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This information is all from the Bristol City Council Business newsletter. Click here to subscribe to the email.
After a very challenging festive period I know that a third national lockdown is not the news anyone wanted and will put businesses under even more pressure. However, it is clear amid rising infection rates that we must now do the most we can to protect Bristol and save lives.
The national lockdown decision comes as COVID-19 infection rates rise rapidly across the UK, as well as in Bristol. The England average infection rate is now 519 per 100,000 and Bristol’s infection rate is 306 per 100,000 people, which represents a 57% increase in the city from the previous seven days.
I recognise the challenges the government is facing but we need protection for jobs and businesses that are unable to operate and we need to continue planning for recovering from lockdown and the pandemic, and the eventual reopening of businesses.
I continue to call to the government to provide assurance that these lockdown restrictions will be fully funded for businesses given that many are excluded from the national support measures. It’s essential that you are fully supported with the right financial packages for as long as these new restrictions are in place.
We, as a city, have worked incredibly hard over the past few months in trying to get the infection rate down. We must once again pull together and harness the commitment that pulled us through the previous two lockdowns. It is tough for us all, but we must stay home and save lives.
I know how hard the past months have been on everyone’s lives, relationships, work and mental health, and I thank everyone for their efforts so far. I appeal to you all once again to continue to show kindness and love. Support is available through the We Are Bristol free helpline on 0800 694 0184, open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm and Saturday to Sunday 10am- 2pm. A 24/7 helpline is also available for people in Bristol to get immediate emotional and practical mental health support, on 0800 012 6549.
National lockdown: Stay at home
You can read the full restrictions on the government website. Here is a summary of what you can and cannot do during the national lockdown:
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
- Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- Attend education or childcare – for those eligible.
- You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one)
- You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble
- You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason
- Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.
New lockdown grants to support businesses
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor has announced.
One-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities to support other businesses affected by restrictions that might not be eligible for the grants.
To read the full news story visit the government website
Other business support grants
Bristol City Council is working hard to make sure all our businesses get the financial support they are entitled to during this difficult time. We are regularly updating our website to give businesses the latest information on grants and details on how to apply.
If your business was closed during lockdown, or if you were closed due to Tier 3 restrictions, you will almost certainly be eligible for a grant.
You can currently apply for a number of grants including the Local Restrictions Support Grant Addendum, Closed or Sector.
The application deadline for the Christmas Support Payment (CSP) for wet-led pubs is Sunday 31 January.
Self-isolation for employees with symptoms
Employees that develop COVID-19 symptoms must not travel to work. Symptoms include a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to their sense of taste or smell. It is essential that employees with symptoms get tested as soon as possible and stay at home. They should only return to work when they have self-isolated for the required time or when they receive a negative result.
View details on how long to self isolate on the NHS website
Test and trace payments
If any of your employees are unable to work from home and are on a low income they may be eligible to apply for a £500 grant as part of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
Wellbeing in the workplace
Businesses continue to face tough challenges as we start 2021. Many people are struggling with the uncertainties brought about from the latest restrictions, loss of income and the added stress of working from home whilst finding a work-life balance.
There are many mental health support tools available to businesses and individuals. We want to make sure as many people know about and are using these resources as possible. So if you or anyone you know would benefit please share the below links.
• Wellbeing resources from Business in the Community
• COVID-19: employee health and wellbeing toolkit
• Mental Health resources from Mental Health at Work
Crisis and suicidal thoughts
• Samaritans helpline
• Free suicide prevention training
• NHS Mental Health Crisis helpline
Mental Health and Problem Debt
• Advice and support with debt
• Debt and coronavirus information
• Coronavirus, universal credit and benefits help
Self Help and maintaining resilience
• Every Mind Matters
West of England specific support
• Thrive at Work from WECA
• Emotional support helplines from Bristol Mind
- The second round of the Culture Recovery Fund opens on Wednesday 6 January. Grants between £25k and £3m are available to support cultural organisations. Visit the Arts Council England website for full details
• KTNs Women in Innovation programme is committed to empowering more women to achieve their potential, and the “Let’s Talk About…” webinar series is designed to start conversations, share stories and provide inspirational advice from women and male allies at the heart of the discussion. Find out more about the next event on Wednesday 13 January (1pm to 2pm)
• Claims for furlough days in December 2020 under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme must be made by Thursday 14 January. Visit the gov.uk website to claim
• The annual Blue Monday event takes place online this year on Monday 18 January (11am to 3pm). As usual it will showcase numerous local organisations offering support on getting into work and training, money management, housing, physical and mental health, energy efficiency, volunteering and more. For full details visit the Blue Monday event page
• City Funds can help shape the way that your business engages with the local community. The Pro Bono Brokerage service is a unique collaboration between organisations from all sectors across Bristol. They’ll match your expertise, skills and resources with local needs, bringing mutual benefit to the community and your employees. Visit the City Funds website to find out how your business can support local projects.
• Bristol City Council has secured further funding from the UK Government’s Active Travel fund to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists while public transport capacity is reduced. We are looking for suggestions on how we can improve a number of busy neighbourhood roads and high streets across the city.
- To have your say, click on the road name links:
- St Marks Road
- Cotham Hill
- Princess Victoria Street
- Park Row
- Rosemary Lane
- Picton Street