Coronavirus: Access our toolkit for business

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce has produced this toolkit to help businesses mitigate the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak.

We’re updating it daily as new information comes to light so keep checking to make sure you’re up to speed.

The toolkit is divided into sections. Simply scroll down to find the information you need.



The Government’s guidance for businesses is here.

Sign up for Government email alerts on Coronavirus here.

A dedicated website outlines the support available to businesses, including grants, rate relief and loans, click here.

For information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which pays up to 80% of wages of employees who are unable to work, click here.

For details of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, which are interest-free for the first 12 months, click here. The business finance specialist Rangewell has compiled a list of lenders under the scheme and their lending criteria. Click here.

For details of support for the self-employed, click here.

Self-employed people who can’t work because of Coronavirus, and who aren’t eligible for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, can claim Universal Credit. Details here.

The Government’s Coronavirus Action Plan, setting out its approach to managing the outbreak, is here.

Coronavirus restrictions:

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government has listed the types of business required to close their premises. Click here.

It is allowing pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways for the duration of the outbreak. Details here.

There is specific information for hotels and accommodation providers here.

The Department for Education has published a list of critical workers whose children can continue to attend school. Click here.

Click here for guidance for businesses that employ apprentices.

Health and safety:

Guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England, is here and is updated daily. This covers the situation in the UK, provides information about the virus and outlines the action the Government is taking to prevent its spread.

The NHS has a concise guide to Coronavirus setting out how it is spread, how to avoid catching it, symptoms, treatment and what to do if you think you or any of your employees might be infected. Details here.

Click here to download a poster asking staff and customers to wash their hands. A simpler printer-friendly version is  here.

Public Health England has a useful blog here addressing frequently asked questions around Coronavirus.

Trade, travel and transport:

Click here  for advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on travel abroad.

The Department for Transport has produced specific guidance for the transport sector here and details of a temporary relaxation of drivers’ hours rules here. It is also waiving the annual inspection for tank vehicle for transporting dangerous goods. Details here.

MoT tests for heavy vehicles have been suspended for up to three months. Details here.

The Department for International Trade has published guidance for importers and exporters here.

Financial and legal:

The Government is changing insolvency law to help companies in difficulties to keep trading while they explore options for rescue, along the lines of the US Chapter 11 procedure.  It is also temporarily suspending wrongful trading provisions for directors. More here.

HM Revenue & Customs has launched a tax helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to Coronavirus. More here. The number is 0800 0159 559.

Companies are being given three months extra to file accounts. Details here. Companies House has guidance if you need more time to file your accounts because of Coronavirus. Click here.

The Government has banned evictions for commercial tenants that miss rent payments. Details here.

Guidance for buy-to-let landlords is here.

Rules on staff carrying over annual leave entitlements have been relaxed. Details here.



Cumbria Chamber is keen to understand how the outbreak is affecting businesses so we can highlight problems to government and lobby for additional help where it’s needed. Help us to help you by completing a short survey here.

We have produced a Coronavirus Business Continuity Toolkit in partnership with the accountant Lamont Pridmore, click here.

The Chamber’s Essential Coronavirus Podcast, with Frances Cameron and Luke Donockley of the law firm Muckle LLP, looks at the obligations and risks facing employers and steps to minimise damage to your business. Some of the content has been overtaken by events but there’s still a lot of valuable information:


Our Chamber Connect service matches people looking for work, and businesses with staff they want to release, with businesses looking to recruit temporary workers – perhaps to plug gaps caused by higher absenteeism rates. Details here.

The British Chambers of Commerce’s advice on preparing for and responding to Coronavirus is here.

Westfield Health, which provides healthcare and well being services to Chamber members, has produced an Employer Guide on Coronavirus, click here.

The Chamber’s Cumbria Business Growth Hub can offer you one-to-one adviser support, remotely of course, to help you plan through and beyond the crisis. Make contact with the Growth Hub here.



Acas has produced advice for employers and employees. Click here.

The accountant Armstrong Watson has advice on various Coronavirus-related issues for business including sector-specific information for the hospitality industry with other sectors to follow. Details here.

Burnetts Solicitors has a dedicated section on its website on Coronavirus issues including information on how to access Business Interruption Loans and an outline of the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme.  Click here.

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development has produced the following:

  • A Coronavirus factsheet, here.
  • Employer response guide, here.
  • Managing Coronavirus checklist, here.
  • Emergency protocol business continuity plan, here.
  • Pandemic contingency plan, here.
  • Policy on controlling the risks of infection, here.
  • Letter to employees reminding them of their responsibilities in relation to control of infectious diseases, here.
  • Letter to employees setting out position on absence and pay due to Coronavirus, here.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has advice on communicating with employees here.

The HR specialist Croner has produced materials for employers. For its Coronavirus guide click here, for the checklist click here and for the factsheet click here.

Cumbria Tourism has specific guidance for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector here.

The Freight Transport Association has a dedicated Coronavirus hub. Click here.

The Growth Company has a suite of resources including 10 steps to take now, a series of webinars, and guidance on keeping your business operating and managing cashflow. Click here.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has advice here.

Accountant Lamont Pridmore has set up a Coronavirus Business Support Hub. Click here.

The National Cyber Security Centre is warning that fraudsters are exploiting the Coronavirus crisis to send bogus emails and launch phishing attacks, details here. It has also issued guidance on best practice for home and remote working, click here.

Nat West Bank has set up help pages for business customers affected by Coronavirus. Click here.

The accountant Saint & Co has produced a Coronavirus support guide here.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has advice for motor dealers here.

The World Health Organisation has detailed information including videos on best practice and posters to download to inform your workforce. There’s also a useful myth-buster section and advice on when face masks are appropriate. Click here.



Cumbria Community Foundation has set up a fund to help vulnerable people affected by the outbreak. If you’d like to support this initiative, details are here.

Cumbria LEP is asking businesses with surplus Personal Protective Equipment – such as moisture-repellent masks, gloves, aprons and hand sanitiser – to donate it for use by health and care workers. Register here.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organisations that can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components. If your business can help, register here.

The NHS is seeking to recruit 250,000 volunteers to help the 1.5m people who have been told to shield themselves from Coronavirus because of underlying health conditions. Sign up here.

Oxley Group and BAE Systems are developing prototypes for face mask production. If you can help in manufacturing please email Jayne Moorby at


© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce