COVID- 19 INFORMATION:
OFFER TO BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 Posted 26th March 2020
BUSINESS SUPPORT AND COVID-19 ADVICE
Offering FREE one to one support services for businesses, in partnership with Herefordshire Council the Marches Growth Hub – Herefordshire is a place where businesses can find out more about funding and finance and wider business support available to local Herefordshire businesses, regardless of size or sector, from pre-start to established businesses.
The Marches Growth Hub would like to share the following information with businesses who are concerned about the impact that COVID-19 will have on our business community.
GOVERNMENT AND COUNCIL SUPPORT – updated 26th March 2020
A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.
This page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
• Coronavirus (Covid-19) : UK government response
• Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme – https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/
• Businesses will be able to access government support from today (Monday 23 March) to keep operating in the face of the global economic emergency brought on by coronavirus. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-business-support-to-launch-from-today
• For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is gov.uk. However, government is also scaling up its Business Support Helpline so businesses in England, of all sizes, can pick up the phone and speak directly to an advisor. The number to call is: 0300 456 3565
• NEW: Cultural Sector Emergency Funding Package announced by the Arts Council – offers individuals and organisation working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis- totalling £160m – click link to find out more: live on our website,
• NEW: Companies House -Filing of accounts businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-more-time-to-file-your-companys-accounts
• NEW: Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. Further details are now available
• NEW: Department for International Trade (DIT) support for UK businesses trading internationally. Please click on link to find latest advice for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of COVID-19 has been updated.
• NEW: Employers do not have to report gender pay gaps Enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines are suspended for this reporting year (2019/20) due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
• NEW: How to place a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test kit on the market Forms and guidance on what manufacturers need to do to place test kits on the market.
• HMRC have launched a tax helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Find all the information here. The number is 0800 0159 559.
• Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts. Find all the information here.
• Business rate relief – The Government has announced that it is temporarily increasing the business rates relief discount in England to 100% for 2020-2021 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. As soon as the details have been passed through parliament any changes will be applied and you will be notified accordingly. https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200145/business/358/how_your_business_rates_bill_is_calculated
• Business Grants – there are still Business Grants available and we have listed some of those grants below but there are other funded schemes and programmes available – just ask your local Growth Hub.
o Business Growth Programme – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-318
o Marches Building Investment Grant – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-207
o BEEP – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-183
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING ADVICE
Every Mind Matters – https://www.wisherefordshire.org/mentalhealth
Emergency Planning Team Herefordshire Council (Business Continuity)
Information from Herefordshire Council : Talk Commuinty Covidresponse – 25th March
As you may be aware we have been developing a Talk Community Covid Response where we are sending every household in Herefordshire (88k) a letter focussed on the vulnerable people and the support they will need outside of their existing network, which is due to land on doorsteps today and Wednesday, which I have attached for those who have not received a copy.
We have a central coordination centre with a dedicated telephone line for vulnerable people, volunteers and community organisations/leaders to contact us and we will then link them back into the community organisations. There is already some fantastic community responses happening and the council can support the infrastructure through this response and provide community resilience.
We have now allocated council staff to be deployed in every ward to act as link workers to support communities and the parishes, I have attached the spreadsheet that shows the names and contact details of the link workers. I have password protected this information which I will forward in a separate email, but please only use the contact information for the covid operation. I am briefing all link workers in the morning and will be requesting that they contact the key community leaders/coordinators in their wards and parishes. I have also attached a useful information document which provides links to some key information which may support your role in the community.
The central telephone coordination line and online forms are now live and we will be forwarding the information that we gather about the vulnerable individuals and the volunteers to the link workers every day at 12pm, 4pm and 8pm. They will then work with the community leaders/organisations to review the support needed and link in the response.
I intend to provide weekly updates to you on the planning and developments with the Talk Community Covid Response, but please feed in any information you need to support your communities during this time.
People wishing to volunteer can register and vulnerable people needing support can register on the following link: https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/covid19help
Talk Community Covid Response telephone number: 01432 260027
Email address email@example.com
Assistant Director – Talk Community Programme Plough Lane
Adults and Communities Directorate Hereford
INFORMATION FROM HEREFORDSHIRE COUNCIL : 24th March 2020
- Herefordshire Council have a central coordination centre with a dedicated telephone line for vulnerable people, volunteers and community organisations/leaders to contact us and we will then link them back into the community organisations/leaders. This co-ordinated approach will include support for those recently identified as need shielding. Many parishes have provided us with information of the community work being undertaken. People (and groups) wishing to volunteer can register also vulnerable people needing support, on the following link: https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/covid19help the dedicated telephone number is 01432 260027 and email address firstname.lastname@example.org
- All Herefordshire Council owned public play areas closed until further notice – In order to protect the public from the threat of COVID-19, Herefordshire Council has taken the decision to close all public play areas from Monday 23 March until further notice. The decision (record of decision attached) has been taken due to the unprecedented threat to Public Health posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, and will help to support official guidance about social distancing. Parks are still open, however, please follow government advice by avoiding gatherings and maintaining social distancing. Visit GOV.UK for the latest coronavirus information and guidance.
Letter from Herefordshire Council to Businesses – 19th March 2020
Cabinet Member – Environment, Economy and Skills
Councillor E Chowns
19th March 2020
Dear Herefordshire Business
COVID-19 SUPPORT AND RESPONSE
All of us in Herefordshire Council understand that this is a difficult time for you, your business, and your employees. This letter is the first of what will likely be many communications in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Herefordshire and how the council and others can support you through this difficult time.
The council is monitoring the situation closely and coordinating with Public Health England. We are taking all possible steps to keep people safe. For further information on how the council is addressing the COVID-19 situation please visit https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
We recognise that your business may be impacted in numerous ways. To enable the council and partners to support you and others, it would be helpful to know the extent of this impact and to understand what the potential solution could be. We will use this information to inform and lobby government and will share with other partners who may also be able to influence the policy for combating COVID-19.
The government is providing daily updates to reflect the constantly changing situation. For businesses wanting the latest position on COVID-19 we signpost you towards the Marches Growth Hub website (a partnership initiative between Herefordshire Council and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership) https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/advice-and-support/coronavirus-information-for-businesses/
The government announced a package of measures in the 2020 Budget to support public services, individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19, and has since announced addition measures. The latest information is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19.
We understand that the government measures, and advice, is likely to be updated as the situation develops so you should regularly visit these websites to get the latest position. Some of measures the initial package includes are:
• statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
• 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
• small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
• grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
• the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
• the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
We are awaiting further guidance from government on how these schemes will be operated and the council’s role in getting this support to business. We are ready to operate schemes as soon as this information has been received which the Government has indicated will be released by the end of the week. We will publish the details on our website as soon as we receive them.
Further information about Business Rates can also be found at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/businessrates
In addition to the national support, in Herefordshire there is a range of local support available. This includes grants available for Herefordshire based businesses. We have listed below those that may be relevant, and the Marches Growth Hub website www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk will have details of other funded schemes and programmes available:
• Business Growth Programme – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-318
• Marches Building Investment Grant – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-207
• BEEP – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/directory/v/-183
We recognise that aside from financial and business support you, your supply chain, or your employees may want to access mental health and wellbeing advice. Please visit https://www.wisherefordshire.org/mentalhealth for details of the local advice and services.
Alongside these economic measures, the government continues to emphasise the public health advice. If you or your staff want more information on the precautions that need to be taken (washing hands, not touching face, maintaining a minimum distance), or general guidance for a particular sector, here is a link to the public heath guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance
I am consistently amazed by the level of support that Herefordshire’s people and businesses give to each other and to their communities in times of need. If, as a result of COVID-19, you recognise that your business does have a need (deliveries, staffing problems etc.), or you can offer support to others, please do let us know.
As the COVID-19 situation develops, the council will continue to communicate with you, either via letter, social media, or the council or Growth Hub websites. Apologies if you have received this via several routes. I wish you well in the coming weeks and months as we look to support residents and businesses to the best of our abilities throughout this crisis for our county and country.
Cllr Dr Ellie Chowns
Cabinet Member- Environment, Economy & Skills
Letter from Herefordshire Council – 20th March 2020
In response to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Herefordshire Council is working with community organisations and local businesses to help connect people to support being coordinated in your area.
You may have been asked to isolate yourself and stay at home. This will no doubt be a worrying and challenging time for many but also a time to come together and support one another, especially the most vulnerable in our communities.
There are some simple steps we can all do to take care of ourselves and others.
1. Protect yourself and others
Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards Minimise contact with others Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
2. Create your own plan
Over the next few months, life as we know it is going to change and to prepare for this it will be important that you have a plan that supports you to live well until the advice to isolate changes.
Think about the support you will need and those who can help you while you self-isolate. This could include family, friends, neighbours or people you know in your community.
Your plan might include support with things usually taken for granted such as shopping, picking up medication, support with pets, posting mail, picking up other urgent things, someone to check in on you or someone to just have a chat with.
Directorate/Division: Chief Executive’s Office Direct line: 01432 260027 Email: email@example.com Date: 20 March 2020
3. Contact us if you need further support
If there are gaps in your plan and you need further support, please contact the Herefordshire Council Talk Community team using the details below.
Contact us on 01432 260027
Or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you and your family well in this difficult period, but rest assured that we are doing everything possible in Herefordshire Council to maintain essential services to you and your community.
