Since the first case of the COVID 19 virus in China back November 2019, we have seen the outbreak spread across the globe. As the outbreak escalates, the pressure on businesses across in the UK and across the world has increased and raised concern to businesses of all sizes.
Surrey Chambers of Commerce is working with a range of partners to make sure that the most relevant and accurate information is available to businesses.
This guide is to help you to find the relevant advice and guidance on the questions you may have.
If your questions is not covered, please contact us on 01483 735540
WHAT IS COVERED IN THIS UPDATE?
2 Public Health England Update
Page 3 Update from Surrey Chambers
Page 4 Business Checklist
Page 5 Health & Wellbeing Information
Page 6 Business Advice from UK Government
Page 7 Business Advice covering Insurance and support for SMEs
Page 8 Financial Support and Information
Page 9 International Trade Information
Page 10 Working from Home and Business Representation
Current UK Status – DELAY PHASE
Public Health England Advice Correct as of 17.03.2020
The advice for anyone in any setting is to follow these main guidelines.
• The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID 19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
For a medical emergency dial 999.
• Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
• To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
• Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
At the current time and based on our understanding of what is known of COVID 19 and other similar respiratory viruses, it is likely that older people and those with chronic medical conditions may be vulnerable to severe disease.
As more information emerges, recommendations may change on the expert advice of the UK’s Chief Medical Officer for England, the NHS and Public Health England.
Businesses should check for daily updates at GOV.UK
(https://www.gov.uk/government/topical events/coronavirus covid 19 uk
“Like many other businesses , we are concerned by the effect the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic is having on businesses and the local economy. The team and I are reviewing our Business Continuity Plan on a daily basis to make sure that the Chamber is available to support our members during the pandemic. We have drawn up the necessary plans to continue our day to day running and to minimise the possible impact to our members and
those that use our services that we provide.
More importantly, we would like to hear from businesses across Surrey about the impact that the outbreak is having on their business and to raise any issues they are having. We are working closely with the British Chambers of Commerce to make sure that issues raised by businesses
due to COVID 19 are communicated to the UK government.
As always, the Chamber stands ready to support your business.”
LOUISE PUNTER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE
“ As the Coronavirus or COVID 19 outbreak continues to spread across the country, we are conscious that businesses are having to make decisions to minimise the impact that the outbreak will have on their business, including having staff working from home and avoid close contact with others. We have, therefore, made the decision to postpone the remainder of our March events.
This includes our Monthly Networking evening at The Ivy Arts’ Centre at the University of Surrey on the 26th March and our ‘Have your Cake’ joint event with Hampshire Chamber on the 7 th April.
With the possibility of the government policy preventing large events coming into effect in the near future, we have also made the decision to postpone our Surrey Commercial Property Group Lunch at De Vere Horsley Estate on the 20th May, and our Speed Networking with Surrey &
Hampshire Chamber on the 21st April.
Here at the Chambers, the health and wellbeing of our Members is our top priority, so whilst it is with regret that we must postpone these events, we are taking every measure possible to ensure that the spread of coronavirus is minimised. If you have bought a ticket to an event that has now been postponed, we are happy to offer you a full refund or transfer you to your event once the new date has been set. We apologise for the inconvenience that cancelling our events may have caused, we wish you and your businesses good health at this time. HANNAH JOSLYN, EVENTS & MARKETING MANAGER
“We are aware that this is a challenging time for businesses especially those who are trading internationally. The International Trade department will remain operational throughout
the pandemic. However, please be aware that, whilst every effort will be made to prevent disruption, some services may be limited or unavailable due to circumstances out of our control.
We will keep our members and users of our documentation service up to date on the dashboard of our e z Cert service.
If you are not registered for this service, please visit https ://www.e zcert.com/uk and register your business.
If you have any questions or require support, please contact our team at
GARY HAYES, INTERNATIONAL TRADE MANAGER
Prepare your business for Coronavirus
Businesses can take the following steps to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID 19, as well as to prepare for any potential disruption.
Assess your business’ level of exposure to disruption due to Coronavirus.
Identify business critical activities and the resources you need to deliver them.
Identify the relevant policies, procedures and documents your business will need.
Assess the potential impact of coronavirus on your supply chain.
Stay up to date with the latest developments and best practice covering
Make sure emergency contact details for employees are correct and up to date.
Keep employees up to date with the steps you are taking to minimise risks of exposure in the workplace.
Encourage employees to let you know as soon as possible if they will not be able to come into work due to coronavirus.
Encourage workers to wash their hands regularly and provide clean washing facilities.
Make sure you and your employees know how to spot coronavirus symptoms.
Plan for potential staff absences and develop flexible working options where appropriate.
Review your business’ travel plans, particularly to affected areas and countries.
ADVICE FROM NHS ( www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus covid 19/)
The NHS has a concise guide to Coronavirus setting out how it is spread, how to avoid catching it, symptoms, treatment and what to do if you think you or any of your employees might be infected
ADVICE FROM WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
(www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel coronavirus 2019/advice for public
The World Health Organisation has more detailed information including videos on best practice and posters to download to inform your workforce.
ADVICE FROM CHAMBER SERVICE PROVIDER, WESTFIELD HEALTH
This guide will signpost you to reliable sources of information, provide guidance on creating a Coronavirus Response Plan and identify workplace strategies to mitigate risk and provide frameworks for developing your company’s response.
Download your free Employer Guide: Preparing for COVID 19 here.
ADVICE FROM CHAMBER SERVICE PROVIDER, AXA PPP HEALTHCARE
Guidance from AXA PPP Healthcare about Personal Healthcare Cover
ADVICE FROM CHAMBER SERVICE PROVIDER, BREATH HR
https://www.breathehr.com/blog/coronavirus faq for work
STAY AT HOME GUIDANCE FROM UK GOVERNMENT
(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19 stay at home guidance/stay at home guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus covid 19 infection Information for people with confirmed or possible Coronavirus Infection)
CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE FROM MIND,
MENTAL HEALTH CHARITY
(https://www.mind.org.uk/information support/coronavirus and your wellbeing/)
Useful information and support for those suffering from anxiety about the outbreak or have trouble with self isolation.
Guidance to employers and businesses
( www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance to employers and businesses about covid 19/guidance for employers and businesses on covid 19)
Government Support for Businesses
(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance to employers and
businesses about covid 19/covid 19 support for businesses
How to apply for SSP
Article from www.smallbusiness.co.uk
https://smallbusiness.co.uk/coronavirus government statutory sick pay how to apply for it 2549859/
Company Accounts – Advice from Companies House
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus if your company cannot file accounts with companies house on time
Business Continuity Insurance – Information and Factsheet
https://www.marshcommercial.co.uk/articles/prepared for the
It is advisable that you contact your Insurer or Insurer Broker to
check to see if your business is covered.
UK Government announcement that COVID 19 is notifiable disease
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus covid 19 listed as a notifiable disease
ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Business in the Community
Helping the small business network be ready for COVID 19
https://www.bitc.org.uk/wp content/uploads/2020/03/bitc berg
factsheet COVID 19 advicetosmallbusiness march2020.pdf
News article about Self Employed & COVID- 19
https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/16/coronavirus uk cope self employed
losing income 12393413
If you or your business are struggling or have any questions, please
do contact us on 01483 735540 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Budget 2020 Support for those affected by COVID 19 – Overview
Business Interruption Loan Scheme Guidance
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance to employers and businesses about covid 19/covid 19 support for businesses#support for businesses through the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme
Further information about CBILS from British Business Bank
https://www.british business bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting business loans enterprise finance guarantee/
How to apply – Article from www.smallbusiness.co.uk
https://smallbusiness.co.uk/how do i apply for a coronavirus business interruption loan- 2549863/863/
BANKS CORONAVIRUS GUIDANCE FROM UK BANKS
If you are suffering any financial difficulty as a result of COVID
19, it is recommended that you contact your bank to see if they are offering any support Click on the link below to visit the relevant banks Coronavirus Update.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) latest travel advice
( www.gov.uk/guidance/travel advice novel coronavirus)
We have made arrangements to be able to continue to provide our documentation service should the Chamber offices have to close, however, you may find that some services will be restricted or reduced. Further information will be sent to all registered exporters of our e Z
Cert service should the office have to close.
If you are not registered to our ez Cert documentation service or would like further information about this service, please e mail export@surrey chambers.co.uk
We have made arrangements to be able to provide Force Majeure statements and letters for businesses in the event that they need to apply for one due to the Coronavirus outbreak. This document will only state that an global outbreak of the Coronavirus has occurred and has caused
severe disruption to the movement of goods.
Please note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to claim Force Majeure and it is our role to provide a document can be used to support your company’s Force Majeure companies claim. We will not argue or support any other claim outside this agreed document without substantial
If you require a Force Majeure document or require further information, please contact export@surrey chambers.co.uk
Supply Chain Update
Surrey Chambers of Commerce member, PSP Worldwide Logistics London
have produced a useful update with regards to current Supply Chain
Situation in China
( https://psplondon.com/china covid 19 supply chain situation at 10th march/)
A statement from DHL Express regarding the impact to their services can be found here:
www.logistics.dhl/content/dam/dhl/global/dhl globalforwarding/documents/pdf/glo dgf- statement corona virus.pdf
With the uncertainty surround the outbreak and the changes with the global currency markets, it is recommended that you speak to your provider of Foreign Exchange to see if you can protect or minimise the potential impact to your cash flow and FX.
We work with MoneyCorp and Western Union, who are happy to have a brief conversation with any business to see if they can help with your Foreign Exchange.
If you have any questions or enquiries, please contact the International Trade Team on 01483 735540 or email us at export@surrey chambers.co.uk
Business Continuity and the Coronavirus
Blog from Project Five
(www.projectfive.co.uk/2020/03/10/business continuity and the
Using Microsoft Teams – Online guides
Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees Information from
General Advice for Working from Home
Zoom Video Conferencing & Webinar
Seven tips if you have to work from home
Article on Sky News
https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus seven essential tips if you
have to work from home 11950757
REPRESENTING BUSINESSES CONCERNS & INTERESTS
As an accredited Chamber to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC),
we are able to feed business intelligence and challenges to governments, both in the UK and overseas.
The BCC are in regular communication with the UK government raising
issues that businesses are struggling with as a result of the COVID 19
pandemic or have issues that have not been covered by recent
If you or your business are struggling or have any questions, please do contact us on 01483 735540 or e mail email@example.com
The British Chambers of Commerce also have useful information on
their website https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/page/coronavirus
While all reasonable efforts have been made, we make no warranties that this information is accurate and up to date and will not be responsible for any errors or omissions in the information nor any consequences of any errors or omissions. Professional advice should be sought where appropriate.