbkc.gov.uk, scroll to the bottom and click 'sign up to enewsletters’.
Round-up of advice and support from the Council and Government
RBKC’s economic development team has highlighted important information in each of the schemes and provided additional signposting where helpful.
Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. This support is for those who are self-employed and have lost income due to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This support is for the majority of their income derived from self-employment
Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This scheme will enable registered employers to access funding to pay 80% of the wages of staff (up to a maximum of £2,500) who have been temporarily sent home because there is no work being done. If your employee was on PAYE at the 28th Feb – a business will probably be eligible for the scheme – check the link for details. See also Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
Links to key support below:
We are contacting those businesses eligible for business rates relief and Government grants but if businesses don’t receive anything in the next ten days or can’t access their post, please use this specific email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses in RBKC commercial premises.
The Council has decided to suspend rent invoicing for three months with effect from Monday 30 March 2020. This means that we will not be issuing the normal invoices, which would have been issued to start in April 2020. If you have any questions about this, please do get in touch with your RBKC property team email@example.com .
Businesses in RBKC street markets.
The Council has made changes to how markets operate in line with social distancing guidance from the Government. Only food stalls (fruit and veg, fishmongers etc) as well as household goods (cleaning products etc) will operate. Permanent traders rent waived for 12 weeks from 6 April 2020 to be reviewed in June 2020. If you are a temporary trader, the Council is not expecting you to trade to maintain your attendance record. This will be placed on hold for the foreseeable future. If you have a specific street trading question email your RBKC Street Trading team at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on tel: 020 7727 7684. The Council will not be accepting any new applications for trading on Portobello Road and Golborne Road market.
Businesses in other commercial premises.
Note Protection from eviction for commercial tenants. Businesses are advised to speak to their landlord to see if they have considered any measure to help, for example, by moving from a quarterly to a monthly rent, or indeed offering a pause on collecting rent for an agreed period.
Advice for food businesses – operating as a temporary takeaway.
The Government has announced that all food businesses, including pubs, restaurants and cafes should close, however, it is introducing changes to planning legislation to allow pubs and restaurants to be used as hot food takeaways without requiring planning permission, for a temporary period of up to 12 months only. Businesses will be required to tell RBKC when the new use begins and ends which you can do by contacting your RBKC planning team email@example.com. More information can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Advice for food businesses – operational guidance
For the most up to date information on the closing of certain businesses and venues please see here. The licensing team has written to food businesses with regard to this. If you have any food safety or health and safety related questions please contact us; firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7361 3002
Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. Eligibility All non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible. This is one of two major measures announced, the other key measure is the Loan Scheme for SMEs below
Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme This scheme will provide participating lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The Scheme will support a variety of sources of funding including overdrafts and invoice factoring as well as loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. Business owners are advised to speak to their business banking contact as soon as possible. There is a link on the portal to this scheme and all of its participating partners.
Support for businesses through deferring VAT payments . For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021. Eligibility You are eligible if you are due to pay your second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July.
Support for businesses through deferring Income Tax payments This refers to self-assessment. Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service. All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
Commercial insurance. Most commercial 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 should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy). Businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.
information for marketing and R&D.
RBKC libraries are still providing valuable and useful online business information to help you get information to support your research and development functions, plus your marketing programmes. Go to Business Information Point. Our libraries offer many free online resources that can be accessed via the libraries web pages. New customers can now join online and immediately access, stream or download our wide range of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, eNewspapers and language courses to their devices.
Portobello Business Centre in RBKC.
PBC is funded by RBKC and is providing business-support services to RBKC businesses. If you need business advice you can book a telephone call with one of PBC’s business advisors. Please call them 020 7460 5050 to discuss. See also the last item in this email which has valuable advice and support from PBC for businesses looking to the future and operating once this crisis has passed.
The Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Growth Hub Has a specific section on COVID-19 support and includes a section on funding as well. Free one-to-one advice and support to help London businesses face the challenges of COVID-19 is available. The London Growth Hub’s team of business Advisers can help businesses work out their next steps, create a plan of action and provide a gateway into the vital resources, support and initiatives needed to sustain businesses through this challenging period. Click here for support
Round-up of advice, support and funding from other agencies.
Funding from Arts Council England GBP160 million emergency support package to help the cultural sector deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Click here. This emergency response package includes GBP20 million for "creative practitioners and freelancers", with artists and workers in the cultural sector eligible for cash grants of up to GBP2,500. There will also be GBP50 million for organisations that are not in Arts Council England's portfolio, with grants up to GBP35,000. A further GBP90 million will be available next month for organisations in Arts Council England's portfolio and current grants will be advanced by up to six months to help with cash flow.
Funding from the Society of Authors. Grants are likely to be up to £2,000 and designed to meet urgent need with the possibility of review as the situation continues. Click here
Funding from The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund has been established with a £1 million donation from Netflix. It will provide emergency short-term relief to active workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK. Click here
Funding from Help Musicians who have launched the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, A fund of £5m has therefore been created to help reduce the worry many musicians are experiencing about their mounting household expenses. Click here for more information Eligible musicians are able to apply for a one-off payment of £500 through an online form.
Funding from PRS for Music, in partnership with the PRS Members’ Fund and PRS Foundation. This money is available to PRS members globally and will be offered in grants of up to £1000 each, depending on need. Click here for more.
Westway Trust: Westway Trust have been in touch with all their business tenants with help advice and support. Westway are also working closely with Age UK, the Volunteer Centre Kensington and Chelsea, the council and other groups to see how we can best support vulnerable people in the area. For further information see their covid19 portal here
Workspace PLC: Workspace has considerable business space in the borough and have provided guidance to their tenants with regard access here
Kensington and Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, are putting together a panel to answer questions from members and guests live using Zoom. The event would be open to members of KCCC and guests. The panel will consist of an employment lawyer, an accountant, and a Council representative. The event will be on Tuesday 7th April at starting at 2.45pm. Please register via their website here.
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
FSB have created a very useful hub that answers questions that small businesses might be asking, see here: https://www.fsb.org.uk/campaign/covid19.html
FSB Covid-19 Support (Facebook Private Group - you don’t need to be a member of FSB to join): All self-employed and small businesses can request to join the Facebook private group called: FSB Covid-19 Support
FSB London Virtual Business Networking Events: FSB are rolling out a nationwide virtual programme in April. See here https://www.fsb.org.uk/event-calendar.html
Follow FSB on social media:
Twitter: @FSB_Policy and @FSBGtrLondon
Facebook: Federation of Small Businesses
LinkedIn: Federation of Small Businesses
The Money Advice Service provided by the Money and Pensions Service has a comprehensive portal with a specific page called ‘Coronavirus – what it means for you and what you’re entitled to’. Their guide will look at your rights to sick pay, what benefits you can claim if you’re self-employed or not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Click here for more details.
FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)
The FCA is closely monitoring the coronavirus (Covid-19) situation and provides a useful and thorough portal that details the steps you can take to stay aware of any possible impact on your finances. Click here for FCA covid19 portal
Repayable loans of up to £1,000,000 now available to support the UK’s arts, culture and heritage social enterprises from NESTA. The Arts & Culture Impact Fund offers repayable finance between £150,000 and £1,000,000 with a repayment term of one to ten years and interest rates ranging between 3% and 10%. Click here for information.
Funding is being offered to UK technology companies for new digital solutions while self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak. The TechForce19 Challenge has an overall programme budget of £500,000, selected companies will receive funding of up to £25,000 to develop or test their COVID-19 solution. Click here