Support and information for businesses and employers
Information about measures to provide support to businesses that experience increased costs or disruptions to their cash flow as a result of this lockdown, including links to forms for grants, can be found on our Business Rates Grants 2020 to 2021 page.
Central Government guidance deems that an application form is required to be submitted for these grants, as a State Aid Declaration is required and bank details must be verified.
The Business Rates team process Business Grants. Should you need to discuss your ongoing application please either contact the team via email or telephone on 01702 215001 to discuss directly with a member of the team. Please be aware, it can take 10 working days for a grant application to be processed.
Please be aware that the information on this page will be changing regularly in line with new announcements.
Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors
As restrictions ease and venues reopen it is essential that we have the right tools in place to help prevent transmission of COVID-19. To support outbreak management, designated businesses must comply with the Collection of Contact Details Regulations which require you to display an NHS QR code poster and request that customers and visitors check in to your premises.
The Regulations were amended 29 March 2021 and you must now request that every individual scan the NHS QR code or provide their contact details upon arrival, not just the lead member of the group. This is to make sure that every person can receive timely public health advice if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. You should make sure that all your staff have been notified of this change and understand that they are now required to ask all people entering the venue to scan the NHS QR code or provide their contact details. Exemptions include children under the age of 16 and people entering the venue for drop off / takeaway only.
Further guidance on the requirements can be found here: Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has produced guidance to ensure that you are GDPR compliant when collecting and storing contact details: Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors for contact tracing purposes
All businesses are reminded of the legal requirement to have a COVID-19 risk assessment and share this with staff. Our ad-hoc inspections have indicated that there are still businesses that have not completed a risk assessment, recorded it and shared it with their staff. For more information about the requirements please see the Risk assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic on gov.uk.
If your business is one that has been required to clos, now is a good time to check through your procedures to ensure they are COVID-19 compliant, ready for when your business can re-open.
We have received a large number of calls and emails relating to the guidance on closures and would ask all businesses to review the COVID-19 guidance that was issued by Government on GOV.UK.
Reporting of positive COVID cases within your workforce
If you have a confirmed COVID-19 case within your business, please refer to the Guidance and Action Card for your sector and contact the Health Protection Team on 01702 212497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 business enquiries
In the first instance, please contact our Customer Service team on 01702 212497 who may be able to help with general business queries.
The Economic Development Team can also help with general queries and questions related to business but cannot advise on business grant applications. You can contact them by email.
The Business Rates team process Business Grants. Should you need to discuss your ongoing application please either contact the team via email or telephone on 01702 215001 to discuss directly with a member of the team.
Please be aware that the information on this page will be changing regularly in line with new announcements. If you would like to receive business updates by email let us know.
If you have a a business which is open to the public, the Southend Business Improvement District (BID) have created a series of poster templates that you can download for free. Please visit Southend BID Business Templates if you think these may be of use.
What we can do to help businesses
Information about Small Business Grants, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants, business rates relief, commercial rent collection and BID (Business Improvement District) levy payments.
What Central Government are offering
Information about the various measures available and who is administering them, grants for self-employed workers, statutory sick pay and government backed loans (for businesses of all sizes).
Information about tax and the HMRC
Information about receiving support with tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
Other useful links and awaiting further information
Links to information for charity businesses, government guidance for pubs and restaurants operating as takeaways, early years and childcare closures and other handy pages.