Business support services
Details of service updates and business support can be found on the links below:
For updates on Council services and useful links
External links for business support and advice:
Advice for Employers Considering Redundancies
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
The first placements are likely to be available from November. Funding will cover for each job placement: 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week the associated employer National Insurance contributions employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart Scheme funded job.
Guidance for businesses on re-opening
Hertfordshire’s Better Business for All partnership has produced guides, checklists and FAQs as part of a toolkit to help businesses complete their risk assessment and put new processes and procedures in place to allow them to re-open and trade safely.
Retailers' responsibilities to disabled customers
To help retailers meet their legal obligations, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has issued new guidance which explains the simple steps retailers can take to ensure they comply with the legal responsibilities to customers to make sure they are not discriminating. They have also produced infographics that can be used to promote these key messages.
Business rates and cash grants
- Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
- Business Rates holiday for Nurseries
- Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure - see below
- Small Business Grant Funding - see below
Eligible businesses may need to supply us with additional information in order for us to pay these grants. Click on the link below for more information.
Crowdfund Hertfordshire: Small Business Innovation Fund
Visit Herts is working in partnership with Hertfordshire LEP and Crowdfunder to offer small and micro businesses within the tourism, leisure, hospitality, retail, arts and cultural sectors the chance to unlock between £2000 and £5000 in match funding to help overcome the challenges of Covid-19.
Find out full details and eligibility requirements on the Visit Herts website.
Financial support from the government
The UK Government website has details of the financial support available for businesses including:
- Business Interruption Loan Scheme - through commercial lenders
- Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme - through commercial lenders
- Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan - up to £50,000 for SMEs. Launched on 4th May 2020
- Job Retention Scheme - opened 20th April
- Statutory Sick Pay rebate
- Support for businesses paying tax
- Self-employment Income Support Scheme
- Information on VAT deferral and Self-Assessment
- Future Fund for innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak - Launched in May 2020
Not sure what you're eligible for? Use the support finder tool:
General information, advice and detailed guidance is available at:
Information on support available
Self-employed people and sole traders Toggle accordion
Support and information can be found on the links below:
- Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme - through HMRC
- Self-employment and Universal Credit
- If you cannot pay your tax bill on time
- Carry out work in people’s homes safely (tradespeople)
- Drivers’ hours rules relaxations
- Negotiate a mortgage payment holiday
- Food Businesses - see lower down the page.
Guidelines for employers and businesses Toggle accordion
Click on the links below for detailed guidance on the UK Government website:
Coronavirus support for employees, benefit claimants Toggle accordion
Details on changes to job centre appointments and information for those already claiming support on the UK Government website:
Tourism and hospitality businesses Toggle accordion
Visit Herts has a regularly updated section with information focused on businesses in tourism and hospitality - click the link below to go to their information hub.
COVID-19 and your food business Toggle accordion
Food businesses are facing many challenges at this time and we wish to support you with as much guidance as we can.
The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) are leading the UK government response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
- You can get up to date information and guidance for the public on the risk from Coronavirus on the government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- If you employ people, the guidance for employers and business will help you and your workers prevent the spread of COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19
- Guidance for food businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19#maintaining-social-distancing-in-specific-food-business-settings
Closure of Food Businesses:
You will be aware the closure of certain food businesses and other businesses is now in place.
The government has strongly advised the public to only make essential visits outside of the home.
Takeaway / Delivery Service:
If you are thinking of offering an alternative food service to customers, you may only offer a delivery or takeaway service. Information on planning requirements such as change of use can be found on St Albans City and District Council website: https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/changes-response-covid-19
New Food Delivery and Takeaway COVID-19 Guidance: has been produced by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health: https://www.cieh.org/media/4070/covid-19-food-delivery-and-takeaway-guidance.pdf
Takeaways and restaurants offering a pick-up service:
For these services:
- businesses should take orders online or by telephone rather than being taken in person on the premises - this should be communicated to customers by appropriate means such as signage
- payment can also be made via telephone or using online platforms
- customers can have staggered collection times - customers should be discouraged from entering the premises until their order is ready
- customers arriving without having already placed an order should be encouraged to leave the premises to place their order by telephone or online, and to return at a designated time for collection
- customers whose orders are ready should enter one at a time to collect orders and make payments by debit/credit card; avoid handling cash
- businesses should discourage crowding outside the premises; where possible, use queue management systems to maintain the 2 metres separation; do not allow customers to eat food inside or outside your premise.
You must revise your food safety management system to have safe procedures in place for this activity.
Delivery Vehicles and Drivers:
Take payment in advance over the telephone or online.
It is necessary that the driver employed is insured for business purposes and has a vehicle or motorbike that is fully taxed and MOT certified. If deliveries are done by bicycle, it must be roadworthy and the appropriate helmet and high visibility clothing provided and worn by the rider. If using an external provider, make sure they too are reputable.
- Sale of hot food and hot drink is not licensable except between 11pm and 5am.
