We have complied a list of Frequently Asked Questions from businesses through the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation to help assist them.
Grants will apply to businesses which are forced to close under law. The guidance has not been released for the grants yet – the statement from Government is “businesses which are forced to close”. Yes, the business has been forced to close under UK law so should be eligible for grants, however we cannot guarantee that until the guidance is issued.
This is something that you would need to negotiate with your landlord on. The Business Forum nor the Local Authority can advise on private arrangements. If you rent a property from North Tyneside Council, please contact the Strategic Property Team on 0191 643 2142
There will be payments available following the Chancellors announcement on 22 October regarding support for previous Tier 2 businesses. Read more here
These grants will be administered by the Local Authority. North Tyneside Council are awaiting further details from Government but will aim to launch the scheme as soon as possible. We will publish this on social media, this page and via email to Business Forum members. You can register to become a member here.
In the meantime, we are unable to provide any further information regarding the process of accessing this funding.
It is prohibited to provide Personal Care services in other peoples’ homes including mobile hairdressers, beauticians etc.
Where it is necessary to work in other people’s homes – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople – you can do so.
It’s understood that hardware stores, building merchants and building services can remain open however, in the “closed” section showrooms cannot. You can find all of the closures / open businesses from page 29 onwards https://www.legislation.gov.uk/…/pdfs/uksi_20201200_en.pdf.
Hair salons and businesses providing nail and beauty services are required to close. However businesses providing training and education service are not specifically required to close under the Regulations so you would be allowed to remain open to provide training courses. Provided you can do so safety to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This means carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment and taking steps prevent the spread of COVID-19 which you should already have in place. For example limiting numbers of students so they can socially distance, where possible provide on line or distance learning, trainers to socially distance from students, regular cleaning, ensure hand saintlier is available, only allow students/trainers to use mannequins for close contact practical training, record student attending for NHS trace and trace etc
The Regulations provides no person may be outside the place where they live without reasonable excuse. One such reason is where it is reasonably necessary for a person to leave their home for the purposes of education or training. A similar exception is provided in relation to gatherings.
If you have any students booked on any courses you may want to consider allowing them to postpone their training for a future date after the current emergency.
This advice is based on our current interpretation of the legislation and could change if the legislation is amended and/or further guidance is issued by the government.
Food deliveries are likely to become more common. There are a number of considerations you need to be aware of.
- You must already be registered as a food business with your local authority to enable you to provide a delivery service.
- You must ensure all food delivered does not become unsafe or unfit to eat. You should review your food safety management systems to ensure you have identified critical safety controls involved in delivering the food.
- Food that needs to be refrigerated or kept cool must be kept below 8 degrees C by use of an insulated box with a coolant gel or in a cool bag.
- Hot food should be kept above 63 degrees C.
- You should monitor all your controls, you can use the Safer Food Better Business diary sheetsto help you. If you wish to use the chilled food and hot food temperature exemption you must show how you are monitoring to ensure you are keeping within the time constraints.
- We recommend that you keep your delivery distances and time short, limited to within 30 minutes.
- The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have provided advice for business – ‘How to manage a food business if you sell products online, for takeaway or for delivery.’’
- Allergens – There is a wealth of advice for businesses on allergen management on the FSA website.
- Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages if they do not have a license to permit alcoholic sales off the premises.
- Contact-free delivery
- Scientific advice is that it is very unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food, but, if you are changing how you are used to operating then you should think through the hazards and ensure that you have control measures in place.
- Limiting contact when delivering orders will help keep everyone healthy, so you could consider leaving deliveries at the door of your customer, rather than handing it over to them. Knock on the door, step back the safe recommended distance and wait nearby for your customer to collect it. (Please note the safe distance is continuously amended – ensure you visit the government COVID -19 website link below to obtain the current advice)
- Take payments over the phone or internet rather than taking a cash payment.
- Infection Control
- You have responsibilities to ensure food handlers are fit for work under the food hygiene regulations and in addition you have a general duty to ensure the Health, Safety and Welfare of persons in your employment and members of the public.
- Relevant staff must be provided with clear instructions on any infection control policy in place, and any person so affected and employed in a food business and who is likely to come into contact with food is to report immediately the illness or symptoms, and if possible their causes, to the food business operator.
- The Government have issued guidance on COVID-19 for employees and businesses
The government will introduce a time limited permitted development right to allow the temporary change of use of a pub (A4 – drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 – restaurants and cafes) to a hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months only.
Businesses are required to tell the local planning authority when the new use begins and ends.
North Tyneside Council’s planning team can be contacted on 0191 643 2310. Messages will be checked on a daily basis and responded too when possible.
These grants are to support businesses with fixed commercial property costs which have been legally forced to close during the various periods of closure from 18 Sept 2020 onwards, and those in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors (or supplying businesses in these sectors) that were severely impacted by local restrictions and/or national lockdowns.
In order to avoid a postcode lottery, the 7 local authorities across the region have agreed to align the grant criteria so there is a consistent approach.
At this time, we are unfortunately unable to provide grants to every business, including those working from home, businesses without fixed premises costs, and businesses that have not been legally required to close outside of the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors and its supply chain. We are unable to support every business with the resources we have available to deliver this scheme.
Local authorities have received Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding which will be used to support businesses. Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient funding to support every business in North Tyneside and have prioritised the grant schemes following the Government guidance. ARG funding is being used by all 7 local authorities to top up the Local Restrictions Support Grant to include the direct supply chain of the hospitality, accommodation and leisure businesses and other eligible businesses in commercial property but who are not the registered rates payer.
The ARG funding must cover any future lockdown periods and can be allocated up to March 2022. Any new ARG-funded schemes will be communicated via the North Tyneside Council website and North Tyneside Business Forum.
Government have been clear that the grant schemes are to support businesses with fixed business costs and the furlough schemes are to support salary costs. We will continue to lobby Government for sufficient resources to support all businesses.
We do have additional support available to home-based businesses including our Business Recovery Programme.
Home-based businesses that have not already done so are encouraged to register as a member of the North Tyneside Business Forum. This is free to join and the Forum will contact you when any new local or national business support schemes are launched.