Alistair Neill Chief Executive, Herefordshire Council
For the latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19) response in Herefordshire and links to national guidance, please visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
Are you providing support in your local area?
If you are organising volunteering support in your local area, please contact us using the details above so that we can connect people to you.
Want to volunteer in your local area?
Many of the people who regularly volunteer in our communities will be people who are being asked to self-isolate (people over 70 years old).
If you want to provide support and are not sure where to go, please contact us on the above details, or register your details with us at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/covid19help and we can connect you to local volunteers in your area.
Be scam aware: Do not give your bank details to anyone claiming to be able to help you Do not click on emails from people and organisations that you do not know Do not sign contracts with third parties who claim they are acting on behalf of the council
If you have any concerns about a group or individual asking you for money, please call 101.
BUSINESS SUPPORT REGARDING COVID-19
The council’s Economic Development Team delivers a service called the Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire. This online service offers FREE support services for all local businesses. There are a number of government supported initiatives that can potentially help businesses through this unprecedented time of uncertainty.
If you are a business wishing to have further information on Covid-19 then the details of the local support are available on the Marches Growth Hub Website – https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/advice-and-support/coronavirus-information-for-businesses/ Alternatively if you wish to discuss with a member of the Economic Development team please contact 01432 261758 or 01432 383633 or email@example.com
Press Release 034/20 18 March 2020
Museums, libraries and archives close to the public from Friday
Services will close temporarily in line with government advice and to ensure public safety
Following the most recent government announcements regarding COVID-19, Herefordshire Council will close museum, library and archive services from the end of business on Friday 20 March until further notice. All sites will be closed to the public and all events and activities due to take place will be postponed.
During the closure, staff will be asked to work from home, work at the closed sites or potentially be redeployed to support the delivery of other essential council services.
We are very sorry for this interruption to services. We are striving to minimise the impact this may have on the public with the following actions:
· There will be no overdue charges on library items borrowed since 14 March
· Our Borrowbox e-book and e-audio service can still be accessed online and we will increase the number of items available to borrow
· Our existing Home Delivery library service to housebound and vulnerable customers will continue with some adaptations
· Our existing online resources will remain available to anyone with a Herefordshire Libraries membership card and PIN. If you experience any issues email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will also look at other ways in which we can support our communities and make our services available in different ways during the closure period.
Councillor Gemma Davies, Cabinet Member for Commissioning, Procurement and Assets, said: “Cultural services are at the backbone of our communities, serving some of the most vulnerable members of our society. For many, engaging with these services is vital for their health and wellbeing – both physically and mentally – and is key to the prevention of social isolation. In light of government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, the need for cultural services in the next few months will be greater than ever.
“Over recent years the services have faced significant challenges with cuts to funding. These challenges have been taken head on with services finding ways to survive and thrive. This pandemic will be no different. Services will have to be delivered in a different way and this will take some time to finalise, so please bear with us for the interim period while this is agreed.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the incredible staff, volunteers, ‘Friends of’ groups and users for their continued fight to keep cultural services at the heart of our communities. Your resolve never falters and I am proud to work alongside you.”
For updates to council services visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the latest government advice visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Herefordshire Council Communications Team
email@example.com 01432 260006
You’re likely aware of the outbreak of novel coronavirus and the subsequent confirmed cases in the UK. We take the health and safety of parishoners very seriously, so we’re sharing guidance from Public Health England on steps you should be taking.
To prevent the spread of infection:-
Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
Please note that from Wednesday 18th March there will be new supplies of sand and empty sand bags at the Old Village School in Ewyas Harold. You will need to be prepared to fill your own sand bags as and when you need them.
Many thanks EHGPC
On-line Interactive Maps of Herefordshire
This is an interesting interactive map – You can turn on and off different view modes by using the left column, which contains numerous subjects such as gritting routes, polling stations, planning applications, public rights of way and areas of outstanding natural beauty to name but a few. There are search, zoom and move tools
Parish councils and wards map
This map shows parishes, parish councils, county wards and county wards from 2015
On this webpage you can check live traffic jams in Herefordshire – if you select the ‘live traffic congestion’ box it shows you where all the traffic jams are. You can also sign up for email alerts.
Hereford Hospital Wye Valley NHS Trust
For general Wye Valley NHS Trust enquiries, call 01432 355444 for switchboard.
Hereford Leisure Centre
Holmer Road, Hereford HR4 9UD
0845 241 0978
Halo is a community based not for profit organisation that manages leisure centres and swimming pools on behalf of Herefordshire Council.
Fitness Network Herefordshire
The Herefordshire Junior Football League
Pegasus Juniors Football club
Pegasus Juniors F.C
Old School Lane
Hereford United FC
The Planning Portal
UK Government’s online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.