Re-opening your business safely

Latest COVID-19 guidance

The country has now moved to Stage 4 of the Government’s roadmap and many of the national lockdown restrictions we’ve been living with during the pandemic have lifted. This mean businesses and venues that have remained closed can reopen, and hospitality businesses such as pubs, restaurants and bars are no longer required to only provide table service or adhere to social distancing measures.

Find more information on the latest government guidance at: gov.uk/coronavirus

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in Camden and across London so we strongly advise you to be cautious and to keep following the ‘hands, face, space, fresh air and testing’ advice as closely as you can.

The Council has developed some more posters [see link below] which we encourage you to print and display inside and outside your premises as a way to welcome back and help reassure customers and visitors.

Download a 'Love Your Camden' and 'Welcome Back' posters here 

NHS Test and Trace

To support outbreak management, businesses must request that all staff, customers and visitors check-in before entering a premises using the NHS Test and Trace smartphone application. If people do not have the NHS Test and Trace app, businesses must have an alternative system in place to collect name and contact details. To find out more and to create a NHS QR code for your business or venue, visit: gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster

Download NHS Test and Trace Guide for Businesses here

Other guidance

If your business or venue is open it must follow COVID-secure guidance to protect customers, visitors and staff.  

The Government recommends that you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce.

There are various guides for different types of workplace. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

Use the Government’s guides to make your workplace COVID-secure

Other help

Keeping your business safe

The National Cyber Security Centre has created a scam reporting service so you can flag any suspicious emails. They also have advice on hosting online video conferences 

You can also find out more keeping aware of fraud and scams on the Business Against Scams website which has some practical steps to reduce the risk of scams and fraud

Business grants

All of our grants have now closed to applications.

Previously available grants

Terms and conditions for receiving grants

In submitting an application through our GrantApproval platform, applicants were declaring that they understood the terms and conditions of the grant and that they are not making a fraudulent claim.

If the business was a registered company, then it had be solvent and not subject to an active notice to be struck off the Companies House register.

Applicants needed to provide documents to confirm their identity and support their case along with bank details for payment. The application platform guided applicants through the process.

In developing Additional Restrictions Grant schemes, councils are required to ensure state aid limits are applied and that effective action is taken before and after payment to ensure effective fraud risk prevention, including developing assurance plans. Payments are taxable and will need to be declared as part of a business’ income. Businesses in administration or where a striking off notice has been issued (along with insolvent businesses) were not be eligible for any grant.

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Grants no longer available

Additional Restrictions Grant (Queen’s Crescent Regeneration support)

As part of Camden’s Queen’s Crescent Project, grants of £1,000 were available for market traders and £2,000 available to shopkeepers to help businesses explore how they can attract those customers who are walking and cycling through the area and to get back on their feet after the pandemic. Applicants did not need to be the ratepayer, but did need to be the trading occupier or licensee. Being the recipient of a previous grants was not a barrier to applying. However, restrictions were applied to applications from betting shops and other professional service providers, such as banking.

The deadline for applications was 23:59 on Tuesday 31 August 2021.

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Additional Restrictions Grant (Museums, Galleries, and Theatres)

This grant aimed to support Camden’s not-for-profit theatres, museums and galleries whose purpose is to increase participation and access to local art and culture, and that rely on ticket sales and visitor numbers for income. Fixed grants of £10,000 were available. Applications were prioritised based on percentage of lost income and fixed business costs. Applications closed 23:59 on 1 August 2021.

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Grassroots Music Venues

This grant aimed to support Camden’s grassroots music venues. Fixed grants of £10,000 were available. Applications were prioritised based on the percentage of lost income and fixed business costs. Applications closed 23:59 on 1 August 2021.

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Additional Restrictions Grant general (Round 3)

This grant focussed on the event, travel, and tourism sectors. Including:

  • group travel
  • travel agents
  • tour operators
  • wedding industries
  • nightclubs and
  • theatres

and prioritised:

  • wholesale businesses
  • English language schools
  • breweries
  • freelance and mobile businesses (including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses)

Any other business could apply and for those applicants we prioritised:

  • businesses who had not received any previous grant support
  • businesses that had not received a Local Restriction Support Grant or Restart grant

We calculated each grant based on the level of rateable value or annual rental costs. The level of funding equals one 5 November lockdown payment plus one January Coronavirus Business Lockdown Payment. The grant was a one-off payment.

