SUPPORTING BUSINESSES ACROSS COUNTY DURHAM

More than 1,000 businesses across County Durham have already received their grant to help support them through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Our staff have worked tirelessly since government guidance was received late last week to contact businesses whose properties qualify for the grants.

Working over the weekend, we have so far helped 1,134 properties, paying more than £12m to local businesses by 10 a.m. on Monday, 30th March.

More than 8,000 properties across the county are eligible for the grants, which range from £10,000 to £25,000 depending on the size of the company.

In total, we expect to pay out £89m in grant payments once all eligible businesses make their applications and staff work through processing these.

Processing payments quickly 

To be able to support businesses as quickly as possible in these unprecedented times, our payments have started ahead of the government's 1st April deadline and before any funding has been received from the government.

This hasn't gone unnoticed by businesses who have praised us this weekend for how we have worked with them to quickly establish simple processes enabling businesses to claim these grants and over the speed in which they've received them.

The council is now hoping to process another 2,500 applications before Wednesday and is encouraging all eligible businesses to apply.

To read more, please click here.

DIGITAL DRIVE COUNTY DURHAM - UPDATE

Grants – up to 40% contribution.

A business must be looking to spend at least £2,500 excluding VAT on a digital project.

Our minimum grant is £1,000. Our maximum grant is £2,000 (case by case basis)

Businesses must have the money to pay upfront, then reclaim the grant following proof of purchase (an online application needs to be made first).

Funding can be used for the following:

  • Digital consultancy (e.g social media, video creation, IT consultancy, setting up internet telephony)
  • Digital Equipment (e.g laptops for remote working, video equipment etc)
  • Website/software/apps
  • Broadband installation and equipment/improvements (excludes monthly subscriptions, building work/streetworks).

We have a fast track application in place and can turn these around within 7 days or less.

Healthchecks

If businesses want to access our free health check (takes about 20 mins), they can do so by registering here. We can provide tips and tools along with useful advice on how to improve your social channels, website (if applicable), use of cloud technology, digital marketing and content planning, cyber security and visibility across the web. This can also be followed up with a virtual appointment/call with a Digital Adviser.

Webinars

We have released our next set of webinars as follows.  These can be found here.

Topics include

  • Introducing the Digital Drive Webinar Programme - Plus how to keep your customers engaged during Covid-19!
  • An Intro to Trello - Encouraging team productivity & collaboration when working remotely.
  • Resetting your digital marketing strategy during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Understanding your Customers Experience Better to Win more Business Online
  • Design your own website!
  • Twitter and Hootsuite Workshop
  • Covid 19 & Working from Home: How do we keep producing the same levels of work as we did before?
  • How to protect your business and data from online threats
  • E-commerce and Online Sales a Guide to Selling More Online
  • LinkedIn Masterclass Session
  • Creating Facebook Ads for Your Business and Understanding Your Results
  • WordPress for beginners
  • How to get started with video marketing (beginnners)
  • Blogging, Tips and Tricks and Being Strategic
  • SEO - Get your website found in Google
  • Who are your target customers and where do they hang out on social?

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INORMATION LEAFLET

Coronavirus: stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives

This leaflet has information on what everyone must do to help stop the spread of coronavirus.  There is also information on spotting the symptoms, advice for vulnerable groups, and information about government support for businesses and workers.

This information is available in different languages and alternative formats.

This leaflet was prepared for distribution to UK households from 3 April 2020, and was in line with the latest guidance at that point.

To order these materials, go to the campaign resource centre.

Check the latest advice on coronavirus.

FSB - HOW TO FIND CUSTOMERS ON LINKEDIN - FREE LIVESTREAM

Visit our skills hub and login to get free access for today's event.  You'll also be able to view our previous session 'How to make your business digital: an introduction'.

Free livestream today at 12.30.  Click here for further information.

