News and Events for Local Businesses - 26 June

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Plymouth business news

26 June 2020

Please find below an overview of the latest business advice and guidance, including the latest COVID-19 news. In today's newsletter you will find news and updates including:

  • Taking steps to protect the Barbican from antisocial behaviour
  • Easing of lockdown restrictions in England – reopening of further businesses
  • A Plymouth guide to reopening safely
  • Help for cafes and pubs to put seats outside
  • The 'We're Good to Go' Industry Standard
  • Updated guidance for the visitor economy on working safely
  • Updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Code of practice for the commercial property sector
  • Government provides further halt to business evictions and more support for high street firms
  • Nuclear South West Newsletter
  • Free online training now available from Be Ready Employer Hub
  • Funding streams and competitions
  • Virtual events/webinars

If you have any specific concerns or are in need of support, please contact us.

Taking steps to protect the Barbican from antisocial behaviour

Plymouth City Council and Devon and Cornwall Police are working to make sure the Barbican is a safe and comfortable place to be.  As the lockdown further eases, more people have been flocking to Plymouth’s favourite spot, but with social distancing very much still in place and many pubs not open, crowds have been gathering, leaving litter and worse.

Measures have been taken to help, including: opening additional toilets, extra bins and rubbish collections as well as a significant visible police presence. 

Find out more

Easing of lockdown restrictions in England – reopening of further businesses

From Saturday 4 July 2020, all businesses and venues in England can reopen, except for a small number of ‘Close proximity’ venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas, which will need to remain closed for now. The UK Government is continuing to work with these sectors to establish taskforces to help them to become COVID Secure and reopen as soon as possible.

Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers and accommodation sites will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines. Some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades.

COVID Secure guides cover a range of different types of work:

  • Find the new hotel and guest accommodation guidance here.
  • Find the new close contact services (hairdressing, barber shops, beauty, nail bars, make up, tattooing, spray tanning, spas, sports and massage therapy, dress fitters, tailors, fashion designers) guidance here.
  • Find the new visitor economy (hotels, guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, business events and consumer shows) guidance here.  
  • Find the updated restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services guidance here.

A Plymouth guide to reopening safely

Working with our partners Destination Plymouth, Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership we’ve created this toolkit to help you reopen your business safely, providing you with advice and guidance and practical tools that can be used as you welcome customers back to your premises.

This toolkit has been produced with funding from the Reopening High Street Fund, funded by HM Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

View the toolkit here

Help for cafes and pubs to put seats outside

Cafes, restaurants and pubs in the city centre and the waterfront will be able put seats and tables outside as part of a move to help business bounce back following the coronavirus pandemic.

The Council is waiving its fee and introducing a speedy temporary permit process to help businesses get ready to reopen. Cafés and bars are currently working to a reopening date of 4 July (It is not legal under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations 2020 to put out tables and chairs before that date) but with social distancing measures still in place, many could find it impossible to operate unless they take outside space.

Find out more here

The 'We're Good to Go' Industry Standard

Businesses can now apply for a free UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place. 

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector. 

To obtain the mark businesses must complete a self-assessment through the online platform including a check-list confirming they have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark for display in their premises and online. 

Find out more here

Updated guidance for the visitor economy on working safely

New guidance about working safely has been issued for the visitor economy, including those working in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events.

Find out more here

Updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.

From 1 August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month.To be eligible for the grant employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed.

Find out more here

If you are claiming for 100 employees or more through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can download the template here

Code of practice for the commercial property sector

The government has published a code of practice to encourage commercial tenants and landlords to work together to protect viable businesses. The code is voluntary and is relevant for all commercial leases held by businesses in any sector which have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

It encourages tenants to continue to pay their rent in full if they are in a position to do so and advises that others should pay what they can. It acknowledges that landlords should provide support to businesses if they too are able to do so.

