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News and Comment March 2020

Index: 2020

28 March (Part 1) - COVID-19 for business

Behind the scenes at Bexley Council some people are working their socks off trying to support businesses. I have obtained from them via a circuitous route the following guidance and links which may be of use to local businesses.

Message 1 from Bexley Council’s Economic Development Department
The Government has announced an extension to the business categories which are now to be included in the business rates holiday for Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sectors. This now includes:


• Employment Agencies
• Estate Agents
• Betting Shops
• Wellness Centres
• Spas
• Massage Parlours
• Casinos and Gambling Clubs
• Bingo Halls


For further information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-estate-agents-lettings-agencies-and-bingo-halls-to-pay-no-business-rates-this-coming-financial-year

Companies House has recently announced that it would be giving Companies more time to file accounts due to the disruption caused by Covid19: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/companies-to-receive-3-month-extension-period-to-file-accounts-during-covid-19

In order to help provide up to date information alerts on all aspects of the Covid19 outbreak (not just business support) and to counter misinformation circulating online, the government has launched a coronavirus information service on WhatsApp. Further details of this service and how to sign up are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-coronavirus-information-service-on-whatsapp

There is a new guidance page specifically created to assist charitable organisations during the coronavirus outbreak which may be of interest to some of your local contacts: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector

Finally don’t forget to keep checking our Bexley for Business Covid-19 support pages – www.bexleyforbusiness.co.uk/covid-19-faqs. We are reviewing and updating these constantly.

Message 2 from Bexley Council’s Economic Development Department
Here are some of today’s key updates in relation to business support:

Bexley’s Covid19 grant scheme is still in preparation – but we expect it to go live early next week. As soon as we have the full information and the web links for the scheme we will circulate to all.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday evening announced a new measure to support self-employed people who have been impacted by the Covid19 virus. The details of the scheme are set out here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme Note that the scheme will be administered by HMRC who will be contacting people who they identify as being eligible. Payments, based on 80% of a self-employed persons profits (averaged out over 3 years where applicable) will be paid as a single grant in June. In the meantime the government has made it easier for self-employed people to access financial support through the Universal Credit programme (further details here).

The Learning and Enterprise College (LECB) – the adult learning and skills arm of Bexley Council – has launched an online jobs board to help local people who may have lost their job due to Covid19 to access opportunities. The job boards (for local and national opportunities) are available on the LECB website: https://www.lecb.ac.uk/ Employers who are sadly needing to lay off staff during this crisis are encouraged to direct affected staff to this website. Local employers with vacancies can find out about how to advertise opportunities here: https://www.lecb.ac.uk/recruitment

Don’t forget to encourage your local business contacts to sign up to the Bexley for Business newsletter via this link.

 

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