Guide East Devon business coronavirus update - 14 May 2020

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2. How to claim for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Councillor Kevin Blakey, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for economy introduces this week’s business update:

We are receiving a number of enquiries about the Government’s top-up fund for certain small businesses which were previously outside the scope of the business grants scheme. Please bear with us at this time, as we clarify the eligibility criteria and the administration of this fund. It is likely that only a limited number of businesses and organisations will be eligible. We will publicise details as soon as possible, so please subscribe to receive these business updates so you don’t miss out. Add your email address to, and choose the ‘business’ topic.

As the Government moves forward with its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the main guidance on working safely includes: 

  • Workers should continue to work from home, wherever possible. This helps to reduce the number of social contacts and keeps transmissions as low as possible. It also helps to reduce risks of overcrowding on transport and in public places.
  • If you cannot work from home, travel to your workplace by walking, cycling or driving to minimise crowding on public transport, if possible. The sectors of the economy which are allowed and should be open includes food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. The only exceptions are workplaces such as hospitality and non-essential retail, which are currently required to remain closed.
  • It’s important to reduce the number of people you spend time with at work. Employers are asked to support this where possible by changing shift patterns and rotas accordingly. More information is expected to be available soon.

Shielded people must remain shielded and vulnerable people including pregnant women and people with pre-existing chronic conditions such as diabetes, should continue to stay at home as much as possible. You can read frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak.

To support East Devon businesses at this challenging time, we are working with Cosmic to provide a range of free online workshops. Learn about steps which could help to look after your business at a time when adaptation is particularly important. In depth workshops available to book are:

Tuesday 2nd June – Digital Marketing made easy
Tuesday 9th June – Website improvements and SEO
Wednesday 10th June – Facebook Basics
Monday 15th June - Facebook next steps
Thursday 18th June – Instagram Basics
Friday 19th June – Introduction to video
Tuesday 23rd June – Instagram Next Steps
Thursday 25th June - Introduction to Photography

The measures to control the spread of the pandemic appear to be working, with the critical “R” number now being below 1. This means that the numbers of people being infected are declining, but it will be some time before we can get back to life as we knew it before the lockdown. Now is the time for businesses to plan for the immediate future and to be ready to make the changes that will be necessary to survive and thrive. The webinars above can help you in this regard.