As the country enters a second lockdown, we’ve put together a quick summary of the new restrictions in place, economic support available to our business community and what the BID is doing to help.
Overview of new measures:
The following businesses have to close: all non-essential retail, hospitality (although takeaway is allowed), indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, entertainment venues and personal care facilities.
Note: the Government’s guidance around non-essential retail says “including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops”.
No household mixing indoors, apart from childcare and previous support bubble rules remaining
International travel is not allowed, except for work purposes, while travel within the UK is not advised
Outdoor recreation and exercise is still allowed
Education settings – schools, universities and colleges – will remain open
The Government has announced a raft of measures for additional economic support. In terms of the most significant:
The furlough scheme will be extended until the end of March, at 80% of people’s wages. Employers will have to pay NICs and pension contributions. The Government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask businesses to contribute more.
The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be available. Instead, they will redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time.
For self-employed people, the next income support grant which covers November to January will increase to 80% of average profits (up from 40%) up to £7500.
Giving reassurance to the devolved Governments, the Chancellor emphasised that this scheme was for all people in the United Kingdom. He also announced that up-front guaranteed funding for the devolved administrations is increasing from £14bn to £16bn.
The BID’s work:
Over the past seven months, we have been working to support our local community through a range of different initiatives to keep you safe. Read about our work here.