Support for business

Updated 22.09.20

In line with government guidance, from 22 September all hospitality venues in the borough must only sell food and drink for consumption on the premises if it is served to customers sitting at a table. They may also sell food and drink for consumption off the premises.

Hospitality venues include:

  • restaurants, including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs
  • cafes (not including cafes or canteens at workplaces where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace, cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons and establishments intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes, or services and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • bars including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
  • pubs
  • social clubs
  • casinos

From 22 September the following businesses and venues must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day:

  • the hospitality businesses and venues listed above
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls

From 22 September businesses and venues can still sell food and drinks for consumption off the premises between the hours of 22:00 to 05:00 but only for delivery service in response to orders received:

  • through a website, or otherwise by online communication
  • by telephone, including orders by text message
  • by post
Business and premises

The following businesses must remain closed:

• nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
• sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars

Read the Government guidance for reopening your business safely during coronavirus.

The NHS Covid-19 app is being launched on Thursday September 24. You can read the statement here.

You should create and display a QR code if you are:

  • a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public
  • an event which is taking place in a physical location

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

You can create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue.

Restaurants, pubs, bars, takeaway services and all other hospitality venues

From 22 September all hospitality venues in the borough must only sell food and drink for consumption on the premises if it is served to customers sitting at a table. They may also sell food and drink for consumption off the premises.

Hospitality venues include:

  • restaurants, including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs
  • cafes (not including cafes or canteens at workplaces where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace, cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons and establishments intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes, or services and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • bars including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
  • pubs
  • social clubs
  • casinos

From 22 September the following businesses and venues must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day:

  • the hospitality businesses and venues listed above
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls

From 22 September businesses and venues can still sell food and drinks for consumption off the premises between the hours of 22:00 to 05:00 but only for delivery service in response to orders received:

  • through a website, or otherwise by online communication
  • by telephone, including orders by text message
  • by post

Venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6 (unless they are from the same household or in a support bubble). If you operate a business or organise events you should take steps to ensure people do not socialise with people they do not live with, in line with the guidance. Further information on social contact rules, social distancing and the exemptions that exist.

You should take steps to ensure customer compliance with the limits on gatherings. These could include:

  • informing customers of guidance through signage or notices at the point of booking or on arrival
  • ensuring staff are familiar with the guidance, and of the local restrictions that are in place
  • asking customers for verbal confirmation of the number of people in their party at the point of arrival

From 18th September, you must take part in the NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. This will be enforced by law. Check ‘Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace’ for details.

The NHS Covid-19 app is due to be launched on 24th September. Please check the government guidance on creating an NHS QR code for your venue.

Taxis

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - advice for taxi drivers/operators

Health and safety guidance

You must make sure your business addresses the risks of COVID-19.

Use the guidance below to complete your risk assessment and inform your decisions and control measures.

Find out more information about the guidance on social distancing.

When you have completed your risk assessment you could let your staff and/or customers know by displaying the poster.

Find out more information about what you need to do if an employee tests positive for coronavirus.

How the Council is supporting businesses

We understand the concerns of our businesses and traders and we are doing what we can to provide support within the resources that have been available to us by government; we have also offered flexibility to businesses in making their repayments of amounts owed to the Council in these difficult times.

  • The Government has provided funding for businesses who are liable for Business Rates and who are either;
    • in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (which attracted a grant payment of £10,000) and
    • for businesses who operate in the Retail Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure industry (who have a rateable value on their premises of less than £51,000) (dependant on this value they have received either £10,000 or £25,000)

The Council has administered the payment of these grants on behalf of the government in line with the strict eligibility criteria they set out. The Council has distributed almost £40 million of these grants over the last 3 months to businesses across the borough.

