More help for York small and micro businesses announced

York Council has issued more details of a £1 million scheme to support businesses falling through safety net of government support

  • 1000 businesses are set for grants of up to £1000, with up to 1000 set for free access to FSB support
  • Council acting to put £110 m of government support into York businesses’ accounts – first grants to land in bank accounts next week

City of York Council has released details of further support for York businesses, including its £1 million scheme to help York’s small and micro businesses who are set to miss out on government support.

City of York Council’s micro business grants scheme will deliver grants of up to £1000 to 1000 self-employed, micro and small businesses who need it most. 

Applications for the grants will open before Easter, and will be available to businesses which:

  • have 50 or fewer employees, including one person business/self-employed;
  • need support adapting to new trading arrangements;
  • are experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus, and
  • do not qualify for any other government grant or rate relief support packages.

In addition, the council has created a new fund to give up to 1000 businesses free membership of the Federation of Small Business. Also set to launch before Easter, these will be available to businesses with 30 or fewer employees. This will give each business access to a range of services, covering everything from legal and advice to cyber protection and insurance.

Grants will be issued to the first 1000 businesses which meet the criteria, so businesses are advised to prepare evidence in advance.

 The council will open an online application form, which will require company details, an outline of what the grant is needed for and the following evidence to demonstrate eligibility:

  1. proof of hardship and ineligibility for other schemes
    • for self-employed applicants: Business must have a Unique Tax Reference Number UTRN from HRMC with retrospective check
    • Registered business – must provide Company Number, or details from other registration schemes
  2. Evidence that the business is trading, for example adverts, web site or accounts

The council will contact businesses to review the effectiveness of grants and collect evidence of the impact of our funding. 

The council has also negotiated a deal which will allow 1,000 one person businesses, or 500 ten person businesses to join and access the free helpline for business advice.

Carolyn Frank, Development Manager North Yorkshire, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“We are seeing more demand than ever for our services as small businesses and the self-employed find themselves needing advice and guidance, financial support and a powerful collective voice with government.

“We are very grateful to City of York Council for funding free FSB memberships for microbusinesses from their emergency funding, which is helping us reach even more businesses in York with specialist 1-2-1 advice and support.

“Our benefits in higher than normal demand due to the emergency situation include employment advice and protection, legal helpline and documents hub, FSB care medical advice line, cyber protection checks, FSB funding platform and cash advance and insurance services. 

“I’d encourage businesses to apply quickly to take advantage of this special scheme, because it is strictly limited to first come, first served. Of course businesses who miss out on the free scheme can still ask for our help, we have many free resources and a full priced membership starts from only £147 a year.” 

Coronavirus updates – 3rd April 2020

Coronavirus cases up in York

THE number of confirmed coronavirus cases in York has increased by more than 20 in the past 24 hours – according to Public Health England figures. Yesterday there were 36 diagnoses in York – today the number has increased to 57.

ANOTHER patient who tested positive for Coivd-19 has died at York Hospital. The fatality, revealed in NHS England’s daily bulletin, is the 13 death in the York trust. 

Grand Central cancels trains

Grand Central has cancelled all services from Northallerton, Thirsk and York to London until the coronavirus crisis is over.

York Council provided information

Support for parents and children

There is a lot of uncertainty around the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, particularly given the situation is constantly developing and the information about the virus remains incomplete.

Understandably, this is causing a lot of worry and anxiety for families. Those who have children and young people at home are often trying to work themselves adding another layer of stress.

This is why we have produced information packs for parents and carers to help them through the Easter Period and a pack to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.

It includes tips to look after the health and wellbeing of the whole family, home schooling tips and where to get information and help.

You will find lots of information for parents and families on our website at

We have attached information packs for parents and tips for the Easter holidays. We will share social media graphics tomorrow together with a press release.

Download resource guide from

Community hubs update

A short summary of our community response:

The Community Response Team is now 23 strong.  Numbers of calls are ramping up:  yesterday 91 calls and 65 emails

Average call length is around 15 minutes. 

We have various levels of response:

  • Providing info – we are maintaining a listing of community resources available to people
  • For low priority issues (e.g. wanting windows washed, an oven door fixed, for specific items to be purchased in M&S) we will link them into the locality Facebook groups
  • For ad hoc urgent needs designing a bespoke response via a hub volunteer
  • Referring to a voluntary organisation

We are following up with regular welfare calls to the anxious and lonely.  We have allocated 400 volunteers to making these calls. (This is distinct from but sitting alongside CVS’s welfare calls scheme for GP referrals and housing’s calls to tenants).

We have a set up a team to maintain constant contact with all the voluntary organisations and other stakeholders to understand their needs and what they have to offer and feed that back into the picture.  We are sending them extra volunteers if appropriate but some cannot manage more so we are having conversations about how we increase their management capacity.

We have opened 9 hubs, with a tenth being looked at today. Each hub has 2 members of staff (except two locations who have provided staffing).  352 volunteers are allocated to the hubs.

In addition to providing local volunteers, the hubs are leading on feeding the medically shielded who have special dietary needs that will not be met by the government parcels.  They are also providing emergency food to other people who are not served by YFAS or the foodbanks.

Volunteers:We have over 2,800 signed up.  In addition to the uses outlined above and below we have allocated them to some pharmacies, to the community furniture store, and will increasingly direct them to other uses.

Vulnerable people needing help because they are directly affected by coronavirus and have no other source of help should email the Councils Community Support Coordinators at or call 01904 551550.

Police record speeds of up to 132mph despite motorists being told to “stay home, save lives and protect the NHS”

Some vehicles and motorbikes were observed travelling very quickly on the A64 York southern by pass yesterday.

Police have have now repeated their warning to motorists to stick to the rules of the road after a driver in North Yorkshire was clocked at 132mph.

It comes amid a rise in dangerous, highly-excessive speeds as roads get quieter.

A safety camera operator on the A168 recorded a car travelling at 132mph earlier this week.

Details of the vehicle were circulated to other units and a driver was stopped by officers from a neighbouring police force a short time later. The driver was subsequently reported on suspicion of the offence.

North Yorkshire Police has repeatedly urged motorists only make essential journeys and drive safely and within the law, to protect valuable emergency service and NHS resources.

Police patrols and safety camera vans, which are operated by key-worker police staff rather than officers, have been used at key locations to try to prevent further casualties.

Andy Tooke, of North Yorkshire Police’s Traffic Bureau, said: “Some of the speeds we have recorded as the roads have got quieter are frankly ridiculous, especially at a time when people have been asked to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

“It’s unbelievable that some motorists are behaving in a way that puts more lives in danger at a time when NHS and emergency service resources are so vital.

“It goes without saying that if people stuck to the rules of the road during a time of national crisis, there would be no offences for us to enforce.

“We will not tolerate North Yorkshire being used as a race track, and we are continuing to target those who put lives at risk by driving illegally.”

The speed limit on the stretch of the A168 that the safety camera operator was monitoring is 70mph.

In the last few days, North Yorkshire Police has also recorded speeds of 117mph and several at close to 100mph.