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Make sure you have applied for a business support grant
If your business has been closed or severely financially impacted as a result of COVID, make sure you have applied for a business support grant.
You can currently apply for a range of grants including:
- Discretionary support grant which covers the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open).
- Local Restrictions Support Grant (Addendum, Closed, Sector).
- Christmas Support Payment (CSP) for pubs where less than 50 per cent of income is derived from food. The deadline for applications is Sunday 28 February.
Applications received will be assessed against the eligibility criteria and grants will be awarded dependent on the size of the business or the rateable value of the business premises.
Businesses who have already been paid a grant since November, do not apply again as you will automatically be paid under the later schemes.
Businesses that received payment from the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF) from May to July 2020 will need to apply for the ARG again.
The government will be announcing its plans for easing lockdown on Monday 22 February. We will share details with you and update the website once we receive news of any financial support that will be made available.
Mental health in the workplace
As staff come under increasing pressure during COVID-19, Professor Dame Carol Black discusses mental health in the workplace with a focus on the role of managers, and Dr Jane Suter talks about the impact of COVID on small businesses.
The Thrive at Work West of England programme supports small to medium sized businesses and enterprises by offering resources that are needed to help embed good mental health practice in your business and support your employees.
We have also been working closely with One City and Thrive Bristol partners to produce a number of Vox Pops on workplace mental health, visit the Bristol One City YouTube channel to watch the latest.
EU Settlement Scheme
Following Brexit, all EU, EEA and Swiss citizens must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if they want to continue living, working or studying in the UK after June 2021.
EU nationals and their family members who have lived continuously in the UK for five years should be entitled to get settled status, meaning you are free to go on living and working in the UK indefinitely.
People who have lived in the UK for less than five years can get pre-settled status, which after five years of continuous stay can convert to settled status.
The final deadline for applications is 30 June 2021, but we advise applying as soon as possible. You can also get help from these community advice centres:
- St Pauls Advice Centre, 146 Grosvenor Road, BS2 8YA
- North Bristol Advice Centre, 2 Gainsborough Square, BS7 9XA
- South Bristol Advice Services, Withywood Centre, Queens Road, BS13 8QA
The future of events and festivals
Going to events and festivals is an important part of life for many who live, work and study in Bristol, but the COVID-19 pandemic has left many businesses, and the artists who perform in them, struggling to survive.
To help secure the future of the festivals and live events industry there are three actions you can take:
- Fill in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport form to let them know what festivals mean to you to help with the government inquiry.
- Visit the Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment’s campaign page to #KeepVATat5, where you’ll find information, social assets and an MP letter template
- Follow We Need Events, a campaign group set up by some of our very own citizens which aims to elevate and unite the voice of festival attendees. Event organisers can support the industry through We Make Events campaign. #WeMakeEvents #WeNeedEvents #KeepVATat5 #WeAreViable
Local initiatives support independents
The British Association of Restaurants, Bars & Independents (BARBI) has launched a new Bristol based delivery app. The app aims to help save Bristol’s independent hospitality, and food and drink venues by reducing the high amount of commission collected by the big global delivery apps, as well as increasing the low wages paid to the delivery riders and drivers.
Squiggle is a new virtual high street of locally made products sold by independent Bristol stores. The platform allows customers to make purchases from a range of the city’s shops, producers, designers and artists all at the same time, with deliveries made weekly on a Friday.
The Too Good To Go food waste app is being used by Bristol businesses to help fight food waste, and put an end to the damage it does to our planet. Businesses list their unsold food on the app at the end of each shift for local users to browse and buy before picking it up at the allocated time.
- South Bristol Enterprise Support (SBES) offers a broad range of support, advice, mentoring and funding. If you own a business in the south of Bristol, or are a budding entrepreneur who lives south of the river visit the SBES website to find out more
- The government has announced a £20 million Brexit Support Fund to help small and medium sized businesses to adjust to new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU. Businesses who only trade with the EU and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively. Read the full Brexit Support Fund announcement on the government website
- As part of its plans for regional recovery, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is investing £6.7 million to help support businesses and create new jobs. The fund will support a range of programmes to help businesses innovate, adapt and create new products and services to reach new customers. Visit the WECA website to read more
- Innovate UK EDGE enables ambitious, innovative small and medium sized businesses to accelerate their growth and achieve scale. Register on the Eventbrite website for the free webinar on 23 February which explores the critical steps you need to be considering to make sure you’re ready to fund operations and grow once restrictions are lifted.
- The Centre for Capacity Building & Enterprise Development (CCBED) is a social enterprise based in St Paul’s Learning Centre helping to tackle unemployment and underemployment in people over the age of 19 from disadvantaged local communities. A free, six session, online enterprise course is due to start on 11 March. The course is designed to support learners to develop their leadership and business skills. Visit the CCBED website to find out more about the course and to register.
- HMRC are running monthly webinars on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. Register now for the next webinar on Friday 26 February (11.45 to 12.30).