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.
The Prime Minister has announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England. The roadmap outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps.
Full details can be found here.
From 8 March all children and students will return to face to face education in schools and college. Wraparound childcare and other supervised children’s activities can resume where they enable parents to work.
Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor provided they are tested and wear PPE.
The Stay at Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household.
Step 2, no earlier than 12 April. Non-essential retail, personal care premises, such as hairdressers and nail salons, and public buildings, such as libraries and community centres, will reopen.
Most outdoor attractions and settings, including zoos, and theme parks, will also reopen although wider social contact rules will apply in these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households. Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances will also be permitted.
Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen – but only for use by people on their own or with their household.
Hospitality venues can serve people outdoors only. There will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol, and no curfew – although customers must order, eat and drink while seated.
Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
Step 3, no earlier than 17 May. Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
Outdoor performances such as outdoor cinemas, outdoor theatres and outdoor cinemas can reopen.. Indoors, the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply – although we will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.
Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.
Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) will also be allowed, as will those in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000 people or half-full (whichever is lower). In the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
Step 4, no earlier than 21 June. It is hoped all legal limits on social contact can be removed. The government hope to reopen nightclubs, and lift restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3.
For the latest government coronavirus outbreak FAQs detailing what you can and can’t do please click here.
Face coverings mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England
Face coverings are currently mandatory in shops and supermarkets. Click here for further guidance.
Disposing of business waste (including PPE and face coverings)
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.
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.
Business Support Information
*NEW* High Court judgement on business insurance
Tens of thousands of small businesses will now receive insurance payouts covering losses from the first national lockdown, following a court ruling. The Supreme Court found in favour of small firms receiving payments from business interruption insurance policies. For some businesses it could provide a lifeline, allowing them to trade beyond the coronavirus crisis.
The full information can be found here.
CDC Government Business Grants
Closed Business Lockdown Payment
The new government support includes one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that are required to close during the current lockdown – these grants are worth either £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000 per property (dependent on ratable value). Click here to find out more.
Local Restriction Grant
In addition to the above grant, businesses required to close can also apply to the Local Restriction Grant (Closed Addendum: 5 January onwards). For further information and to apply for this support please click here.
Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)
If your business is not eligible for the above schemes, please check the information on the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) intended to help the following:
- Businesses who were open and trading the day before national restrictions were imposed but are not entitled to the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) scheme as they are not responsible for business rates (e.g. non-essential market traders, bed & breakfast, shared workspaces in the non-essential retail and hospitality sectors).
- Businesses who, while not legally forced to close are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid19 (e.g. businesses which supply the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector).
£4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs
Following the national lockdown announced on 4th January 2021, the Chancellor has announced new support measures will be available to help businesses through this time. These include:
- One-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring
- £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses
- £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme
For the full news story please click here.
Furlough Scheme Extended
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked and further economic support announced.
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.
Businesses that have been required to close due to national restrictions imposed by government as of 5 January 2021 may be eligible for a one-off grant of up to £9,000. Check if your business is eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national restrictions (for closed businesses) here.
Bounce Back Loan
The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year. The scheme is open to applications until 31 March 2021. For more information please click here.
Government COVID support schemes for businesses in Chichester District
There is government grant support for businesses who have been required to close. As of 26th December the grant fund which applies is the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum.
All details can be found on the Coronavirus Business Support section of CDC’s website.
The above grant scheme applies to businesses who are liable for paying business rates. If your business is in one of the sectors required to close but you do not pay the business rates, then you can apply to the Additional Restrictions Grant for support via the grant approval site.
Applications must be submitted online and if you haven’t already done so, we recommend going to the Grant Approval website and registering your business under Grants for Businesses. The taxation team at Chichester District Council are processing applications from 4th January.
Other available grants:
Three new Government Covid-support business grant schemes are now live, offering support to district businesses that have been affected by the local tier restrictions:
- Local Restrictions Support Grant (open) — for district businesses that are open but are experiencing financial losses due to restrictions
- Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) — for district businesses that have been required to close due to restrictions
- Christmas support payment for wet led pubs — for district pubs that bring in less than 50% of their income from food sales
CDC are still issuing their COVID recovery grant, which is a grant for local businesses and community groups:
- Small grants up to £1,000 towards costs incurred of keeping staff and customers safe.
- Larger, match funded grants of up to £5,000 towards new projects for recovery
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. This has now been extended until 31 March 2021. For information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme click here.
New Style Employment and Support Allowance
You may be able to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance with, or instead of Universal Credit, depending on your National Insurance record. Click here for more information.
Job Support Scheme ~ THIS SCHEME WHICH WAS DUE TO COME INTO PLAY 1 NOVEMBER 2020 HAS NOW BEEN WITHDRAWN DUE TO THE NEW LOCKDOWN ~ The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Government guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways – click here.
Employee return-to-work tool
The government has developed a tool to help employees in England easily assess how to return to work safely if they cannot work from home. The tool guides employees through questions that may influence their ability to go back to work safely. Find out more 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.
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.
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. Click here to find out more.
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.
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.