Reopening of businesses

From Monday 15 June, all non-essential retail stores were able to reopen.

As of 4 July, many of the businesses and venues that were previously required to stay closed to the public will be able to reopen. All businesses and venues should follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

We have produced, in conjunction with Devon and Cornwall Police and the wider local authority network, this distilled summary of the guidance for the opening of pubs, cafes and restaurants on the 4 July. It hopefully answers some of the key questions about live music and sport, social distancing, gaming machines, and booking requirements to summarise some of its contents. It should be read in conjunction with other guidance, which is referenced on this page.

Guidance for re-opening pubs and restaurants
This guide offer support to venues re-opening after the recent COVID-19 lockdown and includes essential information which should be followed.

For the time being the following types of businesses and venues will still be required by law to stay closed to the public; nightclubs, casinos, bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks, indoor play areas including soft-play, spas, nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons, massage, tattoo and piercing parlours, indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities, swimming pools and water parks, exhibition or conference centres – where they are to be used for exhibitions or conferences.

Check if your business or venue can open.

Other businesses will be able to open and their employees should travel to work, where they cannot work from home.

Five steps to working safely

  1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment in line with HSE guidance
  2. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures by encouraging people to follow the guidance on handwashing and hygiene
  3. Help people to work from home
  4. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible
  5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

The Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership COVID-19 Toolkit is a guide to help you restart your business safely.

The Pension Regulator has put together a package of measures and guidance.

Acas also have a lot of advice for employers and employees.

TDA are offering a range of FREE online training sessions to help you prepare for reopening your business.

The government’s response to the Coronavirus is unprecedented, and we would urge businesses to take advantage of all the help that is available.

We are working with the TDA to develop an action plan for Torbay’s economic recovery. Together we have been seeking input from the Torbay Business Forum, Torquay Chamber of Commerce, Paignton Chamber of Commerce and Brixham Chamber of Commerce.

We are also working with partners across the region, such as our neighbouring councils and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership to ensure that the region as a whole gets the support it needs – both now and in the future.

Local grant offerings for businesses

Emergency fund grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid by businesses eligible to receive them.

Discretionary business grants

Businesses that are not eligible for the previous grants announced may be eligible for a discretionary business grant.

We are accepting applications from:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Bed and Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates;
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief; and
  • Businesses operating in the visitor economy (i.e. tourism and hospitality) and the supply chain of this industry that did not qualify for the previous grant schemes that have a rateable value under £100,000.

Grants are available from £2,500 to £25,000. Businesses will need to evidence that they have suffered a significant fall in income as a result of COVID-19 and have relatively high ongoing fixed-property related costs. 

Applications for phase two of this scheme are open until Sunday 19 July.

Apply for a discretionary grant

Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) scheme

£10,000 cash grants for small businesses that are eligible for small business rate relief.

Apply for a grant

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund (RHLGF)

£10,000 or £25,000 grants are for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Apply for a grant


Bounce Back Loan scheme

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by Coronavirus to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Apply for a bounce back loan

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

Small-or medium-sized business in England facing cash flow issues as a result of COIVD-19 can apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Find out more about applying for a CLBILS.

The dedicated Government business support pages provides details of all support available, schemes in place and how to safely operate your business.

The support finder tool will guide you through the most relevant support available to you, and your business during the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes key information for the self-employed and sole traders on what support is being made available and how to apply.

If you are an employee seeking advice and guidance visit the work, financial support and money section of the government website.

Local support networks

Additional support

For further business support information visit the coronavirus business support pages on GOV.UK. Information includes:

  • Funding and support
  • Self-employed people and sole traders
  • Your responsibilities as an employer
  • Managing your business during coronavirus
  • Business closures
  • How you can help