Welcome to the latest edition of our South and Vale Business Support newsletter!
This year has been a tough one for our local businesses, and we'd like to take this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you all manage to enjoy some well-deserved rest and recuperation with family and friends.
We'd like to thank each and every one of you for your support throughout 2020. We have been able to communicate with and help more businesses than ever, and we will continue to provide advice and support for those in need for a long time to come.
Please note that we will be taking some time off from 23 December until 4 January. If you have a query during this time, please send us an email and we will respond on our return.
If you find yourself facing difficulties over the Christmas period, there are some useful organisations below that may be of some help:
Please note that applications for these grants are not yet open in South and Vale. We are currently awaiting further government guidance before we can launch the local schemes.
Both schemes will be available in January, and backdated payments will be available to cover periods of local restrictions from 2 December.
We will publish the final criteria for the schemes as soon as possible. Please keep an eye out for future SVBS newsletters for details.
If you have not yet received a response regarding your application for the Additional Restrictions Grant, please note that a minority of applications are continuing to be processed and that further payment runs are scheduled ahead of the Christmas break.
Whilst decision notifications for most applications are expected to be completed by 23 December, it may not be possible to complete all notifications and payments until January 2021.
You can review where your application sits within the review process by logging into our grant system (please click on your district, then "My Applications" for details).
If you have any questions regarding your application, please contact us, stating your application reference number within the subject line.
Last Christmas, victims of online shopping fraud lost an average of £775. More people than ever are depending on online shopping this Christmas, and we want to help our residents to shop securely so they can enjoy their celebrations.
When shopping online, keep to these six simple steps to protect your online accounts and devices:
1. Use a strong and separate password for your email 2. Create strong passwords using three random words 3. Save your passwords in your browser 4. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) 5. Update your devices and apps 6. Back up your data
Here are some useful links for up-to-date advice on staying safe online: