More help and info around Covid-19

Bristol volunteering

·   So far almost 3,000 people have put their names forward to help. The more people we have involved across more communities and neighbourhoods, the wider this support network will reach. Anyone who has signed up will be contacted shortly to match them up to a volunteering opportunity – the main one’s we’re looking at right now are reaching out to those people most isolated by the current situation and helping with making sure those in need can get their shopping, medicines and other essential supplier.

Business and economy

·   Are you due to file your company accounts soon? If you think the impact of COVID-19 will cause delays in filing your company accounts, you can apply for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension [link]. You must apply before your filing deadline.

     Bristol City Council has now received 3,407 small business grant applications. We expect the first payments to be processed this week and in bank accounts early next week. So far we estimate this equates to £20 million of support.. You can contact us about this via a form on the BCC website here [link].

BEIS has prepared a FAQ document about small business grant funds, which you can find attached.

To aid business and individuals, colleagues at Bristol City Council have developed FAQs regarding the financial support packages. These are attached to this daily briefing.

·   Click here for a list of business representative bodies offering support, together with other potential sources of help available during the COVID-19 outbreak, compiled by the UK Government.

·  The Federation of Small Businesses offer useful guidance via the FSB Coronavirus Hub which is open to members and non-members, and is being constantly updated – or you can follow their regional support via Twitter (@FSBGlosandWoE) and Facebook [link]. They, like Bristol City Council, are working to advocate for businesses that require further support

·  The British Chambers of Commerce has published their results on the initial impact to businesses here. Please note that Bristol City Council will begin evidence collection in the coming weeks to evidence how businesses across Bristol are being impacted. 

     Sport England is making up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing Covid-19 crisis [link].HMRC are delivering a programme of webinars to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption. You can watch the first recorded webinar and register for future webinars here. Further support:

Bristol VCSE updates

·      Support for not-for-profits can be found at via the National Council of Voluntary Organisations and the Covid-19 charity preparedness network Facebook group here.

·     Regionally, VOSCUR information can be found here. They are supporting the council to document key workers across not-for-profits, both paid and voluntary here.

·   The United Nations has put out a call for submissions for creative campaigns to support public health messaging [link]

Bristol travel

·   Park and ride (P&R) services from Long Ashton and Brislington will be suspended from Monday 6 April. The sites will remain open and functioning and will be served by the number 39 on the Bath Rd and the 505 at Long Ashton which will connect to the Portway P&R service.

     We are expecting further reductions to First Bus services from Monday 6 April, but full details are still to be finalised.

A request has been submitted to reduce frequencies of supported services and withdraw some completely. Exact details will be provided when agreed, but the aim will be to retain early and late services for key workers.

Public communication

·  Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, gives an update on Bristol’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak [link]. Key updates:

–   Helping the most vulnerable people in Bristol during this time is our biggest priority, and today the new We Are Bristol helpline is live and free to use. Please call 0800 694 0184 if you are in an emergency situation, or you know someone who needs urgent help. The helpline is open Monday – Friday, 8:30am-5pm, and we’re working hard to move to seven days a week.

–   Yesterday we emailed over 20,000 people with updates on our essential council services in our new newsletter. To sign up and get updates to your inbox, visit www.bristol.gov.uk/covidnews

·  The Mayor hosted the first of his weekly Wednesday Facebook Live sessions focused on Bristol’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak yesterday, answering questions from the public on everything from support for the homeless to provisions for NHS staff and parking. You can watch the full session back on Facebook [link].

·  Deputy Mayor Asher Craig recorded a positive and uplifting message for all Ujima radio listeners yesterday. She encouraged everyone to keep following government advice and said a huge thank you to all the people who had already signed up to Can Do Bristol to support the volunteer efforts [link].

·  Charity initiative ‘Cheers Drive’ launched yesterday and works with local chefs to help to feed up to 600 homeless people per day, the majority of whom have been moved into safe accommodation by the Council [link].

·   The Council, together with the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership, has commissioned a review of our services to help Bristol become an autism-friendly city [link].

Latest Government/UK update

·     The Government has published press conference slides and datasets used by BEIS Secretary of State Alok Sharma MP on Wednesday 1 April [link].

·    Further detail has been issued on:

      Updated to clarify the income support available and the requirements for providing safe, quality care for vulnerable and critical workers’ children [link]