In this section, you will find some frequently asked questions and answers about our business support service, which may be particularly helpful at this time.

Q. Where can I find out if my business qualifies for any financial support?

A. The Government has set up a new coronavirus business support finder tool. This tool helps businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily find out what financial advice is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. You can access the tool at  Coronavirus - find financial support for your business . You will be asked to fill out a quick and simple online questionnaire and will then be directed to a list of all the financial support for which you may be eligible.

Q. Where can I find out if my business is allowed to re-open?

A. The Government has released Business Closures and Stay at Home FAQs  for further reading.

Q. Where can I find information about opening my business safely?

A. On 13 May the Government announced new guidance for businesses looking to reopen. The guidance includes  workplace safety risk assessments , and cleaning your workplace .

The Food Standards Agency has also published guidance for food businesses  looking to reopen or adapt their businesses.

The Government has also issued advice on social distancing in the workplace .

Businesses are encouraged to download the government's 'COVID-19 Secure' poster and display it in their window to show that they have completed a risk assessment and put in the necessary measures to ensure social distancing.

Q. Is the council doing anything to promote the re-opening of businesses?

A. Yes - we have launched our 'Supporting Local Businesses' campaign.

Q. Is there any help for the self-employed?

A. Yes, the government has announced the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).


This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.


Further information is on the  HM Government website .

Q. How can I contact the relevant government departments?

A. The UK Government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a dedicated business support helpline, where small business owners in England can get advice on how to minimise/cope with the impacts of coronavirus.

 The number is 0300 456 3565. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. You can also email enquiries@businesssupporthelpline.org

 

Q. Can my business access a loan?

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

The scheme will go live from Monday 4 May 2020 and the Government has said that cash should 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.

Further guidance on the scheme can be found here: Coronavirus - Bounce Back Loan Scheme  

Q. Is there any further support for businesses?

We are providing links to all relevant information on the business support page of our website.

If any business would like to contact the Economic Development Service for further support on any of the information above please email business.support@chichester.gov.uk.

Please note: We strongly suggest all businesses regularly check the Government's coronavirus business support website .