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Eat Work Art Guide for creative business support during COVID-19

The Chancellor has set out a package of targeted measures to support businesses through this period. We will deliver a series of posts clarifying key terms and how government intervention can help Eat Work Art residents.


As it stands, the Government has stated that if businesses have cover for ‘both pandemics and government-ordered closure’ they should be eligible for compensation. Since the advice given on 17th March for the public to avoid pubs, theatres etc. they are working in tandem with insurance operators to ease policies.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. If the wording is unclear, it may be worth talking to an insurance solicitor as insurance companies initial response may be to read the wording in a favourable way to themselves.


The government has not yet provided clear guidelines on what constitutes ‘non essential travel’, However the foreign and commonwealth office (FCO) have issued guidelines that judgement lies with the individual and their immediate risk profile.

Eat Work Art have interpreted this to mean where possible avoiding travel where you will likely come into contact with members of the public. Notable examples of essential travel are as follows

  • Urgent family or business critical commitments
  • Physical or mental health related travel, for example exercise or collection of medication
  • Travel for household items (food, household supplies, medicine)
  • Travel involving limited contact with the public (by private car or bicycle)

The FCO advises British people against all but essential international travel due to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. If you really must travel, for business or emergency, the Foreign Office offer the following advice:

  • Contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport providers to make sure you can still travel on the desired date
  • Read the details of your travel insurance carefully, and check if you are covered for any last minute changes. You may need to consider a specialist policy if available
  • Make sure you can access money to cover emergencies and unexpected delays. Take more than one means of payment with you
  • Be prepared to follow the advice of local authorities abroad. You may be subject to local isolation or quarantine requirements, and to rely on the local health system
  • Check travel advice for your destination regularly and sign up for email alerts

For local travel, it is very much subject to change. Transport for London announced a series of changes late on Wednesday evening as it urged people in the capital not to travel if at all possible. The mayor, Sadiq Khan: “Londonders should be avoiding social interaction unless absolutely necessary and should avoid using the transport network.”


The Government is updating the public regularly through their website and a daily conference given by Boris Johnson at 5pm. Current business relief has been outlined as the below:

  • A statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme, crucially this includes postponing this quarter’s VAT returns for all companies to ease cash flow
  • Government to pay 80% of salaries of any employees furloughed rather than made redundant due to covid-19 measures
  • Self-employed people to be able to claim statutory sick pay

There will be a £10,000 cash grant to the UK's smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be contacted by their local authority - they do not need to apply. The funding will be provided to local authorities in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

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