Rateable value/annual rent 5 November lockdown payment value January Coronavirus Business Lockdown Payment value Total one-off Additional Restrictions Grant payment
Less than £15,000 £1,334 £4,500 £5,834
£15,000 to £51,999 £2,000 £6,000 £8,000
£51,000 and above £3,000 £9,000 £12,000

The deadline for applications was 23:59 on 1 August 2021.

Applicants will be ranked by:

  • Highest percentage loss of income as evidenced by year on year comparisons between pre-pandemic and pandemic trading. This could be demonstrated through bank statements and audited accounts.
  • Level of fixed costs—particularly fixed property costs. This could be evidenced by providing lease details (with rent payments showing in bank statements) and other costs such as utility bills, insurance and equipment leasing and maintenance costs. Mortgage payments are not considered a cost unless clearly offset against the business.

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Restart Grant

This one-off grant supported non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, and gym businesses to help them reopen safely.

The Restart Grant was open for applications until 30 June 2021. Payments were made by 31 July 2021. All eligible businesses needed to submit a new application to be considered for this grant. There are no automatic payments for this scheme.

Type of payment
A one-off grant payment under Strand One or Strand Two
  • Strand One is for non-essential retail premises
  • Strand Two is for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, and gym business premises
One-off payment under Strand One (non-essential retail)
  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under could have received a one-off grant of £2,667
  • Properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 could have received a one-off grant of £4,000.
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over could have received a one-off grant of £6,000.
One-off payment under Strand Two (hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises)
  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under could have received a one-off grant of £8,000
  • Properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 could have received a one-off grant of £12,000.
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over could have received a one-off grant of £18,000.

Subject to subsidy allowance conditions, qualifying businesses were entitled to receive a grant for each eligible business property.

If a business operated services that could be considered non-essential and also fell into another category, such as hospitality in the higher funding threshold, the main service was determined by assessing which category constitutes 50% or more of the overall business. Businesses needed to declare their main services and the Council used reasonable judgement to determine whether or not a business was eligible for grants under which funding threshold.

Eligibility criteria

Businesses had to be based in Camden and be the ratepayer for the property. The grant was for the ratepayer and may be liable for recovery if the recipient was not the ratepayer on the eligible day (1 April 2021).

The business had to fall within the non-essential retail, or the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business thresholds.

They must (under normal circumstances) offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in the fixed rate-paying premises.

They must have been trading on 1 April 2021.

For the purposes of this scheme, a business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity. This may include managing accounts, preparing for reopening, planning COVID-safe measures, online trading,or have staff on furlough. This list of indicators is not exhaustive and the Council will use its discretion to determine if a business is trading.

Businesses must not be in breach of the new subsidy rule limits under Article 3.4 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (formerly state aid rules applied)

Separate applications were required for each eligible property.

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Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)—for businesses required to close 5 November-2 December, 16-19 December, 20 December-4 January and 5 January-15 February

This grant was for businesses that were open as usual and were then required to close due to national and local restrictions during the following periods

  • the second national lockdown from 5 November—2 December 2020
  • the period London was in Tier 3 (16—19 December 2020)
  • the period London was in Tier 4 (20 December 2020—4 January 2021)
  • the third national lockdown starting 5 January 2021.

The deadline for the scheme was 31 March 2021. From 1 April 2021 applicants could only apply for the second payment cycle covering the 44 day period from 16 February to 31 March. Applications for the second payment cycle closed on 31 May 2021.

Type of payment
  • a payment for the November 2020 lockdown (5 November—2 December 2020)
  • pro rata payments for the period London was in Tier 3 (16—19 December 2020)
  • pro rata payments for the 16-day period London was in Tier 4 until national lockdown (20 December 2020–4 January 2021)
  • a 6-week payment for the third national lockdown (5 January—15 February 2021)

Businesses that received automatic payments or had successfully applied for this grant to cover the November 2020 lockdown, received further automatic payments for the periods outlined above.

