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Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

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Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

England to re-enter lockdown

31 October 2020

Prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced that England will go back into lockdown from 5 November.

Following similar action by the governments of France, Belgium and Germany, England will enter a four-week lockdown following an increase in the numbers of confirmed cases, hospital admissions and deaths. The month-long lockdown will see all non-essential shops and hospitality businesses close until 2 December. Pubs, bars, and restaurants will also close except for takeaways.

People have been asked to 'stay at home' where possible. Those who can work from home, should do so. You can leave for essential shopping, medical appointments, to escape harm or for exercise.

In recognition of the impact this will have on many businesses, the prime minister announced that the furlough scheme, that was due to finish at midnight on 31 October, will be extended until December. This means that employees that are furloughed will still receive 80% of their pay.

Responding to the announcement, BCC Director General Adam Marshall said "There's no getting around the fact that these new restrictions will be a devastating blow to business communities who have done everything in their power to adapt and operate safely.

"Business and market confidence have been hit hard by the unclear, stop-start approach taken by governments across the UK over the past eight months, with little end in sight. Many firms are in a much weaker position now than at the start of the pandemic, making it far more challenging to survive extended closures or demand restrictions.

"The temporary extension of the furlough scheme will bring short-term relief to many firms, and responds to Chambers' call for business support to be commensurate with the scale of the restrictions imposed. While there is no substitute for a functioning economy, the full financial support package for businesses facing hardship, whether through loss of demand or closure, must immediately be clarified and communicated. Sustained help must be available to employers, to the self-employed and to the many businesses and individuals that have not been able to access any of the government's schemes to date."

Unlike the previous lockdown, schools, colleges and universities will remain open. The requirement for 'vulnerable' groups to shield will also not be re-introduced.

Written by Fiona Prior.

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