Coronavirus advice for businesses

March 16, 2020

UK businesses and employers are facing challenging times as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread across the country.
The Government is working with the NHS, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation to respond to the crisis. The latest information available from the Government, including its action plan can be found here.

Advice for businesses and employers

The Government has guidance for businesses and employers on the following topics:

ACAS has also produced a workplace specific guide for employers on policies and procedures relating to COVID-19, available here
Business support is also available via the Marches Growth Hub, which has a searchable directory of more than 120 programmes, funds, grants and schemes which can assisted businesses.
Advice for travelling overseas on business or otherwise is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 
At Budget 2020, the Chancellor announced further measures to support businesses:

  • a ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ will temporarily replace the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), becoming available over the coming weeks More information about the loan scheme can be found here.
  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. The refund is limited to two weeks and do not require a GP note.
  • A temporary increase of the business rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value will also come into effect

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs.
Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC‘s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
For advice relating to the coronavirus illness, symptoms and information about when to self-isolate, you should visit the NHS information website and if you need medical assistance, the advice is to call 111.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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