Welcome to a special edition of our South and Vale Business Support newsletter!

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are committed to supporting all local businesses. We are working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to provide clarification on support measures announced by UK Government, and provide feedback on specific issues raised by South and Vale based businesses. Below is a summary of the latest information.

Our friends at PopUp Business School have put together a handy Business Survival Guide in the form of videos, podcasts and blog articles, to navigate small businesses through the current Coronavirus situation.

The latest posts include guidance and advice on the following:

  • Coronavirus debt warning

  • Support for self-employed - explained

  • How to look after your mental health in isolation

  • What to do in changing times

  • How to keep your energy high

Check out the Business Survival Guide here.

Sovereign Housing’s Employment and Training team support their residents to get into work or secure better work. This includes support with job-searching, applications and CVs, preparing for interview, upskilling and exploring training and voluntary opportunities.

One of the barriers facing many residents is lack of IT at home which can make job-search, applications and accessing training very difficult.

In the light of the Corona virus outbreak, more residents are stuck at home where digital access could make a real difference to their future, whether that’s securing work in the short-term, or by accessing training to improve their future prospects.

We are asking local businesses whether they can help our residents by supplying any reconditioned laptops or new laptops at a reduced rate.

For more information, please contact kat.johnston@sovereign.org.uk.

We are aware that there has been a growing number of businesses who are struggling to retain their staff during this period of uncertainty.

We have created a page on our website to highlight current temporary roles which may be of interest to you if you are looking for work.

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 if you're eligible here.
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020, will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’.

HMRC will pay employers a grant worth 80% of an employee’s usual wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March if applicable and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.
Staying well while you're at home

While businesses have shut down and more people are working remotely from home, it’s important to stay well and look after yourself.

You can stay well by:

  • Exercising
  • Keeping in contact with loved ones and colleagues
  • Managing wok time
  • Eating well
  • Creating a routine

Staying at home for a prolonged period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and you or other household members may feel low. It can be particularly challenging if you don’t have much space or access to a garden.

We’ve put together a list of exercises that can be found online. You can take part in these alone or with other family members.

Find out more here.

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