1-month lockdown (5 November—2 December 2020)
  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under could have received a grant of £1,334 for the November 2020 lockdown.
  • Properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 could have received a grant of £2,000 for the November 2020 lockdown
  • Properties with a rateable value over £51,000 could have received a grant of £3,000, for the November 2020 lockdown.
Pro-rata payments for Tier 3 (16—19 December 2020)
  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under could have received a grant of £190.57 for the 4-day period in Tier 3.
  • Properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 could have received a grant of £285.71 for the 4-day period in Tier 3.
  • Properties with a rateable value over £51,000 could have received a grant of £428.57, for the 4-day period in Tier 3.
Pro-rata payments for Tier 4 (20 December 2020—4 January 2021)
  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under could have received a grant of £762.29 for the 16-day period of 20 December 2020–4 January 2021.
  • Properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 could have received a grant of £1,142.86 for the 16-day period of 20 December 2020—4 January 2021.
  • Properties with a rateable value over £51,000 could have received a grant of £1,714.29 for the 16-day period of 20 December 2020– 4 January 2021.
6-week payment for third national lockdown (5 January—15 February 2021)

Please note that the 6-week LRSG (Closed) payment and Closed Business Lockdown Grant payment are combined into one payment issued at the same time as instructed by Central government.

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under could have received a grant of £2,001 for the 6-week period of 5 January—15 February 2021. This will be a combined payment with the additional Closed Business Lockdown Grant payment of £4,000.
  • Properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 could have received a grant of £3,000 for the 6-week period of 5 January—15 February 2021. This will be a combined payment with an additional Closed Business Lockdown Grant payment of £6,000.
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over could have received a grant of £4,500 for the 6-week period of 5 January—15 February 2021. This will be a combined payment with an additional Closed Business Lockdown Grant payment of £9,000.

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Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

This grant was for businesses required to close during the national restrictions from 16 February to 31 March 2021.

The deadline for the LRSG (Closed) scheme was 31 March 2021. From 1 April 2021 applicants could apply for the second payment cycle covering the 44 day period from 16 February to 31 March. Applications for the second payment cycle closed on 31 May 2021.

Applicants did not need to make additional applications for further lockdown periods.

Type of payment
A 44 day payment for the third national lockdown (16 February—31 March 2021).

Businesses that have received automatic payments or have successfully applied for this grant to cover the November 2020 lockdown, received further automatic payments for the period outlined above.

Please note you may be contacted by an officer to verify your details before we can make further payments.

44-day payment for the extension of the third national lockdown (16 February—31 March 2021)
  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under may receive a grant of £2,096 for the 44-day period of 16 February—31 March 2021.
  • Properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 may receive a grant of £3,143 for the 44-day period of 16 February—31 March 2021.
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over may receive a grant of £4,714 for the 44-day period of 16 February—31 March 2021.

Businesses that had more than one qualifying business property could receive a grant for each property though separate applications had to be made for each business property after 8 March 2021.

Eligibility criteria
  • Businesses had to be based in Camden and pay business rates
  • Must have been required to close by the Government during the national lockdown
  • Must have been trading as usual before lockdown came into force and not in the process of liquidation
  • Must not be in breach of the new subsidy rule limits under Article 3.4 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (formerly state aid rules applied)

Restaurants that started providing a takeaway service and businesses that set up a click and collect service are still eligible as their substantive business has had to close. Businesses that chose to close but were not required to will not be eligible for a grant. Please note that if you have a newly established business which only began trading between 5th January and 15th February 2021, we have not yet been told by central government whether you will be eligible for these payments. We will update this web page soon as we know more.

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Closed Business Lockdown Payment

For businesses required to close due to national restrictions as of 5 January 2021.

The deadline was 31 March 2021. Applications for Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) were automatically considered for this scheme also. All grants were paid out by 30 April 2021.

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Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)—for businesses remaining open but impacted by tier restrictions

This grant was for businesses in the hospitality, leisure, and culture sectors that were open but severely impacted by the Tier 2 & 3 restrictions.

The deadline for the scheme was 17:00 31 March 2021.

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Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)—for sectors mandated to close

This grant was for businesses in sectors required to close since 23 March 2020, namely nightclubs, dance halls, sexual entertainment venues, and hostess bars.