  • The Government has also provided funding to the Council to support those businesses who did not qualify for the above grants, albeit a much lower amount. A total of £2.2 million was provided to the Council to distribute as Discretionary Grants which opened to applications at the start of June and closed on 14th June. Successful applicants have received grants of between £1,000 and £25,000.
  • The Government has stated that all of these grants are to assist businesses in meeting their fixed costs such as rent, service charges, utilities, mortgage payments etc during the crisis.
  • Although further Government support has been made available to businesses through various government departments (e.g. Furlough Scheme, Self-Employed Income Support Scheme Bounce Back loans etc), no further funding has been provided to the Council to provide any further assistance to businesses in the borough.
  • We are continuing to lobby government for financial assistance to do this but at the present time, no such funding has been made available.
  • As reported in the Executive Board Report of 9th July, the Council is itself forecasting a budget deficit of £19.5 million due to the costs and income losses arising from the pandemic. Whilst some further funding has been announced, there is a lack of clarity on exactly what this will cover, however what is clear from the information provided to date, is that this will be significantly short of the funding required to close this gap.
  • We will provide further updates as soon as the information becomes available.
Support offer for care providers

Support to providers that the local authority has contracts with:

  • PPE offer - same day supply of quantity and quality.
  • Trained and ready to deploy auxiliary workforce supply
  • Flexible Template for providers to request financial assistance/ submit additional costs - including changes to care packages, PPE purchases and other costs including staffing, agency staff, food supplies
  • Established weekly group for review of financial assistance claims and immediate payment.
  • Infection Prevention and Control Training Offer delivered through Health.
  • Help Hub support with food to service users and accommodation provision where individuals self-isolating or no access to food helping providers to focus on care provision
  • Co-ordinated support with health colleagues and Neighbourhood teams including Infection Prevention Control, Telemeds and virtual ward rounds.
  • BwD Online Learning portal available for all regulated care staff including training on IPC amongst many other areas.

Support being offered specifically to domiciliary care:

  • Daily payment of invoices
  • Commissioned additional crisis support hours

Support being offered specifically to residential care:

  • Moved to fortnightly payment in advance
  • Support of additional recovery beds within the system
  • Review of occupancy levels for average occupancy payments

Support being offered specifically to other provisions:

  • Block Contracts paid at commissioned levels

Support to providers that the local authority does not have contracts with:

  • PPE offer - same day supply of quantity and quality.
  • Trained and ready to deploy auxiliary workforce supply
  • Flexible Template for providers to request financial assistance/ submit additional costs - including changes to care packages, PPE purchases and other costs including staffing, agency staff, food supplies
  • Established weekly group for review of financial assistance claims and immediate payment.
  • Infection Prevention and Control Training Offer delivered through Health.
  • Help Hub support with food to service users and accommodation provision where individuals self-isolating or no access to food helping providers to focus on care provision
  • BwD Online Learning portal available for all regulated care staff including training on IPC amongst many other areas.
Financial support

There is a 12 month business rates holiday for all retail hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England.

More information on rates

If your business is struggling to pay any outstanding invoices or accounts with the Council, then please get in touch with us as quickly as possible using our online form.

Get in touch

This includes:

  • Commercial rent
  • Commercial waste collection
  • Premises Licence
  • Selective Housing Licence

The deadline for receiving applications for Government Grants closed on midnight Friday 28th August 2020. Enquiries regarding the status of individual applications can be emailed to businessrates@blackburn.gov.uk.

The deadline for receiving applications into the discretionary grant programme closed on midnight Sunday 14th June 2020. Enquiries regarding the status of individual applications can be emailed to businessgrowth@blackburn.gov.uk

The Government have announced new grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns. We are awaiting further information on these grants and will update our website when this is available.

Further resources and support

The government is also supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures.

Guidance for people who are self-employed is available on the government website.

You can also watch videos and register for free webinars to learn about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

Reporting a business for breaching restrictions

How to report a business

If you want to report a businesses that remains open when you believe it should be closed or if you have concerns that a retail business, office or warehouse does not have proper social distancing precautions in place please email publicprotection@blackburn.gov.uk.

Open non retail premises which are failing with social distancing

Please report manufacturing businesses if they are failing to comply with social distancing using the Health and Safety Executive's online form.

The responsible persons (Owners, Managers, and Directors etc.) can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecuted if steps haven’t been taken to make the workplace Covid secure.