COVID-19 Update: 1st AprilApril 1, 2020
Coronavirus Update – 3rd AprilApril 3, 2020
|COBRA Action Log
Following yesterday’s Eastbourne COBRA meeting, please click here to read the details of the meeting, along with the actions undertaken.
HMRC are holding free, online webinars on the support available. Topics covered include:
the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
refunding eligible Statutory Sick Pay costs
furloughed employees and more
Click here for more information and how to register.
We have received a response from Chief Constable Giles York to our letter asking for more police to be deployed in the evenings and focused on tackling business crime. His response is below:
We identified the potential for an increase in commercial burglaries at the start of our operation when we moved into the isolation phase. Please be reassured that all local districts are monitoring these on a daily basis and as a result are carrying out patrol activity around identified vulnerable locations. Please therefore have my assurance that my local policing teams will support the business community in these difficult times.”
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns with regards to your property, or if you have been a victim of crime. Don’t forget, the BID street ambassadors continue to support the police in their efforts and are on duty Wednesday to Sunday. If you have any concerns, please call them on 07516 927 052 or call 01323 671 660.
We understand that some waste companies are no longer collecting trade waste.
Email us here so we can arrange for the council to remove any trade waste from outside your building. Please give us a good description of the location so we can get it removed for you.
Are you a business that is currently offering home delivery of food/goods, pre-cooked meals, takeaways or special offers for the vulnerable?We’ve been asked by Eastbourne COBRA to compile a list that can be shared with people who want to pay for a home delivery service. This list will be shared with Eastbourne Borough Council and other community partners so that when they have enquiries, they can refer your details on.
Please give us your details here https://forms.gle/8Z8UtycQvEssPE9fA
Thank you to the businesses who have already given us details of their insurance policies. We are forming a subgroup representing the Eastbourne Hospitality Association, Chamber of Commerce, BID and MPs office to take forward issues relating to insurance claims. Please contact us if you are having any issues claiming as a result of coronavirus.
Eastbourne Borough Council have issued a letter to contractors stating that the work to clear the debris from the Claremont is considered essential and urgent. This allows the work to continue providing social distancing rules are followed.
|Support for the Self Employed
There is now a support package for the self-employed to match the package for furloughed employees. Effectively they will allow 80% of the profit earned on the last 3 years tax returns up to £2,500 per month. If you do not have 3 years tax returns they will accept what you have from 1 year’s tax return as a minimum. If you have not filed your tax return for 2018/19 due in January, you have 4 weeks to get it in; so act now.The good news is that self-employed individuals who are owner-managers and pay themselves a salary through PAYE will be eligible for support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.Payment will be adminstered by HMRC and can be expected in June. For full details click here.For frequently asked questions about the scheme, click here.
|Job Retention Scheme
A furlough letter template is shown here for you to send to your staff: Furlough-Proposal-Job-Retention-Scheme-Template (1)
The HMRC Portal should be available this month.
Self-employed individuals who are owner-managers and pay themselves a salary through PAYE will be eligible for support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.The latest guidance for this important government scheme is here.
|Small Business Grant Fund
The Government has published guidance for businesses on the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund,
Local authorities have received £12bn for grants to small businesses.
Eastbourne Borough Council will be ready with the software to administer these grants by 17th April.
Payment should then be made within 3 working days of a grant application being received.
We will let you know when they are sending letters out to eligible businesses, which are expected next week.We are lobbying the council to get this money out to Eastbourne SMEs as fast as possible.Details on how much funding will be provided to businesses
Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all eligible businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.
Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) eligible businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for a cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 per property.
Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme. We are lobbying the government to assist small businesses who are not ratepayers in shared workspaces, managed offices and other sectors.
Also covered is eligibility of businesses for both funds, exclusions to the funds, information around fraud and rating list changes. The full guidance is available for download from gov.uk
|Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans
The Government has sought to make accessing CBILS as easy as possible and are therefore making further clarification on the subject of personal guarantees. Whether a lender requires a personal guarantee for a loan supported by the CBILS is at the discretion of the lender, who is accredited by the British Business Bank. However, a lender is not allowed to take a personal guarantee against a borrower’s principle residence under the scheme. So even if a personal guarantee is required under the lender’s credit policy, it cannot be taken against the borrower’s home. Some major lenders have announced that they are not going to require personal guarantees on loans under CBILS the scheme (of any size). If businesses are worried about the specific terms of finance facilities available under this scheme, they should speak to their usual lender. More information can be found here.
In terms of the Government’s CBILS scheme, the British Business Bank website is helpful https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/for-businesses-and-advisors/.
Point 3 highlights that:
The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance. If it can do so on normal commercial terms without having to make use of the scheme, it will.
The Big Four banks have agreed that they will not take personal guarantees as security for lending below £250,000.The scheme is designed to alleviate short-term difficulties (due to the COVID outbreak) that cannot commercially be bridged without Government support.
The scheme is not designed to replace commercial lending where this is possible.
The Business Minister, Alok Sharma, confirmed that 40 accredited lenders are processing thousands of applications on the business interruption loan scheme
We are lobbying to get banks to issue interest free loans, without Personal Guarantees to SMEs as requested by the government.
Travel measures, advice and updates
Wimbledon Tennis Championship 2020 has been cancelled along with the Nature Valley Tournament at Devonshire Park Eastbourne
Situation update: correct as of 17.00 1 April 2020To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in England and the UK visit the Public Health England dashboard.To see the number of cases globally see the World Health Organisation interactive map.