COVID-19 Help & Business Advice
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COVID-19: Support For Business

If you are unsure of what you could be entitled to and would like to speak to someone, please email: at anytime. We’re here to help.

Please find below the latest support guidance:

COVID Recovery Grant – Update as at 8th October
An update was provided yesterday by the D2N2 Growth Hub who are administering the grant.

Communication will now begin going out to all of the circa 2,000 businesses who submitted their details to them ie:-

  • All eligible SMEs will receive an introductory email requesting an SME enrolment form as the first step of the process, with a deadline to respond within one week
  • An email invite to access the portal will then be sent to those who can apply  
  • All ineligible SMEs will receive an email with appropriate details and signposting   

Further information can be found as below:-
This link will take you through to the FAQs and communications updates on the grant scheme.

Latest Government Guidance as at 24th September 2020

Jobs Support Scheme
The Furlough Scheme will not be extended in its current form, but it will be replaced with the more targeted Jobs Support Scheme from 1st November 2020.

  • Under the scheme, the government will subsidise the pay of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to lower demand
  • It will apply to staff who can work at least a third of their usual hours
  • Employers will pay staff for the hours they do work
  • For the hours employees can’t work, the government and the employer will each cover one third each of the lost pay.  This will be based on an employee’s normal salary, with the government contribution capped at £697.92 per month.
  • The government says this means the employee would get at least 77% of their pay.  So, for example, if someone earning £2,000 a month was working half their hours, they’d get £1,000 normal pay. They would then get £333 extra from their employer and £333 from the government.
  • All small and medium sized businesses will be eligible for the scheme (usually defined as firms with 250 employees or less).
  • Larger business will be eligible if their turnover has fallen during the crisis
  • It will be open to employers across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme
  • The scheme will run for six months from 1st November
  • It sits alongside the Jobs Retention Bonus of £1,000 per furloughed employee that is kept on until the start of February 2021 after the furlough scheme ends at the end of October.

Support for the self-employed

  • The chancellor is extending the self-employed grant on similar terms to the Jobs Support Scheme
  • A grant will be available to those eligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant
  • The grant will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January
  • It will cover 20% of average monthly profits up to a total of £1,875
  • A further grant will be available to the self-employed to cover February 2021 to the end of April.

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme via this link:

Business loans

  • Bounce Back Loans will be extended from six years to 10, cutting monthly repayments by nearly half
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will also be able to extend the length of loans from the current maximum of six years to 10 years
  • The chancellor is also extending the deadline for the government’s coronavirus loan schemes to the end of November.
  • The Chancellor also announced he would be extending applications for the government Future Fund and Bounce Back Loans until the end of November. 

    The Future Fund has delivered over £1.4bn of public and private investment so far. It’s given hundreds of innovative British start-ups the ability to survive through the crisis and thrive after and we’re pleased to see the Chancellor extend the scheme to ensure that as many start-ups as possible are able to get the investment they need.
  • Businesses struggling can choose to make interest only payments for six months and those “in real trouble” can apply to suspend repayments altogether for six months
  • Businesses will not see their credit rating fall as a result, the chancellor says


  • The 15% emergency VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality industries will be extended from January 2021 to 31 March
  • Business who deferred their VAT bills will be able to pay back their taxes in 11 smaller interest-free instalments
  • Self-assessment income tax payers will be able to defer tax payments to January 2022

Further information on deferred VAT can be found here at the .gov site:

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – second round

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – the Government grant to self-employed individuals whose businesses have been adversely affected by coronavirus – is made up of two grants.

The first grant closed on 13 July, but the second and final grant will open for applications on 17 August 2020 – next Monday.

