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.
Wash Hands, Cover Face, Make Space
The current lockdown advice from the government is ‘Wash Hands, Cover Face, Make Space’. The current social distancing rule is for people who do not live in the same household to stay 2m apart, this was reduced to 1m from 4 July. As of 14 September, only 6 people are able to meet indoors or outdoors as long as social distancing measures are adhered to. It is also advised that those that can work from home do so.
Local Lockdown Restrictions
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have published an overview of the government’s approach to managing local coronavirus outbreaks. The overview sets out a five-step approach to managing local outbreaks, which can be scaled up rapidly as needed. Full details can be found here.
A list of areas with current additional local restrictions is available here.
Face coverings mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England
The government announced that as of 24 July 2020 face coverings are mandatory in shops and supermarkets. Click here for further guidance.
Disposing of business waste (including PPE and face coverings)
New guidance on how to dispose of your personal or business waste, including face coverings and personal protective equipment (PPE), during the coronavirus pandemic has been published here.
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.
*NEW* Government announces measures to help protect jobs during coming months
The Chancellor has announced a package of measures aimed at continuing to protect jobs and help businesses through the uncertain months ahead.
The package includes a new Jobs Support Scheme to protect millions of returning workers, extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans.
*NEW* The NHS Covid-19 App
The new NHS Covid-19 app launched 24 September. The Government announced that certain venues are legally required to display NHS QR posters by 24 September. This includes all venues from the following sectors:
- Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
- Tourism and leisure, including gyms, swimming pools, hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
- Close contact services, including hairdressers, *facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres (for events), libraries and children’s centres.
If you qualify you need to create a personalised QR code poster through the government’s website.
*NEW* Pub and restaurant 10pm curfew from 24 September 2020
As of Thursday 24 September pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England must have a 10pm closing time. These businesses will also be restricted by law to provide table service only. Face masks are also now compulsory for bar staff, shop workers and waiters. The Prime Minister’s full statement on this can be found here.
Mandatory for businesses to support NHS Test and Trace
As of Friday 18 September, businesses have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. It is now mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days. Core COVID-19 Secure requirements will be mandated for hospitality businesses, and egregious breaches enforced. The government has also published simplified COVID-19 Secure guidance which can be found here.
Reporting outbreaks of coronavirus
COVID-19 early outbreak management information has been created to make sure that people who run businesses or organisations:
· Know how to recognise and report an incident of COVID-19; and
· Are aware of measures local health protection teams may advise in order to contain it.
Full details can be found here.
Business Action Cards
Action cards have been developed to cover a range of businesses and organisations to provide specific advice on the issues each type of organisation may face now lockdown restrictions have been eased. You can find more details on the action cards here.
On 8 July the Chancellor announced several measures to support businesses over the coming months in his Plan for Jobs 2020. Below is an outline of the relevant business measures and full details of his announcement can be found here.
Government Job Retention Bonus
Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021 in a bid to help firms keep on furloughed workers.
Government Kickstart Scheme
A new £2 billion scheme will be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.
VAT cut for tourism and hospitality
The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will be cut from 20% to 5%.
Employee return-to-work tool
The government has developed a tool to help employees in England easily assess if they can return to work. The tool guides employees through questions that may influence their ability to go back to work safely. Employers can share this tool with employees to aid discussion on how employees can return to work safely. Find out more here.
Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ scheme
‘We’re Good To Go’ is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. It’s a free, self-certification scheme which is available to all visitor-facing businesses. Application takes around 20 minutes. The aim is to give consumers confidence that shopping and taking trips is safe and therefore encourage them to visit our local businesses.
Link to apply: https://goodtogo.visitbritain.com/home
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.
Hospitality – Working safely during coronavirus
Government guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways – 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 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.
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
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.