- All foods for customer take-away and/or delivery must be stored in suitable food grade containers, e.g. polystyrene, foil and plastic with lids
- These containers must be clean and stored hygienically
- It is not good practice to allow a food handler to touch the inner surface of the food container before any food is added
- For hot food deliveries, use an insulated bag to help retain heat
- For cold food deliveries use a cool box or bag with ice blocks or packs
- If using a storage box fixed to the back of a motorbike, the inside surface still needs to be kept clean and not come into direct contact with the outer surfaces of the food delivery containers e.g. place the containers into a paper or plastic food bag first
- To ensure safety, remove the food delivery and leave on the door step of the customer
- Ensure delivery personnel have both anti-bacterial spray and gel with them on all deliveries
- Limit the radius of delivery to 2-3 miles maximum so that foods can be delivered from final point of cooking and packing to final point of destination for consumption so that foods are still hot for the consumer to eat.
The food business operator must:
At the premise:
- Ensure food handlers are trained in food hygiene
- On arrival at the premise, wash hands in a separate hand wash basin with running hot and cold water, liquid anti-bactericidal soap; dry hands with disposable paper towels; and turn off taps with disposable paper towels
- Change into clean laundered over clothing every time on entering the premise
- Ensure handwashing every time staff enter the kitchen and throughout food handling and preparation activities
- Everyone to maintain a 2 metre separation distance
- Ensure all raw and ready to eat foods are kept separate during storage, preparation, service and delivery
- Use separate equipment, over clothing and utensils for raw and ready to eat foods
- Clean and disinfect food preparation surfaces with a disinfectant or sanitiser compliant with British Standard BS-EN 1276 or 13967; use disposable single use cloths and also pay close attention to all hand touch points including taps, fridge handles, till points, credit/debit card readers, telephones, door handles, etc. Clean and disinfect throughout the day
- Cleaning in non-healthcare settings: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings
- Keep high risk foods chilled below 8OC in a fridge, suitably covered and monitor the temperature throughout the trading day
- Cook foods to 75OC or above
- Hot held foods must be kept above 63OC
Temperature control is critical to prevent the growth of food poisoning bacteria in food. Monitoring is needed throughout the day using e.g. a digital probe thermometer. All monitoring checks should be recorded and records kept available for inspection.
All food handlers and service staff need to know how to deal with allergen enquiries from customers.
If someone asks if a menu item contains a certain food / allergen, check all the ingredients (and what they contain), as well as what you use to prepare or cook the item. Always read labels and other information. Never guess.
If you are unsure what allergens the dish contains, tell the customer you cannot take their order. Refer to the Food Standards Agency for more information www.food.gov.uk/allergy
Food handlers, service staff and delivery personnel must not work if they have any symptoms of illness that will compromise food safety or cause the spread of infection.
If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow current NHS advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Remind employees to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues which should be binned.
Health & Safety:
The health, safety and welfare of you, your staff and visitors is paramount at this very difficult time, like the provision of access to welfare facilities, maintaining a safe distance of 2 metres, hand washing measures and the provision of personal protective equipment where it is needed.
You will need to consider all aspects as part of your business risk assessment and take steps to ensure your workplace is a safe environment at which to work.
For general advice please refer to Health and Safety Executive www.hse.gov.uk
For further guidance, contact St Albans City & District Council, Environmental Health:
Coronavirus bounce back loans Toggle accordion
A new loan scheme - the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan - has been launched to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus.
Holiday entitlement and pay Toggle accordion
An explanation of how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic, where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance. This guidance applies to those that have continued to work as well as those that have been furloughed.
Retail - guidance
Guidance for retailers and people who work in shops Toggle accordion
Information and support for business start-ups and existing businesses looking to grow
Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Toggle accordion
A range of information and links with support and advice for businesses
Herts Industrial Strategy, business support and other information can be found here.
The Herts Growth Hub Toggle accordion
The Herts Growth Hub's COVID-19 (Coronavirus) business resource webpage can be found here.
St Albans Enterprise Agency (STANTA) Toggle accordion
The STANTA Start Up resource centre has a wide range of information on the legal and practical things you need when starting up a business.
Find out more about STANTA here.
Support for employers at the University of Hertfordshire Toggle accordion
Hertfordshire Business School is one of the largest business schools in the UK. Find out how they can assist your business here.
Watford Enterprise Agency (WENTA) Toggle accordion
A wide range of information and resources to help you start and grow your business.
Find out more about WENTA here.
Support for start-ups at The University of Hertfordshire Toggle accordion
Supporting start-ups and small businesses, identifying opportunities for growth and taking businesses to the next level. Find out more here.
Oaklands College support for businesses Toggle accordion
Federation of Small Businesses Toggle accordion
Read about the FSB here.
Small Business Rate relief Toggle accordion
Further information on all types of rate relief can be found here.
How to tender for Council services Toggle accordion
The Council uses the Supply Hertfordshire procurement portal for all tender opportunities. Find out more and apply here.