Here’s what you need to know about the second grant:

  • It will be worth up to 70% of your trading profits. It’s capped at £2,190 a month and is taxable at a total of £6,570. As it’s a grant, you don’t need to pay it back.
  • You don’t need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant. And if you’ve claimed the first, you can claim the second as long as you’re stilleligible.
  • You need to have been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020 to claim it. Unsure what ‘adversely affected’ means? We’ve detailed examples and help.
  • Grants are based on your profits over three tax years. This is based on an average of the tax returns for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
  • You must have filed a tax return for 2018/19. This means you must have been self-employed prior to 6 April 2019. The last possible moment to file a 2018/19 tax return was 23 April 2020 (the deadline had been extended from 31 January 2020). If you only had a few months’ self-employment on your 2018/19 return, this will be counted as your total profit for the year – the Government won’t pro-rata it based on your monthly profits.
  • You must earn more than 50% of your total income from self-employment. This must have been the case for either your 2018/19 tax return or, if not, the average of your 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 tax returns. Income from property, dividends, savings, pensions and taxable benefits all count as “non-trading income” and, to qualify for the SEISS, the total of these combined must NOT exceed 50% of your total income. For more information on which benefits count as “taxable income”, see our full list here.
  • Your average trading profit must be less than £50,000/year. This is essentially a ‘cliff-edge’ requirement – so those whose average annual trading profit is more than £50,000 (to be specific, £50,000.01 and above) won’t be able to get any support from this scheme.
    For both these requirements, the Government says it will first check your 2018/19 tax return – if you met the requirements that year, you’ll be eligible.
    However, if you earned more than £50,000 (or earned less than half of your income from self-employment) in 2018/19, the Government will then check your 2016/17 and 2017/18 tax returns, if you filed them for those years. If on average over the three years you earned less than £50,000 and made more than half your income from self-employment, you’ll still be eligible.

COVID Recovery Grants

The D2N2 Growth Hub is set to receive a cut of £20 million in grants to boost small business recovery.

The Government has announced a support package of £20 million specifically aimed at SMEs to help them recover from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. The funding will come in the form of a grant from between £1,000 – £5,000 which can be used to support one or a combination of the following activities:

  • Access to technology or new equipment in order to get back on track or diversify
  • Access to professional advice such as HR, legal or financial to aid business decision making and risk management

The D2N2 Growth Hub is currently working hard to finalise the application process for these grants and will provide further information on the eligibility criteria as soon as it’s available. EU procurement regulations will apply to this funding.

The expectation is for the scheme to be available at the end of August. If you would like this information when it is published please click here and complete the form.

More information can also be found here.

Flexible Furlough Scheme

From 1st July 2020 businesses can bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis

firms will be given the flexibility to decide the hours and shift patterns of their employees – with the government continuing to pay 80% of salaries for the hours they do not work

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has so far helped protect more than 9.3 million jobs

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has so far helped protect more than 9.3 million jobs through the pandemic, with employers claiming more than £25.5 billion to support wages.

The scheme will remain open until the end of October and will continue to support jobs and business in a measured way as people return to work, our economy reopens and the country moves to the next stage of its recovery.

From today, a month earlier than previously announced, employers will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis.

Individual firms will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, so that they can decide on the best approach for them – and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.

Follow the link below for the full guidance from Government.

EBC Discretionary Grant – 3rd Round

Erewash Borough Council has opened its third round of discretionary grant funding for small businesses in Erewash.

The council has widened the criteria of the latest funding scheme and is now urging qualifying firms to apply for help ahead of the deadline of Friday 24 July.

The changes include allowing small businesses with a rateable value of up to £65,000 (up from the previous £50,000) to apply for a grant and those with more than 50 employees can also now apply.

Under the discretionary scheme, the council has already approved grants totalling £715,500 to 109 local businesses following the first two rounds. Those businesses successful in their application employ nearly 800 employees in total.

The government funding is aimed at small businesses and includes those operating in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for small business rates relief and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

There are six levels of grant available ranging from £2,000 to £25,000. The level of award is related to the number of staff employed by the business and the severity of the fall in income due to the covid-19 crisis. 

Councillor Wayne Major, Deputy Leader of Erewash Borough Council and Lead Member for Resources, says:

“We have distributed grant support to businesses as quickly and efficiently as possible throughout this difficult time and we continue that with this latest scheme to help those who missed out on previous covid-19 government grants.