FSB - HELPING YOU TO ACCESS CBILS LOANS DURING THIS NATIONAL EMERGENCY

Access to Government-backed SME funding through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been improved.  As an FSB member, you can now check your eligibility with a range of CBILS accredited providers through FSB Funding Platform, even if you were initially unsuccessful when the original scheme went live.  With one simple application, we’ll show you what is available, saving you time and effort.  Register here to learn more and check your eligibility.

FSB - GETTING THE MOST FROM SOCIAL MEDIA - FREE WEBINAR

FSB's free webinar on Social Media was broadcast on Thursday, 2nd April.  

If you happened to miss it, it is now available on demand here.  

Whether you were unable to join, or would just like to view it again, you can watch a video of the webinar in your own time.

FSB - CORONAVIRUS - HOW TO ACCESS SUPPORT & HELP FROM LOCAL COUNCILS

In FSB's latest webinar, the emphasis was placed on the aid and help available across the UK from local councils.

Support for grants, business rates holidays, government loans were also covered. However, this can depend on where in the UK you are. This webinar discussed the options available.

Also, FSB stressed their latest lobbying to get more help to the small business owners and self-employed who still need it the most, and what Business Continuity Planning could mean and what you should be doing now.

If you missed this excellent webinar, please click here to watch on demand.

FSB - CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): GOVERNMENT SUPPORT - ADVICE & GUIDANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES & THE SELF-EMPLOYED

Following the Chancellor's announcement about support to millions of self-employed individuals, NICEIC & Elecsa have partnered with The Federation of Small Businesses and ECA to deliver a webinar exploring the Government support available to Small Businesses.

During this session, Darren Staniforth, with the NICEIC & Elecsa, Martin McTague from The Federation of Small Businesses and Rob Driscoll from ECA will discuss the support available to our registered contractors, focusing on the following questions:

  • What help is there?
  • How do they access the support?
  • When is this support available?
  • What are the options if we employ staff?

The webinar will also discuss key questions raised through the Federation of Small Businesses along with any key questions raised by NICEIC & Elecsa contractors, to try and provide help and guidance.

VIDEOS FROM OUR DBN MEMBERS

A big thank you to those who have sent us videos.  If you have a video to share, please send it over and we can add it here - let's make the North East know that we still working hard during this difficult time.

Gillian Fortune of Feel Good C.IC.

Ann English of Create Intrigue

John Atkinson of NBSL

Gary Scott of DBN (thank to James Ibbitson for his editing skills).

CREATE INTRIGUE WITH ANN ENGLISH

#FREEDAY is a wonderful idea which launched last week, and was started  by Michael Owen.  DBN member Gillian Fortune has since joined in too and it is growing every day. We can all get involved and pledge to offer our time, expertise and wisdom for free to help support other businesses. 

Here is what I'm doing . . .

Every Friday in April, May and June 2020 I've reserved 3 x 45 minute digital meetings via Zoom or Skype. 

I can help you with any questions you have around Visually Communicating your Brand, Products or Services. We can explore ideas together and come up with creative solutions. Let’s connect, look at your vision and empower you to take action.

So . . . how can I help you?

Send me a direct message to book your free session. 

And . . . who will you help in return? 

Why don’t you join in with #FREEDAY too by posting about the special skills you’d like to offer for free on a Friday to help others, remember to include the hashtag #FREEDAY.

Ann English, Create Intrigue: Hello@annenglish.co.uk

Take a look at the video here.

CASHFLOW FORECAST TEMPLATE

Sharron Skeen (Westwood Accountancy) has put together a simple cashflow forecast template.  It’s not designed to be super sophisticated, it’s so people can track their daily cashflow and input where they think they may have payments/receipts in the future so that they can track their cash and see if there are likely to be any issues.

Hope you find it useful.

Sharron is also happy to help answer any questions, if she can, regarding the various claims which are going round at the moment.  Not sure if you are aware but the guidance for employers has been updated recently to say that the 80% claim is based on an employee’s salary as at 28th February and also includes being able to claim for Employers NIC and the minimum pension auto-enrolment contributions.  HMRC are still saying that the portal to claim won’t be up and running until the end of April though.  For tax purposes, the Grant payments must be included as income in the business’s calculation of its taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes, in accordance with normal principles.

A big thank to Sharron - we really appreciate your help!

NATHALIE PARIS & LEARNING FRENCH

Are you looking for ideas to keep your children busy? 

Do you want them to learn French?

Then Nathalie Paris can help: she is offering FREE daily French challenge videos and weekly schedules of French lessons!  Check out her website for more information.

CENTURION COMPUTERS - HELP! WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Centurion Computers are available to support you when working from home.

Remote Support / Telephone Support and Product Purchasing.

Always available to help: our Technical and Sales Team will be available on our normal Telephone Number to assist you with any queries, from IT Support to replacement devices.

For more introduction or to speak to our head office, an advisor will be available to assist you.

Telephone: 01434 604 800; Email: tech@centurioncomputers.co.uk

Home & Business: We can offer our full support to both home and business.  Please get in touch for more information.

Console / Gaming: We can also repair your games consoles, XBox / Playstation.  We also have stocks of these consoles if you require a new device.

Competitive pricing: We look at the market and price our IT Support Packages accordingly.  Please get in touch for more information.

HM GOVERNMENT - BUSINESS SUPPORT

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.

Some aspects of business support are devolved. (For business support outside of England go to ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.)

Scheme Information

Each of the pages here can help you find what you are looking for. They provide information on financial support packages for businesses, advice on how to operate your business and support for your employees, for example workers' wage costs.

UPDATE FROM GOV.UK [8th APRIL 2020]

Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Find out what financial support you can get for your business.

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

This page help businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

Points covered:

  • Paying your employees
  • Paying sick pay
  • Paying tax
  • Business rates relief
  • Business support grant funds
  • Support for the self-employed
  • Support for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Support for large businesses

Just arrived: a letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to those working in manufacturing - click here to read.

DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL - GUIDANCE TO EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESSES ABOUT COVID-19

Business Durham - the economic development arm of Durham County Council - is committed to keeping residents and businesses updated on the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) information. We have collated the most up to date advice from the government, public agencies and health services, and will be updating this as soon as new information becomes available.  For all the updates available, please click here.

HM GOVERNMENT - SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

As the UK goes through this unprecedented period, the Department for International Trade is committed to standing behind businesses and is asking businesses to do their best to stand behind their workers.

We understand that as a business owner or employee, you may be concerned about the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on your business, your colleagues and employees.

The Government is supporting businesses and employees through a package of measures to help manage the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19).

These measures include financial support packages for businesses and support for employees' wages. 

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has also expanded the scope of its Export Insurance Policy (EXIP) meaning UK businesses will now be eligible to secure export insurance cover to all major markets.

You should now:

  1. Visit the Business Support website for more information about these and additional measures and support available to your business. This website will continue to be updated with the latest information.
  2. Pay particular attention to the guidance for employees, employers and businesses which is being updated regularly with the latest advice.
  3. Read the guidance for UK businesses trading internationally.
  4. Take steps to protect yourself and others.

Remember: stay at home, protect our NHS, save lives.

COUNTY DURHAM COMMUNITY FOUNDATION - COVID-19 FUND

CDCF has just launched their COVID-19 Fund to support community groups and organisations through this period of uncertainty. The focus is to offer emergency funding to deal with emerging issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus.

https://www.cdcf.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Coronavirus-Fund-Guidelines.pdf

Grants up to £5,000 are available to support work in the community, and to help organisations survive over this period of closures and isolation.

Theme 1: Proactive

  • Organisations that are supporting older people and other vulnerable groups affected by the COVID-19 outbreak 
  • Additional costs of working remotely and adapting services delivered in the wider community including volunteer costs
  • Activities to support community coordinated resources
  • Initiatives working to combat poverty (e.g. initiatives to tackle food poverty or ‘holiday’ hunger etc.)
  • Advisory services that complement those being put in place by statutory authorities such a directing people to local services or listening on the phone and giving emotional support.

Project may be new or something you currently deliver but it must respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The activity must also complement the support measures that are being put in place in your communities by the statutory authorities e.g. local authority led community hubs.

Theme 2: Recovery and Resilience

  • A contribution to charities and community organisations whose operations and finances are significantly affected by loss of income due to restrictions in place around COVID-19

This fund is expected to be heavily subscribed.  In this first phase of emergency funding, priority will be given to applications that meet Theme 1. Applications for Theme 2 will be accepted but they will be given lower priority.

GOV.UK WEBSITE - GUIDANCE: COVID-19 - SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Self-Assessment payments
  • a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery 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 offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme


Check the business support website for answers to frequently asked questions.

Further information on:

  • Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Support for businesses through deferring VAT payments
  • Support for businesses through deferring Self-Assessment payments on account
  • Eligibility
  • Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
  • Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates
  • Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates
  • Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
  • Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
  • Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service
  • Commercial insurance
  • Protection from eviction for commercial tenants
  • Extension of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) arrangements

CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME (CBILS)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders.

ABOUT THE SCHEME

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees. Read more at the Government’s Business Support website.

HOW IT WORKS

British Business Bank operates CBILS via its accredited lenders. There are over 40 of these lenders currently working to provide finance. They include:

  • high-street banks
  • challenger banks
  • asset-based lenders
  • smaller specialist local lenders

A lender can provide up to £5 million in the form of:

  • term loans
  • overdrafts
  • invoice finance
  • asset finance

CBILS gives the lender a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments to encourage more lending.

The borrower remains fully liable for the debt.

The Big Four banks have agreed that they will not take personal guarantees as security for lending below £250,000 under CBILS.

THE NORTH EAST GROWTH HUB

The North East Growth Hub: working to reduce the impact of Coronavirus on our regional businesses.

Forthcoming online events

Webinars are taking place to help businesses tackle some of the challenges they are currently facing. FREE events in the next few days include: 

Thursday, 9th April - Working from home business support pack webinars with Synergi IT [11:00-12:00].  Ensure your business can continue to function, and even thrive, whilst most, if not all, employees are working remotely. Access a FREE: COVID-19 Business Support Pack with a collection of the most valuable business processes all automated and ready to go. Find out more here.

Friday, 10th April - IoD North East - Coping with COVID-19 [10:00-11:00].  Join this virtual meeting lead by Jonathan Hamill MIoD to share challenges and discuss how people in a leadership role are dealing with the coronavirus challenge. Find out more here.

More events from The North East Growth Hub can be found here.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Requests – can your business help?

The North East Growth Hub's Rapid Response Requests Director, detailing the current calls for support in responding to COVID-19, is being updated with new opportunities to support front-line services. It includes opportunities for businesses in a range of sectors to help develop solutions to the challenges that COVID-19 is bringing - from requests to provide rapid sanitising technology for ambulances, to an open call for creatives to use their skills to help spread public health messages.  For further information, please click here.

Changes to insolvency rules 

The news that changes to the insolvency laws will be forthcoming, potentially as soon as this month, marks a positive step forward for businesses struggling to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.  Read more here.

Support available for North East businesses 

There is a range of support for North East businesses, through the North East Growth Hub, including:

COVID-19 toolkit - our free online toolkit is regularly updated with the latest advice and support for businesses, including links to government funding. Visit the toolkit here.

Growth Hub Connect - one-to-one business advice from our experienced tea of Connectors. Find out more and book an appointment here.

Social media - Follow the North East Growth Hub on social media to receive all our latest updates. Find us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

NORTH EAST COVID-19 ECONOMIC RESPONSE GROUP

A partnership between the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), CBI, North of Tyne and North East Combined Authorities - with the support of industry - the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group will ensure the North East has strong and collaborative economic leadership as the region works through the impacts of COVID-19.

