This page provides the latest information for Kingston businesses, including resources to support you and information on Business Grants and Rates Relief.
You can find more information and support on the main COVID-19 page.
Business updates newsletter
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View the latest business update (3 July 2020)
Guidance and Advice
Thanks to our partners Kingston First and Kingston Chamber of Commerce for their support and input as we collectively respond to the challenges we share. Do explore their web pages for additional information and guidance.
Government and local advice and guidance:
- Borough-wide Reopening Guidance (Kingston Council)
- Kingston Town Centre: Reopening Guidance (Kingston First)
- What the Government is doing to support businesses
- Additional government resources to support your business
- Working safely in the workplace during COVID-19
- How to clean workplaces safely
- Connected Kingston for local advice and support
- London Growth Hub
- Sector-specific support (London Growth Hub)
- Government guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers, and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
Free online employability skills and career advice
- Skills Toolkit
- Open Learn
- Future Learn
- Google Digital Garage
- Prince’s Trust Coronavirus Support Hub (for 18-30 year olds)
Reopening Guidance - 15 June 2020
To help support businesses and organisations across Kingston Borough who are planning to reopen over the coming weeks, we have collated an overview of the projects and services we are implementing to help ensure customers and employees are confident in returning and have a pleasant, welcoming experience.
We will be reviewing the document as Government guidance changes. Please do share your feedback, experience or insights with us so that we can adapt our response and support our businesses and high streets over the coming weeks. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please contact your Neighbourhood Manager at [email protected].
Have you had success in transitioning your business online?
We would love to hear from you so we can share your experience and any advice with others. Please let us know by emailing [email protected]
Discretionary Grant Fund
The ‘Discretionary’ Grant Fund has been set up by the government to help certain small and micro businesses, as well as charities that were outside the scope of the previous business grant schemes. The government has prioritised four sectors initially: businesses in shared workspaces without their own business rates assessment, regular market traders, bed and breakfasts and some charities.
Only approximately £1.5m of funding is available for us to distribute for this scheme so unfortunately this will not be enough to support every business that needs it. Our aim is to use this to help as many businesses as possible with meaningful grants. In preparing our scheme, we have consulted with partners in Kingston Chamber of Commerce and Kingston First BID.
We anticipate that most grants will be up to £5,000, or up to £2,500 depending on the category. Our scheme will ask for information about the ongoing fixed property costs and impact on income, to help us target the available funds effectively. We will assess all applications and overall demand before making any payments and anticipate that payments will be made from the end of June.
Please read through the scheme information before applying. Read more information and to apply for the grant.
The following upcoming webinars can help you better understand how to transition your sales online, improve your negotiating position, and prepare to reopen.
How to convert your current offering and maximise your online sales. This webinar is applicable to all business types and will help you to repurpose your marketing and increase sales in the current market. Wednesday 10 June, 10-11am - sign up through Eventbrite.
This is the latest in Kingston’s Business Support Programme for local businesses which is currently free of charge for 90 days. Explore our upcoming sessions. Once signed up, you can access a range of current and historic webinars covering topics including sales and marketing, legal, finance, and operations and HR.
Tactics for successful negotiation. This webinar will help you fine-tune your negotiating skills, learn new tactics and discover your bargaining power. Tuesday 9 June 10am-1pm - sign up through Newable.
Business and finance in a time of lockdown. In this webinar experts will discuss how businesses are being financially affected during the pandemic, including markets, cash flow, business adaptation and risk management. Wednesday 12 June, 8.30-9.30am - sign up through Zoom.
Reopening our town centres
Businesses will be responsible for ensuring that they reopen safely, with primary consideration being given to the safety of customers, staff and visitors. A risk assessment will need to be completed in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and businesses will need to take the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure. It is crucial for the wellbeing of the community that businesses adhere to the guidelines, and new powers are in place to enforce action if they don’t.
The government is publishing updated COVID-19 secure guidelines to help you reopen your business safely, which includes eight different types of work environments. Also available is a working safely webinar series, as well as safer workplace case studies.
The Federation of Small Businesses has a number of resources on their website which can help, including articles and blogs about reopening and carrying out risk assessments, as well as a downloadable COVID-19 Health and Safety Checklist.
If you would like to talk to us about re-opening, please contact [email protected] or if your business is in Kingston town centre you can contact Kingston First on 020 8547 1221 or at [email protected]
Read previous business updates
Business update 19 June 2020
Business update 9 June 2020
Business update 28 May 2020
Business update 21 May 2020
Business update 14 May 2020
Business update 7 May 2020
Business update 30 April 2020
22 April - video message from Councillor Caroline Kerr
Business update 23 April 2020
Business update 16 April 2020
Kingston Business Update 9 April 2020
Practical support for your business - sign up now
We’ve developed a 90 Day programme of business support to provide practical advice & guidance to help you navigate your business through the current uncertain times and out the other side. The free programme will be delivered remotely through web summits and workshops. This includes;
- Managing cashflow
- Accessing grants and support
- Maximising online selling; application of tech
- Business planning and modelling
- Commercial lease issues
- Managing people, and mental health and wellbeing
These sessions will be supported by an online learning portal. Read more and sign up here
Business Grants and Rates Relief
There is no action required from you to ensure you receive the new rate relief, if your business is eligible.
Businesses who have been identified to potentially qualify for the grant will be invited by email and letter to make an application online. This is needed to confirm bank details for payment and some other criteria.
Please be aware that a number of scammers are offering services to help make claims for the new Business Rate Grants for a small fee. Claims are free to make and process, and businesses in Kingston should do so by visiting our Business rates page, where you will also be able to access the lates information about grants and relief, as well as the application form.
We understand that businesses are anxious to know more and to access this support quickly.
Important guidance from council business-facing services
Business support and advice
Following the link below to find more Coronavirus specific support from leading regional and national business support organisations like the London Growth, FSB, British Retail Consortium and more.
The Revenues & Benefits Team can be contacted at [email protected] or on 020 8547 5007 (Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm).
Culture at Risk Business Support Fund
The Mayor of London has announced a £2.3 Culture at Risk Business Support Fund to help London's creative and cultural industries at risk due to the impact of COVID-19. This targeted emergency fund will help some of the most at-risk small businesses. If you are an arts organisation, business or individual working in the cultural sector, creative industries or night-time economy in London, please visit the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk page to register your details for support, guidance and resources.