Find out more

Government provides further halt to business evictions and more support for high street firms

The government will extend measures to prevent high street businesses facing eviction during the summer. These include:

  • Laying a statutory instrument to amend the Coronavirus Act to extend the time period for suspension of the forfeiture of evictions from June 30 to September 30.
  • Laying secondary legislation to prevent landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery unless they are owed 189 days of unpaid rent. The time period for which this measure is in force will be extended from June 30 to September 30.
  • An amendment to the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill has been tabled which will extend the temporary ban on the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions where a company cannot pay its bills due to coronavirus, until 30 September.

Find out more here

Nuclear South West Newsletter

Nuclear South West is the nuclear cluster for the South West of England. The South West is set to become a nuclear hub in the next two decades, with 15 projects worth £50 billion to our economy.

See the latest newsletter, which includes: 

  • The Hinkley Point C Socio-Economic impact report headlines indicating impressive progress being made 
  • UK Atomic Energy Authority announcement that it had struck a four-year-long Engineering Design Services Framework agreement with nine companies to call on the expertise of world-leading engineering firms, including South West Nuclear Hub members 

Find out more

Free online training now available from Be Ready Employer Hub

  • Are you and your staff furloughed with time on your hands?
  • Do you have time for staff training to prepare for the future?
  • How can you change your business for the better?

Part of the ‘Be Ready’ Employer Support Service is to offer essential training for you and your staff, to ensure you provide equal opportunities to disabled staff and disabled people who may wish to work for you.

Now, more than ever, we need to be mindful of the additional challenges Covid-19 has placed on our disabled colleagues, family and friends and make sure no-one is left behind.

As a result of social distancing measures the Be Ready Employer Hub is offering free online trainer-led workshops on Disability and Employment. These interactive sessions are delivered as a series of five modules, each a week apart, for Managers, HR staff and colleagues to learn how to get the best talent for your business, recruitment, grant funding, language, communication and more. Current series available to start:

Find out more here

Funding streams and competitions

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge

Businesses can apply for a share of £15 million to catalyse the green economic recovery in transport, energy and industrial sectors.

Both competitions are now open, with deadlines for applications on 29 July 2020 at 11am.

Find out more here

Virtual events and webinars

For further information on the latest virtual events, or to upload and promote yours, visit Invest Plymouth's event page

You can also submit your own virtual events.


Co-op Fortnight

For this year’s Co-op Fortnight, we’re sharing the ‘Acts of Co-operation’ being carried out across Plymouth and promoting collaborative working. There are also two free webinars taking place so you can join us virtually to learn more about working co-operatively:

Employee Ownership – the most important new model of business ownership?

Tuesday 30 June, 11.30am

Christian Wilson (partner at Stephens Scown) will present an overview of what's happening in the Employee Ownership world and explore the benefits and opportunities offered by transitioning to Employee Ownership.

Register here.

Community collaboration during the crisis - is a co-operative society here to stay?

Thursday 2 July, 11.30am

This panel discussion hosted by Real Ideas Organisation will explore the value that cooperative ways of working brings to businesses, employees and communities, and the role collaboration can play in local wealth building and creating a resilient and democratic economy.

Register here.


Oceansgate Marine Technology Webinar Series

Oceansgate |  Wednesday 1 July to Wednesday 7 October, 11am

The series of webinars will provide a platform for the world class marine technology offer in the surrounding area with topics including access to innovation funding and support, marine autonomy, case studies covering leading edge tech development and showcasing world class strengths in the SW.

The next webinar, on Wednesday 1 July, is on Marine Business Technology Centre Grant Scheme

Find out more here


Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill Webinars

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill will reform the insolvency and corporate governance framework in light of the COVID emergency. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has planned two webinars to explain different aspects of this new legislation. 

  • To find out how provisions on AGMs and filing extensions will affect companies, please join us for our Corporate Governance session at 10.30am on 30th June. You can register here.
  • To find out how the new rules on moratoriums, restructuring and winding-up petitions will affect companies and their associated parties, register to join our Insolvency session at 10.30am on 7th July. You can register here


Government webinars

Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available:


Did you know we are on Linkedin? Join us here for more regular updates.


Keep up to date with news and advice on our COVID-19 business support page 

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