This scheme was superseded by the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed). Businesses in impacted sectors will receive closure grants as set out above for the period of lockdown as well as a pro-rata backdated payment from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) for the period 1 November to 4 November 2020. If those businesses were still required to be closed at the end of lockdown, the grant reopened automatically.

Type of payment

Recurring payment per 14-day restriction period.

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under received a grant of £667 (per 14-day qualifying restriction period)
  • Properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 received a grant of £1,000 (per 14-day qualifying restriction period)
  • Properties with a rateable value over £51,000 received grant of £1,500 (per 14-day qualifying restriction period)
  • Businesses must have been required to close since 23 March and be a nightclub, dance hall, sexual entertainment venue or hostess bar.
  • Businesses must have continued trading, but remained closed and not repurposed into another type of business allowed to stay open during that time. An example is a nightclub that became a bar.

The Council awarded these payments to businesses automatically and without an application process.

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Discretionary Grant Fund

Camden Council’s Discretionary Grant Fund scheme was open for applications from 9 June 2020 to midday on 19 June 2020. We received a significant number of applications and are currently reviewing and prioritising the cases for payment.

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Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

These two grant funding schemes were available until 28 August 2020.

Unfortunately, applications received after this date could be processed as we had no discretion to make payment to late applications once the scheme ended.

More information on the two grants is available on the government website.

As of 23 August 2020 we have issued 3,850 awards to eligible businesses under the two government business grant schemes, totalling £72.4m, with more processed in the final week and we will continue to process those received before the deadline of 28 August 2020. We have exceeded our original funding by £1.26m to date.

Throughout the duration of the scheme attempts were made to contact potentially eligible businesses to apply through letters to the property, any forwarding address or registered office, emails sent inviting application where we held email addresses and our property inspectors visited a number of properties to try encourage applications face to face.

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Christmas Support Payment—for wet-led pubs impacted by local restrictions during the festive period

The Christmas Support Payment supported wet-led pubs that have been severely impacted over the Christmas period due to temporary local restrictions.

Pubs were defined by central Governments as:
Open to the general public, allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided, allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed and permit drinks to be purchased at a bar.

There were two options to apply.

Option A—for businesses who had previously applied for and/or received one of the following grants:

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed)
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (open)
  • Additional Restrictions Grant.

If they had previously applied for any of the grants listed above and had a case reference their existing case was used to verify their details.

The deadline to apply was 31 January 2021 with payments being made by 31 March 2021.

Accounting evidence was requested to ensure eligibility.

Option B—for businesses who have not yet applied for any of the above grants.

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Self-employed grant

The Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended to provide an additional grant for the three-month period covering November 2020 to January 2021.

The grant will cover 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid in a single instalment covering three months of profit up to £7,500.

Find out how to apply

Furlough scheme

Extension to the furlough scheme

The Government has announced that it is extending the furlough scheme until 31 September 2021. This means businesses that previously furloughed employees will continue receiving support to pay wages up to £2,500 per month. You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2021.

Find out more about changes to the Scheme

Coronavirus Business Loan Schemes

The government have announced a number of schemes for businesses affected by coronavirus to access loans more easily. 

Bounce Back Loans: Open to small and medium-sized businesses through a simple application process to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. No fees, interest or repayments to pay for the first 12 months, and loan terms will be up to 6 years. 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS): access to loans, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years. No fees, interest or repayments to pay for the first 12 months. 

Applications are no longer limited to businesses that have been refused a loan on commercial terms, extending the number who benefit. Banks will be banned from asking company owners to guarantee loans with their own savings or property when borrowing up to £250,000.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS): aimed at larger firms with a turnover of between £45m and £500m, providing state-backed loans of up to £25m.

What you need to do

More information on the scheme can be found on the government website including how to check if you are eligible.

Rent support for business tenants in council owned properties

Camden Council aims to support business tenants in our commercial properties during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

What we are doing

We are helping businesses renting our commercial properties who are struggling to pay their rent where we can. Although you will still have to pay your rent, we will give you extra time to pay. This will help you stay in your premises and plan ahead. So that we can help you fully, we will ask you some details of how your business has been affected. This could include: 

  • Your drop in trade 
  • Any forced closure 
  • Government grants you have applied for 
  • Reduced staffing  

We are also likely to ask you for proof of finances.  

