COVID-19 Information and Support

The latest information, advice, signposting and support

Important Information

INTERREG Experience Development Programme from Visit Kent
In light of the current Covid-19 crisis, the tourism, leisure and hospitality industry is having to drastically re-think how to rebuild business, demand and revenue streams. To survive, businesses will need to adapt existing products to operate both on and off-season, collaborate with others in and out of the sector, and reach out to new audiences to recover and drive business growth. Therefore, Visit Kent have repositioned the Experience Development Programme as a support programme for businesses that need to adapt and diversify their product to meet the expected shift in consumer demand.
Who can take part?
EXPERIENCE is open to all businesses in Kent & Medway.
Visit Kent are looking to work with 125 organisations, both traditional tourism businesses and businesses from other sectors, who meet the criteria...

VAT reduction for Hospitality, Holiday Accomodation and Attractions
CLICK HERE - for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions
CLICK HERE - for catering and takeaway-food

Reopening - Data Collection Guidance
Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace. Organisations in certain sectors should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors on their premises to support NHS Test and Trace.
Click here to read Guidance

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
From 1 July employers can only claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks between 1 March–30 June.
CLICK HERE for full details

Job Retention Bonus
This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.

To be eligible, employees will need to:
Earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
Have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31 January 2021.
Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31 January has been received.

More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.

Today, the UK Government has released further information about how the UK will recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, setting out the plans for moving to the next phase of its response to the virus.
Read more here

Government Updates

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Shops and Branches
Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

Government Business Support Finder
Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

Financial Support for Businesses Explained
A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. South East LEP have created this fact sheet to help you access the support that has been made available.

For detailed information on who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply, click the image to open the full size PDF, then click the links and you will be directed to further online resources. CLICK TO VIEW FACT SHEET


Kent & Medway Growth Hub Helpline

Produced in Kent members are welcome to call this business help line for advice to support their business and in that process they can request a call back from an individual advisor.

When you call, state that you are a Produced in Kent member and request to speak to Philip Pilgrim.

Recovery Support

Discretionary Grants
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council launched its Covid-19 Small Business Discretionary Grant Fund this morning and is open for applications.
Policy and application form are available here
Check your local council to see if you are eligible

FSA Reopening & Adapting Guide
This guidance is for food businesses looking to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sector guidance has been provided to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely in the food sector.

Events & training

Webinar on agri-businesses and 5G technology
This webinar looks at how agri-businesses can use 5G technology and infrastructure to develop tech solutions and data systems
Read the notes here

How to Safely Transition to Takeaway & Delivery Webinar
Click here to view the Powerpoint from Steve Gerring from UKHSE Ltd You can download an editable Risk Assesment here, and view a helpsheet on Masks Vs Respirators here.

Free Digital Support Webinar
Ben Pearce from digitalbeans, creators of YourLocal.Delivery, discuss their free online store solution. Click to watch it again

Smart Support
Looking at what businesses might need to consider at this challenging time, with a sample business model to illustrate how you can best plan to minimise the impact on your business Managing in difficult times

Portal to free webinars and training

Free webinars and training

IoD Covid-Webinars
The IoD have lots of upcoming webinars and courses to assist businesses during Covid-19. Click here to see what's available

Useful Information


GOV guidance for food businesses
FSA regulations - online, takeaway and delivery
British Retail Council
Association of Convenience Stores
Institute of Food Science Technology Covid-19 Knowledge Hub
Farmshops & Independent Retailers - 5 Useful Tips to Keep Customers Coming Back After Lockdown

Toolkits/Fact sheets/Posters
FUNDING EXPLAINED - SELEP - Financial Support Explained
HEALTH Covid19 – Get your workplace ready (WHO)
BEST PRACTICE - Home Delivery Guidance
RETAIL - Coronavirus posters retailers
PR AND MARKETING - Top tips for weeks ahead
FINANCE FLOWCHART - step by step
HR/HEALTH & SAFETY/COMPLIANCE -Primed online service from Outset is now free for 3 months with a suggested donation to the NHS Coronavirus Fund.

SUPPLY CHAIN - Map of available stock in the UK
ONLINE SHOP - YourLocal.Delivery offering to build FREE online stores to help businesses to get selling on line

Visit Britain - Consumer Tracker Report
Looking at consumer intent , current barriers and concerns
Consumer Tracker Report

Visit Kent Business Impact Report
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and with many businesses being closed during March, instead of collecting visitor footfall as part of their monthly Business Barometer, Visit Kent invited businesses from across Kent to complete a short survey,to gain an insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting businesses. Read the report here

insight6 Leaders Report
insight6 recently conducted some research of business leaders to seek their opinions in the current situation and more importantly what the recovery may look like. There is a section called 50 tips or advice from the business leaders that participated in the survey which is particularly helpful. Download the report here

Pick for Britain is Live
Pick for Britain, a central online recruitment hub, is now live for fruit and veg businesses to advertise their job vacancies for this year’s harvest.
The site, developed by government and the industry, helps to bring workers and employers together and ensures the UK can continue to deliver the best quality British fruit and veg for everyone to enjoy.

Useful resources from Sleeping Giant
Business Resilience Guide: How High Street Retailers & Small Businesses Can Prepare and Respond to Pandemics & Disasters
RE-Startup Mentality: For businesses to enter the post-pandemic, new world with the right mindset that will set them up for success, we need to look at adopting Re-Startup Mentalities.
Optimising Google My Business: How To Optimise Your Google My Business For Better Performance

Other Government Information

General guidance for business
Government Business support
Government Business advice
Information for farmers, landowners, and rural businesses, including information on how RPA will be working.

Business Helpline (KCC/Growth Hub/KICC)
Do you have questions about how you and your business is being affected through the Coronavirus pandemic: 03333 602300, phones open from 08:30am– 6:30pm, Mon-Fri

Financial support
Business grant funding
Job Retention Scheme
Grant for retail, hospitality and leisure
Small Business Grant Funding – all business currently receiving small business rate relief or rural rate relief to be sent info by local authorities
Cash flow assistance

VAT and tax payment deferrals
• Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Info from British Business Bank
• Corporate financing facility

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure – no action required, local Government will apply the business rates holiday
SSP Relief – for businesses with less than 250 employees
Other grant funding

• Princes Trust - Rural Response Emergency Grants Programme
• Innovate UK - Covid 19 response grants

Strategic Partners

Federation of Small Businesses

Visit Kent

Locate in Kent

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