This information was sent to Ways2Work by another organisation. For more details please use the contact details or links in the post below.
This information is from Bristol City council’s Business e-bulletin. Sign up here: Subscribe
Yesterday the Prime Minister announced the first of a four-step plan to help the country transition out of national lockdown restrictions.
I look forward to receiving further detail from the Government regarding what the easing of the lockdown restrictions means for our businesses and the wider economy, and emphasise once again the importance of city and place-based leaders having a role in this decision-making framework.
In the meantime, I want to reassure you that we will do everything we can to support our communities in transitioning out of lockdown safely. We must remain cautious and not allow good behaviours to slip. Our infection rates in Bristol are steadily decreasing, and we must continue to do everything we can to keep going and lift some of the pressure from our health care services.
Roadmap out of lockdown
On Monday, 22 February, the government released its four-step roadmap out of lockdown.
For the next two weeks, there is no change to the current guidance. We remain in national lockdown and the government instruction to work from home where you can, remains in place.
From 8 March, lockdown restrictions in England will start to be lifted in the first of the governments’ four-step roadmap. To avoid another surge in infections the decision to relax restrictions at each step will be based on data from four tests. For this reason, dates in the roadmap are subject to change.
The rollout of the vaccination programme is a key factor in determining when it is safe to ease restrictions.
The government will continue to support families and businesses throughout the steps set out in the roadmap. We expect for further detail to be set out by the Chancellor in the Budget on 3 March.
Read the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ on the government website which details the four step roadmap out of the current lockdown in England and sets out how the government will continue to protect and support citizens across the UK.
Business support grants
LRSG (Closed) Addendum
Yesterday the Prime Minister announced an extension of the LRSG (Closed) Addendum scheme to cover the current period of national lockdown.
- 5 January to 15 February, closing date for applications is 31 March.
- 16 February to 31 March, for new applications the closing date is 31 May. Grant payments are calculated from rateable values, based on three bands:
- Up to £15,000 – £2,096
- £15,001 to £50,999 – £3,143
- £51,000 and above – £4,714
Businesses who have received a payment for the period 5 January to 15 February will automatically receive a top up, and do not need to apply again, though we may contact some for further information.
Grants for sole traders and self-employed (and other businesses not forced to close)
The discretionary support grant which covers the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) is open to applications from the self-employed and sole traders as well as small or micro businesses across all sectors.
If you have been severely financially impacted by COVID-19 restrictions you are likely to be eligible for a grant. Visit our website for more information and apply now.
Please share this information with anyone you think who might be eligible.
Applications are being processed as quickly as possible. Please allow four weeks from application to receiving payment before getting back in touch with us.
We are receiving a number of duplicate applications for ARG. Businesses who have already been paid a grant since November, do not apply again as you will automatically be paid under the current round.
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.
Christmas Support Payment (CSP)
If you are a pub where less than 50 per cent of your income is derived from food apply for the CSP now. The deadline for applications is 28 February.
Get regular rapid COVID tests if you need to leave your home for work
If you need to leave your home for work and do not have COVID symptoms, you can get regular rapid tests (lateral flow tests).
We are offering these tests because 1 in 3 people with COVID do not have any symptoms and could spread it without knowing. Regular, rapid tests help us check if you are highly infectious with COVID, so you know you are protecting your family, colleagues and customers by self-isolating if you need to.
You must sign up and book an appointment to get a test. You’ll need to commit to going for a test once or twice a week. You must book a separate appointment for each test.
The Bristol Rapid Testing Centre is at 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA. It’s open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5pm.
If you have a business with less than 50 employees, we can give you tests to carry out in your workplace. To arrange this, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have 50 employees or more, you can get workplace coronavirus tests on GOV.UK
If you test positive you must follow the NHS guidelines and self-isolate.
You may be eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you need to self-isolate, with a £500 grant.
Next steps in the COVID vaccination programme
Vaccinations are now available for:
- People aged 65–69
- People aged 16–64 who are classified as clinically vulnerable because they have a range of clinical conditions that increase their risk from COVID-19, identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on their website
- People recently added to the updated Shielded Patient List.
If you are aged 65–69 (Priority Group 5) you can book an appointment at Ashton Gate Vaccination Centre or at one of seven local community pharmacies by visiting the national booking service or calling 119. Alternatively, you can wait to be contacted.
If you have underlying health conditions or have recently been added to the Shielding list (Priority Group 6) you will be contacted to book your vaccination appointment. Please do not contact the NHS.
For further details visit the Healthier Together website, our Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Integrated Care System
Bristol-based business COVID webinar
We are holding a free webinar on Thursday 4 March from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, for all Bristol-based retail, leisure, hospitality and close contact businesses (such as hairdressers).
The session will be an opportunity to discuss the latest government announcements with relevant council officers.
If you have an issue or question you would like to raise, please email email@example.com in advance so we can provide as much relevant information as possible.
- The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a series of new, on-demand videos to help businesses familiarise themselves with the new rules for doing business with the EU. Register on the government website to access the on-demand videos explaining exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring.
- Businesses who deferred paying VAT from 20 March to 30 June 2020 and can’t afford to pay by 31 March 2021 can join the VAT deferral new payment scheme and pay their deferred VAT over a longer period. The online service is open from 23 February to 21 June 2021. Businesses can make up to 11 monthly instalments, interest free. Visit the government website for more information. Businesses that need more time to pay their deferred VAT should contact HMRC.
- Claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are now open for pay periods in February 2021. Claims for January are closed, but if you find you need to make a change you can do this until 1 March. Register on the HMRC website for the live CJRS webinar to make sure you have the latest information on who can claim and who you can claim for, calculating a claim and how to make a claim. You can also register for HMRC’s monthly webinars for the latest on the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.
- West of England Green Business Grants support small to medium sized businesses and enterprises to improve energy efficiency, reduce harmful emissions, lower your energy bills and maintenance costs, as well as make your buildings healthier for your employees. Visit the West of England Green Business Grants page to find out more and request an application pack.
- The West of England Combine Authority (WECA) is hosting a webinar for businesses about plans for mass transit on Thursday 25 February (1pm to 2pm). To find out more, discover its benefits for the region and get an update on plans and progress visit the Eventbrite website to register.
- The Caterer Summits are a series of events that bring together hospitality professionals to discuss game-changing ideas, industry best practice and new ways of working. Through talks, panels, workshops and networking, The Caterer Summits help you understand and stay ahead of the trends having the most significant impact on your business. Register for the Caterer Recovery Summit, a recovery-focused event taking place on Tuesday 30 March.
- Santander’s Freelancer Scheme has been created to provide financial assistance to the UK’s freelance community through 250 £1,000 financial awards. The scheme forms part of Santander’s Survive & Revive initiative aimed at helping businesses to start rebuilding post-COVID. To find out more and enrol visit Santander Scholarships
- The Originators Fund is one of the three grant programmes that make up Bristol City Council’s Cultural Investment Programme. The programme is designed to develop Bristol’s national and international reputation as a creative cultural city, to actively advance equality and diversity and to improve people’s lives through the arts. Visit our website to apply for a grant from £500 to £5,000 for creative projects taking place between June 2021 and May 2022. Applications close on 8 March 2021.