We hope this directory of resources and links will be helpful as you work your way through the COVID-19 emergency. We will keep it updated with details of new support resources for businesses and publishers. If you would like to share anything that you have found particularly useful, please get in touch and we’ll add it here.

Last updated: Friday 22 May 

 

Health and personal guidance

The NHS has a comprehensive and continually updated guide to COVID-19, symptoms, prevention, responses and much more.

Guidance for staying safe outside the home from mid-May is here.

Posters about symptoms and prevention for display in workplaces are here.

The government pools general coronavirus guidance and the latest requirements and restrictions here.

The government has detailed guidance to help employers and employees work safely during the pandemic if they return to workplaces, including social distancing. Specific guidance for office environments is here

 

IPG members’ responses

 This blog has examples of IPG members’ robust and creative responses to the COVID-19 emergency. If you would like to share your own views and responses—anonymously if you wish—please get in touch.

In a special episode of our Podcast, IPG board member Oliver Gadsby discusses how to lead a business through difficult times like these. In conversation with our President Jonathan Harris, he talks about responding nimbly to challenges, managing change, finding support and keeping staff well and motivated. It is well worth a listen for anyone leading teams at the moment.

 

Croner Business Support Helpline

The IPG’s Croner Business Support Helpline is available for free and unlimited advice about the impact of coronavirus on employment, legal, health and safety and other matters. Do take advantage of this service if you are unsure about anything.

Croner has also provided a useful coronavirus HR toolkit, including a guide to obligations, law and hygiene, an HR factsheet and a checklist for employers.

 

General business support and helplines

The best way to find out which grants, loans, tax relief and other forms of support you are eligible for is to use the government’s Support Finder tool.

This is a succinct summary of the financial support available to businesses at the moment.

This is a short video rounding up the support that is available.

Another good entry point for business enquiries is this list of FAQs.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has a helpline for any businesses in England. It has increased capacity during the crisis. The number is FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098.

A government blog about general business support has information about new resources and some interesting case studies.

Local coronavirus-related support in England is also being delivered via Growth Hubs—public and private sector partnerships steered by the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). To find your local Growth Hub, click here.

The Scottish government has a separate package of support for businesses, and a separate support helpline for businesses. The number is 0300 303 0660.

The Welsh government has a separate package of support and  business support helpline.  The number is 0330 060 300.

Support for businesses in Northern Ireland is here. The Invest Northern Ireland helpline number is 0800 181 4422.

If you would like to give feedback on how COVID-19 is affecting businesses, the DBEIS would welcome your views. Email intel@beis.gov.uk.

If there is a business issue that you would like us to raise within government on your behalf, please email us.

 

Job retention scheme and wage rebates

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme allows any business to get grants to pay 80% of wages of ‘furloughed’ workers, up to £2,500 a month. All PAYE-enabled businesses are eligible, and the scheme is open to all employees who were taken on right up to the day before it was announced (19 March). 

Staff may be furloughed up to the end of October after the government announced an extension to the scheme. Until the end of July there is no flexibility to the scheme, meaning that employers may not reduce working hours so staff part-qualify. 

Employers must ensure staff do not do any work for the business while they are on furlough. However, they are entitled to pursue training or professional development, and will be eligible to access the IPG’s Virtual Spring Conference on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 June.

From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to work part-time, with employers then paying a percentage of salaries of these staff, who will therefore continue to receive 80% of their salary. The government says it will announce more details of that new flexibility in late May.

This is the government’s starting point for claiming under the Scheme.

The government has a step-by-step guide to claiming for wages under the scheme. There is a calculator to help work out how much to claim. Once claims have been submitted, it says grants can be expected to be in bank accounts within six working days.

This is a guide to the eligibility of staff for the scheme, how much you can claim, the things you need to do to claim and the restrictions on staff on furlough.

For employees, there is an online checker tool to see if businesses are able to place you on furlough. There is also advice about what you can and can’t do while on furlough, and what to do if you do not wish to go on furlough.

