Business Support Interventions in Worcestershire for Covid-19 Response

There’s a lot of support for businesses to help them through the Coronavirus Covid-19 period. Below are some useful links to both national and local websites to help businesses find out more about support they can access.

UK government support

Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic:

On Sunday 24 May, a £50 million boost to support the recovery of high streets was announced. It will see non-essential retail businesses begin to reopen on 1 June.

Website: £50 million boost to support the recovery of our high streets from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Website: Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

The latest up-to-date government guidance on Coronavirus support for businesses:

Website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Support from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Additional resources, including relevant business case studies, FAQs and bulletins you may find helpful:

Website: HM Government Business Support (opens in a new window)

Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business:

Website: Find coronavirus financial support for your business from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is extended by one month to reflect continuing social distancing measures. This guide explains the information that employers need to provide to claim for their employees’ wages.

Website: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Chancellor announced a new loan scheme - the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan - to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus.

Key details of the loan:

  • the scheme will go live from Monday 4th May 2020 and cash will be released within days for eligible businesses
  • businesses can 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
  • 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

Website: Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

The Skills Toolkit

DfE has launched The Skills Toolkit, a new online platform giving people easy access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help them build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects:

Website: The Skills Toolkit from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

An update to the guidance for employers about multiple coronavirus outbreaks in the workplace (opens in a new window)

Local support 

In addition to the government support there a number of other support schemes that individuals and businesses may find useful.

Plan to boost the economy with business grants is approved

Worcestershire County Council has approved a plan that will put £3.5million into kickstarting the local economy. The plan supports local businesses with match funded grants of between £25,000 and £100,000 available over the next 2 years

Find out more information on the plan to boost the economy with business grants (opens in a new window)

Worcestershire Business Central Support for your business

Has you business been affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Worcestershire Business Central (the county’s Growth Hub) is the first port of call for your business enquiry, with up to date and relevant information direct from Government. Support includes:

  • information on accessing Government-funded support, including grants and rate relief
  • information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme
  • support for businesses through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • general advice and guidance

The government are updating their advice and guidance on a daily basis. All partners are working together to ensure the advice you receive is clear, accurate and relevant.

Website: Worcestershire Business Central (opens in a new window)
Telephone: 01905 677888

You can also get all the latest business support news and updates on COVID-19 by signing-up to the Worcestershire Business Central newsletter (opens in a new window)

Worcestershire Jobs Match

  • Are you a business needing to take on staff during the Covid 19 pandemic?
  • Are you a business making redundancies during the pandemic?
  • Are you an individual facing redundancy?
  • Are you looking for work during this time?

Then Worcestershire Jobs Match can help, please visit Worcestershire Business Central - Worcestershire Jobs Match site (opens in a new window)

Online training courses

New online training courses available to businesses, provided by the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.
The suite of virtual training courses has been designed to aid businesses who are planning to, or are already returning to work and helping businesses to restart and recover. To find out more go to Events & Training Calendar (Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce website, opens in a new window).

Other local support

Website: Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (opens in a new window)

Website: North Worcestershire Economic Development & Regeneration (opens in a new window)

Website: Hereford and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce (opens in a new window)

District Councils Information for Coronavirus Covid-19 Business

Following the recent support packages announced by HM government, local authorities will be administering the following schemes

  • Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

  • Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure from £10,000 to £25,000

For further information please follow the links below to your District Council:

Website: Bromsgrove District Council  (opens in a new window)

Website: Malvern Hills District Council (opens in a new window

Website: Redditch Borough Council (opens in a new window)

Website: Worcester City Council (opens in a new window

Website: Wychavon District Council (opens in a new window

Website: Wyre Forest District Council (opens in a new window)

How you can help

Firms who wish to help the community can now easily volunteer their goods, services and time thanks to the #Here2Help campaign from Worcestershire County Council. Just fill out the form on the website (opens in a new window), and the council’s team will put you in touch with people who have requested support.

Cleaning guidance for non-healthcare settings.

The Government has issued guidance on cleaning a non clinical setting where someone has a suspected case of Covid-19.

Website: COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Please ensure you read and follow the guidance above.

The main points are:

  • public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned thoroughly as normal
  • all surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:
    • objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
    • all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells
  • use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, following one of the options below:
    • use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine or
    • a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants or
    • if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this should be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses
  • avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning
  • the minimum PPE to be worn for cleaning an area where there has been a person with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) is disposable gloves and an apron. If an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), use protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves and an apron
  • non-healthcare workers should be trained in the correct use of a PPE , to protect them against other people’s potentially infectious respiratory droplets when within 2 metres, and the use and supply would need to be equivalent to that in healthcare environments. Videos are available to demonstrate donning in and doffing off PPE (see below)
  • wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning
  • waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths and tissues):

1.Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.

2.The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.

3. It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.

  • if the individual tests negative, this can be put in with the normal waste
  • if the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and put in with the normal waste
  • Wash laundry items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items. Do not shake dirty laundry, this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus    through the air
  • Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above

Video to demonstrate donning on and doffing off PPE