Guide to preventing cyber threats Toggle accordion
Learn how to protect your business here.
'Business in the Community' - getting and offering practical help Toggle accordion
'Business in the Community' has distilled some of the Government's COVID19 support packages for small businesses into a checklist with tips on what's available and how to access them.
If your business can offer support to save and change lives during the COVID19 pandemic, visit the 'Business in the Community' National Business Response Network platform. If you can offer professional support, lend/donate resources or logistics then here's your way to help the coronavirus response.
'Business in the Community' is offering support for SMEs needing help with business continuity or employee wellbeing; and community groups needing help with food, technology or social care due to coronavirus.
St Albans district and Hertfordshire based organisations you can join to network and share advice and expertise.
City of Professional Expertise in St Albans District Toggle accordion
St Albans City of Expertise. Advice and information from professional service experts: legal, chartered engineering, chartered accountants, financial expertise/banking, planning and surveying. Find out more here.
St Albans District Chamber of Commerce Toggle accordion
Read about the St Albans District Chamber of Commerce here.
The Harpenden Collective Toggle accordion
Members only workspace and coworking community for businesses and individuals.
Read about the Harpenden Collective here.
TheBusinessesCommunity.Com Toggle accordion
Find out how the Businesses Community website can help you here.
Information on regulations and Trading Standards
Food Standards Agency Toggle accordion
Guidance and advice on food law can be found here.
Gambling Commission Regulator Toggle accordion
Find information about the Gambling Commission Regulator here.
Health and Safety Executive Toggle accordion
For information about the national regulator for health and safety matters, click here.
Hertfordshire Trading Standards Toggle accordion
The Trading Standards pages have information for businesses.
Which? Trusted Traders in Hertfordshire Toggle accordion
For more information about local trusted traders, click here.
The Better Business for All Agenda Toggle accordion
Road to Zero Strategy Toggle accordion
Strategy to reduce emissions from road vehicles and move towards zero emissions.
Read the strategy here.
The Carbon Trust Toggle accordion
Advice to help you navigate the risks and opportunities of climate change.
Read about The Carbon Trust here.
Low Carbon Workspaces Toggle accordion
Offers small and medium-sized businesses in Hertfordshire grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to cover up to a third of the cost of making energy improvements eg. LED lighting, heating, insulation, electric vehicles and more. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Find out more information here.
Herts Innovation Quarter (IQ) Toggle accordion
Leading the development of 3 million sq ft of new commercial space. Read more here.
Sponsorship opportunities for employers
There are multiple opportunities for sponsorship, including roundabouts around the district and our three community street festivals, which attract over 16,000 people to each event.
Roundabout Sponsorship Toggle accordion
St Albans City and District Council operates a sponsorship scheme for a select number of roundabouts, city entrance signs and flowerbeds throughout the district. The traffic flow rate at these sites is considerably high, making them strategic points for advertisement. Sponsorship enables organisations to promote their company via advertisement signs at these locations. Prices vary between £500 and £5000 per annum and the income generated helps maintain the district’s roundabouts and flowerbeds to a high standard.
Please see below for the locations at which sponsorship opportunities are available*:
|Flowerbed||St Albans||Hatfield Road||Sponsored|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||Redbourn Road||Sponsored|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||Hemel Hempstead Road||Sponsored|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||London Road||Sponsored|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||Harpenden Road||Sponsored|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||Watling Street||Available|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||Watford Road||Sponsored|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||St Albans Road, Sandridge||Sponsored|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||Colney Heath Lane||Sponsored|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||Hatfield Road||Sponsored|
|City Entrance Sign||St Albans||Sandpit Lane||Sponsored|
|Roundabout||St Albans||St Peters Street||Sponsored|
|Roundabout||St Albans||Holywell Hill||Sponsored|
|Roundabout||St Albans||Blue House Hill||Sponsored|
|Roundabout||St Albans||London Road/Highfield Park||Sponsored|
|Roundabout||London Colney||Colney Fields||Sponsored|
|Roundabout||London Colney||London Colney North Orbital||Available|
|Roundabout||St Albans||Park Street North Orbital||Sponsored|
|Roundabout||St Albans||The Noke Hotel||Sponsored|
*If the site at which you wish to advertise is currently already sponsored, please contact the Parks and Green Spaces Team to be added to a waiting list. Sponsorship contracts are reviewed annually in April.
Event sponsorship Toggle accordion
St Albans District Council holds three major community events each year:
- The Alban Street Festival (Sunday 21 June 2020)
- St Albans Feastival (Sunday 27 September 2020)
- St Albans Christmas Cracker (Sunday 15 November 2020)
Attendance at our events continues to be strong, with each one attracting in excess of 16,000 visitors.
If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities at our community events, please contact email@example.com.
Trading opportunities for businesses
If you would like to apply for a market stall:
Go to the online application form for a stall at St Albans Charter Market
Go to the online application form for a stall at St Albans Farmers Market
If you would like to apply to trade at one of the community events:
Apply via the online event stallholder application form