What you need to do

If you want to talk to us about your rent, phone us on 020 7974 6459 or email us at commercialrents@camden.gov.uk.

Other support available for businesses

There is a lot of extra support for you now. This includes:

Business support finder

The government has launched a Coronavirus Business Support Finder tool to support businesses to find the support they’re eligible for easily.

 

Tackling cash-flow

The Mayor of London has launched the PayItForward campaign, to support London businesses in the Retail, Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism sectors to pre-sell vouchers, goods and services for delivery once the restrictions are lifted.

 

Paying tax

If you or a member of your workforce are worried about being able to pay tax as a result of Coronavirus, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559. You are now able to choose to defer any VAT payment due between the 20th March and 30th June. Find out more about deferred VAT payments the government website.

 

Support for workers

If you or your staff have concerns on financial support you can find out more via our page on financial support for workers. Camden Job Hub can also provide direct support to any Camden resident on employment matters including links to vacancies, support for CVs and applications and access to financial support. You can register for Camden Job Hub's help via our website.  If any of your employees have a zero-hours contract, please let them know they’ll be able to access Universal Credit and the new Employment Support Allowance. More information on zero hours contracts and Universal Credit is on the government website.

 

Statutory sick pay

Statutory Sick Pay will be available from day 1 rather than day 4 and if you employ fewer than 250 people, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded in full by the government. Find out more about statutory sick pay on the government website.

 

Mortgages

Some mortgage lenders will support customers who are experiencing financial difficulties by giving them mortgage holidays for up to 3 months. Contact your provider for information.

 

Social distancing support and advice

Camden’s frontline presence team are out across Camden 7 days a week providing support and advice to businesses. You’ll recognise our officers as they’ll be wearing Camden high visibility jackets with ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ on them. It’s really important that everyone follows social distancing guidance to stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to save lives. As part of their role the team are providing posters (which you can also download here) and advice to local businesses to make sure that they are maintaining 2m distancing to protect customers and their workforce. You can find more information on the teams here.

Culture Recovery Fund

On Sunday 5 July 2020, the government announced a 1.57bn recovery package for the arts, culture and heritage sector, with 1.15bn available for England.

Visit Camden Arts for more information.

Newsletters and email updates

We send regular information for businesses by e-newsletter. Sign up to receive future editions.

Our new frontline presence teams are also out daily supporting businesses on high streets and markets across the borough with advice and support on social distancing. You can see what the teams have been up to on our news page.

We need your help

Laptops and iPads needed to help vulnerable pupils learn at home

We know that times are tough for businesses right now, but we are calling for any businesses who might be able to donate spare laptops and iPads for vulnerable students to get in touch. We are looking to support children who don’t have a device at home to help them to access vital online learning while schools are closed.

The Council is also working with Camden Learning, schools, community groups and local businesses to find ways to ensure pupils have a Wi-Fi connection in their homes.

If your business has any laptops or iPads that you can donate to a school in Camden that are less than five years old and in good condition, we will collect them from you and work with schools to distribute them to children who most need them.

Companies can also make financial donations and sponsor schools to help purchase or repurpose laptops for students.

Use the short form here to tell us about your laptops or iPads.

Can you support young people with virtual work experience?

We are calling on Camden employers to be part of a pioneering Virtual Work Experience Programme, providing local students, with their first experiences of work this June/July.

We know that many Camden students will have had their crucial first experiences of work cancelled. Work experience has a significant positive impact on young people’s outcomes, particularly on those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This is why Camden has partnered with Speakers for Schools. It is a national educational charity backed by employers including the Bank of England, BP, Marie Curie and Spotify. We will offer STEAM Pledge employers the opportunity to provide Virtual Work Experience (VWEX).

For further information on how to get involved contact Steampledge@camden.gov.uk

Business survey

The latest iteration of Camden’s annual business survey is now live. We are inviting all Camden businesses to take part in the survey and share their views on their priorities around recovery, renewal, and business support.

The survey will help to inform the council and its partners' future economic plans and support offer to local businesses.  

The deadline to participate is 5th July.

Complete the business survey