The long-term goal of the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group is to return the North East to pre-COVID-19 GDP and employment levels. Find out more by visiting here.

Our Friends in the North podcast series with Helen Golightly and Colin Bell from the North East LEP Sarah Waddington, Managing Director of Astute.  Work and host of the My Friends in the North podcast series, spoke to Helen Golightly, Chief Executive of the North East LEP and Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East LEP about the formation of the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group about what support is available in the region to help businesses. Listen to Helen Golightly's interview here.  Listen to Colin Bell's interview here.

EXTENSION OF CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME

As of the 3rd April 2020, government has extended the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme so all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.Changes include: 

  • No personal guarantees for facilities under £250k
  • Personal guarantees may still be required for facilities above £250k at a lender’s discretion, but recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied.
  • A Principal Private Residence (PPR) cannot be taken as security to support a personal guarantee or as security for a CBIL backed facility.
  • For all facilities, including those over £250,000, CBILS can now support lending to smaller businesses even where a lender considers there to be sufficient security, making more smaller businesses eligible to receive the business interruption payment.

Please click here for further information.

BUSINESS DURHAM - COVID-19

Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID 19

More than 1,000 businesses across County Durham have already received their grant to help support them through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Our staff have worked tirelessly since government guidance was received late last week to contact businesses whose properties qualify for the grants.

Working over the weekend, we have so far helped 1,134 properties, paying more than £12m to local businesses by 10am on Monday 30 March.

More than 8,000 properties across the county are eligible for the grants, which range from £10,000 to £25,000 depending on the size of the company.

In total, we expect to pay out £89m in grant payments once all eligible businesses make their applications and staff work through processing these.

For further information, please click here.

TEMPLATE LETTER

Template Letter to Furlough Employees (The letter might offer a bit of guidance/structure for those employers who are struggling for alternative templates at this time).

COVID-19 - SMALL BUSINESS GRANT FUND AND RETAIL, HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE GRANT FUND

As part of the response to Covid19 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a one-time grant of £10,000 or £25,000 to support businesses who meet the Small Business Rate Relief Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund eligibility criteria.

We are here to help you as much as we can, and with that in mind, I am pleased to provide the links below to each of the local authority sites to enable you to claim the grants that you may be entitled to.  Simply click on the area that covers your business and follow the link below:

FSB WEBINAR - NOW AVAILABLE TO WATCH ON DEMAND

Coronavirus: Financial help explained for SMEs and the self-employed - webinar now on demand.

In last week’s FSB webinar, we gave you the latest developments from the FSB policy team who had been pushing the UK Government to secure help for the self-employed.

Mike Cherry discussed how the FSB was representing the UK’s 5.8 million small businesses in the UK.

Sonali Parekh detailed the help that is currently available for the self-employed.

Stephen Pegge from UK Finance helped you understand how you could qualify for the loans and credit announced by the Government and what you needed to do to apply.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON DEMAND NOW.

PLEASE KEEP IN TOUCH AND STAY VISIBLE

We're encouraging people to send in short 1-2 minute videos.  Gillian Fortune and John Atkinson have both sent in brilliant videos and we're really grateful to them.

I've made a video too (out of my comfort zone!) and should have kept the outtakes.  The first attempt was fine but upside down.  Try again . . . the phone was balanced on a speaker and I was balanced on the arm of a chair and I fell off as soon as I started speaking . . . Third time lucky!  Did James Ibbitson really say making a video is easy?

If you're worried about anything or just need a chat - please drop us a line (connect@dobusinessnetwork.com) or call at any time. We're all in the same situation during this crisis and we WILL get through it together.

LOOK AFTER YOURSELVES AND YOUR BUSINESSES . . .

We hope you're managing to stay fit and well and keeping your businesses ticking over. If you need help with things such as getting more of your business services online, we can help you. We want to ensure that our businesses are ready to swing back into action just as soon as the crisis is over.

