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Covid-19 Latest Update

The situation with coronavirus, officially Covid-19, is changing daily. The future situation is unknown but there are resources and advice available which will change as the situation changes.

Updated 31st October: New National Restrictions from 5 November

This is a summary of the Government announcement on 31st October.  Further detailed guidance is awaited and this is subject to being passed into legislation on Wednesday 4th November.

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December the following businesses and venues will close:

  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops. Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.
  • hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. Takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens,
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Businesses that can remain open

  • food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services (and must continue to follow COVID-secure guidelines).
  • playgrounds can remain open.
  • hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions.
  • schools, colleges or universities will remain open
  • [Some] registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care. Early years settings can remain open.

Working from home and furlough

  • everyone who can work effectively from home must do so
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is being extended until December. The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.
  • Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.

Business Grants

We are awaiting more information on how grants will be issued but government grants available for businesses required to close are:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month (or £667 for two weeks)
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month (or £1,000 for two weeks)
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month (or £1,500 for two weeks).

Helpful Links and Resources

VAT reduction for certain sectors

From 15th July 2020 to 12th January 2021 the rate of VAT will reduce to 5% for the following services

  • hospitality
  • hotel and holiday accommodation
  • admissions to certain attractions

Find out more here.

Business Rates
  • The Business Rates retail discount in England will be 100% for the 2020 to 2021 tax year for all businesses regardless of their rateable value in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. Councils will apply this automatically
  • Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-2021 tax year.

Business Support

Kicks

Kickstart scheme

The government’s Kickstart Scheme offers fully subsidised 6 month placements for 16-24 year olds claiming Universal Credit.  Hampshire Chamber of Commerce are taking on the role of intermediary to being together groups of businesses who want to take on fewer than 30 people and is supporting them to bid for funding. Find out more here.

NHS COVID-19 app and QR Codes

From 24th September businesses in the following sectors will have a legal requirement to displaying the NHS QR code posters to support the NHS COVID-19 app:

• hospitality;
• leisure and tourism;
• close contact services;
• places of worship; and
• local authority venues

You can create your personalised QR poster for people to scan and check in here: https://www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster

Covid-19 Secure guidelines for safe working

Updated 23rd September

The Government have published their Covid-19 Secure guidelines to enable workplaces are as safe as possible. Specific guidance is available for the following sectors:

  • Close contact services
  • Construction and other outdoor work
  • Factories, plants and warehouses
  • Heritage locations
  • Hotels and other guest accommodation
  • Labs and research facilities
  • Offices and contact centres
  • Other people’s homes
  • Performing arts
  • Providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities
  • Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
  • Shops and branches
  • Vehicles – for drivers working in or from vehicles
  • The visitor economy

Read the guidance here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough)

Updated 31st October

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is being extended until December. The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.
  • Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
  • To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll (ie a RTI Submission must have been made) by 23:59 30th October 2020. 

 

Fleet BID logo

FLEET BID SUPPORT

Our Back in Business car packs include posters, hand sanitiser, floor and window stickers. On our website we can create a dedicated page for any business who does not have an e-commerce operation but would like to have some products available online. 

You can also access information on suppliers of protective equipment here.

To find out more or to get involved email us.

APPLY FOR A BOUNCE BACK LOAN

From 4th May businesses can apply for Bounce Back loans, new 100% government backed loan scheme for small business to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. 

The loans will be interest free for the first 12 months.

Apply here.


Government websites

Hart District Council

  • The Hart District Council information for businesses is here.

Hampshire County Council

Hampshire County Council have a dedicate page on their website with information on coronavirus. Read more here.


Crime Prevention

Preventing Crime in Fleet Hampshire

Crime Prevention and Avoiding Fraud

  • The National Business Crime Centre have produced Crime Prevention Tips in relation to Coronavirus – download the Guidance here.
  • The National Crime Agency have issued guidance relating to fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read it here.

Take Five Business Toolkit

Take Five is a national campaign led by the finance industry with advice to preventable financial fraud.

Download their toolkit here.


Support and advice from Businesses in Fleet, Webinars and Training

Kirk Rice Fleet Hampshire

Kirk Rice

  • Kirk Rice, accountants in Fleet have guidance and support on their website here.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Training & Event

Hampshire Chamber of commerce run vents and training on a wide range of topics as well as giving you access to potential customers and suppliers, project partners and a support network.

Find out more here.

HMRC Webinars

HMRC have a free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

Find out more here.

What to do if you have an outbreak

Hampshire County Council is leading the Local Outbreak Control Planning and together with District Council Chief Executives and Environmental Health Officers and have set up a business information page which aims to support businesses in Hampshire respond to a case or outbreak of coronavirus.  The page includes:

  • what to do if you have a confirmed case(s) or an outbreak
  • how to report an outbreak to your local health protection team
  • a communications toolkit for smaller businesses who may not have access to this resource.
There is also a helpful flowchart explaining what to do if a member of staff,  customers, visitors or suppliers report symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19. You can download the guide here.

Action cards are available for the following business and local community settings:

Workplaces

Retail, Hair and Beauty

Food and hospitality

Leisure and tourism