“We have already helped many of these small businesses and by widening the criteria we are encouraging more to apply for funding in this third round. I urge eligible businesses to get in touch and apply as soon as possible.”

Details of the funding and an application form are online now at Anyone wanting further information can email

Businesses that applied during the first two rounds of funding but did not meet the original scheme criteria will now automatically have their applications reconsidered and do not need to reapply.

Kickstart Jobs Scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £2bn “kickstart scheme” to create more jobs for young people, in a statement to MPs on Wednesday 8th July 2020.

For each “kickstarter” job, the government will cover the cost of 25 hours’ work a week at the National Minimum Wage – £4.55 for under 18s, £6.45 for 18 to 20-year-olds, and £8.20 for 21 to 24-year-olds.

The fund will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Employers will be able to top up that payment if they wish.

The government said it would allow young people “the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace, and to gain experience that will improve their chances of going on to find long-term sustainable work”.

The scheme will open for applications in August, with the first jobs expected to start in the autumn, and run until December 2021 – with the option of being extended.

It will cover England, Scotland and Wales, and the government said it would provide additional funding to Northern Ireland for a similar scheme.

Government Traineeship Scheme

The government is pledging to provide 30,000 new traineeships to get young people in England into work, as fears about mounting unemployment increase.

Traineeships provide classroom-based lessons in maths, English and CV writing, as well as up to 90 hours of unpaid work experience.

Under the £111m scheme, firms in England will be given £1,000 for each new work experience place they offer.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive £21m for similar schemes.

The additional funding for traineeships is set to be announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday 8thJuly when he will unveil an economic plan to deal with the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.

What is a traineeship?

  • A traineeship is a course that includes a work placement
  • It can last from six weeks up to six months
  • Traineeships are aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds in England
  • Trainees may complete a maximum of 240 hours of work experience over six months
  • Providers should offer an interview for an apprenticeship or job, if available at the end of the scheme

Employers are not required to pay trainees for a work placement, unlike apprenticeships where the minimum wage rate is £4.15 per hour.

On an apprenticeship, a person is employed to do work while studying for a formal qualification, usually for one day a week, either at a college or training centre over a number of years.

Source: website

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – 1st July 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.

From 1 August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month.To be eligible for the grant employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed.

Businesses will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time from today (1 July) as part of the government’s plan to re-open the UK and kick-start our economy.

The timetable for changes to the scheme is set out in the link below:

Rules that have been relaxed to help businesses during the Coronavirus Pandemic – updated 26th June 2020

A list of the rules that have been temporarily relaxed to make it easier for businesses to continue working through the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) can be viewed via the link below.

University of Nottingham – SME productivity programme re-purposed to help businesses prepare for Covid-19 economic recovery

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire can now benefit from fully-funded University of Nottingham expertise through a programme which has been re-purposed to help businesses prepare for economic recovery following Covid-19.

Productivity Through Innovation, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), gives SMEs within the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership region the opportunity to access the University’s talented postgraduates who work remotely for their organisation through 100-hour or 200-hour project placements.

Companies from any sector can receive strategic planning and operational insight in areas such as business continuity, future markets research, product development support, digital technologies and digital marketing strategies.

“Productivity Through Innovation was first launched last August, building on our highly-successful Postgraduate Placement Scheme which delivered over 1,000 placements for SMEs in the East Midlands, so we know this is a model that works for business,” explained Programme Manager Dr Megan Ronayne. “With the immediate challenges presented by Covid-19, but also now firmly thinking about economic recovery as we hopefully emerge from the pandemic, we wanted to give SMEs a high-impact, low-cost intervention to develop their organisation, enhance a project or take a fresh look at their business processes. Our postgraduate students are available to help firms navigate through this difficult period, and support their future planning by examining how innovation can enhance productivity.”

