What’s New For Small Businesses This Week? – 09/07/2021

What’s New For Small Businesses This Week? – 09/07/2021

We have gone through this week’s news and have attempted to pull out the most relevant announcements for this round-up.  

Here is a brief look at the news you need to know: 

  • From 19 July, almost all Covid lockdown restrictions will be lifted in England
  • Average small business made £300,000 selling on Amazon last year

 

On 19 July, almost all Covid lockdown restrictions will be lifted in England

On 19 July, hundreds of Covid regulations in England will be eased with rules such as social distancing and face masks to be scrapped.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday 5th July that the government plans to press ahead with Stage 4 of the roadmap.

Downing Street said businesses that choose to enforce mask-wearing will need to take legal advice on their responsibilities under the Equality Act.

We have gathered a list of what is changing:

  • Wearing masks will no longer be a legal requirement;
  • Social distancing rules will end (currently six people or two households indoors, or 30 people outdoors);
  • Pubs will no longer be limited to table service;
  • Nightclubs will be allowed to open;
  • Restrictions will be lifted on large events and performances, so venues can operate at full capacity;
  • Limits will be removed on life events like weddings and funerals;
  • Work from home guidance will be scrapped.

 

After restrictions ease, responsibility will shift from the government to employers and individuals when it comes to Covid-19 safety measures.

And the prime minister, Boris Johnson, has said people should “exercise judgement” when it comes to face coverings.

Ultimately this means businesses can set their own rules on everything from desk space and one-way systems to mask wearing and working from home policies.

At a news conference on Monday, Boris Johnson said: “The government is no longer telling people it is necessary that they should work from home – the rest is really for employees and employers to work out for themselves.

“That change has been made possible by the success of the vaccine rollout.

“The overwhelming proportion of the workforce has had two jabs, so we’re talking about a huge wall of immunity.”

Tom Ironside, director of business and regulation at the British Retail Consortium, said retailers would wait for the government’s final decision on restrictions, expected on 12 July.

“It will take consumers and businesses time to adjust, and it is vital that government messaging is clear and consistent so that businesses and consumers easily understand what is expected of them both legally and individually.” he added.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has stressed the benefits of getting back to the workplace when coronavirus restrictions lift

However, unions have raised concerns about the lack of guidance for employees to safely return to the workplace.

Rishi Sunak told the Daily Telegraph: “I think for young people, especially, that ability to be in your office, be in your workplace and learn from others more directly, is something that’s really important and I look forward to us slowly getting back to that.”

The government has published guidance on how people can manage the risks to themselves and others in a Covid-19 Response: Summer 2021 paper.

Guidance includes:

  • Wearing a face covering when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed or crowded spaces;
  • Meeting in well-ventilated areas where possible;
  • Washing hands regularly and using hand sanitiser;
  • Covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze;
  • Staying at home if you’re unwell;
  • Considering individual risks, such as clinical vulnerabilities and vaccination status.

 

Customers may still be anxious about returning to restaurants, pubs, and venues without restrictions.

It is important to reassure customers and your employees that your premises are safe as part of providing good customer service.

Make sure whatever actions you take it is clear on your website and social media so customers know what to expect.

The government has published advice on how to keep your workplace safe as restrictions are eased.

The final decision to lift the remaining restrictions will be made on 12 July, with changes expected to come into force on 19 July.

 

Average small business made £300,000 selling on Amazon last year

The average small business selling through Amazon made £300,000 in 2020, an increase of 50% year-on-year.

Amazon helps SMEs get online and access hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Now they have more than 65,000 UK SMEs selling professionally on Amazon’s stores, up almost 20% year-on-year.

Despite Covid-19 creating a number of challenges for small and medium-sized businesses, many of them have adapted and been able to get online for the first time and thrive. Over 14,000 UK SMEs selling on Amazon surpassed £100,000 in sales, and over 1,000 reached £1 million in sales for the first time in 2020.

Small businesses from across the UK are increasingly seeing success from selling on Amazon’s stores, supporting regional economies and communities. Many businesses are located outside of London – for example, North West England now has more than 8,500 SME selling partners, who together exceeded £450 million in export sales last year. Sellers in East and West Midlands exceeded £450 million in exports, while Yorkshire and the Humber achieved £150 million.

Between February 2020 and February 2021, more than 150 rural businesses generated sales of over £250,000 selling on Amazon; over 60 rural businesses exceeded £1 million in annual sales on Amazon alone.

E-commerce business loans are a convenient and straightforward way to apply for and secure the necessary funding for businesses based online. A problem that many online sellers and businesses face is that lenders do not understand their specific needs and requirements. Cubefunder, however, is very different and we understand that not every business has full-time premises and that in the 21st Century, more and more businesses are setting up online with little or no offline presence.

An Amazon business loan for businesses such as these can allow for purchasing of more stock to sell or premises to use for the storage of increased amounts of products.

With entire businesses built upon the success of Amazon as a marketplace, it has never been more important to provide the funding to allow Amazon sellers to expand and develop.

Apply today for an e-commerce business loan.

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