East Devon coronavirus business update - 9 July 2020

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East Devon District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy, Asset Management and Regeneration, Councillor Paul Hayward, introduces this week’s business update:

 We’re receiving a steady stream of applications for the second round of our discretionary grant fund but we want more businesses to apply, which have high fixed property costs and experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus. Many such businesses will be suppliers to the retail, hospitality and leisure trade with high overheads. It could be a pub, a food wholesaler, or a sports group who have not received previous business rates-based grant support.  If you know anyone who might fit this bill, please urge them to look on our website, check the criteria and submit an application. The fund will close at 5pm on 17th July so there’s just over a week left, so it's the last few days to apply.

This is a golden opportunity for all eligible businesses, large and small, to avail themselves of funding which might not be available elsewhere, or again. We do fully appreciate that no-one likes to fill in forms but, on this occasion, it certainly is worthwhile clicking on the link and seeing if we can assist you in recouping some of your Covid-19 losses.

Round 1 applicants are currently being notified about their application. Successful applicants have been contacted and we’re working through those who may need to provide additional information. Please bear with us.

I am delighted to see that many East Devon hospitality, leisure and retail businesses are starting to open, on which many local jobs depend. It will be a challenging time for them as they adapt to new requirements, including social distancing and contact tracing. Personally, as I travel around the district, I’ve seen businesses adapting well to these new circumstances, providing trust and reassurance for their customers to return. I cannot stress highly enough how important it is that we all support our local traders at this crucial time. I have been delighted at the level of positive engagement from the business community, the Chambers of Commerce, the Town and Parish Councils and we will all need to work together to prevent a worsening of the already parlous financial turmoil we see around us, locally and nationally.

As we start to return to some kind of normality, we must not get complacent with requirements for social distancing and handwashing, as there’s still a pandemic. We must all remain vigilant in order to prevent it spreading.  If you haven’t already, I urge you to read our advice to get safely back to work

I am keen to promote a green recovery and to work towards a low carbon economy.  This can take a number of different forms, from supporting local food and drink businesses through to harnessing the world leading climate science expertise we have in our area.  I welcome the Government’s recent announcement regarding investment in improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and supporting the development of new skills.  This sits alongside our own commitment to becoming a carbon neutral Council by 2040. The recovery out of Covid-19’s terrible impact does give us the perfect opportunity, albeit unintended, to shape a greener, cleaner, more socially centred environment and we must grasp that opportunity with both hands... Mother Nature is looking to us all for help and demonstrative action.

Plans for Devon's economic recovery have been unveiled. We're among the Team Devon partners, along with business representatives, Devon’s District and City Councils, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Dartmoor National Park and Devon’s MPs, who have drawn up the COVID-19 Economy and Business Recovery Plan. District Councillors from across the political spectrum are sharing ideas on how we can focus and channel the shared drive and determination to assist the economic revival of East Devon. This is essential and will be welcomed by all residents. People, not politics.

Team Devon is predicting the county’s economy will shrink by around 8% this year, roughly 1% more than the rest of the UK.  We are committed to the county’s economy becoming stronger, more inclusive and sustainable. There is potential to create 30,000 new jobs, 80,000 new training places and secure investment of £550 million, generating £2.8 billion of additional economic output.

Plan for jobs

Government has announced its plan for jobs, including:

Register your restaurant or establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme from 13 July;

* a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021;

* a new Kickstart Scheme, a £2 billion fund to create thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit;

* £111 million this year for traineeships in England, to fund high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds;

* funding for employers who provide trainees with work experience, at a rate of £1,000 per trainee;

* £2,000 to employers for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021;

* £40 million in a Green Jobs Challenge Fund for environmental charities and public authorities to create and protect 5,000 jobs in England;

* From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, to support businesses and jobs in the hospitality sector, the reduced (5%) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises across the UK;

* From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021 to support businesses and jobs, the reduced (5%) rate of VAT will apply to suppliers of accommodation and admission to attractions. Check if this applies to you.

Read more

Free one to one advice for businesses

Through Enterprise Nation, businesses can receive free expert advice on a one-to-one basis from professional and trade body members to help support recovery from coronavirus. The advice covers a range of topics including HR, legal, finance and marketing which will be specific to your business.

Read more

Funding for culture, arts and heritage

The Government announced a package of £1.57 billion to protect Britain’s cultural, arts and heritage institutions. It includes a mix of grants and loans to support cultural organisations, targeted support for national cultural institutions, capital investment in cultural and heritage sites to restart construction work paused as a result of the pandemic.

Are your premises covid secure?

Show you have made your workplace COVID-secure

Hotel and accommodation providers

Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in England.

Keeping visitor records

Guidance on keeping records of staff, customers and visitors in the visitor economy.

Advice on collecting staff and customer data.

How will your personal data be processed? Read the Department of Health and Social Care privacy notice describing how personal data from venues and establishments will be processed for contact tracing.


Rural funding digest

A very useful round up of rural funding including: Heritage emergency fund, Architectural heritage fund, UK Theatres small grants, Farming recovery fund, Zoos support fund, Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, Electric vehicle charging, and more!

Support package for arts, culture & heritage

Emergency funding to help organisations in the arts, culture and heritage sectors to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Small Business Workforce Fund

Small businesses in Devon can apply for assistance with recruiting a STEM graduate intern and a contribution towards their salary.

Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Funding to help charities and other organisations to employ more people to work on nature conservation and to help the public to enjoy the outdoors.

Climate Pledge Fund

Venture capital from Amazon for companies anywhere in the world that are developing products or services that reduce carbon emissions and help preserve the natural world.

Training for trainers

Designed to support training providers to answer technology questions and engage in conversations, you will learn how new tech is impacting on businesses, how digital technology is changing business growth models and what you can do within your training business to support some of the digital skills needs of the future.

Book for Weds 22nd July 2020

Book for Weds 19th August 2020

Useful links

Guidance to get the Tourism and Visitor Economy back up and running 

COVID-19 FAQs: what you can and can't do

NHS Test and Trace service

NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) website

The Health and Safety Executive provides guidance to help work safely and control the risks. Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak.

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards has produced a checklist for businesses to help put workplace measures in place to keep employees and customers safe. Find it here Covid-19 checklist for businesses.

East Devon information

East Devon District Council’s coronavirus hub

Support available for businesses

Support for people who need help