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Information and advice for businesses

Coronavirus or COVID-19 has been officially declared a pandemic. Businesses need to take action to prepare for the effects caused.

COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses & Employers

Latest guidance released

A third national lockdown has come into force and people have been instructed to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

The rules resemble those of the lockdown back in March 2020, with non-essential retailers having to close again if they hadn't already under Tier 4 restrictions.

However, there are still some shops that will be allowed to open after being deemed essential. These include supermarkets, opticians, newsagents, garden centres and banks.Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to continue takeaway or click and collect services, but the sale of takeaway alcohol will no longer be allowed.

Essential shops, garden centres and places of worship can remain open but zoos and sports facilities - including golf courses, swimming pools and tennis courts - must close.

The full details on what you can and cannot do are available here.

The Chancellor has also announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. The announcement can be found here, with further details to follow.

Additional support available

Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: The Chancellor has announced this scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of April 2021. The full guidance for claims from November onwards, including how you can check if you're eligible and how to calculate and make a claim online, can be found here.

Businesses requiring specific assistance can call the Business Support Helpline on 0800 998 1098.

The government has provided detailed guidance about many of the grants available from local authorities for businesses affected by local restrictions. Check if you're eligible:

LRSG (Closed) Addendum grant: Businesses required to close due to temporary local restrictions may be eligible to receive grants of up to £3,000 per 28-day period.

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG): The (ARG) provides additional funding for local authorities subject to national lockdown or Tier 3 restrictions, to support businesses that have had their trade affected by the restrictions. This includes:

  • closed businesses that don't pay business rates
  • businesses that have not been required to close, but are still severely impacted

Each local authority has the discretion to establish business grant schemes or other business support as best fits their area.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open): Where local authorities have been subject to Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions, this grant allows local authorities to make discretionary payments to support businesses that were impacted by the restrictions, but not required to close.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) provides grants of up to £3,000 per 28-day period to be made to businesses like nightclubs that were required to close on a national basis since March 23.

Coronavirus Support Toolkit: You can find out what other financial support your business (including the self-employed and sole traders) is entitled to, using the government's toolkit.

You can find a full list of the current support measures and easements here.

For further advice from our local partners:


The FSB

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

Surrey Chamber of Commerce

Business South

You can also access our Peer Networks service for free help with business recovery.

If you would like to receive our regular e-bulletin with the latest news and information, please sign up here

If you would also like to receive the latest advice and information for business and employers from BEIS, please sign up here.

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