Chichester BID’s Response to Coronavirus
These are worrying times for businesses on the high street. However, we want to assure you that your BID Team is committed to keeping our Chichester levy payers as informed as possible and ensure you have the right tools to access any government support available to help during this time.
There’s no doubt that there are challenges ahead, but we’ll work with you to provide support however we can and ensure that the unique and vibrant character of Chichester’s high street survives this current situation.
With the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, information and advice from the government can change quickly. The information below is kept under regular review and is updated often. However, for the most up-to-date information please be sure to check the government website.
*NEW* Restaurants, pubs, hotels and hairdressers to reopen from 4 July
On 23 June, Boris Johnson announced that restaurants, pubs, hotel and hairdressers will reopen on 4 July as part of plans to further ease lockdown restrictions. Businesses will be expected to meet social distancing and hygiene standards.
All non-essential shops reopen from 15 June
On 25 May, Boris Johnson announced that all non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen their doors from 15 June as part of plans to further ease the lockdown. Shops will be expected to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards. Click here for government guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar.
Stay Alert Advice
The current lockdown advice from the government is ‘Stay Alert’. The current social distancing rule is for people who do not live in the same household to stay 2m apart, this is to be reduced to 1m from 4 July as lockdown measures ease. From 4 July, two households will be able to meet indoors and stay overnight as long as social distancing measures are adhered to.
People are allowed to go out for the following reasons:
- For work, where you cannot work from home
- Going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine
- Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- Spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing
- From 1 June, meet six other people from a different household outdoors – following social distancing guidelines
- Exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines
- Use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person while staying 2 metres apart
For the latest government coronavirus outbreak FAQs detailing what you can and can’t do please click here.
Read more about the government response to coronavirus here.
For advice on Coronavirus from Chichester District Council including support and information for businesses click here.
For Chichester District Council’s general local service status click here.
Key information for those travelling to work via train
Train services are running to help key workers and those unable to work remotely. Train companies are strongly encouraging people to work from home and avoid peak hours if they can to ensure trains have space for social distancing. The following safety measures are in place to make rail travel as safe as possible for those who need to use it:
- Capacity is being monitored on all services and at major stations to alert passengers of busy trains and stations to help them stagger their journeys.
- All passengers must wear face coverings when using public transport.
- Social distancing signage and hand sanitiser stations are available.
- Increased cleaning and hygiene measures are in place.
- Passengers must not use public transport if they are unwell or exhibiting any Covid-19 symptoms.
Please contact your local rail station if you have any queries or would like further information.
Discretionary Local Authority Grants
A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. Applications for discretionary grant funding opened on 1 June 2020 and closed on 14 June 2020. Applications received after the closing date will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. For more information and to apply please visit the Chichester District Council website here.
Government Advice: Working safely during coronavirus
For government guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic click here.
Coronavirus: HSE working safely advice and helpline
If you need help and advice on how to protect people from coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace, you can find useful information including a helpline on the HSE website here.
Managing risks and risk assessment at work
HSE also has advice on managing risk and carrying out risk assessments in the workplace including a risk assessment template and examples, click here to find out more.
Government Support for Businesses
For an overview of all the government coronavirus support currently available to businesses please click here.
The government has set up a Coronavirus Business Support Finder Tool. This tool helps businesses and self-employed people quickly and easily find out what financial advice is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. You can access the tool here.
Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can claim through the government Self Employment Income Support Scheme here.
Bounce Back Loan
The new government Bounce Back Loan scheme to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus to apply for loans of up to £50,000 was launched on 4 May. For more information please click here.
Claim for your employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
To find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave (“furlough”) due to coronavirus click here.
Business Interruption Loan Scheme/British Business Bank Advice
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees.
For information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme click here.
Statutory Sick Pay
To check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus click here.
For government information on what to do if you cannot pay your tax bill on time due to coronavirus click here.
Aggressive Rent Collection Protection
For information on measures to protect the UK high street from aggressive rent collection and closure please click here.
Advice for small businesses and the self employed
For advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed from Federation of Small Businesses click here.
Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants – APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED
The Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants is a fund set up to provide grants to independent small businesses and social enterprises (excluding charities) in our area who have been affected by COVID-19. Please be aware that the Backing Business Grants fund is currently closed. However Coast to Capital is accepting Expression of Interests forms in the event that future funding becomes available. Find out more here.
Public sector organisations have a legal duty to ensure websites and apps are accessible to all users. There are four steps you should take now to make sure your online services are accessible. Click here to find out more.
Useful information for businesses from Chichester District Council
Grant Funding and Business Rate Support
To find out more from Chichester District Council on grant funding and business rate support click here.
BID Levy Enquires
For all BID Levy enquiries please contact Chichester District Council.
To read Chichester District Council’s business related FAQs on coronavirus click here.
Other Useful Links
Citizens Advice Bureau
General advice on how to get help, help for vulnerable people, going to work, paying your bills etc…
Find information from Citizens Advice including what to do if coronavirus affects your work here.
Chichester City Council: Chichester Community Development Trust
Chichester District Council is putting a number of measures in place to help the community in Chichester throughout the coronavirus pandemic. To find out more about food deliveries, the new online community platform and also information on volunteering to help click here.
Following current government protocol, the BID team are working remotely until further notice but are contactable via email [email protected].
We have been constantly monitoring the ongoing situation and have been in regular contact with the BID’s Board as well as Chichester District Council. We will continue to respond to businesses as quickly as possible and provide answers where we can.
Please do get in touch on 01243 773263 or email [email protected] if there is anything we can do to help at this time.