Guidance for SME's

Published: 18 March 2020

Government guidance has been issued aimed at assisting employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on coronavirus, COVID-19 and detailing available packages of support.

In order to help East Devon businesses keep up to date on the latest information, on Friday we published the following guidance at This links to further detail on the measures announced by the Chancellor including additional funding, Statutory Sick Pay changes, and an increase in the Business Rates retail discount for one year. We anticipate guidance on the administration of measures already announced (such as £3k grants for those in receipt of small business and rural rate relief) as well as details of additional support for businesses. We will update accordingly.

HMRC have established a Coronavirus Tax Helpline 0800 0159 559. Staffed by almost 2,000 call-handlers, this has been set up for people to get support in all tax-related matters to do with the recent Coronavirus outbreak. The lines are manned between 8 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday as well as 8-4 on Saturdays.

Additionally, ACAS have published advice for employers and employees here:

We have included details online of the free Business Continuity Helpline set up by East Devon-based social enterprise Cosmic. This provides advice and guidance to businesses who need support to put effective homeworking arrangements in place. The helpline phone number is 0330 088 4421 and the line will be open from 9am- 5pm, Monday-Friday.

We will continue to ensure the information we provide is comprehensive and up to date, whilst promoting as widely as possible. We will do this in partnership with business representative groups already collating feedback on impacts across sectors.