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17 April 2020 - Update #10 

This is our latest email bulletin relating to the COVID-19 outbreak - for all the latest information about our services, how we can help you and links to national and local updates, please visit our dedicated webpage. The page also includes links to our previous coronavirus bulletins. 


With lockdown now confirmed to continue until at least 7 May, we’ve used this latest bulletin to summarise ways in which you can promote your business to customers, keep people engaged and offer services and experiences in different ways online.

We’ve also included two important updates about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; details of extended employee eligibility; and the information you’ll need to make a claim when the online claim service opens on 20 April, plus other news and useful links as per usual. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Scheme extended
To reflect the continuing social distancing measures the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended by one month until June 2020, the Chancellor has announced today. Read full update here.

Eligibility update
An important change has been made to the scheme extending employee eligibility:

  • Employers can now claim for employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020. 

  • Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll who were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.
Further guidance is available here.

Online claims service launches 20 April
The online claim service for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be launched on GOV.UK on Monday 20‌‌ April 2020. Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities. To prepare to make your claim you will need:

  • A Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'HMRC services: sign in or register'.

  • To be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so here, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'PAYE Online for employers'.

  • The following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for: name, National Insurance number, claim period and claim amount, PAYE/employee number (optional).

  • If you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee. If you have 100 or more furloughed staff you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; HMRC will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods

You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims. You can find more information on the scheme and eligibility to claim here.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme Expanded
The Chancellor has announced that a wider range of large businesses will be able to apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme, launching on Monday. Businesses with a turnover of more than £45m can now apply for up to £25m of finance, whilst firms with a turnover of more than £250m can now apply for up to £50m worth of support. Originally, only companies with a turnover of £500m or more were not eligible. Read the full update here.

Promoting Your Businsess…

Via Visit Southampton
Our Visit Southampton website and Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels remain active during this time, promoting the city and its businesses. We can include your business in a number of ways: 

  • Keep us informed if your business is customer-facing and is currently still open for essential needs, as well as letting us know of any changes in opening times or if you’re running any promotions e.g. special opening times for key workers. 

  • Many businesses across the city are finding innovative and new ways to connect with their audiences whilst we stay at home from virtual tours to Facebook Live videos and launching delivery/takeaway services. Let us know what your business is doing and we can promote this across our channels.

  • Now more than ever, it is important to work collaboratively to help get through this difficult time. If your business is supporting the community, vulnerable individuals or other businesses by donating goods, volunteering or offering discounted/free services get in touch with us so we can share this on our Visit Southampton and/or GO! Southampton channels as appropriate

We’ve also launched a Visit Southampton social media campaign encouraging users to share photos that depict the things they love most about Southampton and we’d really appreciate it if you can promote this campaign to your own audiences - find out more here. We’d also love to hear from you if you have relevant photography/video content you’d be happy for us to use on our social media channels for this campaign.

For any of the above please email

Free listings

  • Newsquest’s ‘There With You’ campaign is helping businesses spread their message through a free advertisement across its Hampshire titles including the Southern Daily Echo. To find out how your business can take advantage of this offer and to register for your free ad go here. The deadline for booking is 1 May.

  • Wave 105 has launched a directory entitled ‘Open for Business’ featuring essential businesses which are still open in the area. If your business is still operating you can take advantage of their promotion and upload a free 100 word listing which will be displayed here. It’s also worth noting that some businesses that are currently closed have still added a listing and are just marked as closed. You can register your business here. For enhanced promotion options please contact or

  • Don’t forget to check your free business listing on (customer-facing businesses only) and let us know of any updates required via

Urban Lecture Series
The next instalment of the Urban Lecture Series will take place on Tuesday 5 May from 5.30pm as an online webinar. Amanda Reynolds (AR Urbanism) and Stephen Greenberg (Principle Metaphor) will be discussing the ‘curated city’. You can register for your free place here.

The previous lecture, ‘Growing creative communities’, is now available to watch on our YouTube channel here.

Survey Reminder 
Once again thank you to everyone who has completed our coronavirus business impact survey. There is still time to have your say here.

Local and National Government Links
  • For Government guidance for businesses, employers and employees go here.
  • Sign up for the Government’s specific business support email bulletins here.
  • Sign up for general Government coronavirus email updates here.
  • View the Council's latest coronavirus information here.
  • Sign up for the Council's business e-newsletter here.
  • Find out how your or your business can help support others during COVID-19 here.  
  • Read changes to help prevent businesses from getting struck off Companies House here.

Other Useful Links

  • Solent LEP are hosting free webinars to help businesses in the short and long term - view calendar here.
  • See the Business South FAQ page on furloughing employees and the job retention scheme here.
  • Cyber Crime is particularly prevalent during this time, view joint advisory from the National Cyber Security Centre and CISA to help protect your business here.
  • View and download the Business Survival Guide 2020 by Enterprise Business South here.

Our Contact Information  

You can reach the BID team via If you have any queries at all, or if you think we might be able to help you with something specific, please do not hesitate to contact us.