Supporting businesses in Essex through coronavirus

Supporting businesses in Essex through coronavirus

Coronavirus is set to have unprecedented impacts on businesses in Essex, nationally and globally. It is likely that there will be significant disruption in the coming weeks and months. We are working with partners to do everything we can to support our people and businesses.

What we are doing

We are actively looking at ways to provide support to businesses, working with our partners, in a way that complements the financial packages announced by Government.

While we continue to consider how this might best be done, initial areas we are focussing on include:

  • Regular liaison with partners, districts and boroughs on our response to the current situation, including the implementation of the Government’s support package and engagement with businesses
  • Working with partners to look at how to tackle specific short terms issues, such as unemployment and immediate staffing shortages in areas where we expect there to be a skills need including cleaners, security and health and social care staff
  • Direct engagement with major employers in Essex to help share experiences in similar business across Essex and to act as a vehicle for information back to government
  • Looking at how best to provide information and acting as a single point of contact for businesses via social media and online.

As further details of the support measures outlined by the Government are released, we will be providing further information on our website and direct to businesses, as well as working with partners to develop our approach moving forward.

A summary of the Government’s measures

The measures announced by Government to support businesses through the coronavirus outbreak are at an unprecedented scale, and include:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will support all UK employers to continue paying part of their employees’ salary (80% of relevant workers’ wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month), for any employees that would otherwise have lost their jobs
  • the deferral of VAT payments for three months (and deferral of income tax payments for the self-employed to January 2021)
  • support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in meeting the costs of statutory sick pay
  • business rate reliefs for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses
  • grants for small businesses and some retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
  • support for business lending through the Business Interruption Loan Scheme and help with suspension of business taxes.

Local authorities will have role in administering some of the above measures, and we are discussing the implementation of this with our colleagues in districts, boroughs and with business partners.

For more information

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have published guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus and support for businesses.

The South East Business Hub provide regular updates on guidance for businesses.

The British Business Bank have information for businesses about the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Last updated 25 March 2020