Latest Update Coronavirus

Latest Business Updates

RBKC News

Are you a hospitality business?  Do you want to do a video to help with our social distancing measures and promote yourself?

We’re looking to reach out to young people in the borough, specifically those aged between 20- 29.  People in their 20s are currently showing the highest proportion of Coronavirus cases.  To help do this, we’re asking for short videos from local hospitality businesses.  Get in touch with holly.garner@rbkc.gov.uk to discuss the details. We’d really appreciate your support if you would like to get involved. 

Are you a hospitality business still offering dining discounts?

Eat Out to Help Out may have officially ended but many restaurants, pubs and cafes are continuing to offer diners discounts on food. We’re looking to feature these businesses and highlight where visitors and residents can eat locally for a great deal.  If you’d like your business to be featured, let us know at business@rbkc.gov.uk

The brand new High Street Kensington Farmers’ Market opened on Sunday.

The Mayor kicking off the first day with a visit to the variety of stalls. The market will be in place on Phillimore Walk every Sunday 10am to 2pm. Twitter.  Are you a local entrepreneur or enterprise wanting to sell at High Street Kensington Farmer’s Market? The market is run and managed by London Farmers Markets see this link for rules and requirements and apply here.

Government and Partner News

Chancellor outlines Winter Economy Plan#wintereconomyplan

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined additional government support to provide certainty to businesses and workers impacted by coronavirus across the UK.

Job support scheme

  • A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus. Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.
  • Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work – but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary. In order to support only viable jobs, employees must be working at least 33% of their usual hours. The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month. The Job Support Scheme will be open to businesses across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme, with further guidance being published in due course.

 Self-employment income support scheme

  • The Government is continuing its support for millions of self-employed individuals by extending the Self Employment Income Support SchemeGrant (SEISS). An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS and are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus. The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875. An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April.

Tax cuts and deferrals

  • The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors will be extended to the end of March next year. In addition, business who deferred their VAT bills will be given more breathing space through the New Payment Scheme, which gives them the option to pay back in smaller instalments. Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

Giving businesses flexibility to pay back loans

  • Businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan will be given the option to repay their loan over a period of up to ten years through a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will be given the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.  The government is extending four temporary loan schemes to 30 November 2020 for new applications: As a result, more businesses will now be able to benefit from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund.

A statement on the new regulations, including businesses was published on Tuesday by Government stating for businesses:

  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site (from 24 September).
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September).
  • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
    • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
    • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
    • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

Reminder: Businesses urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app.  Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of new app.  Go here for more information.  Use this service to create a QR code for display in your venue. Get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

NHS Test and Trace service in the workplace.

Guidance on the NHS Test and Trace service for employers, businesses and workers.  Guidance here.

London Growth Hub relaunches as the London Business Hub on 24th September 2020.

The GLA are re-launching the London Growth Hub as the London Business Hub.  The aim of the re-launch is to help businesses navigate the range of support available to London businesses.  The hub will continue to deliver a number of projects:

Recover & Grow’, a business support programme in partnership with the Business School (formally known as CASS), supporting 240 SME leaders.

‘Property Advice Service ’, helping new and established SMEs to negotiate leases with free advice from property consultants.

‘Peer Networks’, providing 240 business with facilitated ‘action learning’ group sessions and 1:1 support

Mayor’s Resilience Fund’, a £1m package of innovation grants for SMEs as part of the recently announced London Resilience Fund

One to one adviser’ support and webinars on a range of topics (for eligible businesses)

‘Investment Readiness Programme’ supporting early stage businesses as they navigate the complex process of securing finance from external investors

There is also a brand new online portal here and a refreshed offer of business support programmes. 

London Business Hub (formerly London Growth Hub) – Property Advice Service.

Support for businesses trying to find the right space and fully understand the costs associated with renting a property or help if you’re renegotiating a lease with your landlord.  Entrepreneurs and business-owners taking part in the programme will have access to a series of free masterclasses on the topics such as business rates, lease negotiations and more. The programme can also offer one-to-one support with expert property consultants Gerald Eve and other property professionals relating to your specific circumstances.  Find out more here

Facebook Small Business Grants Programme.

Facebook are offering £1,929 in cash grants and £1,157 in ad credits.  To be eligible to apply, you must: Be a for-profit business, have between 2 and 50 employees, have been in business for over a year, have experienced challenges from COVID-19 or be in or near a location where Facebook operates.  Click here for information.  Review the eligibility criteria, the Terms and Conditions and the Facebook Data Policy on this page before getting started.