Coronavirus Information For Businesses

This page contains information and updates for your business key during the coronavirus pandemic. If you have any queries regarding your business please contact our Economic Development team:
You can also contact our Revenues department for queries regarding Business Rates and Government Grants to revenues@surreyheath.gov.uk

Useful links 

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. 
 

Coronavirus: Business rates support measures 

The Government has announced its business rates support measures in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
 

Rate Relief 

The Government will provide 100% business rates retail relief for the current year 2020/21 for the following occupied premises: 
  • Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, and live music venues 
This is now extended to include:
  • Sports, assembly and leisure premises 
  • Hotels, guest and boarding houses, holiday accommodation, caravan parks 
More information is available on the Support for Businesses webpage on the Government website.
 
We are working hard to get these applied to your accounts so that your 2020/21 bill reflects the 100% relief provided by the Government. 
 
We will be contacting businesses directly to confirm this has been applied to their account and will to do this over the coming weeks. We will update our website when this is happening. 
 
If it is unclear whether a particular premises is eligible for the relief, we will contact the rate payer or they can email us at revenues@surreyheath.gov.uk .
 
If you currently pay your Business Rates by Direct Debit and have Retail Discount shown on your 20/21 bill we will not be requesting by payment from your bank.
 

Business Grants 

Bounce Back Loans, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Large Business Interruption Loan and the Coronavirus future fund - All deadlines have been extended to 31st January 2021.  Full details can be found on the Business Support section of the Government website. 
 

Grants for Businesses  

The council has been allocated money from the government to provide support to businesses in Surrey Heath that will be financially affected by COVID-19. The Additional Restrictions Grant Phase Two will open in January 2021. More details can be found here on the COVID-19 Business Grant webpage.
 
For more information please visit the Government website.
 

Sign up for our Business Newsletter

For updates direct, please register for our business newsletter
 

Self Employed Income Support Scheme

If you are self employed the Government has announced the the Self Employed Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June. 

Find out more about the Government Job Support Scheme on the .gov.uk website.

 

Business scams

Surrey Heath businesses are being warned of a new emerging scam that targets them applying for the Government’s Small Business Grants programme.

​The scam starts with businesses receiving fake emails stating that it is from the local authority. The email says that a cash grant application has been processed and asks that businesses clicks on the requested link. Once the link is opened, it leads to a request for an advance fee or tries to capture bank and card details to receive a payment. 

Business owners are being asked by the council to submit bank details only via the following link: surreyheath.gov.uk/business/business-rates/reliefs-exemptions/covid-19-grant-funding

If anyone has any concerns about their business, they can contact the Council tel 01276 707100 or email revenues@surreyheath.gov.uk.

 

Test and Trace Information for Businesses

Surrey County Council has launched a phased communication campaign entitled ‘Keep Surrey Safe’ to raise awareness that everyone who has symptoms of Coronavirus can now get tested and that if they test positive they need to share contacts with NHS Test and Trace to stop the spread of the virus. By continuing to follow safety guidelines and engaging in Test and Trace, we can all play our part to Keep Surrey safe and avoid local lockdowns.

 

NHS COVID19 app launches 24 September what businesses need to do to be ready

The new NHS COVID19 App will be available to download from 24 September. Certain types of businesses will shortly have a legal requirement to display a QR poster at their premises ready for the general public to scan from the 24 September.
 
 
Types of venues who will be legally obliged to display a QR poster are:
  • Hospitality – bars, restaurants, hotels, cafes
  • Tourism and Leisure – museums, galleries, gyms, leisure centres
  • Local authority buildings
  • Places of worship
  • Close contact services
  • Where an event is taking place in a physical location

Important information for businesses:-

Videos explaining the App and QR code requirement:-

 

Licensing Information

In light of recent government advice about COVID-19 we have had to make some changes to the Licensing Service, and some of these may affect you and your business. These changes have been made to help minimise the risk and spread of the virus, and to keep our staff and our customers safe.  Please be assured that we are working to deliver our services, but in some circumstances, we have had no choice but to temporarily suspend the service. Our priority will be to ensure that existing licence holders and businesses can continue to operate, where possible.  This is a difficult and unprecedented situation. We will continue to monitor the situation, and this web page will be kept up to date with all changes.
 
If you have an urgent Licensing query, please call our Contact Centre on 01276 707100. You can also email the team at Licensing@surreyheath.gov.uk.

COVID-19 Requirements - Risk Assessment

Large events should not take place. 

Information for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

On 6 January, England moved into a national lockdown
 
The link to the new regulations, which amends the current Health Protection (All Tiers) Regulation (no. 1374), can be found on the Government website.
 
A brief summary of the key changes are as follows
  • The expiration date of the Regulations has been amended from 2nd February 2021 to 31st March 2021
  • Hospitality venues such as cafés, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs are required to be closed
  • Selling alcohol for takeaway between the hours of 05:00 and 23:00 is not permitted. Only food and non-alcoholic drinks are permitted. 
  • Between 23:00 and 05:00 takeaways are not permitted. 
  • All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery at any time.
The key difference to previous lockdowns and Tier restrictions is the move to make alcohol from such premises for “delivery only”.

Premises with a Premises Licence (under Licensing Act 2003) who want to operate an alcohol delivery service

We understand that pubs and similar establishments with a premises licence may look to change their business model and diversify in order to maintain business during this time.
 
A pub (or other similar premises) can offer an alcohol delivery service but only if their existing Premises Licence has the provision of `off sales` of alcohol included on the licence.

Complying with the law

You need to have alcohol `off sales` on your licence.
 
In the conditions on your licence there must not be any condition that prohibits or restricts this activity.  If there are other relevant conditions on the licence then these must be adhered to.
 
The sale of alcohol would have to be dispatched from the premises that is detailed in the licence, and no other premises.
 
You can only operate this service within the hours for alcohol sales in your licence (so for example if your alcohol sales finishes at 23:00 hrs then you must stop all online or telephone ordering at this time - for this reason we expect that alcohol is paid for at the time of ordering and not on the doorstep).
 
Orders and payment can be taken by telephone or online, and these can be administered from somewhere else other that the premises on the licence. The delivery address can be to anywhere and does not have to be in Surrey Heath.
 
Only a person who is over 18 years old can purchase the alcohol, so there needs to be a reasonable process in place to check this is able to be done at point of order. If this cannot be done then it is expected that the order is declined.
 
If you are delivering alcohol then there needs to be a comprehensive policy in place to make sure it is received by someone who is over 18 years of age. It is useful to adopt the Check 25 process when the alcohol is passed from courier to customer. Photo ID of the person receiving is essential and if your delivery driver cannot verify age then the delivery should not be made.

For those premises without "off sales"

An option is to apply here for a Temporary Event Notice which can be done via the Government website.

Contact-free delivery

Limiting contact when delivering orders will help keep everyone healthy, so you could consider requesting Photo ID be left for examination on the floor at the door of your customer, once checked the id can be left with delivery the rather than physically handing it over to them. Knock on the door, step back at least 1 metre request ID, once checked drop the order wait nearby for your customer to collect it.
 
Payment for the goods including delivery charge should be made at point of order so there is no need to interact to take a cash payment.