Visit County Durham is committed to supporting the county’s business community, and when appropriate, to work closely with Partners to plan for recovery. Below you will find a number of business support initiatives from Visit County Durham, Durham County Council and the UK Government.
Visit County Durham Partnership fees waived
As a show of solidarity and support in the most challenging of times, all Visit County Durham Partner fees will be waived for 2020/21, to ease some of the financial pressure our businesses are currently facing. Please email us if you would like further information >
Visit County Durham backs business support campaign
Visit County Durham, Durham County Council and Business Durham are backing the ‘Supporting our Businesses’ campaign in the Northern Echo, Darlington and Stockton Times and the Advertiser series. Featuring print, online and social media, the campaign focuses on helping small, local businesses by offering a free advert. Further details can be found here>
Visit County Durham launches virtual visit campaign
Visit County Durham has launched a campaign that lets people enjoy a virtual visit to the county, from the safety of their sofa. Using the long-standing #LoveDurham hashtag, the ‘#LoveDurham from your sofa’ campaign features virtual tours, videos, craft ideas, recipes, quizzes, Durham trivia, film and TV locations and colouring in sheets depicting some of the county’s iconic locations. Visit County Durham is also participating in a VisitBritain campaign on behalf of the destination and partners, which will share all that is great about Britain across their social media and web platforms.
Durham County Council is committed to keeping residents and businesses updated on the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) information. They have collated the most up-to-date advice from the government, public agencies and health services, and will be updating it as new information becomes available. Read more >
They know many people are anxious about their health, access to public services, income, employment rights and businesses. Whether an individual, family or business, the council want to provide the information you need to keep daily life as normal as possible.
Please make sure you're following Durham County Council’s social media accounts for advice and information on support as it becomes available:
Information is also available at www.durham.gov.uk
Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
Over £88 million in grants has now been paid out to small businesses in County Durham to help them deal with coronavirus. Almost 8,000 businesses have already received grants of £10,000 or £25,000, and the grants do not need to be paid back.
If you think you're eligible and haven’t heard from Durham County Council, check what support is available to you >. Or contact their finance team on 03000 268 997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applying is easy - complete the online form
Support for businesses
Durham County Council fully appreciates the concerns of businesses. They are there to give advice and support to all businesses across the county, large and small.
The council has recently completed processing all the business rate reliefs and revised bills have been issued to help provide support to local businesses. They have also agreed to postpone debt recovery action for anyone in business rates arrears, pay suppliers immediately and, through Digital Drive County Durham, fast track 40% funding for businesses to purchase technology supporting home working.
Durham County Council will continue to act on guidance and disseminate information as soon as they receive it through their communications channels including social media. Their dedicated web page is updated regularly.
Business Durham, Durham County Council’s economic development arm, is also providing businesses with the most up to date information as it becomes available.
Supporting businesses to adopt the digital tech to support home working Digital Drive
Up to 40% funding is available to help businesses purchase digital equipment and consultancy to enable them to work remotely.
Never before has it been more important for businesses to have the ability to work remotely than it is right now. Businesses across the globe are currently seeking to ensure they have the tools and infrastructure in place to be resilient during some testing times.
If you are considering purchasing equipment and expertise to help you with remote working then Digital Drive County Durham may be able to help with up to 40% of your costs. This can cover: laptops; mobile devices; cloud based software; consultancy.
The council’s new Fast Track application process can help to have your project approved and completed as quickly as possible to enable you to start remote working right away.
Please call 0191 716 0960 or visit the website to find out more and to check your eligibility.
Letter from Cllr Carl Marshall
Cllr Carl Marshall, Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration at Durham County Council has issued a letter to all businesses in the county to assure them of the council’s commitment to do everything possible, as quickly as possible, to support businesses and workers who are impacted. Read in full here >
Guidance for employers on getting businesses back up and running
New guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely. There are 8 workplace guidance documents available for construction and other outdoor work, factories plants and warehouses, homes, labs and research facilities, office and contact centres, restaurants offering takeaway or delivery, shops and branches and vehicles.
5 steps for businesses to take today
The Government is urging businesses dealing with the unprecedented challenges of Coronavirus to take the following 5 key steps: get help with your finances; see what you’re entitled to; support your staff; get guidance on tax; follow the latest advice. Full details here >
HMRC are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. You can watch a video of the first recorded webinar and register for future webinars. Click here >
Arts Council Englands’ Digital Culture Network is generating a series of resources to help organisations respond to the current crisis, and enhance their digital standing on a permanent basis. From working and collaborating with others remotely, to continuing to engage with audiences and generating income. There’s also a series of webinar events in the coming weeks; find out more and download the resources here.