w/c 9th November 2020
This first week of the new restrictions has had a different air to it and it’s not just because of the colder days and darker nights or the students heading off to school or university. Unlike the Spring lockdown, this time we know what we must continue doing to protect each other. Our hands are used to the excessive washing and sanitiser, our faces are accustomed to being covered, and we can all keep in contact with friends and family from a distance using services like zoom. It’s not as big a shock to the system but it is still just as heart-breaking for the businesses that are facing this month of closures.
Alongside the announcement of closures and restrictions that came into effect last week, the Government confirmed that they would be providing up to £3,000 in grants to businesses that have been required to temporarily close. On Monday, applications for these grants opened in Southend and thousands of businesses will welcome the income in what would ordinarily be the middle of the ‘golden quarter’ of trading.
Many companies have quickly reverted to their alternative business models that they swiftly established during the first lockdown. We’re seeing traders deliver three course meals to your door, opening up for you to grab a speedy takeaway, launching their online shops for you to browse for gifts, offering experiences online, and now click and collect is an option too. All of these provide everyone with plenty of ways to continue shopping and spending in their local community at a time when every penny truly counts for these businesses.
Thankfully the Government have confirmed that businesses operating side-lines, like those mentioned, are still eligible for the new grants as they are being given to venues which have been forced to close the primary part of their offer, even if they can still operate in some form. An example of this could be a restaurant that would normally have a place full of diners but can now only provide takeaway and deliveries.
It is important to shop locally wherever possible and if you are looking to get some non-essential items through click and collect then ensure you do so when you’re out getting essential supplies. Businesses can find the grant application form on the coronavirus business support page of the council’s website or you can head to the news section of the Southend BID website to find out more about this and other BID zone related news.