Businesses and self employed
We have regular updates with the latest guidance and advice to business owners in South Gloucestershire.Subscribe to regular updates for business owners
We also publish news on our Newsroom website.
- Government guidance
- Practical guidance for coming out of lockdown (from 12 April)
- Business grants and rates relief
- Existing support available
GOV.UK has up to date guidance on making your workplace Covid-19 secure.
Practical guidance for coming out of lockdown (from 12 April)
It is mandatory for staff and customers to wear face coverings.
Businesses can download and print our face covering poster to use in shops.
Regular workplace testing for those without symptoms is now available.
These rapid tests (lateral flow) can identify positive cases of Covid-19 so that people can self-isolate and break the chain of transmission.
Results are easy to read and available within 30 minutes.
You can read more on our testing and self-isolation page.
NHS Test and Trace
From 29 March all customers or visitors over the age of 16 must scan the NHS QR code using the test and trace app.
GOV.UK have information on keeping records of staff, customers, and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.
Businesses and venues that are not expected to keep records but have indoor areas where visitors may sit in close contact with others for more than 15 minutes are encouraged to display official NHS QR codes.
GOV.UK can help you generate a QR code.
From 12 April pubs, cafes, and restaurants may reopen for outdoor seating only.
Legislation states an area will be classed as outdoors if it complies with the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 (known as the 50% rule). This means that a structure can have a roof, but the walls must be 50% open.
This includes temporary structures such as tents and marquees.
Customers should be encouraged to go directly outdoors, and social distancing measures must be in place. They can use internal areas to get to outdoor seating space if necessary.
Indoor toilets, baby changing and breastfeeding facilities may be used if they are Covid-secure.
Customers are permitted to pay for food and drink indoors.
The government have not specified closing times under their step 2 guidance.
You must abide by existing permitted hours stated on a licence or certificate for licensable activities within the current licensed premises plan.
Where outside areas are not part of a current licensed premises plan you are only allowed to sell alcohol for drinking on or off the premises until 11pm or the time that your outdoor area closes (whichever is earlier). This will change on 30 September 2021.
This must be kept to a minimum. Music should be played at a low level and customers asked to leave quietly and respectfully.
You can read our quick guide to opening pubs, restaurants, and cafes.
We will carry out regular checks on food businesses to help you comply with the food hygiene law and protect the public.
You should register your food business if you are starting a new one.
The Food Standards Agency have guidance on reopening and adapting your food business during COVID-19.
Business grants and rates relief
Local business grants (including business restart grants)
You can still apply for local restrictions grants. Business restart grants became available on 1 April 2021.
Rates relief – March 2021
The government has announced further business rates relief for the retail, hospitality and leisure sector and childcare nurseries.
There will be 100% relief to the end of June followed by a two thirds reduction to the end of the year. This will be capped at £2m per business for properties which were required to close from 5 January 2021 and £105k per business for other eligible properties.
Due the complexity of these announcements it is taking longer to issue revised bills. These will be sent out as soon as possible.
Businesses that continue to pay as billed and are entitled to an adjustment will have any payment offset against amounts due for the remaining 9 months.
There will be no reminder notices for businesses that choose to wait for their amended bill while the 100% relief is available.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
The grant funding provides support for those who are self-employed either as a sole trader/freelancer or a member of a partnership and have been trading during the 2018/19 tax year.
GOV.UK have guidance on how to claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
Existing support available
Financial hardship scheme
Any business experiencing financial hardship may make a claim for help with their business rates. In extreme cases of hardship, up to 100% relief can be awarded. This reduction will usually be granted where it is evident that the business is particularly important to the local community.
- if you are struggling to pay your business rates, call us so that we can discuss alternative options with you on 01454 867700
- we are applying the 100% discount for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for 12 months automatically and will write to you with a revised bill
- we are awaiting further guidance on the cash grants referenced by the Government for small businesses at which point we will write to eligible businesses
- we are contacting our commercial tenants and we will provide support to those facing difficulties in paying their rent
Free business advice, support and training services
We have partnered with Cool Ventures to offer South Gloucestershire businesses a range of free advice, support and training. Visit the Cool Ventures website for the range of support and rolling programme of free webinars.
For central government information about the financial options available and advice on how to reopen safely visit GOV.UK: Business support