Interested SMEs can now contact the University to propose projects that they would like assistance in delivering remotely, Dr Ronayne said: “Our postgraduates are highly intelligent but are generally not experienced in the world of business, so organisations need to have the capacity to manage the placement and time to answer questions and keep the project moving. Most businesses tend to schedule key weekly update calls with our students, who would typically spent 6 to 12 hours per week on their placement. The programme is extremely straightforward, though, and with a clear brief agreed at the start of the project we will find the student or students who can deliver the requirement.”

Productivity Through Innovation academic champion Professor Richard Kneller added: “Productivity, the ratio of outputs to inputs, has been an issue well before Covid-19, and research shows that in 2015 the D2N2 region had a productivity gap of more than £8.2 billion. Nationally the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and HM Treasury published a Business Productivity Review last November which highlighted the need to make businesses aware of their potential and therefore seek simple measures to become more productive and grow. The Productivity Through Innovation programme is an on-the-ground example of making this happen in our region. Collaboration between academia and business has never been more important, and we are delighted to be able to offer SMEs additional support for improving firm-level productivity and growth during this extremely challenging time when minds will inevitably be focused on the present.”

More widely, the University of Nottingham’s flagship civic collaboration with Nottingham Trent University has been refocused on identifying how both universities can best work together with local organisations to support the local recovery, including Productivity Through Innovation. For the first stage of the Universities for Nottingham initiative, the two universities have jointly undertaken an economic, social and cultural impact study to benchmark the contribution they currently make to local their communities, people and place. They have also started to map the many hundreds of different locally-focused programmes and initiatives currently run by the two institutions to identify areas where, if they worked together in collaboration, could have an even bigger impact on the lives of local people.

To find out more about the Productivity Through Innovation programme, and eligibility, please contact or

COVID-19 Templates and Checklists – returning to work

These checklists and templates have been prepared to help employers, business owners and managers to get their business up and running again and to inform workers about what they need to do to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace.

Staff Holidays – COVID-19

Information provided by EPL Member: Hello People Solutions
Although we can’t actually go ‘on holiday’, business are heading into the holiday season. You may have people cancelling holiday because they are furloughed or it may not be practical to take the holiday. The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 came in on 27 March 2020 and allows the four week of annual leave to be carried over for two holiday years. Click here for our FAQs

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is being extended

This scheme is being extended. You’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant in August 2020.

The online service for the second and final grant is not available yet. .GOV will update this guidance to let you know when you can make your claim. If you’re eligible the second and final grant will be a taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is Changing – 29th May 2020

The Chancellor announced on 29th May the anticipated changes to the above scheme. Full details of the changes can be viewed via the link below.

Useful guides for businesses returning to work

Working safely during COVID-19. Below are a series of really useful easy to use guides on returning to work for each of the sectors below.

Shops and Branches:
Construction and Outdoor Work:
Factories, plants and warehouses:
Labs and research facilities:
Offices and contact facilities:
Working in other people’s homes:
Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery:
Shops and branches:
In or from a vehicle:

Click here to claim rates relief in Erewash

Working safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. The 8 guides cover a range of differnent types of work to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
Further information can be found here:-

Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

The Government’s plan to rebuild can be viewed here:-

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Update

As it stands currently until the end of July, there are no changes to the Scheme and the rules still apply. However, from the beginning of August to October 2020, the Scheme will continue on the basis that furloughed employees can be brought back part-time

Full details will be published by the end of May 2020.

Further details can be found here:-

COVID -19 Plan of Action

Essentially there are three phases that the business will go through. Stabilise which covers the immediate actions that needed to be taken at the start of the pandemic. Sustain covers the next steps that should be taken to keep the business going in whatever form. Rebuild which is the stage that many businesses will now be looking at in terms of how do we move forward to what is now considered to be the “new normal”. Below is what I consider to be a useful check list put together by one of the companies that has been supporting the Growth Hub.


