Throughout this enforced period, the team are contactable at all times via firstname.lastname@example.org to offer support where required and we will maintain our communications to the membership as the crisis develops.
National lockdown restrictions are now in place. You are advised to stay home except for a limited number of reasons. Click here for more Government information.
A limited number of businesses are permitted to remain open. Click here for the full list.
A new rapid coronavirus testing centre is now open in the former H&M unit in St Anns Shopping Centre.
The centre will be used exclusively to test people without Covid symptoms, and will offer a result in around 30 minutes.
It’s thought 1 in 3 people with coronavirus don’t display symptoms, but can still pass it on so rapid testing helps find these people and break the chain of infection.
The test centre can be used by anyone working in the town centre. If you’re still trading under the new restrictions, we recommend all members of your staff get a FREE test twice a week. You’ll be asked to take a swab of your throat and nose. Help will be on hand if you need it.
As an employer, you’re required by law to protect your employees, and others, from harm. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has provided some guidance on what you need to have in place as you re-open your business, including carrying out a Risk Assessment. An example Risk Assessment Template is provided on their website, but each business will be different depending on the size and number of employees.
This guidance will help non-food retail premises ensure they are compliant.
Think about how to maintain social distancing in your premises, signage, and whether protective screening is necessary. Please ensure that your premises adheres to the guidance. You can reassure your customers that your business is safe and that you have complied with the regulations by printing and displaying this Staying Covid-19 Secure Poster. If you need help with signage please contact email@example.com.
The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as the Furlough Scheme has been extended to April 2021. This is great news for employers struggling to keep staff on when they have been forced to close. The Job Support Scheme has also been expanded.
The Government and local authorities offer a range of initiatives from lockdown support grants to business rate holidays. Check the Harrow Council website for details on how to apply. Lockdown grants of up to £9,000 are available for businesses forced to closed.
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme allows small businesses adversely affected by Covid-19 to apply for between £2,000 and £50,000, with the government guaranteeing 100% of the advance. The loan can last for up to six years with no interest payments for the first 12 months. Interest is charged at 2.5% per annum after 12 months. Businesses will be able to access the loans through the existing network of accredited lenders.
The London Business Hub
The London Business Hub has launched a series of free, dedicated webinars delivered by expert speakers that have been carefully designed to answer your questions and to help guide London’s small businesses through the many challenges presented by COVID-19.
They have also brought together a range of resources and information to help you through these difficult times and to help you find the right support. This includes access to funding, including our own grant funds for businesses, as well as support to help you reopen your business safely. Click below for more information.
If you’re working from home take a look at these tips on: