Items of Interest

1.  Bristol City Council is carrying out a short survey of the city’s businesses and organisations to gain a more detailed understanding of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. While we fully appreciate this is a challenging time, any information you provide will help inform any future business support we might develop, either as a council, or with partner organisations, to work alongside that offered by the UK Government. You can access the survey here.

2. The UK Government announced yesterday a financial package for the charity sector; read more here, and further guidance for the sector here.

3.  And Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network with of over 750 companies in membership –  have launched the National Business Response Network, a platform to connect business to urgent local community need across the UK during the Covid-19 crisis. If you’re a business who can help or a community group who needs help please get in touch here.

4. Guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – for both employers and employees – has recently been updated. It includes: more detailed information on scheme eligibility; further information on the employees you can claim for; further information on how to calculate a claim; and clarification of what constitutes wages. Click here and here for more.

5.The UK Government has announced that certain businesses must close during the current COVID-19 outbreak; please see the guidance here. Please ensure your business complies to limit the spread of the virus. Should you have concerns about businesses not following this guidance or general guidance on social distancing in the workplace please contact health.safety@bristol.gov.uk or call 0117 9222500 to report issues.

6. See attached a flowchart designed (by a financial services company based in Cornwall) to help find the support available to people in the current situation, depending on their employment status – employee; self-employed/partnership; director.

7. The Future Bright service helps West of England businesses and employees realise their full potential through developing workplace skills. Among other things it supports businesses by providing access to training and development, and identifying ways to motivate staff, increase productivity and reduce absenteeism. Future Bright’s eligibility criteria have been extended during the current coronavirus situation to potentially cover those affected by redundancy, shortened hours and being furloughed. The service may also support the severely impacted self-employed.

8. Bristol Food Network has created a dedicated COVID-19 section on its website, including updates on how the network is responding to the outbreak; click here to view it.

9.Bristol Shopping Quarter’s LoyalFree app can be used to find local deals, loyalty schemes, events and trails straight from your smartphone. It has recently been adapted to current circumstances so it’s now featuring online offers from some of the Quarter’s indie retailers plus trails to help people find the essential retailers that are still open as well as the indies and nationals offering online shopping. It can be downloaded here. 

10.Official guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus can be accessed here. And the NHS Every Mind Matters website is regularly updated – view it here. And social enterprise Talk Club is a talking and listening club for men, a male mental fitness movement. While physical meetings aren’t feasible currently, virtual ones are; find out more here.