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Cabinet Office, BID, British Retail Consortium and other updates…



Additional Funding Available (this applies to you if you are a “bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates”

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England to set out that up to £617 million would be made available.

This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF), so up to £617 million. We will confirm the exact amount for each local authority next week.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

Further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly.

Virtual Job’s Fair

Due to the ongoing situation of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the significant impact the virus has had and will continue to have on employment across England, the National Careers Service is hosting a Virtual Jobs Fair across England.

Key Information

  • Date of campaign: 4th– 8th May (8th May is a bank holiday)
  • Social Media Channels: Facebook and Twitter
  • Main Hashtag: #JobsHour


The National Careers Service main social media accounts are coming together with local contractors and key partners to deliver a joined-up jobs fair on a digital platform to support customers who need our help.

We are getting in touch to make regional employers aware so that they use this facility to maximise the reach of their current vacancies.  We have attached the campaign assets and would really appreciate it if you could share them on your own channels along with any other amplification you feel would be appropriate.

The toolkit also contains assets and suggested messaging. Please use our tracked link for any posts:

North West #JobsHour will take place on Thursday 7th May 11am to 12pm

Help and support for Business Improvement Districts

On 1st May the government announced £6.1m of funding to spend on projects that will help their local economies through the uncertainty of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP confirmed today (1 May 2020).

The money will be paid to local authorities and dispersed to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). Penrith BID has already been in contact with Eden District Council to ensure we receive financial support and we are able to continue supporting our town centre businesses.


Penrith BID have started thinking about our Town Centre Resilience & Recovery Plan, and taking action now for thinking about when restrictions are lifted or eased.  We are working with the Penrith Town Working Party but we would also like to hear from you.

  • What are your thoughts about where we should focus our attention I the coming weeks and months?
  • How can we help and support businesses who have temporarily closed
  • How can we optimise the experience for consumers returning to the town?
  • How can we encourage shoppers back to Penrith after the extended period of shutdown?

Last week the Irish Government published their ‘Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business’. The Irish roadmap has 5 phases based on a 3 week review process. Phase 1 will commence on the 18th May, with the final Phase set to commence on the 10th August. Careful consideration will be taken during the transition of all phases and there might be situations whereby a Phase might be delayed by 3 weeks or in a more extreme case there might be a need to step back a Phase.

I hope you might find it useful as a can see a similar approach MAY be used in the UK and this document may assist your thinking during these early stages of thinking about recovery.

British Retail Consortium Guide – Social Distancing

In case you have not seen this the BRC published a useful guide suggesting issues that retailers may need to consider as they start to plan to re-open there premises in the coming weeks.  It is likely to be updated as government release policy so worth keeping it under regular review.


The Story of Plastic

Businesses in Penrith & Eden are being offered free tickets to watch the newly released film The Story of Plastic. The film draws back the curtain on the true cost of plastic pollution, and what’s being done to tackle it around the world. You can watch it at home in your own time, until 21 May.

It’s all part of a community online screening by Penrith Action for Community Transition, with local businesses being offered advance booking. To find out more and book, visit:

PACT will then host an online discussion session on Thu 21 May, at 7.30pm. We’ll have a few short updates on things happening locally to reduce plastic, and then there’s time for discussion and questions. Our speakers will include:

  • Cllr Doug Lawson, Penrith Town Council;
  • Amy Bray from the local environmental charity Another Way; and
  • a representative from the business community in Penrith, on their successes and challenges in reducing plastic.

Everyone who registers with us to watch the film will receive a link to attend the online Q&A.


Healthwatch Together Survey

“A survey is being undertaken by Healthwatch Together. We want you to tell us your story, so that we can understand how the people of Cumbria and Lancashire have been affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Healthwatch Together will then use this data to inform further responses by public and community sector organisations.  This is a survey aimed at individuals, please feel free to circulate this to your contacts if you feel this is appropriate.  People who have responded to version 1 can also respond to version 2.

Thanking you in anticipation of your participation, please access the survey using the link below –





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