Welcome to the latest edition of our South and Vale Business Support newsletter!

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have been subject to an abundance of important new information with regular updates on restrictions, government guidance and support schemes published on a regular basis.

We recognise it's not always easy for businesses to keep up to date with every new development, so to help, SVBS have created a new webpage called 'This week's headlines'. We'll update this page every week to bring the most important updates to local businesses.

Visit the new page here.

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close in England. These include:

  • all non-essential retail, including clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops

  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks

  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens

  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons

  • Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

Further business grant funding administered by Local Authorities will be available in due course. At the present time, we are awaiting detailed guidance on the new schemes from Government, however, information published at this stage indicates that businesses that are required to close in England due to the new restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks

  • Those with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks

  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks

We will publish all relevant details including the eligibility criteria and any application process as soon as possible. Please check our website regularly to ensure you are kept updated

* Please note. At the current time, Government have not published any details regarding Discretionary Grant Funding linked to the new lockdown measures. Should this situation change, details will be communicated via our website and newsletter as outlined above.

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended scheme.

Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5% of total employment costs.

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1 November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

Additional guidance will be set out shortly.

Find out more by reading the Business and Innovation Strategy Action Plans 
on our SVBS website.

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