In the meantime, it's a good opportunity to review your business, refresh your products and services, marketing materials, websites and social media content and if you are stuck for ideas - there's lots of people in DBN who can give you help and inspiration. Just get in touch with us. You can even practice making video content . . .

PROGRESS WITH BUSINESS SUPPORT PACKAGES

Hello, how is everyone doing? We hope you're well and making the best of what is a very difficult time for everybody. We've been answering lots of questions and putting members in touch with each other to give support - it's what makes DBN special.

Our 45 minute recent conference call with Richard Holden MP was a positive and practical discussion. We were especially concerned that self-employed people were being left with little or no support so it's great to see this is now being addressed. We also passed your questions and concerns to the other local MPs too so that everyone is on the same page.

CORONAVIRUS - SMALL BUSINESS GRANT FUND AND RETAIL, HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE GRANT FUND

Information:

Please complete this form so we can consider if you are entitled to a Small Business Grant or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

If you are entitled, we will let you know and will make payment in to the bank account you declare on this form.

Please note you may receive payment before you receive notification from us. However, you will clearly see on your bank transactions that the payment is from ‘DCC’.

We will notify you if you are not entitled to a grant.

Please click here for the form.

If you require assistance in completing the form please contact the Business Rates Team on 03000 268 997 or email businessrates@durham.gov.uk.

GENERAL BUSINESS GUIDANCE FOR COVID-19

Government guidance for business, please click here.

BUSINESS SUPPORT

Business interruption loan scheme – delivered by British Business Bank and builds on an existing scheme (Enable Finance Guarantee) administered by them.

Statutory Sick Pay – This is administered by HMRC, but “Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP”.  This is UK wide.

Time to Pay – This is administered by HMRC and is a UK wide scheme for tax payment relief.

Small Business Rate Relief – currently administered by local authorities.

Business Rates Retail Discount – currently administered English local authorities.

Budget - You can find the current budget summary here. It will be updated when more information becomes available.

COVID-19 UPDATES

For immediate, daily or weekly updates of Government responses and interventions to COVID-19 you can register here.

UK BUSINESS QUESTIONS

Questions from UK businesses about the impact coronavirus may have on their business and requests can also be made directly via email to COVID19@trade.gov.uk. We are triaging this data so the government can make more informed choices on the immediate actions required.

WHAT HELP DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED RIGHT NOW? PLEASE LET US KNOW.

Businesses need lots of help and support at this difficult time.

We're working with other networks and organisations to co-ordinate packages of vital support for our businesses. This week, we'll be speaking with MPs and local authorities about urgent help for our business communities. We want to ensure that it is effective and properly co-ordinated.
It's really important that we understand what support will be the most useful to your business at present.

For example:
Rent / rates relief, help to sell and deliver more online, tax breaks, ability to work away from your normal workplace, paying wages, dealing with suppliers, an injection of cash, enforced or advised closures etc.

Your feedback is really important. Please email us at connect@dobusinessnetwork.com
Your feedback will help us to campaign to get the right support for you and your business and will benefit the whole business community.

Stay safe and in good health everyone and we hope to see you again soon.

Best wishes,

The DBN Team

Business Durham Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID 19

FSB COVID-19: Advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed

Business Advice from Visit Britain

North East Growth Hub Guidance for businesses and employers on COVID-19

BBC Website - updates reguarly

VENTILATORS

You may have seen the call out from SoS Health Matt Hancock for companies who have the capabilities to repurpose their staff and facilities to making ventilators. Click here for the link to the .GOV site and further information in The Guardian. Also, contact BEIS. Companies should call 0300 456 3565 or email ventilator.support@beis.gov.uk.

GUIDANCE FOR SELF-ISOLATING FOR YOU AND YOUR STAFF

You can find basic guidance from the NHS here and very detailed guidance from .GOV here.