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Funding and Support
Coronavirus (COVID‑19) support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed.
Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.
Download the new NHS COVID-19 App
Have you downloaded the COVID-19 app?
The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community.
The app is part of the national testing and contact tracing programme, it will be used alongside the existing contact tracing.
The app allows people to ‘check-in’ to venues by scanning a QR code and alerts individuals that have spent time near other app users, who they may not personally know, and who later test positive for coronavirus. This reduces the time it takes to alert those who have been in close contact with someone with the virus.
Users will also be able to use the app to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test and get advice on self-isolating.
The app does this while protecting a user’s anonymity. Nobody, including the government, will know who or where a particular user is.
Everybody who downloads the app will be helping to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community because the more people who download it, the more effective it will be.
Watch the video to understand how the App works.
Further information is available on the NHS website. This also gives information on how to report an issue or if you have any questions about this product.
Self-isolation support scheme
People told to self-isolate for 14 days could qualify for a £500 one-off payment to help offset loss of earnings. The scheme will support those who have tested positive for coronavirus, or told to isolate because they have had contact with someone who has – and will also help encourage those individuals to stay at home, helping to protect the wider community. The qualifying criteria are:
- They have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
- Are employed or self-employed
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- Are currently receiving any one of a number of benefits
Local authorities are administering the scheme. Welwyn Hatfield residents can apply on our website or by phone from Monday 5 October.
Better Business for All Toolkit
Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Wenta are working in partnership in order to become an ‘intermediary’ for small businesses in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire & North London to access the Government Kickstart Scheme. The scheme is the latest business support initiative announced which will provide funding to employers in order to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.
The Kickstart Scheme job placements must:
- Be for a period of 6 months
- Be for at least 25 hours per week (employers can pay for more hours)
- Be paying at least the National Minimum Wage through PAYE (employers can pay more if they wish to do so)
- Be paying the statutory employer duties for the health, safety and welfare for young people, National Insurance and pension contributions
- Include support for young people to help them get work after they finish their Kickstart Scheme job
- Not replace any existing or planned jobs
- Not cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment
Joint statement on new Local COVID-19 Alert Levels
Joint statement from David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, and Jim McManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council:
“It has been announced that Hertfordshire, as a whole, has been placed as a medium-risk area in the government’s new system of Local COVID-19 Alert Levels.
“This means that Hertfordshire is currently rated in Tier One – the medium alert level. Despite this, we have seen a significant rise in positive cases of coronavirus in our county over the last 10 days and the situation here remains serious. There is no room for complacency.
“So we’re urging all of our residents to act now to avoid our county moving to high-risk status for which there will be stricter, tougher measures introduced.
“We are properly prepared, and have a detailed plan in place to deal with each scenario. But now is the time to redouble our efforts to keep the virus at bay. We understand that many of our residents have been playing their part by following the government guidelines, particularly on face-coverings, social-distancing, the ‘rule of six’, and self-isolation where necessary.”
Protect Your Workforce Letter
To date, there has been a lower rate of spread of COVID-19 infection in Hertfordshire than in many other areas. This is really good news. However, we cannot be complacent. The challenge to prevent the spread of the virus is now more important than ever. We know workplaces can be the source of outbreaks and we cannot afford to throw away the gains we have made locally.
A letter has been sent out with a message from Jim McManus, director of Public Health, Hertfordshire with information on how to protect your employees.
The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS.
The government has published staying safe outside your home for guidance on what the new rules will mean. These will take effect on Wednesday 13 May. The Coronavirus outbreak FAQ page sets out key FAQ to inform the public and help you prepare for these changes.
Community Thank you:
Don't Struggle Alone
The local response to the current crisis has been incredible. But for each day the lockdown continues, someone near you is struggling. We could help.
Life Beyond Lockdown
As we learn to adapt to a different world, we can all play our part to help our communities and businesses get back on their feet – safely.