East Devon Business update - January 2021

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Coronavirus business masthead

A new grant scheme for East Devon businesses affected by the local restrictions between early December and early January has been launched this week. 

The Council is also working to ensure that further financial support for businesses impacted by the current national lockdown is made available as soon as possible

financial help

This week, the Council’s Cabinet approved policies for new grant schemes covering January’s lockdown as well as the launch of a further round of the discretionary scheme – the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG2). These schemes cover both local and national restrictions since the 2nd December and will be live as soon as possible – see eastdevon.gov.uk/business-grants for all the latest information.

Due to the multiple grant schemes and the varying time periods to which they apply, East Devon District Council understands that this could be a confusing picture for hard-pressed businesses.  In response, we have been working to streamline the business grant application processes. Businesses which received a grant for the national restrictions period from 5th November to 1st December will automatically receive an access code to use when completing one short form for the two January schemes. These codes will be sent out when the new scheme is live.

Grants for businesses affected by Tier 2 and 3 restrictions

Businesses which could remain open but have been severely financially affected by tier 2 and tier 3 restrictions from 2nd December to 4th January can now apply for Local Restrictions Support Grants (Open) V2.

Grant applications are also being encouraged from:

  • Pubs which primarily sell drinks rather than food, are registered for business rates and were affected by tier 2 from 2nd December can apply for a one-off £1,000 payment from the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs. Pubs should apply for the grant before 31st January 2021, when the fund closes.
  • Businesses which pay business rates and were legally forced to close from 2nd December to 4th January should apply for the Local restrictions support grant - Closed v2

We received 144 applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant for businesses severely financially affected from 5th November to 1st December. These have been reviewed by the panel of Councillors on 21st January . All applicants will be contacted and payments made for those approved within 3 working days. 

In East Devon, there are currently 6 different grant schemes covering various time periods to support businesses which have closed as instructed by Government, or are open and have been severely financially affected due to Coronavirus restrictions.

Each time period comes with a specific set of business grants for us as a local authority to administer and distribute.  We urge businesses to check our business grants portal frequently for grants which are currently live or coming soon.

We recognise that the changing national and local restrictions periods mean that the various grants schemes can be confusing to businesses. 

With this in mind, we are simplifying the process to make the grants easier to access. This will take some time, so we ask businesses to please be patient, bear with us and check the website for updates rather than contacting us.  In due course, we hope to move to a rolling programme of support. This means that once a business has made a valid claim and its circumstances remain the same, the business can continue to receive payments in line with changing restrictions, rather than having to re-apply every time. 

Check business grants

Businesses which must be closed

All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close, or remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve alcohol, either for takeaway or click-and-collect. Essential shops and garden centres can remain open. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can remain open, to be used for exercise. Playgrounds may also remain open. Indoor and outdoor sports facilities including sports courts, gyms, golf courses, swimming pools, and riding arenas must also close. Elite sport and disabled sport can continue, as can PE lessons for those children attending school. Find out more information on the national lockdown measures.

Visit GOV.UK

Join free webinars to enhance your productivity

adapt and thrive

People based in East Devon can sign up to free webinars as part of our Adapt & Thrive programme. From twitter, pinterest, instagram, video to website improvements, join our free webinars run by Cosmic to enhance your business productivity. 

Brexit knowledge panels for businesses

Better Business For All brings you helpful online webinars:

26th Jan - eclectic mix of speakers and will cover numerous subjects. Post Brexit webinar mixed knowledge panel 26th Jan

23rd Feb - featuring two experts in IP and DATA, how it affects you IP & Data Webinar - Knowledge panel 23rd Feb

In case you missed it - two previous webinars still available.

11th December - special guest appearances by @Lee Taylor and @Julie Richardson talking specifically about the new UKCA mark and food labelling changes post UK transition.

11th December webinar chaired by Sir Gary Streeter featuring Lee & Julie

20th November webinar chaired by Sir Gary Streeter

Small business LinkedIn masterclass

Learn how to build your network of contacts, connect with professionals, strengthen client relationships and grow your business on LinkedIn. Jennifer Corcoran, founder of My Super Connector, will answer your LinkedIn questions in this interactive online session. Winner of numerous national and international awards, she is also named as one of the top 10 advisors in the UK by Enterprise Nation.

The session will be from 11am to 12pm on 27th January. You can register your place with the Business Information Point.

Exeter Chamber business survey

Exeter Chamber wants to understand businesses reaction and response to the latest national restrictions. Please complete this really short survey (only 7 questions) to help them understand the impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having on your business and what further support you need from Government. Your responses are greatly valued and will be collated and shared with local government organisations to help support their planning and the feedback they provide to central government.

Take the survey

New rules for business now we have left the EU

Use the checker tool to quickly identify the actions that your business needs to take.

Visit GOV.UK 

EU transition

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has published guidance to help businesses comply with changed regulations. The OPSS has produced a range of guidance and advice to help ensure business understand what is expected of them, including on issues such as the use of the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking. The guidance now includes a ‘What’s changed?’ summary guide to key changes. It also provides a clear indication of what rules and regulations have come into effect now that the Transition Period has come to an end.

Working safely during the coronavirus pandemic

HSE has a range of guidance and advice, which may be useful to protect people from the risk of COVID-19, whether they can still attend work or are working from home.

See guidance on working safely during the coronavirus pandemic including practical measures you can take that to ensure your workplace is COVID-secure.