People with face masks for protection shopping for fruit and vegetables.
Coronovirus remains a risk and residents should continue to follow advice on social distancing including use of face coverings and hand hygiene, according to latest public health advice.

Hull City Council launches 10-step plan to help businesses return to work safely

A 10-step plan has been launched by Hull City Council to support businesses in the city trying to return to work safely and recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hull Business Support Plan will help businesses to access advice in areas including grant funding and returning to work safely amid changing advice to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The push will focus on key areas to allow businesses to move forward while ensuring the safety of staff and customers.

The 10 steps can be seen in full on the council’s Invest Hull website.

Councillor Daren Hale, deputy leader of Hull City Council, said: “Measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus are changing by the week, making it a difficult time for business-owners who are trying to ensure the future success of their companies while also keeping their staff and customers safe.

“Now more than ever, businesses in Hull need our support. That’s why we are launching this 10-point plan to ensure the city’s economy and its individual businesses can recover from difficulties resulting from the pandemic.”

Here are the 10 steps:

1. Business intelligence

Already, the local authority is gathering information on what businesses in the city need to return to work.

A survey has been launched which will be the first in a series looking at business concerns. It will ask whether businesses are open, whether staff have been furloughed and which businesses have been most affected.

The results will help the council to understand how Government grants and support schemes are helping, while identify opportunities where businesses will need support going forwards.

Read more here.

2. Local grant support

The council is distributing £2.4 million in grant support through a local discretionary business grant.

The Hull Business Discretionary Grant Fund is to help small businesses and charities not eligible for two earlier rates related grants – the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund.

The discretionary fund will allow small businesses and charities that have suffered loss of income due to Covid-19 to apply for grants of up to £10,000.

Read more here.

3. Distributing grant funding

The local authority has already handed out millions of pounds in grant funding on behalf of the Government and European funding bodies.

Hull City Council has identified 4,072 businesses in the city as eligible for either the Small Business Grants Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. By the end of May, the local authority had paid out £44.5 million to 3,946 of those businesses identified as being eligible, which is 96.9 per cent.

The council is also distributing funding from the European Regional Development Fund in the shape of business grants for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which are helping businesses in Hull to thrive despite coronavirus measures.

Read more here.

4. Guidance for businesses

The council has a skilled team of business advisors who are well-positioned to support businesses during these unprecedented economic times.

Business support teams will endeavour to help match business redundancies made in the city as a result of coronavirus pressures to opportunities that have arisen during the pandemic.

The council’s business support teams will provide advice and guidance on safe ways of working for any business-owners or staff members in the city who are concerned about taking the next step back to work. Advice is now available on what grants, loans and furlough option are available to individual businesses.

Read more here.

Workers wear protective face masks in a factory.

5. Social distancing advice

Hull City Council is working alongside partners and city businesses to put in place guidance and protection to keep public spaces safe. In the past few weeks, following changes in measures issued by Government, social distancing and public health guidance has appeared across the city centre.

The council is working with HullBID to support businesses across the city and ensure key public health messages are clearly displayed and respected. Businesses are being supplied with guidance as well as safety messages that can be displayed for customers.

The messaging is initially appearing in the city centre before being rolled out in other areas across the city.

Read more here.

6. Reskilling workers

The council is working with the Humber LEP, The Job Centre and other organisations to help people into new job opportunities through reskilling.

Working closely with partners, the local authority will provide a wider range of support for those currently unemployed, leaving school or looking for a career change.

Read more here.

7. Safer transport

Social distancing signage has been implemented at Hull Interchange in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Advice from the council includes urging passengers to wear a face covering if possible, avoid peak travel times, use contactless payment, and wash and sanitise hands as soon as possible before and after travel.

Buses in the city are running a reduced timetable and limiting passenger numbers.

Read more here.

Distancing measures at Hull Interchange.

8. Planning ahead

The council’s Planning Committee is now operating virtually, with new committee and delegating procedures in place to hit target deadlines. Measures include virtual committees, site notices and the use social media alongside increased delegations and permitted development rights.

To speed up decision-making and to ensure committees can be run safely, the Planning Committee has nominated senior officers who can agree certain planning applications. Meetings will be streamed live.

Read more here.

9. Investing in young people

The council is making a commitment to help Hull’s next generation of business leaders. The local authority has already invested £20,000 to support youth enterprise in the city.

The council is making a committing to help Hull’s next generation of business leaders. Working in partnership with the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank, it has established a support fund of £58,000 and more than 80 business and employment mentors have signed up from across the UK, led by former BBC Apprentices Claire Young and Adam Corbally.

Read more here.

10. Recruitment

With new demands placed on council services due to Covid-19, the local authority is focused on ensuring the support is tailored to those in need.

Recruitment is moving forward in key roles to support public health, social care and business support. The local authority will be looking to recruit to positions in these critical areas in the weeks ahead.

Read more here.

See the full plan at www.investhull.co.uk/working-safely.

Pearson Park.
Hull's roads