HMRC hosted a webinar about making claims under the scheme that can be viewed again here.

A more general webinar about support for wages and incomes is here

If you are unsure about any aspect of the scheme, the Croner Business Support Helpline can help. 

 

‘Bounce back’ micro loans

The government’s ‘Bounce back’ micro loans scheme for small businesses launched on Monday 4 May.

It provides loans of up to 25% of turnover, with a minimum of £2,000 and a maximum of £50,000. They are to be 100% backed by the government, and interest and fees will be paid for the first 12 months. No repayments are due during the first year. The loan duration is six years, and the government says interest rates will be 2.5%. If a business has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, it may transfer it to the ‘Bounce back’ scheme by 4 November.  The government has promised a simple application process with seven questions, and swift transfers of loans to bank accounts.

Applications for the loans can be made here.

A government webinar about these and other loans suitable for small businesses is here.

 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme is open to sole traders, freelancers, body corporates, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships or other legal entity carrying out business activities in the UK. British Business Bank has full details of the scheme and how to apply. It is accessible regardless of whether a business has access to regular commercial funding or not.

The scheme was originally limited to businesses with a turnover of up to £45m, but in mid-April it was extended to include all viable businesses with turnover above that. The government will provide a guarantee of 80% on each loan to encourage banks to make loans. Businesses with a turnover of up to £250m can apply for up to £25m. Businesses with a turnover of more than £250m can apply for up to £50m.

This is an overview of the scheme. 

British Business Bank also has a useful list of FAQs about the scheme, and an eligibility checklist.

This is a list of accredited loan lenders, who should be the first point of contact for loan applications.

There has been some confusion over whether lenders require personal guarantees for loans. The government has now clarified that lenders should not be requesting any sort of personal guarantee on loans under £250,000. It says it has made changes to the process to ensure faster delivery of loans.

 

Corporate Financing Facility

The Covid Corporate Financing Facility has been set up by the Bank of England to buy short-term debt from large companies. The Bank has details of eligibility and practicalities of applying.

 

Small business grants

Grants for the smallest businesses are being made through local authorities. They are one-off grants of £10,000 to businesses in England that already receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief. An overview of the scheme is here.

If you qualify, authorities should be in touch soon if they haven’t been already. If you need to identify and contact a local authority, use this search tool

There is a government webinar rounding up the grants that are available to small businesses at the moment.

 

Self-employment support scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been set up to provide grants to self-employed individuals or partnerships. As with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it is worth 80% of profits, up to a limit of £2,500 per month. Money will be paid in a single instalment. HMRC plans to have money paid into bank accounts within six working days of claims being made. Grants will be subject to income tax and National Insurance contributions in due course.

Applications for grants opened on Wednesday 15 May. To apply, go here.

The government has an online checker to help you see if you are eligible for the scheme, and if so how much you can claim.

HMRC has provided webinars to help claimants.

An overview of the Self-employment Support Scheme is here.

Some answers to FAQs about the scheme are here.

 

International trade

The Department for International Trade has issued guidance for UK businesses trading overseas during the crisis.

DIT can help in particular with advice on business continuity, IP issues, customs clearances and finding alternative supply chain partners in its network. You can access a special support team by emailing COVID19@trade.gov.uk.

For support with business projects overseas, DIT recommends contacting the nearest UK embassy or consulate. You can search for those here.

UK Export Finance says it can help with international cash flow by guaranteeing loans through the Export Working Capital Scheme.

UKEF offers an insurance policy that can help you recover the costs of fulfilling orders that are terminated by events beyond your control. It can also support finance for overseas buyers via the Direct Lending Facility scheme.

The government updates its advice about international travel here.

 

Tax

HMRC has a helpline for any businesses needing support with tax liabilities. If you have concerns about forthcoming tax payments, you are encouraged to call HMRC, who will agree arrangements on a case-by-case basis. The helpline number is 0800 024 1222, and it is open from 8am to 4pm from Monday to Friday.

HMRC also has a tax helpline to support freelancers and the self-employed with tax issues.

VAT payments have been deferred by three months from end-March to end-June. This is an automatic offer and no action is necessary.

For those with HMRC self-assessment arrangements, payments for June 2020 have been deferred to January 2021. Again, no action is necessary.

An HMRC webinar to help businesses and individuals with the issue of VAT and self-assessment tax deferrals is here.

 

Sick pay and holiday pay

The government has issued guidance on claiming back Statutory Sick Pay that has been paid to employees who are not working due to coronavirus. It includes of eligibility for the scheme and the records you must keep. The scheme covers full and part time employees, plus those on agency and flexible contracts. A guide to eligibility for the scheme is here.

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees are able to recover costs from Tuesday 26 May 2020 under the online Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service. 

Guidance on certifying absence from work for sickness or to look after a dependent is here. A guide to getting isolation notes is here.

The government has issued detailed guidance about employers’ responsibilities on holiday entitlement and pay during the pandemic.

 

Universal Credit

Universal Credit benefits and eligibility have changed because of the coronavirus crisis. People who need help working out eligibility and navigating the system should start here.

 

Working from home

If you find yourself working from home for the first time, this blog shares some advice from the IPG team.

This blog has tips about managing home workers.

The government has compiled some general advice about cyber security and preventing fraud and data breaches during the lockdown.

The National Cyber Security Centre has advice for keeping home workers’ IT secure and staying alert to coronavirus-related scams.

This is a guide to the expenses that are taxable if you or your employees are working from home due to COVID-19.

 

Wellbeing

MIND has some very good resources to help if you have wellbeing concerns for yourself or others, including planning for staying indoors, connecting with people and keeping relaxed and stimulated.

The IPG Skills Hub has a detailed resource to help with general work-related stress.

 

The Book Trade Charity

If you work in the book trade and are in urgent need of financial help, The Book Trade Charity may be able to help. Email info@btbs.org in confidence.

 

HR

The government has a guide to the responsibilities of employers at the moment.

This is a summary of what employers should be doing to keep employees safe. 

ACAS has comprehensive guidance on employers’ responsibilities and issues, including workplace provision, sick pay, time off and reducing hours.

 

Accounts

Companies House is giving businesses that need it a three-month extension to their deadline for filing accounts. This is the guidance for extending your filing deadline.

Companies House has also announced that it is pausing the strike-off process to prevent companies being dissolved if they have not updated their records. It says any company that is issued with a late filing penalty “will have appeals treated sympathetically.”

 

Support for booksellers

We support the Booksellers Association’s call for people to support independent bookshops at this time.

If you would like to find your nearest bookshop, use this search tool from the BA. You can embed a similar button on your website if you like.

 

#IndiePubBoost

On Twitter, Sam Missingham has created the #indiepubboost hashtag to help users mutually promote independent publishers’ books at this time.

 

Voluntary, community and social enterprise support

If you would like to offer services, funds and volunteers to community and social enterprise groups during the crisis, the government has guidance.

 

Sharing feedback

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is asking for views about the business impacts of COVID-19 across supply, demand and labour markets, the actions taken to address them, and the gaps in the government’s response. You can email intelligence direct to the BEIS. Information supplied will be treated confidentially.

 

Staying updated

This page will be frequently updated with the latest resources relevant to publishing. We will also endeavour to share useful material via Twitter.

The government issues a useful Coronavirus Businesses Bulletin to update people on the latest resources most days. You can sign up for it here

If you are on social media, following the business support campaign on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is a good way to get the latest resources—including alerts for when applications to various schemes go live.

The Bookseller and BookBrunch are providing good day-by-day updates on the situation in publishing.

 

If you would like to share resources or links that you have found particularly useful with fellow members, please get in touch and we’ll add them to this page.