Grant update, AGM date, Cabinet Office news and more
AGM – Save the date: 15th September 2020
With ongoing restrictions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the decision has been taken to hold our AGM as a virtual Meeting. The 2020 Penrith BID AGM will be held on Tuesday 15th September 2020. Please save the date. Joining instructions and a full agenda will follow shortly.
Additional Grant Funding
A few weeks ago I made you aware of additional funding which will be available to hospitality and small businesses. We have contacted Cumbria Growth Hub, who will be administering the grants. They have the following update:
“We will be officially launching both schemes on Wednesday this week, 19th August.
As the money will be offered on a first come first served basis and to ensure as many people as possible find out about the funding we will be starting a list from Wednesday morning to ensure a fair process takes place.
To be eligible for the funding you need to be able to demonstrate a 40% loss of income due to COVID 19 between March – June 20 compared with the same period in 2019. For start-up businesses without a comparable trading period and businesses on growth trajectories we will compare against forecasts (and previous progress against forecasts) for March – June 20 rather than the same period the previous year.
The funding can be used for “1-2-1 specialist advice which SMEs could call on to address immediate needs in response to the impact of COVID 19 e.g. HR, accountants, legal, financial, H&S, IT / digital or sector specialists etc. For the visitor economy, this could also include supporting SMEs with productivity improvements such as enhanced use of digital tools such as yield management software, mentoring, networking or other measures. It can also support to develop innovative delivery in a socially distanced economy – for example, new ways of delivering cultural events and festivals that are so critical to the visitor experience; and / or – purchase of minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify in response to COVID 19.”
The work can’t already have taken place and you will need three quotes to support your application – we are able to offer between £1k and £3k with a few exceptions of up to £5k.
If you wish to apply and fit the above criteria you will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org on Wednesday to be assigned your place, you will then be given deadline details for submissions and associated paperwork. Any emails received before Wednesday will not be allocated a position on the list.”
Taking Pride in Penrith
I recently received a query about the weeding and general cleanliness of the town centre. As a result, we contacted EDC and their response is as follows:
“There are contracts in place for the cleansing and weeding of Penrith which ensures that bins are emptied and streets are cleaned once per day and weed-killing applications take place three times throughout the year, usually around April, July and September.
During the initial few weeks of the lockdown, the contractors reported that circumstances meant their capacity had been reduced and it was agreed that the priority must be for refuse collection which continued as normal. However, the usual schedule of works has been restored within the last month. An application of weed-killer took place in early May and the second application should have taken place by the end of July but the contractors were delayed. They reported that an application took place on the 3rd of August and there will be a third application in September.
In terms of street cleaning, it is possible that untidy/unclean areas had been noticed later in the day as cleaning takes place first thing. If there are still issues, please contact Stephen Stephen.email@example.com stating where the problem areas are.”
As you are aware, EDC have making their car parks free to use until the end of August. At the last Reopening Penrith Safely meeting, we and other stakeholders asked them to consider extending this offer as it has had a positive effect and has increased visitors to the town.
EDC have confirmed they are already in discussion about extending the free parking to later in the year. If you feel this has had a positive impact on your business, I would encourage you to add your voice to the request and write to EDC directly stating what impact the free parking has had on your business. Whilst we at BID have done this on your behalf, it is always persuasive to receive testimonials direct from business owners.
CABINET OFFICE UPDATES
Our Employer Bulletin covers (i) enforcement and further easements; (ii) updates to the Safer Working guidance; (iii) latest information on local restrictions; (iv) changes to travel corridors; (v) information about the NHS test & trace app trial phase; and (vi) notice of upcoming HMRC-led webinars.
(i) Enforcement measures and further easements: on 13 August the Government announced new enforcement measures targeting the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions. This comes as a number of remaining aspects of England’s culture, sport, leisure and business sectors will be permitted to reopen from Saturday 15 August in England – except for specific areas where local restrictions are in place. More information is available at https://bit.ly/33YbGvL
(ii) Safer Working guidance: updated (13 August) safer working guidance is available at: https://bit.ly/SaferWorkingnorth
(iii) Local Restrictions: DHSC has today announced that the current rules on gatherings in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Leicester will remain in place. Further information, including a link to the latest Weekly Coronavirus Disease 2019 Surveillance Report (Week 33) can be found at: https://bit.ly/3iEdXAs
(iv) Travel corridors update: France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba have been removed from the list of travel corridors for England. Passengers returning from these countries will be required to self-isolate from 4am on Saturday 15 August. More information is available at: https://bit.ly/3gXPVzQ
(v) Test & Trace app trial phase: on 13 August, a new NHS Test & Trace app was launched, with trials commencing with residents on the Isle of Wight and, shortly, residents in the London Borough of Newham and involving NHS Volunteer Responders across England. More information is available at https://bit.ly/33Xwsf4
(vi) Coronavirus business support webinars: as part of the UK government’s commitment to supporting businesses and self-employed through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, HMRC have developed new webinars on the following topics.
- Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing webinar – register here.
- Eat out to help out scheme webinar – register here.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Universal Credit and Child Benefit webinar –register here.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme webinar – register here.
CUMBRIA LEP UPDATE
This Wednesday at 2pm, we are privileged to be hosting the Small Business Commissioner for a Business Advice Clinic Q&A – along with the Federation of Small Businesses.
If you’re struggling with late payments, disputes or dispute resolution, unpaid invoices, or challenging practices more widely, please join our next Clinic. Support is out there. More details can be found below. Please register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0tce2gqjstGdaUa1bCx0WmsxDodGA64RfP
CLEP is delighted to be hosting the Small Business Commissioner, Philip King, at our next Business Advice Clinic.
The Small Business Commissioner (SBC) is an independent public body set up by Government under the Enterprise Act 2016 to tackle late payment and unfavourable payment practices in the private sector. The SBC covers the whole of the UK – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We will also be welcoming Paul Foster, Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses, who offer significant additional support to small businesses including tax, legal and financial support, health and safety and employment advice, and much more.
Carolyn Dodwell, CLEP’s Board member representing SMEs, and Chair of our Business Strategy Group, will be chairing this session.
As always, our participants have the option of asking questions confidentially through anonymous questions that are not attributed.
CLEP is keen to assist businesses facing challenges by providing a platform for you to ask your questions of the Commissioner, and get the support you need.
This forms part of a series of free regular Business Advice Clinics, hosted by CLEP, featuring professional services specialists and case studies from Cumbrian businesses with experience on the subject. The sessions are intended to help guide Cumbrian businesses through the Coronavirus crisis.
For more information on the series and to register for other sessions, please see our website at: https://www.thecumbrialep.co.uk/news-detail/2020/free-advice-clinics-with-business-experts-to-help-combat-covid-19-impact/