  • Can you safely operate and maintain safe working conditions for your staff?
  • What can you expect to earn at the moment operating as ‘normal’? – be brutally honest
  • Cut ANYTHING that is not absolutely essential
  • Cashflow forecast – take a particular focus on overheads for the past 3 months and identify any non-essential expenditure
  • Reduce any fixed and variable costs you can – work with your accountant and legal team
  • Scenario plan for different time periods of lockdown to calculate how much cash you might need to survive
  • Minimise working capital by closely managing at what is due out, what is due in and stock levels
  • Speak to your bank manager and any other finance providers to see what options you have available to you. Could refinancing assets release some cash?
  • Conduct a weekly risk assessment of your customers and suppliers – Have any of your customers requested time to pay and do you know if any of your customers are in trouble and might be unable to pay? – Have your customer needs changed and can you adapt and respond? – Are any of your suppliers in trouble or are supplies being diverted to larger companies or to supply the front line? – Are you paying the correct amount for supplies? Take advantage of discounts if you can • Balance finance and customer service
  • Do you need to drive down stock levels so cash isn’t tied up or secure additional stock as a buffer against supply chain disruption?
  • Do you have perishable products or finished work that could be used to raise cash?
  • How will stock reduction impact on production and customer service? Add demand planning into your scenario planning and factor in the upstream and downstream impact of your actions.
  • Where possible renegotiate payment times/terms – whilst maintaining supply chain relationships– work together
  • Manage outstanding invoices with customers – work together and ensure the basics are correct at your end – correct and prompt invoicing with clear terms and conditions
  • If you need to generate cash quickly explore financing options such as factoring, or spot financing or discounts for customers able to pay quickly
  • If supply chains are disrupted do you have alternate suppliers?
  • Check your business insurances to see what is covered under business interruption


  • Could you adapt to continue trading safely?
  • What alternative options might be open to you – e.g. home delivery, remote working or virtual services
  • Use a business model canvas to think about how to adapt
  • What equipment might you need to allow you to adapt and can you borrow it from a stakeholder?
  • Start to think who in this crisis might need your skills/knowledge/expertise/equipment and staff
  • Who in your supply chain/customer base/network could help you?
  • Could you second staff who might otherwise be furloughed or at risk to another organisation that needs their skills/experience
  • How could you diversify?
  • Keep in touch – ensure that you keep in touch with your clients and suppliers – let them know what you are up to
  • Get marketing – be active on social media, highlighting your positive approach to the crisis
  • Reach out – communicate with customers and suppliers


  • Coming out of lockdown will be a gradual process so you will need to plan how you can meet your customer’s needs with some restrictions still in place – How will you start to return/reopen safely? – What staff and structure will you need? – What worked well during lockdown that you can learn from and build into your operation going forward
  • Share your vision with your team and seek their input
  • Ensure you have everything in place to allow staff to work safely
  • Will your staff need any refresher training particularly in relation to processes that are health and safety critical
  • How will you ‘relaunch’ – plan a communication and marketing strategy to let your customers know
  • Set some goals and targets and work backwards from there
  • Check your supply chains are secure
  • Team building – vital after a prolonged break especially where some have been furloughed and others not
  • Check all your terms and conditions and contracts are still up to date
  • Future Resilience
    • Build a plan for future lockdowns or Black Swans
    • Ensure you can access key data and documents off site
    • Check your insurances
    • Have a recovery plan that staff are part of
    • Practice your plan once a year and review
    • Complete a resilience checklist

General Guidance for Businesses:

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan: –
To help small and medium-sized businesses affected by COVID-19.

To apply for loans between £2,000 and £50,000. Details here:

Job Retention scheme:

Information for the self-employed:

Business Interruption Loan Scheme:

The Partnership would like to gather feedback from local businesses about the impact of COVID-19 – please let us know brief details of any problems / impact that you are experiencing. We will feed this intelligence through to Growth Hub, Local Government partners and Maggie Throup MP.

If you can offer specific support for fellow members, please let us know and we will be happy to post information on the news section of our website.

If you would like to talk to us about this support, please call us on 0115 946 8839.

New staff needed for health and care roles during COVID-19

Please click the following link for further information

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