COVID-19 Information and Support

The latest information, advice, signposting and support

Important Information

Guidance & Information for tourism businesses

Following the new and updated guidance from the Government allowing the public wider access to our beautiful outdoor spaces, Visit Kent have pulled together a list of resources below that are free for businesses to use across their own channels, to ensure that we are all encouraging people to enjoy the Garden of England safely and responsibly.


UK furlough scheme extended until October

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October, the Chancellor announced today (Tuesday 12 May 2020).

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until end of October
furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500
new flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost economy



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. This strategy sets out a cautious roadmap to easing existing measures in a safe and monitored way, subject to successfully controlling the virus and being able to track and react to its spread. The roadmap will be kept constantly under review as the epidemic, and the world’s understanding of it, develops.
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.

Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

“Bounce Back Loans” will be available for SMEs to apply for from 9am next Monday, 4th May.

Businesses will be able to access loans worth 25% of their turnover, up to £50k with interest paid for them for the first 12 months. With just a short and simple online application form to complete, the loan should be accessible for businesses within a matter of days.

Government Business Support Finder

Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

Govt ‘tempted’ to #RaiseTheBar to support retail, leisure and hospitality businesses

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said it is ‘very tempting’ to answer the call to #RaiseTheBar and increase the rateable value threshold for its business support grants from £51,000 to any business with a rateable value of up to and including £150,000. In the press conference on the 27th April. He agreed to talk to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak

The campaign, which is being led by Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across the UK

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

Kent's Roadmap to Renewal Online Interactive Meeting - 26th June 12.30 to 1.30pm

Organised by Kent Business School as a pre-summit activity

Kent and Medway businesses are invited to join an interactive online meeting with Kent County Council Leader Cllr Roger Gough and Bank of England Agent Phil Eckersley.

Hear about the council’s draft roadmap to renewal including plans to support business; accelerate business growth and invest in the future.

You can submit questions in advance to, as well as during the meeting via the chat function. Find out how your business may be supported or could contribute to the county’s reopening.

Webinar on agri-businesses and 5G technology
Organised in collaboration with the University of Kent, this webinar looks at how agri-businesses can use 5G technology and infrastructure to develop tech solutions and data systems - for example drones, precision farming, product tracing, asset control – to help improve business productivity. The University is looking to secure UK Gov Innovation funding, working together with a Kent business on a 5G project.

Produced in Kent, Nathan Gomes and Simon Barnes from the University of Kent discuss 5G and technological solutions for the agri-sector, the University’s project outline. Read the notes here

How to Safely Transition to Takeaway & Delivery Webinar
Click here to view the Powerpoint from Steve Gerring from UKHSE Ltd on how to safety transition to a takeaway and home delivery business whilst protecting your business, colleagues, customers and suppliers. 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. Floortje Hoette from Produced In Kent talking about the #HelpKentBuyLocal initiative and how food and drink businesses in Kent can get free listings on the HelpKentBuyLocal website.
Click to watch it again

Visit Kent Industry Update Webinar - Wednesday 8th April 10.30am-12.00pm
Deirdre Wells OBE provided an update on the latest information on Coronavirus (Covid-19), Visit Kent's immediate priorities through this time and how we can look forward to rebuilding businesses in the future. Click here to download the webinar recording

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



Toolkits/Fact sheets/Posters


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 insightinto howthe COVID-19 pandemic isimpacting 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 now 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.
Before it can be promoted to the public, the site needs to be sufficiently populated with available roles. To achieve this, farm businesses, labour providers and recruiters are being urged to post job vacancies on the site now.

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


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

1. 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
2. Cash flow assistance

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

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

4. 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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