Support for Businesses

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.

General Information

*NEW* Chichester in Tier 2: High Alert level from 2 December
It has been announced that from 2 December the Chichester district will be classed under tier 2 of new restrictions to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Tiers will be reviewed by the government every 2 weeks.

Main rules for the public under this tier are as follows:
– You must not socialise with anyone who is not part of your household or bubble in an indoor setting.
– You must not socialise in groups of more than six people outside.
– Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.
– Places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies.
– Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue. Indoor sport will only be permitted if it is possible to avoid mixing with people not in the same household or bubble.
– You must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey.
For a full list of rules please click here for the government website.

*NEW* COVID Winter Plan
The Prime Minister has announced national restrictions will end on 2 December as planned and has published the government’s COVID Winter Plan, setting out the end of national restrictions and the steps ministers will take to help bring life back to normal by Spring. The plan involves reinstating a tiered, regional approach to managing the virus with stricter rules across all tiers.
For more details click 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)
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.

Business Information

*NEW* Chichester in Tier 2: High Alert – what this means for businesses
It has been announced that from 2 December the Chichester district will be classed under tier 2 of new restrictions to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Tiers will be reviewed by the government every 2 weeks.

General rules for businesses under this tier mean the following:
– Most businesses and venues can continue to operate in a COVID-safe manner. Some must remain closed (like nightclubs).
– Pubs and bars must remain closed unless operating as restaurants. They must only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
– Hospitality businesses selling food and drink for consumption on their premises must provide table service only and stop taking orders after 10pm.
– Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
– Early closure (11pm) applies to a range of entertainment businesses including cinemas, theatres and museums. Those with performances that start before 10pm and stay open beyond 11pm to conclude the performance.
For a full list of rules please click here for the government website.

*NEW* Shops permitted to reopen from 2 December
The Prime Minister has announced that all non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers across the country will be permitted to reopen from 2 December 2020 as part of the government COVID-19 Winter Plan.
Click here for full details.

*NEW* Local Restrictions Support Grant – for businesses forced to close by the new national restrictions
Businesses that have had to close due to national restrictions can now apply for a grant under the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme.

Local Restrictions Support Grants are available for any business that has to close during the current national restrictions period from 5 November – 2 December 2020. There are three rates of grant payments, ranging from £1,334 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or lower; £2,000 for businesses with a rateable value over £15,000, but less than £51,000; and £3,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above.

Pubs and restaurants that are closed, but continue to operate by offering a takeaway only service, are also eligible to apply.

For more information and to apply click here.

*NEW* The Discretionary Scheme – Additional Restrictions Grant
Offers funding to assist businesses that have been affected by the national restrictions imposed on 5 November 2020.

The scheme’s intention is to help the following businesses within the Chichester district:

  • Businesses who were open and trading the day before national restrictions were imposed but who 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 closed 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).

Please note that the scheme will close to new applications on December 13. Find out more here.

*NEW* Furlough Scheme Extended
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked and further economic support announced. Click here to read full news story.

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 Grants
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:
– For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
– For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
– For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks. Click here for the current government news report.

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 is open to applications until 30 November 2020. For more information please 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. This has now been extended until 30 November 2020. 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.

Tax Bills
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.

Website accessibility
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.

Coronavirus FAQ
To read Chichester District Council’s business related FAQs on coronavirus click here. The email to contact for Chichester District Council Business Support is [email protected]

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.

Contact Us

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.

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